An Introvert’s Insights From Traveling Solo
I’ve been traveling for 11 wonderful days. For the first half of the trip, I was with my oldest and best friend. We hardly see each other anymore and I will always be so grateful for the time we spent together, exploring Barcelona.
Then I began my solo adventure in Portugal, which marked the start of a way of living that I want to integrate into my “real life” routine.
The Magic of Quiet
Most of the Portuguese speak enough English to communicate but there is a language barrier, and this allowed me to be immersed in a wonderful world of quiet. I barely had to make small talk and spent much of the day without speaking to anyone, happily retreating into my head and staying there, kept good company by my thoughts.
This is heaven for most introverts.
But the magic really happened when I was finally able to slow my thoughts down and stop them completely for extended periods of time.
I learned this while strolling above the cliffs of Lagos, taking in the breathtaking scenery, fully present.
I was able to sit in the white sand of my favorite beach in The Algarve, surrounded by those same cliffs and listen to the waves without the distraction of my thoughts.
I felt peaceful. Grateful. In awe of so much beauty and so close to God.
Experiencing A God First Flow
My priority for 2017 is to develop a God first flow, and I was truly in this flow for the first time. Quieting our mind creates the space for constant conversation with God, and it also allows us to see all the ways He takes care of us.
I prayed hard before committing to this vacation for a variety of reasons, and from the very beginning, I strongly felt God guiding me every step of the way. This continued throughout the trip, during all of the planes, trains, and transportation I had to navigate solo.
There were so many times during the trip that I needed assistance and there was always someone to help who would go out of their way to make sure I got where I needed to go. I have a restored faith in humanity and in human kindness that transcends the language barrier.
I wasn’t alone in Portugal at all. It was God and me, and I’ve never felt his presence so strongly in every single moment.
A New Way to Live
I’ve been so busy during the past 12 months. I’ve had too many places to be, too many things on my plate, far too much rushing and not nearly enough time with God.
It’s been so beautiful, spending the last six days constantly talking to Him. I loved it, and I’m making the commitment to make sure this continues as I reenter my “real” life.
This requires making some changes.
Finally learning how to clear my mind and be fully present feels like a gift, and it is the gateway to a God first flow. But I know that this is a muscle, and one that I need to practice consistently to strengthen and become part of how I live.
I have so many beautiful memories from this trip, but the ones I want to hold on to the most are of walking along the cliffs of Lagos, talking to God and soaking in the beauty of His creation.
As my plane approaches LA, it’s time to turn this way of being into how I live my day to day life.