Traveling in the Flow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn my first trip to Ireland I didn’t book anything ahead. I had the sense that it was important to let my heart and inner knowing guide me. I had studied the Lonely Planet Guide to Ireland and carried it with me so I understood the geography and the options for places to stay and sights to see. In reading the guide I let my intuition lead me through the pages using a feeling sense for where I should go. The West of Ireland, the land of my grandfather, especially the limestone region of The Burren including the Aran Islands, called to me most.

On landing at the Shannon airport I caught the bus to the town of Ennis where I planned to spend the first night at the Rowan Tree Hostel listed in the guide. On arriving I hoisted my backpack and headed toward the hostel. As I walked by the Grey Gables Bed and Breakfast, I felt tugged in that direction. I knocked on the door, which was opened a minute later by the woman of the house. When I asked about a room, she looked at me reluctantly since B and B’s don’t favor single travelers, but invited me in and offered me an nice attic room at a fair price. It was the perfect place to recover from jet lag and get my bearings. That evening I wandered the narrow streets of the town center and found the hostel closed for renovations.

The next day I traveled to the village of Doolin with four hostels to choose from. The bus driver suggested The Rainbow Hostel and my instincts agreed. In the evening the owner Mattie Shannon, who had a wealth of knowledge about the area, lead us on a walking tour of a nearby part of The Burren where he pointed out 1000 year old stone walls and a largely grown overgrown ring fort. On return he asked me and one other guests if we wanted to go to Poulnabrone dolmen, a stone age portal tomb dating back to around 3500 BC. Mattie wanted to photograph it at full moon rise. I had no idea the it was one of the main archeological sites in the area. Without a car I would have never been able to see it. In letting myself follow an inner knowing I was lead from one magical encounter to another for the entire three week trip.

I’ve done the same thing in traveling closer to home. On returning to California from visiting friends in eastern Washington State, I needed to find a campground amid the desert for the night. I asked my guidance to show me the best option among the several I saw on the map. The first two I passed, I sense a no in my body. At the entrance of the third I got a big yes and turned down the road going about a quarter of a mile to where I could see a lake and a grove of cottonwood shading the campsites. Because of the nearness to water the place was alive with birds including a nesting pair of bald eagles. Literally, it was an oasis in the desert.

Part of traveling in flow is a willingness to set the intention, ask for guidance and follow the subtle signals that often come as a felt sense in the body or a quiet internal knowing. The more you practice doing this the more you will learn exact how your intuition talks to you. It makes for magical travel.

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