Navigating the narrow passageways of the bustling Alfama neighborhood in Lisbon, Portugal, with Google Maps in hand, acting as a compass, my wife Olga and I found ourselves "lost." Sure I knew exactly where we were on the map, but the culture, the language, the speeding trikes had us unfamiliar with what to do, or where to go.
We've been in this spot many times before and somehow have always managed to have the best, albeit unexpected, experiences. On a road trip in rural Mexico without a cellphone, or on the cobblestone streets of Istanbul, Turkey drinking Turkish çai in what felt like a wooden hut. Every time we have traveled to a vastly different culture we've found ourselves in uncomfortable positions of not knowing what to do or where to go. This has been the catalyst for some of the most memorable and culturally rich travel experiences.
The socially conscious, DeepVibes lifestyle and the reason I felt so compelled to build a brand around this lifestyle is based in part to my experiences in travel. Here's my list of the 4 ways traveling the world has evolved and expanded my consciousness.
WE ARE ALL CONNECTED
Despite vastly different cultural upbringings and ways of life I've noticed a few things that remain constant. When a child in Estonia cries for her mother, the energy and the pain is the same as a crying child in America. When a woman tearfully walks past the security checkpoint in a Spanish airport, taking one last glance at her boyfriend, tears streaming down her face from an aching heart, I empathize with her pain. It doesn't feel different because we speak different languages. If you only saw smiling bliss from hearing an inspiring piece of music, or the cries of a broken heart, the laughter from a joyful interaction, you would not be able to tell, white from black, or theist from atheist.
The bottom line is that if you live in a 1st world country such as the USA, you have won the social and economic lottery. The poorest of the USA would be considered rich in the majority of other countries in the world and this becomes apparent when traveling. I am so lucky to even have the opportunity to travel the world. For the majority of the world they will never see land outside their country's borders. They will never see enough money to afford anything beyond a small ration of food and water. I am grateful and as a result, I feel compelled to give back to the world.
LIVING IN THE MOMENT - BEING PRESENT
There have been so many places where my cell phone wouldn't even be able to get a signal. As a result it had no functional use aside from picture taking... No browsing news, Facebook, or Instagram photos. My gaze focused on the cultural beauty and diversity in front of me in lieu of a phone or computer screen. Or perhaps focused on our conversation with the Serbian couple we met at dinner and their struggles growing up in a war torn Belgrade. A conversation that may have never transpired had our phones been available to distract us.
My comfort zone has been abandoned religiously as a result of travel. What am I ordering to eat? Where does this bus stop? What happens if we can't find a hotel in this tiny town? Things that I could easily plan for or "control" in my home country of America, I had to just trust that it would work out in foreign countries. Allowing life to actually happen moment to moment has opened my eyes to how little the illusion of control actually matters.
A GIFT FROM DEEPVIBES
Since traveling and music has played such a crucial role on our path to a deeper consciousness, we have decided to showcase a song and travel destination of the day on our Instagram story. Every day you'll have a source of travel and musical inspiration by simply checking out our Instagram Story. Stories disappear after 24 hours so don't forget to check daily and be ready to take notes for your bucket list and your playlists.
Our inaugural song and destination of the day was inspired from my most recent trip to Europe.