Becoming a Soulful Traveller

I invite you to adopt an attitude of child-like wonder and acceptance
of things as they are. Be curious! Wonder out loud. Don't be afraid to ask
questions. Express your feelings of excitement, discomfort, and delight.

Becoming a Soulful Traveller is an art

I’m sure you’ve heard it said, “Please be a traveller, not a tourist.” This can evoke a sense of unease, as if engaging in ‘touristy’ activities or conforming to a stereotypical tourist image may hinder the quest for soulful travel. It is not doing touristy things or looking like a tourist that determines whether you are travelling soulfully. So what does it mean to become a soulful traveller?

I invite you to pause and reflect. Grab a pen and paper, and jot down the images, phrases, feelings, or ideas that surface when you contemplate the concept of soulful travel.

“The journey of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.”

Marcel Proust

This quote encapsulates the very essence of soulful travel for me. Discovery requires humility, openness to the unknown, wonder, curiosity and a non-judgmental attitude. Many will tour new landscapes, but only see things through the lens they carried with them from home. Everything will be interpreted through their particular cultural, religious and social worldview. Seeing with new eyes means intentionally exploring other’s ideas, ways of being and behaving with curiosity and humility. Seeing with the eyes of the soul means learning to see the connections between all sentient beings and experiencing this as a soul-nourishing experience. A soulful traveller will cultivate a mindset that allows for genuine connection, understanding, and appreciation, transcending the boundaries of mere tourism, which I often think of as ‘taking a peek from a bubble of safety.’ Soulful travel involves intentionally removing the safety nets and allowing the new and unknown landscapes to penetrate you deeply and change you forever.

One of the uncomfortable rewards of travel is that we are given many opportunities to face fears and insecurities we didn’t even know lay buried in us. The strangeness of the world around us refuses to protect the cultivated image of ourselves we easily live in back home.

I invite you to adopt an attitude of child-like wonder and acceptance of things as they are. You will automatically interpret what you see through your very experienced, educated, grown-up lens, but this lens will let you down. You cannot possibly understand fully what you are seeing because you are a child here. The first step to ‘seeing with new eyes’ is to humbly set your own lens aside. Be curious! Wonder out loud. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Express your feelings of excitement, discomfort, and delight.

As Bill Bryson says, “I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”

The question is, are you ready?

As you embark on your next journey, I invite you to delve into the heart of soulful travel; where each step is an opportunity for self-discovery and every encounter is a chance to see the world through new eyes.


Miriam spent her childhood in Central and Eastern Africa, embracing a need to live close to nature and profound respect for the wisdom of the divine feminine. Combining her training in Intercultural Communication, Sustainable Development, Nonprofit Leadership and Spiritual Direction, she has served in a variety of community development programs over the last 25 years across Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Kenya. Since 2010 she has served as Founding Director of Eden Thriving, a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating thriving lives and flourishing landscapes by addressing the environmental roots of poverty. She makes her permanent home at Echoes of Eden along the banks of the Malewa River in Naivasha, Kenya.