Travel can enrich the soul and broaden horizons, opening our hearts and minds to new possibilities. In today’s busy world, however, it can be somewhat overwhelming for those of us who are empaths or sensitive as we sense and feel everything around us, within ourselves. If your senses are on over-drive and your awareness is heightened, busy cities, chaotic airports and so much new stuff can send a highly sensitive person into meltdown.
As an empath, you will likely at some point on the journey be kicked into fight or flight mode. Having to process the energy of so much new information and feeling the melting pot of other peoples energies requires special measures. The good news is that there are quite a number of things that we can do to make sure that we are prepared, to minimise hyper-stimulation and enjoy the ride EVEN if we are super sensitive.
Owning your sensitivity – embracing who you are
The first key is acknowledging to ourselves that we are sensitive – not fighting it. It’s not about making our sensitivity go away. It’s not about trying to be like other people. Our sensitivity is our greatest gift. Our sensitivity means that in the end, if we are able to surrender into the incredible beauty of new places, we will have a far more divine and soul-stirring time than we could have imagined. However, we have a different set of functionality rules to those who aren’t empaths. The days are gone when we had to hide our gifts whilst trying to fit in with societies expectations. This is about loving yourself and honouring what is right for YOU!
Taking the pressure off ourselves – the balance between planning and spontaneity
Whatever your reason for travel it likely involves some sort of organisation such as… flights, buses, car hire, accommodation, change in climate, what to bring, what to wear, how to get around, change in currency, different language, what we are going to eat or the best place to be located for our needs. These things can cause a lot of stress on our system, although they needn’t do if we give ourselves a little space to allow them to unfold with ease.
With so many things to think about, it can help to be organised ahead of time. Take time to work out the essentials, so that you can be more comfortable when you are there.
I see the planning all as part of the adventure. Personally, I find that it takes a lot of the pressure of me, so that I can be sure to relax into the whole experience as the trip happens.
I print off maps ahead of time, so that I know where I am going. Something to ‘fall back on’. I find out how I am going to get from A to B when I arrive at my destination too. Am I hiring a car or taking a bus? What do I need to know to make that run smoothly? If I am hiring a car for example, I’ll research a little about driving in the area I am going to and figure out how I can make it as easy as possible for myself. Every country has different considerations and sometimes it might be better to take a taxi. If I am taking the bus, I check the timetable and route ahead of time online (it’s helpful to know if the buses run only every few hours). I also check online to see if there are any health food stores or veggie restaurants in the vicinity and figure out how to get to them. I often don’t like to plan my actual activities ahead, although I tend to buy a guidebook (or look online) so I can see what options might be available. It feels important to me to create space, so that I am not ‘doing-doing-doing’ all of the time, but allowing for rest and relaxation. Something I love to do is hike in stunning places. I make sure that I am prepared for the various weather conditions (hot, cold, dry, wet), so I check out ahead of time to see what the climate is and what I might need to bring with me. Your nature of travel will determine what you need to check out ahead of time.
Planning isn’t about being fixed either, it just helps to even out the load so that we don’t end up feeling burdened with a million unforeseen details at the last minute. It’s about minimising stressful factors so that we don’t go into sensory over-drive. Crucial for empaths and sensitives! We can change or abandon plans that don’t feel right to us whenever we want. Planning simply allows us to feel relaxed enough so that can enjoy spontaneity whenever it feels right too. I love spontaneity, although I find that I ONLY enjoy it when I am not already on hyper-stimulation over-drive.
So finding the balance between planning to take the pressure off ourselves, yet knowing that we can change plans if it feels right to do something different when the moment arises – is really helpful for an empath on the road.
Being in busy places as an empath
Airports and cities can be particularly chaotic for a highly sensitive person. There will be lots of anxiety in the air as people fret over arrangements, plans and problems that arise – and if you are an empath, you’ll feel it all! I know that I can become particularly ungrounded in busy places, so if I sense that it may become too much, I’ll take a moment, close my eyes and feel (or visualise) my connection to Mother Earth through my feet. That alone can make a massive difference.
I also make a conscious effort to draw my boundaries. Asserting boundaries can be as simple as bringing awareness to them ‘this is me and everything outside is not me’. If it is really busy and there is no chance of peace and quiet, then I put my headphones on and listen to my favourite music (this is an excellent way of creating a personal boundary as you attune to the inspiring vibes of the music rather than everyone else around you). I regularly find quiet spots to recharge too, whenever possible, where there are fewer people. In the city, I will seek out any green or natural places. I will visit them whenever I need to re-balance or recharge. I must admit that when travelling I do tend to naturally avoid busy cities wherever possible (or visit them only briefly).
Tips for managing energies in busy places as an empath
- Make a conscious effort to draw your boundaries, by simply bringing awareness to them.
- Use an ‘Instant Calm’ meditation technique for breathing in peace and calm whilst breathing out any tension or stress. Check out my video here for a very simple technique that you can use at anytime or any place: How to find instant calm wherever you are
- Draw an invisible chalk line around yourself to keep unwanted energies out (whilst still allowing supportive ‘universal life energy’ to flow through as usual).
- Put headphones on and listen to your favourite, inspiring music to help zone out from the busyness outside of you.
- Find quite spots to recharge and use them regularly.
- Seek out green places, gardens, woodlands to rejuvenate and raise your vibration.
Five tips for empaths on flights
Flights aren’t always the most comfortable of experiences. As an empath, it’s helpful to take measures to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. On a flight, you’ll be in close proximity to a lot of people and there is just no escaping it. Comfort is not just a luxury, it helps to keep your own energy in check so that you are better able to deal with the more challenging experiences of feeling everyone’s energy. Here are some tips for dealing with flights…
- Take earplugs. They may not block the noise out completely, but they tone it down and allow for a more restful experience.
- Drink plenty of water. On a flight, you may be tempted to drink less so that you aren’t up and down to the loo all the time. However, flights dehydrate us rapidly, which causes unnecessary stress on our system. Staying dehydrated helps us to stay centred and balanced. If you are concerned about going to the loo and not wanting to clamber over other people, be sure to select an aisle seat in advance.
- Bring your own food if necessary. If you think that the in-flight food won’t agree with your system, be sure to bring your own. Being prepared can take the stress out of the journey. Eating well when travelling also helps to keep your energy rejuvenated and fresh.
- Wear comfortable clothing. It sounds obvious, but if you forget, you’ll be uncomfortable, making for an unpleasant trip. Being comfortable will help preserve yourself so that you have more energy to deal with other more challenging ’empath’ things that might come up.
- Make a conscious effort with boundaries. This is definitely possible no matter how close you are to other people. You can comfortably withdraw into yourself on a flight by closing your eyes whenever you want. Use soothing music on your mp3 player if it helps to help zone everything else out and focus internally. Breath in peace and calm and exhale and tension.
Thanks for tuning in. I do hope that some of the tips in this article have been helpful.