The core of any memorable travel experience is the connection that we develop with other people and cultures as we visit other lands. Travel obliges us to leave our comfort zone and progress into the unknown, allowing us to be receptive towards exploration and, ultimately, discovery. Apart from the joys of traveling with loved ones and family, women are increasingly recognizing the benefits of traveling with each other.

The act of “connecting” is far more powerful for women than just communicating, engaging or even networking. It is all about discovering a common link and purpose, and finding out that you are on the same page mentally and emotionally. So why is the act of “connecting” to each other so important to women and what are the benefits?

A landmark UCLA study suggests that friendships between women are not only special, but they shape who the women are and who they are yet to be. Connecting with other women fills emotional gaps and counteracts the stress that most of us experience on a daily basis.

Despite the fact that friendships with other women can be so beneficial, it is ironic that this is the first thing that women give up when they get busy with work and/or family. This is where setting time aside to travel with like-minded women can be invaluable. The benefits of travel, and how they can impact women traveling together, are as follows:

Travel offers plenty of opportunity to silence the mind, which inevitably leads to insights. We can silence the mind as we trek through mountains or a glorious countryside, gaze at a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Silence encourages our intuitive capacity, allowing us to reach new levels of awareness and insight. Recording the insights in a journal anchors our thoughts, and we can do this perfectly on our own. However, being able to share our thoughts and insights afterwards with other women can form the beginning of a gradual unfolding. For women, this can mean finding practical solutions to problems, or gaining valuable support when changing life directions at pivotal moments.

Travel gives us the opportunity to be touched by beauty. Beauty is elusive, highly personal, its impact unpredictable, and yet it is as integral to our human survival as Oxygen. It is healing, regenerative and uplifting as it allows us to put our pains and problems aside. It helps us to succeed in forgetting ourselves and becoming almost childlike. Through travel and exploring the world, we make ourselves available to experience beauty.

Travel encourages us to grow. The exploration of our world results in a far greater sensitivity to the struggles of human beings in general. Through this process, we begin to put our own lives into perspective. For women traveling together, this provides a perfect backdrop for shared thoughts, experiences and feelings. This creates a source of support and strength for many women who may not have this in their personal lives or in the work place.

Travel fuels the imagination. Without the limitations of our day to day lives, travel allows our minds to wander free and explore without boundaries. Unobstructed by past experiences and without exclusions, being in the company of like-minded women can lead to very powerful brainstorming and sources of inspiration.

Travel fulfills our yearning for Unity. It is instinctive for human beings to seek union with larger units, as we wish to participate in something that we regard as being greater than our individual selves. Travel encourages a sense of unity with all beings everywhere as we acquire a sense that we all share in the same destiny. For women who may be single, or are going through a divorce or separation, traveling with a group of women may give them a sense of being a part of something greater, thus increasing a sense of solidarity and reducing any feelings of emptiness or isolation.

As women, we have tended to downplay the importance of friendships with other women, perhaps viewing it as more as an indulgence. And yet the nurturing, strength and support that it can provide us in our everyday lives suggests that it is, in fact, vital for our well being. Setting the time aside to travel with like-minded women is an ideal way to bring the balance of mind, body, and spirit back into our lives.

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