Group of travellers building connection through story on a beautiful mountain.

Travel Talks: Bridging connection through story

Your inner wisdom is a library. Every time you take a trip, you add another book of experience to the growing collection. Imagine you could share that wisdom in a circle of travelers who each brought their own collections? The extensive library of learnings could bridge, connect and expand both hearts and minds. 

Pull up a seat, bring your travel stories, a cup of  your favourite beverage, and let’s exchange chapters! That’s the idea behind a *NAME OF ACTIVITY*.

Plan a *NAME OF ACTIVITY* IE. Traveling Mind Meetup*.  

Plan a *NAME OF ACTIVITY* today

Humans are social beings and connection is our superpower. From the day we were born, we learn from each other. In the spirit of connection, use this guide to hold a *NAME of ACTIVITY*. 

Start with the 5 W’s

Who do you enjoy speaking with? These are the friends, colleagues, family members, and baristas you can have engaging conversations with. Make a list of people who go beyond “how’s the weather” chit-chat and dive deeper.

Where can you all meet? Determine if an online or in-person venue makes sense. 

If in-person, choose a quiet and private space where your group can share comfortably. Homes, community centres, or parks are some options. 

If an online meeting is more appropriate, try an app like Zoom, Google Meetup, Skype or Facebook messenger.

When should you meet? Consider days and times that are most suitable for the audience. The world clock meeting planner is a handy tool when juggling different time zones. 

What can your invitees expect? Create an invitation to ensure everyone is on the same page. A well-crafted message also adds an element of excitement. Consider sending a reminder message a day or two before. 

Let them know exactly what to bring, like possibly food for a potluck! If online, ask that everyone brings their favourite beverage or snack. It makes for a good ice breaker at the beginning. 

Why are you gathering? As part of the invite, tell your guests why you want to hold a *NAME OF EVENT*. They will arrive knowing the purpose and feeling grounded. You can use the example below.

Hello Shayla,

Travel enriches perspective and you have a lot of interesting perspectives. I find our conversations enlightening, so I’d love to invite you to *NAME OF EVENT* where an intimate, open-minded group will come together to discuss *insert engaging topic here* through the lens of our unique travel experiences. 

What you need to bring:

  • *Create your list items*

On *insert date and time here*, we’ll connect, share, and learn through our love of travel. Hope you can attend via *Google Meet: insert attendee link*!

Get the wheels turning

You’ve taken care of the logistics. Now let the sparks fly!. Prompts to encourage dialogue will deepen the conversation and keep it flowing. If you need a kickstart, here are a few topics you can use with prompts to encourage participation. 

“The thing I ate” topic – Everyone can relate to food. Have the guests share a memorable food experience. Some prompts include. 

  • How is the food prepared?
  • Describe the place it was served?
  • Has anyone had a similar experience?.
  • What is the significance or importance of the food or the eating experience?

“Outside your comfort zone” topic

Travel challenges us in a way that helps us learn and grow. Dig into that a bit!

  • When have you pushed (or been pushed) past your comfort zone?
  • How has the discomfort changed or influenced your life?
  • If faced with the same experience, how would it impact you today?

“Reflections on poverty” topic

The contrast between travel brochures and the reality of poverty-stricken neighbourhoods can create strong responses. 

  • When have you become aware of inequality while traveling?
  • How did it make you feel and why?
  • What obstacles to financial security do you think people in that region face?
  • As a visitor, how can you be compassionate towards people who don’t have access to the same opportunities as us?

 *For more ideas, read the Living Atman Travel Pillar section* 

Keep it flowing, inclusive and fun

Organic back and forth conversation is ideal, but it helps to have a moderator. The role of the moderator is to introduce the discussion topic, increase interaction through prompts, and maintain an inclusive vibe. 

Moderator *Definitely Do* list

  • DO allow everyone to introduce themselves, including where they live and their favourite trip.
  • DO lighten up the energy with polls, trivia, or sharing a funny travel story.
  • DO give time for everyone to speak. and invite quieter people to offer their thoughts.
  • DO practice active listening. Hearing and appreciating what people are saying is an important part of the group dynamic.
  • DO remind everyone of the purpose: to share perspectives while remaining open-minded, kind and respectful. This is especially if a judgemental debate builds.
  • DO thank each individual for sharing and respecting everyone’s views.
  • DO give space and be empathetic when individuals are emotional
  • DO encourage everyone to reflect on the process after the event. <Download the journal prompts> on the Living Atman Travel Pillar for a helpful guide.

A Beautiful Humanity

We may not travel to every part of this magnificent world, but we can come together to share our unique learnings and experiences. It’s the beauty of being human. When we choose to be open and curious  about the world outside, it has a way of bridging the distances between us. Don’t you think we’d be all the wiser for it?  

Share your *EVENT NAME* with the Living Atman community. We’d love to hear how it went and what topics bridged connections. Use #*EVENTNAME*

Michelle Villarosa
Michelle Villarosa
Being an explorer is my way of life. Anywhere in the world, discoveries in nature, community and spirit bring me joy and light. You’ll find me in self-care rituals, cherishing the dance between birds and trees, dreaming of creative possibilities, or playing fetch with my cat Winslow and nursing my newly adopted pup Rosemary. The human spirit inspires me. It invites me to share my purpose of uplifting others. That’s why, with my intrepid husband who equally reaches for his stars, I’m taking the leap to create a wellness space on the magical island of Siargao, Philippines. Deep breath. Let’s go!

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