The most popular post in this young Conscious Travel web site is the one titled: Tourism What’s the Point? Its popularity reflects the fact that:
- travel and hospitality enterprises need to attract and engage a diverse and intelligent workforce;
- there’s widespread recognition that money is no longer a sufficient motivator. As companies describing themselves as “Conscious Capitalists” have discovered, it pays to put a sense of higher purpose first, if you wish to increase profitability;
- there’s a growing need to align the members of a company around a common set of values and principles that can shape and guide behaviour on a day-to-day basis. A company’s culture (the sum total of its mission and values) – even though it may be invisible and hard to measure or articulate – is often its key point of advantage or disadvantage as it most directly affects the level of engagement, productivity and creativity.
In that post we started to explore three deeper motivators:
- Tourism as a healing agent that rejuvenates guests ‘ well-beiing, regenerates despoiled landscapes and resuscitates indigenous/local cultures;
- Tourism as a connecting agent that helps guests encounter people from different culture and settings to both widen and deepen their mindsets and cause them to face the unexamined assumptions that underpin their behaviour; and
- Tourism as a “wonder and awe making” agent that helps guests not only appreciate the beauty of our Planet but also find deeper levels of meaning, purpose and contentment from their experience.
While clearly these motivators offer a greater sense of purpose than the act of “making money,” they still sound a little dry. Perhaps our language should be more inspiring, colorful and clear so may I suggest this:
The purpose of travel is help people fall in love with a place, with each other
and with the miracle we call Life.
This concept came to me after watching Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg summarize 40 years of work studying flowers and the critters that pollinate them. This is what Louie had to say at his TED talk:
To watch them move is a dance that I’m never going to tire of. It fills me with wonder, and it opens my heart. Beauty and seduction, I believe, is nature’s tool for survival, because we will protect what we fall in love with. Their relationship is a love story that feeds the Earth. It reminds us that we are a part of nature, and we’re not separate from it……
The concept that “Nothing lasts forever. Everything in the universe wears out “ blew my mind. Because I realized that nature had invented reproduction as a mechanism for life to move forward, as a life force that passes right through us and makes us a link in the evolution of life. Rarely seen by the naked eye, this intersection between the animal world and the plant world is truly a magic moment. It’s the mystical moment where life regenerates itself, over and over again.
So in this context, the purpose of a conscious host is to help their guests become mindful, awake, alert and aware of the beauty, magic and mystery of life on this planet — in short to fall in love with it.
For when you are in love you are utterly present and when you are in love you will do whatever you can to protect the object of your love.
When you are in love, you slow down, you have no desire to rush away and seek another object for your affection.
When you are in love, you are most attentive and observant and take pleasure in the smallness of things.
When you are in love, you also experience peak health and vitality.
When you are in love, you are most awake, aware and alert – in short most conscious. You don’t need to be told how or why to behave in a way that respects and reveres. It comes naturally because that’s your real uncensored nature.
And there’s a reason it’s called falling in love and not climbing into love. It’s because it involves a spontaneous shift in consciousness – an “aha” moment when you “see” differently.
When you fall in love you are changed – albeit sometime temporarily and you experience a sense of infinite possibility. Isn’t that what latent or actual Conscious Travellers are seeking?
And when you are in love, all you want to talk about is your beloved. Isn’t that the source of the infectious spark that makes us share?
So dear Conscious Host, by helping your guests fall in love you will be playing a conscious role in the evolution of life itself – and surely that’s a good reason to come into work on Monday?