TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
Razor Sharp Intuition – A Side Effect of Long Term Travel
Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist
“The combination of emotions and feral energy,
viscerally running through the body.
A sensing so strong it’s like intimate directions
that must be followed.”
– Heather Markel, May 2019.
I’ve begun to realize that world travel – through different countries, different languages and different levels of safety has caused me to develop an interesting sense of intuition. It happens with people and places. It’s a keen sense of awareness that travels through me, sometimes an emptiness that signals all is ok, and at other times a gentle warning that I always heed. In past, I realize I had that same sense and often ignored it. That choice caused me harm and pain. Now this awareness is like a gentle friend, with me at all times.
A tree that exists in only a tiny part of South America.
Photograph by Heather Markel, Copyright 2019
At times, I’m surprised where my intuition leads me. I find it easier to use instinct to avoid danger and much harder to follow the instincts that tell me a place or a person is ok. In Costa Rica, I still cringe at the memory of the guy who stopped me on a quiet road on which we were alone, to ask if I wanted to follow him and see his “secret place.” Thankfully my instinct was well in check and I didn’t go. There have been a few roads I could have walked on over the past months. They looked safe, but that instinct howled at me, so I turned around and didn’t go. Recently I practiced following a good instinct and ended up with a plethora of experiences and journeys I never would have had and that I’ll never forget.
“Sometimes I forget that instinct isn’t just about warning me of danger, it informs me about positive experiences, too.”
One of the things I’ve found interesting in South America, that didn’t happen to me anyplace else, is that I’ve met a number of people along my travels that are either going the same way and want to travel together, or who end up being in the same place as me weeks, or even a month, later. We get to meet and spend time together! One of my favorites is Maria who I met on the bus from the airport in Bariloche. She and I got chatting and I learned she quit her job at Starbucks and had gone to Antartica and planned to travel all year. We ended up meeting up in Easter Island and then again in Santiago. And, we may meet up yet again someplace in South America or in Africa!
Small towns with cows that roam the streets.
Photography by Heather Markel, Copyright 2019