Travel is one of the most effective ways to gain insight into yourself and the world. The essays contained in this book all center around some of the insights the author, Edwin Harkness Spina, gained while traveling to Peru, Tibet, Bali and Santa Monica.
Buddha, Moses, Jesus, and Mohamed - every great avatar spent at least part of their lives traveling - in part to spread their message - but more importantly for their own spiritual growth.
It is not necessary to travel to exotic locations in order to "travel to enlightenment." Rather, the important part of travel is in your attitude. Being able to travel to exotic locations is a gift and encouraged, but if that option is unavailable, just reading about exotic locations can break old mental patterns and take you to a new world.
Travel should not be seen as an excuse to get away from where you are, but rather as an opportunity to enrich and broaden your life experiences. Travel should expand upon the familiar in order to create something even greater.
Being optimistic is a good characteristic but to attribute superstition and assumptions as science was a little disappointing.
I purchased this book because I think there are very few travel books which specifically address the personal development aspects of travel. As a full-time world traveler for 10 years to 45 countries, that is what I think has been lacking in the conversation about nomadic living. I was excited to read the author's approach to this. Unfortunately, aside from a strong introduction, this theme is basically absent.
The book begins very strongly, accurately explaining how people need new information and experiences to stay in a state of growth, and that travel is the most powerful way to experience this. The author wrote intelligently, and deeply enough to stimulate engagement. I was 100% on board at this point, thinking this was going to be a great book about a rare and valuable subject.
Then the author moved on to detailed and mildly entertaining anecdotes about various sacred spots around the world he visited, such as Peru. I was still enjoying his perspective here, though his tone was a bit self-aggrandizing, which is common with people who take "sacred" trips like this. His approach seemed random. At a certain point, I couldn't tell why he was choosing the stories he did, or where he was going with things. This is fine so long as you can pick things up later on and "land the plane" so to speak. Unfortunately, this plane disappeared into condescending and obscure self-promotion.
Maybe about halfway in, I realized the author seemed to be ad-libbing about cliche and outright incorrect "spiritual" subjects - making false equivocations, such that the existence of radio waves somehow proves something vague about vibrations and crystal energy - or cherrypicking mundane events from his life as "proof" that the universe is working to make him happy... or something... He gives the example of saving a few hundred dollars on an event he was going to to promote his first book (Mystic Warrior, which I swear he shoehorns the name of about a dozen times into this short book). If saving a few hundred dollars is a divinely affirming event in your life, you have not lived very much.
The irony is that he talks with the very narrow and limited perspective of someone who has just barely begun the self-expanding process of travel, but thinks they have figured everything out.
He mentions in the lengthy self-promotion section at the end of the book (which goes on for 10+ minutes in the audio version) that a topic he covers elsewhere is "how to avoid spiritual arrogance". I do wish he would pay attention to his own words. This "book" is primarily a vehicle for the author's own self-promotion, and contains very little information about travel and its enlightening effects. I am only so disappointed because the title, description, and introduction set my expectations so high. Maybe his other book is great (he mentions repeatedly how it has won awards, and compares it to the work of Deepak Chopra). But this publication honestly does not qualify as a book in my opinion. It is a pamphlet for the authors other products and services.