Move over planking. This meditation travel trend is the latest trend to hit the travel scene, and for a good cause too. The meditation travel trend is encouraging travellers to strike a meditation or yoga pose in a beautiful landscape to encourage calmness and inner peace wherever we go.
I recently interviewed Sujan Pariyar, founder of inxchan.com, a social enterprise promoting ethical travel and volunteering in Nepal. Sujan is a resident of Nepal and believes that meditation can play a vital role in our daily lives. I had the pleasure of visiting Sujan and his rather large family of 14 while in Nepal. During my stay I participated in their daily meditation ritual and was humbled by the opportunity to see how meditation plays such an important role in this beautiful family, including the children themselves. In this interview Sujan talks about the importance of meditation and why this travel trend might be able to teach us something much more than the travel trends of the past.
Tell us about this new travel trend? Where did you find the inspiration behind the idea?
Being born in a spiritual country like Nepal, I have experienced meditation as the common point between Hinduism and Buddhism. Meditation has always been a great part of my life and has benefited me in various ways. I always wanted to share with the world that we can connect with the universe by meditating. I started to realise, after meeting many travellers, that one of the greatest ways to spread the idea of meditation was through travel and through sharing pictures and inspiring people. I got more involved with the idea of meditation as a travel trend after acknowledging some recent weird trends which are good for nothing. (Referring to planking and walking up walls as some rather odd examples)
When did you first start meditating?
I started meditating five years ago.
I remember participating in a wonderful meditation with you and the children in your home. Why do you believe meditation is important for younger children?
Children have so much energy and they often don’t know how to use of it. When a child grows into an adult, there are changes in his/her body and mental status. If children start meditating in their early ages they will be able to master the control of their emotions and learn to calm themselves down after some years, which comes in handy when they have depression, anxiety or start facing new problems. In my case as well there were times I had been depressed and I didn’t know how to get out of it. In our life we all face lots of ups and downs, so if we teach children meditation to control their emotions, and to balance their mind, it will be one of the most valuable lessons for their successful and happy life.
There is a beautiful quote by Dalai Lama “ If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” which I think is very true.
What advice would you have for those of us who find it hard to switch off through meditation?
Our life is very busy and we can’t even manage time to enjoy the single breath that’s keeping us alive. After a rough day, hustling to find the purpose of life, just sit down, close your eyes, calm yourself down and enjoy breathing in and out. You don’t have to meditate just to get enlightenment. Meditation brings many benefits to our health so take 5-10 min of your day to gain those benefits. Healthy mind and good health are one of those things which keep us moving, give some of your time daily to nourish them. If you find it hard to switch off through meditation then just sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, let thoughts come and go. Just try to be you and realize you exist. Enjoy the nature around you with closed eyes.
What do you hope to achieve through spreading this meditation travel trend?
Tourism is one of the main sources of income for Nepalese people. After the devastating earthquake in Nepal the number of tourists visiting has gone down and even after 2 years it's still low. With this meditation travel trend I hope to promote Nepal as one of the top travel destinations and encourage tourists to explore this wonderful country. Additionally, I hope to spread meditation as a habit and educate people about its benefits.
Many of your pictures are from Nepal. Tell us about your love of this beautiful country?
I believe Nepal is a country of wonders. The locals are one of the kindest in the world. I am always proud to represent myself as a citizen of the country. Whenever a tourist comes to Nepal they get mesmerised by the beauty of nature. There are many places in Nepal which are not mentioned in travel guides but are as a beautiful as heaven. Nepal is a safe country to travel. I aim to explore Nepal as much as I can and share every nook and corner with the world.
What would be your advice for anyone visiting Nepal?
Nepal is a magnificent country. You don’t need to worry about anything. Nobody is in a rush, things go easy and are calm here. If you are ever in trouble locals will be there to help you. If you are thinking of travelling to Nepal just get your itinerary ready and go with it. Travelling solo is very safe. You will have a memorable experience.
How can travellers participate in the meditation travel trend and spread the word?
Travellers can post pictures of themselves meditating in different parts of the world using the hashtag #inxchan. Travellers can also send us the images to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share on our website. Inxchan means New Beginning of Life. We will be gifting t-shirts from Nepal for those who have the best meditation pictures while travelling.
Follow and be part of the meditation travel trend on Instagram.