Recently, I learned one of the most valuable and important lessons of my life.
As a woman, we have this particular gift called intuition. Perhaps it is in our genetic makeup or that natural nurturing thing that comes with being a woman.
Last week, I should have gotten on a flight headed to India to attend a friend’s wedding. I was elated to be going. But, to be honest, the ENTIRE time I was planning this trip to India, I had this slight, unsettling feeling about going. Doing thorough research before heading out there, I found that many female solo travelers must be extremely careful with “Eve Teasing” (a euphemism used in India for public sexual harassment or molestation; often known as “street harassment” of women by men). In the States, this is not something that we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis typically. And anybody who knows me knows that if something like this were to happen to me, I would ultimately show OUT! Even with a little hesitation, I kept planning my trip. I made all the proper precautions I could and carefully planned my route, chose hotels that were seemingly safe and highly rated, and hired a private driver during the first week I would be in Northern India. My trip was slated for two weeks.
My “Type A” personality typically does not allow me to go somewhere foreign without some hard details. When it came to planning the second week of my trip, it was becoming challenging for me. I kept facing many obstacles trying to pull together all the details. Like, tough. It is unexplainable. I was up until four a.m. one morning scouring the Internet for reasonable, safe, and clean hotel rooms, things to do/see, and people to meet up with but NOTHING was coming together for one reason or another. There was this massive resistance.
I was battling between tapping into and listening to my intuition. Or just chalking it up to nerves. Deep down, I knew it was not nerves. Hell – I just spent over two months in SE Asia, saw several countries, was entirely solo, never felt a bit of worry, and had the time of my life! But I had this feeling in my gut. It was in the pit of my stomach. It was taunting me the night before I was supposed to leave. I was on the phone with the airline trying to see how much it would cost for me to return home right after the wedding.
I immediately started praying and meditating. I was searching for the root of my uneasiness. After talking to a close friend, who I consider a Spiritual Advisor, God gave me the answer I needed. Without going into too many personal details, I realized that the heart wrenching, gut-busting feeling that was intensifying was God’s way of protecting me from what I could not see! Whether you believe in God or not (I encourage you too… He is awesome!), always, always, ALWAYS trust your intuition.
It is there to protect and guide you. As a traveler – that is something you MUST be tuned into. Even the slightest inkling is a red flag that you should not go somewhere, should not eat something, turn down a certain street or travel to a particular place; listen to that! Who knows what could have happened to me in India. And an even greater thank you to the Creator that He protected me.
While I am slightly disappointed that I could not attend my friend’s wedding, I know that India will always be there for me to explore and travel.
I say this to say, start to trust yourself. Start believing your those small signs.
The greatest and most powerful lesson is to tune into you and listen to the small, still Voice.
Until then – journey on,