Why Don’t More Men Take Spiritual Trips?
I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some pretty insane places in the world. Best of all, on other people's dimes.
I found myself always looking for the party wherever I landed and simply wanting to turn up. I’ve always somewhat been in the mix. Always the first one to hit the dance floor.
For 4+ years my life was a party. It didn’t help that I was working in the liquor industry. I found myself drinking and partying in excess, surrounded by people who I thought were my friends. After a while, I made a conscious decision to leave an unfulfilling relationship and to step away from the party life. In 2013, I decided that my last event would be a Cole Haan project I was contracted to do, and would gracefully bow out. I was tired of living a lie and selling escapism to people who, like me, were already spiritually empty. I knew I wanted two things; peace and love.
Without me even knowing it, this is where my journey began. It didn’t come to me immediately. Honestly, it took 3 more years of hell to come to a place of acceptance. I fast-forward to early 2017, when I decided it was time to go deeper. I credit my lady for introducing me to the world of spirituality. But, ultimately, it was me who had to take the first step and make the change.
My lady and a friend had decided to take a trip to witness the 2017 solar eclipse phenomenon from Mount Shasta, California. I had never heard of this place before. After our conversation about her travel arrangements, I was super intrigued. Mount Shasta is a potentially active volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County, California. At an elevation of 14,179 feet, it is the second-highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth-highest in California. During the summer, daytime temperature hovers at around 90 degrees, but come nightfall it dips quickly to about 50 degrees.
We attended an event put together by @awakekeningconsciouscollective, who promote spiritual growth, truth and awareness. The organizer had been planning this event for over 8 years. We all committed to making this trip happen. It was bound to be 5 days of camping at Panther Meadow campgrounds, without running water, real bathrooms and/or shelter. As we arrived, we immediately felt the love from our neighbors.
This was my first spiritual trip. Honestly, I don’t know what took me so long to get here. The first day was spent getting our tents together and making sure we were prepared for this journey. We drove up to the summit where there was meditation, sound therapy, and just natural vibing with some of the most gentle souls you would ever meet. We would star gaze at night. You could see them as clear as day.
The most inspiring experience was all of us lining up and watching the solar eclipse during a mass meditation at the mountain’s summit. I could feel the powerful energy. It brought me to tears. I’ve never experienced such joy. The fact that I was sharing it with friends was even more exhilarating. Moving forward, I’m making these type of trips a part of my regular travel schedule.
So, why don’t more men take spiritual trips?
I have a couple of hunches... I think society has not “made it cool” to go on retreats to better themselves. We have a very Las Vegas-like mindset while traveling, and it’s all about escaping instead of going inward. I also don’t see many travel groups promoting these style of events for men. We’re usually busy chasing and medicating ourselves, in order to forget what our lives are really like at home.
I also think most men believe it’s too feminine (or boring) to spend a couple of days tapping into their inner-selves. The reality is, I’ve found my recent trip to Mount Shasta one of the most important adventures of my life. I had a tribe of people all looking for, and promoting, the same messages; love, self-acceptance, accountability, growth, etc. I found myself making new friends, exchanging gifts, group meditation, solo meditation. Most importantly, facing my fears.
At the Mastermind Connect, we promote positive mental health, and taking time to connect with nature. The Camping to Connect event was our very first group trip. I remember us having honest conversations about growth, family, spirituality ,and more. We bonded and grew from that trip, and it set the tone for how deep we can go as a collective. I hear a lot of complaining about toxic masculinity, and usually when it’s being discussed, there is a tone of anger coming from the person complaining.
We must be patient in our growth. Society teaches young men from birth to chase girls, to be tough, and that their worth is measured by the dollar. The principles our parents and elders teach us get lost, as we try to measure the size of our manhood in a room full of man. We have to make sure we have a spiritual base and develop principles for ourselves that help us ascend to higher levels.
I suggest all men at one point make time to take a trip to help them connect with their higher selfs, and explore their own spirituality.