Justin Faerman is a visionary change agent, entrepreneur and healer dedicated to evolving global consciousness, bridging science and spirituality, and spreading enlightened ideas on both an individual and societal level. He is the co-founder of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine and a sought after coach and teacher, known for his pioneering work in the area of flow. He is largely focused on applied spirituality, which is translating abstract spiritual concepts and ideas into practical, actionable techniques for creating a deeply fulfilling, prosperous life. Connect with him at artofflowcoaching.com.
Meghan McDonald is the co-founder and co-editor of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. She is an award-winning human behavior and psychology researcher with a passion for personal growth and development. Her studies have taken her around the world and back and have largely shaped her outlook on life, which is filled with compassion, love, and possibility. An inspiration junky through and through, her heart-based approach to life keeps the magazine in the sweet spot between profound and playful.
We are thrilled that Justin and Meghan took time out from their work to both answer our favourite Tao of Travel questions.
Justin & Meghan playing in Santa Barbara photo credit Lerina Winter Winter Creative Co
Why do you travel?
JF: I travel because for me, it gives life meaning, richness and color, and it catalyzes spiritual growth and personal evolution like nothing else I have ever experienced. Travel makes me see life like I did when I was a child once again—full of wonder and excitement and inspiration. I try to cultivate those attitudes in my everyday life, but travel really launches you into that experience in a way that’s hard to replicate sticking around wherever I am living at any given time. The brain grows and expands with new experiences. I like that feeling… It lights up my brain in indescribable ways.
MM: Travelling is one of the easiest ways to grow, either as an individual or in a relationship (romantic or otherwise). Travelling acquaints you with parts of yourself you didn’t know existed in equal parts favorable and unfavorable—reminding you of how powerful and resilient you are and offering you the chance to move past any worry, fear or judgment.
Crossing bridges while hiking in Morocco
What does travel do for your soul?
MM: Travel reminds me how extremely capable I am of falling in love and opening up to something new.
JF: Travel recharges me. It fills me with wonder and life, and I can really feel these nourishing my soul, helping it to know itself and the experience of life.
What was the most significant journey you have taken and why?
MM: The most significant journey I’ve taken was on a trip to Morocco with Justin that forced me to move past a lot of edges. We had a backpack stolen in Barcelona a day before we were to leave—camera, credit cards, and his phone were all gone. It was a stressful 18 hours of deciding whether or not to carry on with the trip without these things, but we did… and we ended up at a hospital twice while we were there. It’s become one of our favorite stories to share and one of the most memorable trips we’ve shared together.
JF: Each one was significant in it’s own way, but it was probably moving to London and travelling around Europe fresh out of high school at age 18 that had the biggest impact on my life. It blew my heart and mind wide open travelling through 13 countries, getting hopelessly lost on countless occasions, living out lifelong dreams, falling in love for the first time (and getting my heart broken) and really discovering who I truly was… all of it changed the course of my life in immeasurable ways. If I hadn’t leapt into that unknown, I very well may not have even started the magazine and be here answering this question.
Where is your most inspirational place on earth?
MM: Santa Barbara—which is where I live now. I think so may people make the mistake of feeling like they could never live where they feel inspired, whether that’s California, France or Bali, because it’s too expensive or far from family, but why wouldn’t you want to live where you feel inspired?
JF: The Mediterranean region and Santa Barbara. Both of them are very energetically nourishing to me. They build me up whereas many other places drain me. I also find an abundance of creative energy and inspiration being near the beach… I grew up surfing and playing in the ocean, and it’s become a ‘must’ for me.
West Beach in Santa Barbara
Why? What do you experience there?
MM: Santa Barbara most definitely called me here initially, and it continues to reveal itself in layers of inspiration with everything from beautiful beaches and restaurants serving delicious organic food to pockets of conscious community and entrepreneurship.
JF: Santa Barbara really has it all: weather, beach, mountains, incredible, local, organic food, conscious community, art and culture, a strong entrepreneurial bent, and energetically it’s probably the most nourishing and rejuvenating place I have ever been. The Mediterranean region for many of the same reasons, however, my intuition tells me I’ve spent many lifetimes there so it’s more of a soul connection in that sense. Santa Barbara is new to me lifetime wise, haha.
Meghan on Santa Barbara Beach photo credit Lerina Winter Winter Creative Co
Which sacred place would you most like to visit and why?
MM: This is a tough one! I’m tempted to say Machu Picchu—it’s just so green and magical when you see it in pictures—but I’m learning about new places all the time that are also on my list, and I do want to see the La Sagrada Família once it’s finished.
JF: Varanasi is pretty high up on my list at the moment and a few other places throughout India. I spent a lot of time studying Yoga and Tantric philosophy so India has kind of been imprinted on my soul. I feel really called to explore the jungles and spend some time just wandering about. I also plan to visit the Pyramids in Egypt as well. I feel very intuitively called to go there.
How do you choose your travel experiences and destinations?
JF: Wherever my soul is calling me, I eventually go. But lately it’s all been unfolding in a very effortless kind of flow. Places will call to us… we’ll receive invitations to visit or I’ll be asked to speak, or we’ll go to an event or business will call. It’s a very different way of travelling than I had in the past, which was much more intentional. Now it’s kind of like, where is life taking me next? I like that aspect of surrender and letting go.
MM: All sorts of ways! A lot of times I can just feel the energy of a place from pictures—so it’s a lot of intuition, excitement and practical alignment with what else I’m up to.
Mountains outside Berber town in Morocco
What was your last trip and what was special about it?
MM: Our last trip was a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. It was relatively spontaneous, and I did nothing to plan it besides help pack up the car, which is highly unusual on my part. It was a powerful experience of disconnecting from the day-to-day work of running a business and connecting with a handful of both old and new acquaintances.
JF: Like Meghan, it was a short camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park with a close-knit group of fellow visionaries and conscious leaders. It was a deeply spiritual and surreal experience to be camping under a full moon in the dog days of summer engaging in deep conversations, transformation and a fair bit of exploring and rock climbing under the moon and stars. Very nourishing.
Joshua Tree Camping
Do you believe travel can support rapid spiritual transformation?
JF: I believe most transformation happens at the edges or outside of your comfort zone, and there’s nothing that takes you there quite like travelling to faraway lands. I believe a big part of the spiritual path is learning to trust life, and when you travel you have no choice. It’s transformation not by thinking about it, but by living it firsthand, which is the kind that lasts.
MM: Absolutely! That’s why we always include a travel piece in each issue of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. When coupled with a thoughtful intention and an open state of mind, travel can be one of the most profoundly spiritual experiences, even if the destination is not considered to be a sacred or spiritual place.
The best book you’ve read whilst travelling?
JF: That would be either Dune by Frank Herbert while travelling through the Swiss Alps and visiting the Matterhorn or Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano while spending a cold winter in Copenhagen. One a fantasy with overtones metaphorically representing reality, and the other pulp non-fiction so intense it seemed like a fantasy.
MM: That would have to be Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist—which is a poignant reminder that wherever I am, I have everything I’m looking for close by.
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