We love talking about inner travel here at BNT. But what does the term really mean?

Photo: West Zest

I was looking through some old BNT posts the other day and came across more than a few that contain the term “inner travel” (probably having thrown those words in about half the ones I’ve written myself).

What I couldn’t find was any piece that described what inner travel actually means.

So I decided it was time to do some research (and by research, I mean ‘do a Google search. That really is all research is these days, right?). Funny enough, BNT popped up fourth for the term, with Daniel Harbecke’s Why So Serious? How The Trickster Teaches Us About Inner Travel. Hell yeah, we branded that sucka.

Anyway, Daniel uses the metaphor of the Trickster to attempt to define what inner travel is all about:

For years I’ve been on the trail of discovery. Actually, that’s not quite accurate: I’m on the trail of what it really means to discover something, popularly referred to as “inner travel”…inner travel is extremely difficult to describe, I suspect, because it has so much to do with inner meaning. Meaning is liminal, existing in an “in-between” place, like the threshold of a doorway.

The number one site that showed up was Inner Travel Books, whose mission it is to “make the sacred adventure of pilgrimage more available and accessible to people of all faiths.” They publish books for the spiritual traveler, with details about saints and shrines, directions and maps, and so forth. Not so much along the lines of what Daniel’s talking about.

The second entry was a health site (random?) and I can’t even tell you what the third one is about.

BNT Writers Explain

After re-reading Daniel’s article, I decided it was worth looking back at a couple of the other pieces we’ve had about the subject. Since I’ve now decided that we have coined the term (trademark, anyone?), where else would I find a concise description?

In 5 (Western) Thinkers Who Understood Inner Travel, Bryan Nelson thinks no matter the type of travel, “the goal is always psychological: to open your mind and to challenge old ways of thinking.” In other words, outer travel is just as important to inner travel as well, inner travel is to itself.

The external often inhibits use from fully traveling our inner landscape, or so says Dani Redd in 5 Barriers To Inner Travel (And How To Break Them). She says:

If our immediate physical environment is perfect, then we have to examine our inner emotional landscape to discover what these irritating stumbling blocks are. What inner journeys are we having that are preventing us from really enjoying the moment?

What’s the Answer?

Ok, after crunching the numbers, I came up with “inner travel is the in-between space where we examine our inner emotional landscape and challenge old ways of thinking”.

Not sure if my attempts to extrapolate a clear definition actually got us anywhere closer to an answer.

Maybe all I can say is that I personally think the soul is the ultimate traveler, with no need to set foot anywhere but right here, wherever right here is.

Or as Matador Trips co-editor Carlo Alcos defines on his personal travel blog along with his wife, Yvonne (bottom of the first search page on Google, btw):

In travel we seek the truth. The truth in what’s actually “out there” (as opposed to what we see in the media) and also the truth in ourselves. Inner Travel is our reflections on what we learn about ourselves as we continue to move through life.

How would you describe “inner travel”? Share your version in the comments section below.