By Daniela Degrassi

 

 

With the world in turmoil we are finding strength on focusing on what’s really meaningful and essential in our lives. And as difficult as it is this year, a wedding celebration can certainly be included as one of those memorable moments. Celebrating a couple’s love surrounded by their circle of family and friends shows the importance of feeling connected. Communities cover another significant role in our lives, with their multiple facets, whether ludic, common interests driven, or bringing people together is a moment of crisis.

Consciously Connected Travel connects the dots between a personal  ‘love celebration’ and living a unique travel experience while contributing to help a community in need. Let’s find out more about this unique travel agency in this interview with their founder Ingrid.

Photo Credits Consciously Connected Travel

 

Ingrid, tell us about the journey that brought you to launch Consciously Connected Travel.  

Understanding and navigating the world from two different cultural lenses has taught me to embrace the world’s people and all our differences.

Adopting the ideology that there could be a way to integrate the things that we love and enjoy that also helps to pour back into ‘self’ and utilizing those same things to pour back into people and place all motivated me to start Consciously Connected Travel.

Driven by a need to create a synergy between travel philanthropy, I have spent the last few years developing a formula that allows your travel footprint to affect change, support growth and create hope. What better way than to leave a little part of yourself behind, every time you travel, simply by traveling!

Consciously Connected focuses on Impact Travel & Wellness with purpose. We seek to learn about diverse cultures, ancient practices, philosophies and the art of true well-being. We craft, create & cultivate the most culturally rich & locally immersive sustainable experiences. Every time you embark on a journey with us – either through our Travel Design service, Culturally Connected experiences or wellness activations, we donate a % to a local project, charity or community & plant a tree to help combat your carbon footprint.

We are a community of Conscious travelers, promoting positivity & rediscovery of self, curious to expand on your perception of the world beyond your doorstep. We value the importance in authentic, connected travel, thus we share global traditions to help break down social barriers.

Traveling with us is about discovering the world through a new lens & rediscovering yourself in the process.

Photo Credits Consciously Connected Travel

 

Can you tell us more about the communities you support worldwide?

Our values centre around ‘being the change you want to see.’ We don’t place the responsibility of change on our travelers, we place the responsibility of change on ourselves. Their travel just provides us the opportunity to make it happen.

We share with them the change their trip supported in creating. If along the way, this inspires them to delve deeper, then great! If it doesn’t, then the change still happened regardless.

People don’t like being guilt tripped or told how they should live or what they should do, so we simply don’t. We do what we need to do for our global family to ensure that these beautiful places that the world has, remain available for our generation and generations to come to experience it.

Our only drive is to think outside of ourselves and be of service to people and place. We gain so much when traveling that we should also want to find a way to pour back into. We are all capable of being catalysts of change. Every intentional step, whether big or small, has great impact.

We align and work with an array of incredible projects, some are far more light hearted than others, from women surf communities in Asia that are using surf and the power of water to empower themselves and heal, grow, flourish, learn, find self-worth and value and so much more. Too much darker projects of trafficked women and children. Conservation, permaculture, the arts, tribal preservation and so much more. Each destination requires something different, it is our duty to listen, learn and ask what is truly needed, not make assumptions or come in as saviors. We are simply ambassadors and champions of those who may not have a voice or a platform. We build such deep, long-lasting relationships with these projects and communities and the needs evolve as we evolve. But our intent is to make these infrastructures sustainable and not dependent.

Photo Credits Consciously Connected Travel

 

What’s the process you go through to customize these unique travel experiences for your clients?

Lol… well that is a trade secret, but what I can say is that spiritual psychology plays a huge part in the process. We listen to the things that you don’t tell us more than the things you do. We all think we know exactly what we want, but the truth is what we want and what we need are two different things. Our duty to our clients is to marry those two things together. What you need from this journey to support you on your personal journey as a couple, individual or group and also what you need independently. The more we understand ourselves, lean into who we really are, align with “self” the easier we find it to navigate our realities, whatever they may be. Our motto is “discover the world, rediscover yourself” and I stand firm on that. Travel affords us such a powerful opportunity of introspect and connection to self, people and planet. When cultivated correctly it can be transcendent and that is what we hope to create for each and every one of our clients.

Photo Credits Consciously Connected Travel

 

Besides working with couples you also offer women retreats. Can you share more about these experiences? 

We find ourselves supporting more and more couples in desperate need of a more sustainable, conscious and impact driven yet luxurious elopement, honeymoon or engagement. People are now more than ever conscious of the impact their travel makes and the part they play in the world. Why not make one of the most meaningful and memorable moments in your life even more impactful and unforgettable, while creating a real catalyst for change in the process.

Our retreats are powerful spaces for healing, growth, self-acceptance  self-care, love, empowerment and so much more. We align with some of the worlds leading health, wellness  fitness and spiritual experts to cultivate these magical spaces around the world. From Panama to Morocco, Oman to Mexico, Japan to Joshua Tree and so much more. In addition our retreats are also a supportive and transformative space for many pre-wedding festivities  Whether you are joining an existing retreat, or as we find many of our brides and grooms request that we cultivate something bespoke for them and their bridal or groom party to share together. It is a powerful awakening. We craft it again based on spiritual psychology, marrying what you want and what we ascertain that you really need. Our goal is to support you in having the strongest foundation of “self” so when entering your new and exciting chapter you mind, body, spirit feel grounded with a new found sense of awareness and clarity. We often find couples wanting to take this journey together, which is always so magical for us to curate. There is no right or wrong way of doing anything, you just have to do what you feel called to and what intrinsically you are yearning for. But they make for an important journey to take, pre wedding, where possible.

Photo Credits Consciously Connected Travel

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During the Pandemic, you created a series of Conscious Wellness Virtual Series focused on introspective travels. Tell us more about these impactful experiences. 

While we remain restricted from physical travel, our Conscious Wellness Digital Series was cultivated to support our community with introspective travel. A space to journey and delve deeper within yourself. A safe virtual space that allows you to be at your most raw and vulnerable. A space that allows you to grow, grieve, release and restore, while getting real comfortable with the silence, the stillness and the voices within. A space that inspires and holds you accountable, while feeling supported.

Our Conscious Wellness Digital Series brings forth some of our favorite healers, health, fitness, spiritual and wellness experts, holistic practitioners and thought leaders, so you can learn, grow, better understand self and your place within our ever changing planet.

It has been a really powerful space for so many. Couples needing support to reestablish their relationship as they found it under strain over the course of the pandemic. People discovering new things about themselves and needing a safe space to purge, anxieties and shadows presenting themselves and people being unable to navigate. During the pandemic we all found ourselves unsure, anxious, vulnerable, raw, unstable and overwhelmed at one time or another. Our digital space provided a safe hub to learn, grow and release. But most importantly restore, gain clarity, prospective and sustainable tools to implement within your reality. It also brought forth amazing ancestral and cultural modalities and philosophies, from zen meditation with Japanese monks in Japan to Water Rituals, Breathwork, Akashic Records exploration, womb and ancestral trauma healing with powerful female shamans, plant based cooking classes with leading chefs, Tea Ceremonies, Floral arrangements, foraging and so many other exciting offerings.We have been able to provide this to the community for free during this time, as a means to support the collective conscious.
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Photo Credits Consciously Connected Travel
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Do you think that the mainstream concept of traveling, the ways of, will be different after the pandemic is over?
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I truly hope so. Ultimately people are free to do as they choose. But I hope this time has taught us that it is imperative now so more than ever to look beyond ourselves and that something has to change on a global scale. But those changes start with each and every one of us. Our small steps can have such powerful rippling effects.
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Purpose and Travel as it stands today isn’t connected. But that is why Consciously Connected Travel is trying to bridge the gap. Travel has primarily always been seen as an act to self. It is something we do to relax, unwind, celebrate, explore and experience for ourselves. But, it never really reflects how our footprints in that place have a rippling effect either positively, negatively, or both. Often time, it is pretty disconnected to the culture, customs and people of the place we are experiencing as we opt to remain within the confines of a luxury resort, venturing only as far as the tourist trails allow.

This isn’t to say that style of travel is wrong, but ask yourself, when you return home:

  • What did I actually learn?
  • How did I integrate with the culture, customs, local people?
  • Did I pour back into the local economy rather than overpriced trendy tourist traps?
  • Did I venture a little off the beaten path to feel the heartbeat of the place and engage in conversation with the people to hear their stories?

Traveling with purpose is about firstly understanding why you are called to a specific place:

  • Is it something intuitive that has yearned within you for some time?
  • Do you feel drawn to the place?
  • Has it come up within your life intuitively?
  • Are you being led there because it’s the new trendy destination?
  • Is it ‘the place to be’ according to your favorite influencer or travel magazine?

What connects with one person, may not connect with you. How they experienced a place, may not be the same way you experience it. Traveling with purpose should be about understanding why are you called to a place and what you hope to get out of it.

When we add real context and meaning to our choices, the way we consume things changes because it’s coming from a grounded, intentional and purposeful place.

Our ‘intuitions’ play a crucial part. Unfortunately for many of us, we have become so disconnected with ourselves that we struggle to reconnect with the thing within us that knows what is best for us.

The saying ‘trust your gut’ isn’t something that has been spun from nowhere. It’s important to trust ourselves and listen to instinctive responses our bodies make in certain situations. It could be as simple as feeling called to a place that you have never been to. We often dismiss these signs because there is no real concrete explanation as to why.

But ‘the why’ responds to taking the journey. There is something within that place that you are destined to connect with, learn from and be inspired by. Travel can be a transformational tool if we start experiencing it intuitively, intentionally and with purpose.

 

Stay connected with Consciously Connected Travel through their Instagram account and visit their website to learn more about their services, virtual wellness series and conscious brands online boutique.

 

 

 

 

An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.