How do you discover the Spirit to travel?


After traveling to over 100 countries I am often asked, “Where is your favorite place to travel?” My answer depends on what you searching for.  I have favorite places to go SCUBA diving, skiing, to get away from technology and places I cannot wait to explore.

I want to share six places that when I went to these locations, I felt moved and I wanted to sit in silence and soak in the spirit.

Borobudur: How do you discover the Spirit to travel?I wanted to see Borobudur in Indonesia for a dozen years before I finally made it there. I highly recommend many UNESCO sites and this one does not disappoint! It is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia and the world’s largest Buddhist temple. When you walk up the nine stacked platforms, you may notice that six are square and three are round. The central dome at the top level is named Nirvana and has 72 Buddha statues each seated inside a stupa. I loved reaching nirvana. I will never forget the day I spent at this temple complex. With 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues, it is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage.

Myanmar: How do you discover the Spirit to travel?While working for Renaissance Cruises, Myanmar was on our Asian itinerary. I had not researched what we would see and was mesmerized by my day at the Shwedagon Pagoda. It is truly one of the most memorable days of my life. Sunset across the golden stupas was magical and listening to the sounds of prayer at this active site was captivating. Located in Yangon, it is 99 metres (325 ft) tall and contains relics from the four previous Buddhas including the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama. It is considered the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar and the most impressive one I have been to after three visits including one for 27 days of traveling around the country.

New Mexico: How do you discover the Spirit to travel?One year I spent my birthday in New Mexico and visited Bandelier National Monument. It was my first visit to the state and I loved seeing where Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted. Being in a place that was built from 1150 to 1600 CE reminded me that I am not old. I was a bit scared to climb up the ladders of the Ancient Puebloans but I did it and standing in the space was breathtaking. President Woodrow Wilson designated Bandelier as a National Monument on February 11, 1916, and it was named for Adolph Bandelier, a Swiss-American anthropologist who researched the cultures of the area and supported preservation of the sites. Just knowing that it was added to the National Park list in 1916 made me feel younger! Many things in life are about perspective!

Nepal: How do you discover the Spirit to travel?During an eleven month trip in South East Asia, I chose not to travel in Nepal because I was worried that I was not capable of trekking. On an 18-month journey several years later, I was ready to conquer my fears. I accomplished two eight-day treks and loved the experience. On the journey from Pokhara to the foothills of Annapurna, I walked to Ghorepani. This location is famous for its incredible view of the Annapurna range at 3,210m above sea level. I highly recommend trekking. I also trekked in the Langtang Valley. The ten-hour bus ride to Syabrubesi was harrowing however, I loved meeting the Tibetan people living along the trail and staying in guest houses making an effort to speak my few Nepalese words.

Vatican: How do you discover the Spirit to travel?In 2016, I was invited on a trip to Italy with Insight Vacations Luxury Gold. One of the main reasons I accepted was because of the VIP Exclusive early access to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. While I had sailed to Italy many times, I had never been to Vatican City. Sitting in the Sistine Chapel, staring at the ceiling was amazing for me. I recently completed a year of vision therapy for an eye issue that was not correctly diagnosed when I was a child. Being able to really see the depth in the art and what Michelangelo had accomplished reminded me that whatever your task, you must keep going. Whether it is to fix your eyes or your soul, travel allows you to find new paths. I am so glad that I was at this location at a time when I could finally truly appreciate what I was seeing.

How do you discover the Spirit to travel? Lisa Niver picks six spiritual spotsI have been fortunate to travel to Israel many times from when I was eleven with my family on a cruise, at sixteen for nine weeks with Los Angeles Ulpan, for a semester abroad in college and on several other incredible journeys. Being in Israel is truly life changing. Last year, I was at the Western Wall as the sun was setting on the day before my birthday. It had been a year of great transitions and I felt so peaceful to stand at the wall with my hands on the stones and think about all of the challenges and new beginnings. Walking in the tunnels under the wall and thinking of all the warriors and philosophers who talked and worked here over hundreds and thousands of years makes me feel part of a continuum. Our human family is resilient and ready to welcome you to any of these spiritual spaces where you can re-meet yourself and engage in your next steps. I wonder where you will wander. I hope to meet you on a journey and learn about the places that make you ponder. Happy and Safe Travels.

Want to Experience Any of Lisa Niver’s Top 6 Destinations, Next Year?

Recruiting for Good is a social staffing company, based in Santa Monica, CA rewarding referrals with travel. We work collaboratively to help women fund travel. Choose one destination you like to experience, gift, or share, then email Carlos to learn how to qualify for our personal funding travel savings service and see the world for good.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

2 responses to “How do you discover the Spirit to travel?

  1. Excelente artigo gostei, valeu a pena ter lido viajar é muito bom ajuda relaxar e descansar a mente, obrigada pelo conteúdo postado.

    Great article I liked it, it was worth having read. Travel helps relax and rest the mind, thanks for the content posted.

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We Said Go Travel

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