Jumping Into The Truth: A Transformational Travel Story

By Rachel Gilmore, Founder of Earth & Soul Adventures

I was about six weeks into my transformational adventure through Southeast Asia, when my life was forever changed. I had been traveling alone. I was mesmerized by the breathtakingly beautiful sunsets every evening. I was intentionally trying and thoroughly enjoying all of the delicious food. The smells, the sounds, and the energy were invigorating.  My adventures were abundant, with each of them teaching me an incredible amount about myself and about the world. 

One evening, after having dinner on Thailand's Tonsai Beach with some amazing people I met hiking earlier in the day, I ran wild through the jungle in Railay Beach. It was 11 o'clock, and I only had the light from the flashlight on my phone to get back to my hotel. I don't know if you’ve ever run through the jungle in Thailand? But let's just say, I will never forget that experience as long as I will live! The sounds and darkness will forever leave an imprint on my mind. 

I experienced all of these magical moments, and still, nothing had a greater impact and transformational effect on me as my magical night on Gili Trawangan in Indonesia. Night had faded into dawn, and it was a few minutes before two o'clock in the morning. Prior to this, I had experienced no trouble with sleep -- in fact, I was sleeping 10 hours a night! When I kept waking up, I decided to walk outside. Under the full moon, on a perfect evening, there I was -- standing, looking up at the moon, listening to the sound of the ocean, and the smells of the flowers and trees all around me, when I asked God what he wanted to show me. 

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In that moment, God said: "You see all of this beauty all around you, that you have been giving gratitude for, and are in awe of? The beautiful fish and coral you saw today snorkeling? I created YOU to be more beautiful than all of this." In that moment, something happened in my heart, soul, and mind. I began to sob. The tears streamed down like a river. I had been praying for God to show me my beauty. If I had not faced my fear and jumped off that boat into the water earlier in the day and gone snorkeling ... I wouldn't have been able to fully grasp the impact of God's whisper to me. 

Later that day, I saw some of the most beautiful fish I never even knew existed! Those fish left me in awe of their beauty -- and I was left with a thought: "God created me to be more beautiful." In that moment, the judgmental, critical girl, who extreme dieted and worked out because she hated her body, had recognized the truth of who she is! And she is beautiful!

kelsey bumsted