Michael Hallé and Cathleen Johnson collaborated for many years in the marketing and promotion of Mexico, where they were introduced to the beauty of the destination and to the mysteries of the indigenous cultures there. Later, they took separate paths, but eventually arrived at the same place: a belief that travel outside of one’s own culture, environment and everyday experience inspires a more conscious approach to life, and can trigger deeper spirituality given the right opportunities. They formed Buddha Travel, using their travel experience and passion to help fellow seekers follow a Path to Conscious Living through Travel.
An artist and lifelong researcher, Michael has spent his professional career in destination brand marketing, resort management and perfecting the traveler’s experience. He has used his experiences with indigenous cultures and extensive research into the many aspects of consciousness to craft an original holistic approach to Conscious Living. The Buddha Travel Pathfinder is based on his extensive compilation of information and instruction for creating a more conscious life that he discovered through his own travels. This network/matrix of topics inspires the retreat itineraries offered by Buddha Travel.
As Michael explains, “The Buddha Travel Pathfinder is a vocabulary to explore how we manage various aspects of universal energy, and presents a network of interconnected pathways to living a light and joyful life”. The Pathfinder grew in part from Michael’s fascination with ancient and contemporary indigenous cultures in the destinations where he visited, lived and learned with masters and healing practitioners. His experiences working with the Maya Shaman community in Mexico's Yucatan has had a particularly profound effect on his life and on the formation of Buddha Travel.
Cathleen awakened to the conscious lifestyle benefits of travel throughout her career in marketing travel and tourism at a major global PR firm. Her promotional campaigns were always motivated by a deeply felt belief in the personal transformational qualities as well as the economic benefits of travel. However, it was on an African safari vacation that she came face to face with the deeper meaning of Conscious Travel. She was profoundly inspired by a Zimbabwean safari guide, whose generosity of spirit and dedication to serving his clients moved her to want to become more directly involved with the transformational potential of travel.
Cathleen often gives credit for her new direction to a heart stopping moment on safari in Botswana when a majestic leopard passed within a few feet from her jeep, looked her in the eye, and took her breath away. At the time, she was reminded of what it means to “live in the present.” It was later, in conversation with a Mexican Shaman, that she learned that in the legend of the indigenous cultures, looking a wild cat in the eye is a source of strength. She is now using that strength to focus more deeply on her personal Path to Conscious Living. An avid writer and storyteller, Johnson says, “As seekers, when we travel our eyes and our hearts are more open to living in the moment, which is key to a conscious life. I want to help as many people as possible to have those transformational moments.”