Here’s a concept you may have never heard of; it’s called “Mindfulness Travel“.
An idea that only when we truly connect with ourselves, will we be completely immersed in the most incredible experience of life, that we call travel. To open your heart – a phrase I’ve learnt to love, to connect with your mind and to be the very best person you can possibly be whilst abroad (and throughout your entire life of course).
It sounds pretty great, right? And it’s not as difficult as it may sound. Here are a few tips to practice that will help you stay mindful when on the road:
Learn To Let Go
As soon as you leave your home, you’re experiencing the unknown.
It may be incredibly difficult to forget about your problems, but being in a new place is like flipping a new page in a book. You can start fresh, re-charge, and get your mind back to the exact place it needs to be.
It’s just like when people say they need a holiday to de-stress – we all need that once in a while. If it’s a struggle for you to be in the present, being away from home is the perfect time to really give it your all!
Remember Where You Are
Remember that – especially if you’re in a developing country – you will be surrounded by people that may not be as privileged as you. There will be people serving you in stores, living next to you, and walking the streets with you, that often have far less than what you may have in your pocket.
Be thankful for your home, but also be aware of where you are and the locals that surround you.
Throw away all of your greed too – It’s a toxic thing.
Recognise your Privilege
Instead of fearing the painful sights that you’ll undoubtedly encounter on your travels, acknowledge them.
Don’t ever forget that more often than not, there are hundreds of people around you that are really in need. When you see things that sadden or hurt you, don’t run! Recognise your privilege, and use your emotions to think of positive solutions. Do not try to fix things, as often it’s not your place to fix… And don’t ever act as a saviour.
Instead, take the time to research, listen, learn, and grow. Education is the key to change!
Spend a little time to cultivate gratitude; be thankful for your life, for what it has allowed you to achieve and the destination it has allowed you to reach. Passport privilege is a real thing!
Being thankful is the key to happiness. Remember the good, the bad and the ugly, and be thankful for what they’ve ultimately taught you.
Forget Your Expectations
Expectations are a recipe for disappointment.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, forget about all that you’ve previously heard and live life in the present. Forget about all the places you should be seeing, all the activities you should be doing and all the expectations of fellow travellers; the unknown is a precious thing.
Don’t always focus on the Differences
As much as we love to focus on our differences, it’s incredibly important that we recognise all of the things we have in common too.
Diversity is a beautiful thing, and after all, we are all human and our similarities are FAR greater than our differences.
Allow Down Time
It’s easy to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of travel – the urge to see everything and the need to experience every little detail of the country you’re in (I’m a big culprit of this too).
It’s important to allow yourself time to relax, to take it all in and keep your mind at ease.
Maybe even try switching your phone to aeroplane mode? Take a step back from the online world and connect with who and what is around you… I need to take my own advice on this one!
Be aware of what occurs around you, take the time to calm your mind for a few minutes every day, stay actively present and focus solely on the current moment.
There’s a quote I heard from an unknown source, which goes something like this:
“In the end it will all be over. In the end there will be 2 dates on either side of a dash. Make sure that dash is not empty. Make sure it is full of life; full of living”
There is no point in just existing. Being the best person you can possibly be is something to strive for, and being mindful is the first step.
I challenge you on your next travel experience, to bring your full and whole-hearted awareness to every single aspect. Your heart and mind really will thank you!
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