Do you love to travel? I know I do! Travel is not only an opportunity to escape and see the sites. It’s also a time to discover more about ourselves and to experience life whichever part of the planet we happen to find ourselves in.
If you want to travel in a more mindful, meaningful way, here are some tried-and-true tips:
Explore with a Beginner’s Mind.
When you encounter new experiences, then don’t dismiss these things out of hand because they don’t straight away seem like something you’d like to do. Try to look at the world with a beginner’s mind and see if you can become free from preconceived notions, open to new ideas, and without judgement. You will be amazed at the experiences you can have that you might have closed yourself off from.
Put Down That Camera.
If you’re continually trying to capture your moments instead of experiencing them this will take you out of the present. Stop being a spectator, or using your camera or smartphone as a way of validating and ‘proving’ your experiences. Switch off your devices and soak up the experiences.
Stop with the Souvenirs.
The souvenir industry is massive, and consequently, so many of us feel the urge to buy a particular something that will commemorate the trip. Or to give as gifts for the people back home.
In addition to the annoyance of having to carry all those bit and pieces around. There’s also a lot of environmental waste connected with many of these souvenirs. It’s also especially relevant to consider whether these memories have been made ethically or not. It’s important to remember that their manufacture can involve child labour or even slavery.
Finally, no object can capture the vibe of a place fully. So save yourself some money and clutter by saying no to souvenirs.
Travel involves a lot of waiting.Planes, trains, hotel rooms, entrance tickets, sites. Many travellers rage and rail against this waiting time.
But this sort of attitude does not make the time go any faster. It only makes it more unpleasant for everyone involved. Instead, choose to make peace with the waiting. Use it for meditation, journaling, time to just be. Accept that waiting is a part of travel.
Trust the Process
Part of the joy of travel is stepping outside our comfort zones. The uncertainty can also cause us to hold onto to the things we think we can influence or control.
Instead, go with the flow, relax into the uncertainty, and trust the process. Everything will be fine even if it feels a bit uncomfortable.
Connect with The Locals
Take as many opportunities as you can to meet local people. Don’t be in a ‘tourist’ bubble. Instead seek out places where locals go, chat and ask questions, be curious about their country. A smile and a few simple words will make your travels a source of joy for both parties
Mindful travel means respecting the customs and beliefs of locals. And even if you don’t understand them or agree with them, it comes down to basic respect, connection and compassion.
Trying to jam-pack too much into your holiday is easy to do because we want to do everything in the one trip. Gripped by the fear that we might never get this opportunity again!
But it’s not possible to see or do everything. And trying will not only exhaust you, and it will lessen your enjoyment of the things you do manage to fit in.
Know that you’ll never see all there is to see in a city. I mean do you know all the secrets of your own city? You’re always going to be missing out on something. But living your travels from a place of FOMO is a destructive way to experience travel.
Instead, accept that you’ll see something. And enjoy the moment.
And that’s what mindful travel is all about.
Want more from The Little Breathing Space? Then sign up to our newsletter and get tips and more straight into your inbox.