Traveling can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to forget why you’re really here – to relax, enjoy yourself, experience new things, spend time with loved ones. Mindful travel can make all the difference to the quality of your experience, and we have a few tips that will help you do just that.
#1 – Limit Your Device Use
Your family, friends and colleagues all want to know how you’re doing and whether you are enjoying your lovely vacation. You want to send them weather updates, photos of your meals, videos of your hikes. But what if you don’t share everything in real-time? Your time is precious. You’ve been waiting and dreaming of your vacation, and you’re finally here. Take advantage of this break to really savor each moment – pay attention to what the food tastes like, how warm or cold the weather is, how happy/relaxed/recharged you are feeling. If you can, wait until you meet your friends in person to tell them all about your trip and show them your photos. Otherwise, try to set yourself a time to respond to messages that doesn’t distract you from your day, for example in the morning before breakfast, and then enjoy the rest of your day without feeling guilty.
Apply a similar principle to photo-taking. It’s important to have memories of your trip, but remember that while you are looking at something through the camera lens, you may be missing out on really seeing it. Consider taking photos of only those moments that you really want to keep as memories, and those that will bring you back in time to your amazing trip. Capture the rest with your mind. If you really pay attention, you will be able to recollect this moment in the finest detail and have a much more interesting holiday story to tell to your friends.
#2 – Be Present
Having a plan for the day is smart. It ensures that you have time to do everything you want and helps avoid disappointment if something doesn’t work out. However, in an attempt to fit in as much as you can in your day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stop paying attention. Our advice? Don’t use your day’s plan as a checklist to complete as soon as possible. Try to enjoy each activity as if it was the only one planned for the day, and you had nowhere else to be. Move through your day with ease, joy and patience. Be present. Take your time.
#3 – Notice the Little Things
Another key to mindful travel is paying attention to details around you. It helps to focus your mind and become really present in the moment. Wherever you are on your trip, try to pay attention to the smallest things – the quality of air on your walk, light breeze, starry night sky, comfortable shoes.
Similarly, notice the little things that are good about your day – perhaps you slept really well, you had a delicious coffee, you purchased a lovely souvenir for a friend, you had a friendly exchange with a stranger. All of these moments are worth noting. They have the power to transform your trip into a truly mindful travel experience.