Do you ever feel different when you travel? Maybe it’s the escape from work, or the change of environment. Or maybe it’s simply the rush of going somewhere new. Whether you take one or one hundred trips a year, there’s something about travel that makes us feel and act differently than we may normally do. I've taken a few months off from traveling recently, but I've tried not to let go of those feelings that come with travel. Here's how.
Practicing mindfulness – When we travel, we are stimulated with sights, sounds, and experiences that are different or new. We’re constantly trying to take it all in, to enact our photographic memories while also taking a thousand photos for backup. When traveling somewhere new, we're particularly aware because everything is so foreign to us, and we also don't want to get lost. But when we get back home, it's easy for all of that to change and for us to slide back in to our regular behaviors. I challenge you to remain mindful. Be aware of your surroundings, and don't get lost in the shuffle. The easiest way to be mindful is to put your phone in your pocket and look around you. Read signs. See your fellow humans. Admire the sights and sounds around you. You can look at the familiar in a totally new way.
Being curious - Are you perpetually curious? While traveling I find myself asking more questions and trying new foods, clothing styles, day-to-day schedules, etc. Back at home, some things must resume routine, but you can keep you mind and heart open and wondrous. Take chances. Explore your hometown. Ask questions about the history of your city or country and learn something. You never know what you may experience in your everyday life just by being curious. Paring this with practicing mindfulness can make any usual experience unusually special.
Living with less - This is one of the things I have been most excited about lately. Though it can be stressful sometimes, I love the feeling of living with less when you're traveling. When all of my possessions fit into a bag, and when I'm mobile enough to literally pick up my life and move it to the next city. Of course, I love all of my possessions at home, too, but I know that I don't need all of those things to enjoy each day. So I've started going through clothes and things and sorting them, donating items that can bring someone else more value than they can for me anymore. This makes everything more simple and I find myself cherishing the things that I do have, more. Just like when I'm traveling and what I have in those moments is all that I have. But of course, we have so much more in experiences, knowledge, and memories. Try living with less and experiencing more.
If you love traveling like me, but also have a practical lifestyle that prevents you from traveling all of the time (also me), I hope you may find the same joy of travel in practicing mindfulness, being curious, and living with less in your everyday life.