Have you ever travelled to a lot of places with spectacular views and appetizing delicacies and yet you felt nothing but a temporary euphoria? Or, have you ever felt as if your mind is somewhere else during your trip? It’s possibly because your trip might not be mindful enough.
For some of us, traveling isn’t merely a rewind from daily routines; it is a means to enrich our experience and broaden the perspective we have. That’s why, instead of taking pictures for the sake of Instagram feeds, or rushing to go from one place to another, we try to get insights from our journey by being fully present at the moment. This is called a mindful travel.
Mindful.org defines mindfulness as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” So, being mindful is not necessarily associated with meditation: it’s actually as simple as focusing on the things we are doing right now without easily getting distracted by anything else.
Being a mindful traveller means we are aware of the situation we are in. We are curious and hold no expectations in anything we encounter. All these practices lead to a positive experience and satisfactory trip from which we can learn new things. So, what are the tips to this sophisticated travel? They are actually pretty easy to practice.
We may often experience the fear of missing out (FOMO) : we are afraid that our short trip cannot cover all the interesting attractions available in a place we are visiting. Thus, we tend to jump from one place to another in a very short time. Before being able to get to know about the destination more, you immediately leave and visit the other places instead. Seriously, you should stop that.
Taking things slowly during our visit to a particular tourist destination helps us understand the place better. You can manage your FOMO by looking up some information about the town beforehand. Decide which parts of it that arouse your curiosity most. You can also involve your interest in a particular things or ideas and find the most suitable sites to visit. Once your decision is set, limit your trip to those areas only and delve deeper into them. Learn new things there: the cultures, the people, the traffics, the trends happening there. Spending your time longer in fewer places maximise your enjoyment during your trip!
Observe Simple Things in Your Surrounding
Good things often exist in our simple routines. Take a step back and take your time watching day to day life happens in front of you. Observe the buildings around you, the interactions of people next to you, the color and smells of the food you’ve ordered, or even the sounds you hear in the environment you are currently in. You may notice that they are different with the ones in your hometown, and you have got to be thankful for being able to experience such a moderation of life in a distant place.
Laugh It Off
Do you frequently get overwhelmed by the strangeness of the place you visit? Do new things easily confuse and tire you out? We often make mistakes in doing something when we are going on a trip to faraway places and we tend to get embarrassed by them. For some people, such inconveniences hinder them from fully enjoying the trip they are in. You really need to forgive yourself if you continuously feel that way—you’re not a native to that place anyway! It’s okay to make mistakes and do silly things because you haven’t been able to fully grasp the situation yet. Making mistakes is a part of the learning you got during your trip, so no need to worry! Just laugh at yourself and consider your mistakes as a precious experience and lesson.
Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
We are not bound by routines when we travel to faraway places. Instead, new environments give us opportunities to try things we rarely do—or even the things we are actually scared of. If you are not really fond of social interactions, trying to be brave by talking to local people and learn more about the place from them would be an amazing thing. Or, if you are a big fan of routines and cannot live without your detailed schedules, try to be more open to surprises and unexpected things out there. None of your friends will tease or judge you since they don’t tag along with you, anyway, so be relaxed! Being open to any possibility is also a form of mindfulness which makes your journey unforgettable.
Get Involved and Volunteer
If you are staying for a long time in the destination, make sure to get involved with the local people. There are some community service programmes which allow foreigners to contribute to. It’s such a perfect chance for you who are curious about the place you are visiting. You can learn about a lot of things and help solve the problems they are tackling. You can also get to know the locals better and it means that your networking is extended. That way, your journey will not only be memorable but meaningful as well.