How To Become a Mindful Traveler
Traveling is the answer to all problems. You, like most people do, may use travel as an escape, a refuge for your steady pace life, your routines, the 9-5 job that occupies your whole life. Does that bring you real happiness, or is it just camouflage? You save money after working for months, you seek a journey somewhere in the world to forget your own problems or just to catch some sun and get a big rest after you go back to work again.
But if we tell you that you can get more from your travels than you expect, would you embrace the challenge? We always seek to make real connections with real people, immerse in their culture and absorb as many as we can from those experiences…isn’t this what travel is all about?! Travel to connect, and not forget! Being full time travelers is giving us the knowledge and experience to be aware of what's really happening in the world, to know ourselves better, to be mindful.
Being a mindful traveler will allow you to deep experience the whole sense of your journey, collect real moments, balance your body, mind and soul. You are not just escaping from your routines, you are engaging in real time experiences and that is the true gift of a journey. So how can you become a mindful traveler?
Set an intention
Relaxing at the beach, seeking an adventurous journey through the mountains or getting some cultural exchange. No matter what you want, you must set an intention for your travels. Having an intention will keep you focus throughout the experience, specially when times get hard and you have a negative encounter on the way. You might step back and get lost on track, but that's how you find your purpose, and yourself. That is why setting intentions will help you keep balanced and bring calmness, as your mind will remember the reasons you're traveling for.
Travelers pass through storms that others don’t. We are far from those we love, we are constantly getting out of our comfort zones and making friends with people we may never see again. Travelling can be stressful, and that is why we must bring clarity to the mind and peace in our hearts with mindfulness and meditation. You don’t need to be a Buddhist monk or a spiritual yogi to do it. Meditation helps you keep in one with yourself, others and the world. It will bring you awareness, be more present during your journey, understand facts and feelings, and slow down. Just find a quite spot, sit down, relax, breathe deeply and let your mind guide you. Or, you can also do it while exploring, just focus on your steps and observe everything around you.
Keep an open mind (embrace everything)
It is so easy to criticize things when something is off track, when reality doesn’t match your expectations. Keep this in your mind: as much as you plan, your trip will always have twists and turns. Face it! It's not something to complain about. Learn to accept each and every moment as it is, keep an open mind and embrace everything! The true beauty of travelling is to deal with the unexpected, to experience the unknown and to take some life lessons out of it. Everything happens for a reason, so don’t hold this river with rocks, let it flow so the current stays strong.
Practice gratitude and compassion
Travelling is not always perfect. You will be presented with bad experiences as well, but the way you perceive them it’s a game changer. Be thankful, not only with the amazing times you had but also for the negative experiences in your trip. Just take a second to think this through: you are in a position where so many people would love to be. So, find the time to be grateful for what you have and the experiences you face while travelling, never forgetting to be compassionate. Practicing compassion is a huge deal, for you and for everyone in the world. Your kind behavior will not only affect others, but yourself. Give all your heart, unconditionally!
Disconnect to connect
As much as we all love technology and want to document every single moment of our travels, we are preventing ourselves from true and meaningful connections. Take time to disconnect from your mobile phone, internet or laptop. Find time to connect with people, to have real talks with deep meanings. We are social creatures, so let’s feed this animal inside of us with meaningful and positive relationships with other fellow travelers or locals. Wherever you are, connections without a phone are always possible!
Immerse in culture
To travel is to expand your knowledge and visions. There is no better way to fully experience your journey than connecting with the local communities. Try to learn the language, get to know their costumes, try their food, partake in some social and cultural events or even volunteer experiences. Keep your heart and mind open to all types and forms of culture. You may find a way of living that will bring you the joy you need. You have a lot to learn with the locals and they love to share their lifestyles! So take advantage of that.
One of the things that you don’t realize, is that you are constantly on a rush! Waking up early to catch the best sunrise at the best spot to photograph, run till the next destination, stop to eat something quick so you don’t ‘’waste’’ any time and get the most out of your travels. Well, let us tell you that you might think you are gaining time by rushing it, but the sad reality is that you are losing more than you think. Go to one place and really absorb it, feel all the vibes around and try not to focus on the future that doesn’t exist. The present is all we’ve got, so embrace it and make it last forever. Enjoy every little moment, every little thing, every little memory that will stay with you forever.
No matter what, stay positive!
Now it's that time when you listen to that song in your head ‘’Don’t worry, be happy’’ and start whistling it all around. Yes! Sing it out loud, spread positivity wherever you go and deal with everything with a smile. Not a shy one! A big and true one! We are talking about the most wonderful, joyful and contagious smile you have. It will work like a chain reaction effect and you will see great things happening when you start it. Remember, positive minds attract positive vibes.
Enjoy your travels ☀