It’s no coincidence that the art of mindfulness has become such a big talking point in recent years – our hectic lives are marked by too many sources of stimulus bombarding us from all directions. Our brains can’t process this much information, so they “turn off” from reality and wander, getting carried away from the here and now.
Here’s where mindfulness could help you beat this condition. Research shows that being non-judgmentally wired to the present moment is strongly correlated to higher levels of reported happiness and life satisfaction.
MINDFULNESS in one sentence: on purpose, being present, here and now, paying attention to what you see and feel, without judging.
Are you a mindful traveler, or do you feel you need to improve your travel lifestyle?
Compare yourself against the following points:
1. When you see something beautiful, you take a moment to immerse yourself in the scene
When you are visiting a country for the first time and everything looks new to you, it is easy to notice unknown smells, shapes and sounds. But the mindful traveler will keep their attention sharp even after being in the same place for over a month, and not only for beautiful sights but for everything surrounding them. Paying attention is the best way to create lasting memories.
2. You don’t mind waiting in lines
Airports, passport control, train delays, museum lines in Paris – nothing can take you out of your comfort zone. Long waits present a perfect opportunity to focus your attention on your breathing, or to concentrate your thoughts on the shapes and sounds around you. In fact, that’s one of the best benefits of mindfulness – it’s harder to stay irritated or angry for long because your unbiased, non-judging brain can recognize the feeling and tame it by acknowledging it.
3. You meditate
There are people who keep fit wherever they are in the world. There are others who meditate wherever they are. Mindful people know that taking care of your mental health is as important as exercising.
4. You enjoy time without your phone
You use your phone when you need to (looking at maps, converting currencies, adding new friends on Facebook) but you’re even better at switching your phone off. You appreciate talking to people and living offline more than collecting likes online.
5. You define your trips by the relationships forged on the road
Creating human relationships, not taking beautiful photos, is the most important factor for you when deciding whether or not you liked your last trip.
6. Planning your next trip while you’re on the current one? Not you.
Many people tend to get so obsessed with getting as much as possible from life that they can’t fully enjoy the good things when they actually have them. Being focused on the future takes pleasure away from the present moment.
7. You don’t buy souvenirs, you bring intangible gifts
You are not denying the whole material world, you just appreciate experience more than objects. That’s why your friends expect you to bring them a recipe for an amazing tiramisu you tried in Italy rather than a fridge magnet.
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This is so good and useful for those that don’t do it. This makes me excited for my time off coming up. There is no internet so I cant sit around and do work, staying by the beach and just time out from it all. 🙂
What a refreshing read! I meditate every day where ever I am. It keeps me balanced and makes me appreciate any new experience. I see so many people moaning and taking obsessive amounts of selfies while on vacation, I feel they are not actually enjoying themselves! Isn’t enjoying yourself the point of travelling!
I think mindfulness when travelling is so important, especially for those of us who suffer with anxiety. There’s no better time to stop and appreciate what’s around you when travelling!
I can really relate to nr.5 meeting new people on the road is the best part of travelling for me. Especially on the trip Im on now where we are invited to people every now and then.
Nr 2 just really made me laugh because where Im at now there is no lines to wait in. There is just a group of people and I have to admit that stressed me out, not knowing whos turn it is or when it might be my turn😂
This is WONDERFUL. I agree 100 percent. ❤️
Wish I could say this is me but it’s just not! Haha I guess everyone travels differently
That’s a beautiful article. I think a lot of us tend to focus too much on the perfect travel picture and not so much on enjoying the perfect moment.
All excellent points. I used to be a planner-of-my-next-trip while I was still on the current one. Now I try to just enjoy where I am!
This is such a beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing! I actually began meditating myself when travelling and it was invaluable to my experiences. Definitely hope to take on a few more of these values!
I agree with your list. Especially on number 7 🙂
Going to share with my Travel Agent. Amazing points! I’m going to save the list to remind me. I’ve gotta work on the phone thing. Totally agree with the souvenirs thing too haha I think I have enough clutter at this point.