We challenge you: Feel excited and happy in your daily life as if you were traveling all the time
What if it was possible to keep all the joy and the sense of ‘wow’ even after your trip is over and you’ve come back home?
Actually, it’s possible. All you need to do is to preserve some of the habits you have on the road and apply them every day when you aren’t.
But first of all, let’s see…
Why is traveling so special?
When you travel, you pay attention to events you normally ignore at home. For example, you are excited about what you eat, you wake up to see the sunrise, you remember sounds and smells, you spend time people watching, etc.
That’s because everything is unfamiliar and new for you. When you spend a week in a city abroad, however, your excitement decreases and your brain gets back to its normal, not-so-special state. In psychology, this is called hedonistic adaptation – getting used to the good stuff in life, and it’s common to all people. This doesn’t mean you can’t change it, though.
How to turn your everyday life into an eternal exciting trip
First of all, you have to beat the hedonistic adaptation. You can choose one of the two approaches – either to start paying more attention or to make sure you bring more diversity in your daily life. If you choose the latter, you will still need to pay more attention, otherwise you won’t feel the positive effect so intensely.
And as the idea might seem pretty obvious, it gets tricky when it comes to its implementation. To say ‘bring diversity’ is somewhat vague and doesn’t change anything. So here are a few specific fun ideas.
Ideas that really work
These are just to get started. After a while, you will be able to turn your life into an endless flow of positive experiences naturally coming with more and more exciting ways to do so.
Weekday mini-trips – Stop thinking of traveling as a weekend activity and bring some adventure in your weekdays. Go night hiking or night picnicking, watch the stars somewhere away from the smog and artificial lights of the city, organize a treasure hunt with friends or with your family. You can also take half a day off and head for your favorite destination after lunch.
Travel at the tip of your tongue – Explore a new restaurant offering exotic food, or just search the internet for the craziest country you can think of, find a recipe and turn your kitchen into a food discovery base.
Change your route to work – Simple as that, changing the most boring part of your day is an eye-opening experience that proves how little effort you need in fact. Walk to work. Bike to work. Go one hour earlier to see different scenery and to find out that commuting can be fun. To make it easier you can set a specific day in the week or the month, let’s say ‘Discovery Tuesday‘ or just every 5th day of the month.
Practice mindfulness – This is a whole new topic for another article, as mindfulness has turned out to be the new worldwide trend and there’s a reason for it. With so much pressure from society and the ceaseless bombardment of adverts, it’s getting harder and harder to be present and appreciate what you have instead of what you don’t have. Take a deep breath, feel the textures that touch your body, become aware of the smells and sounds around you as if you are experiencing them for the first time in your life. Repeat as often as possible. You can read more about how to be mindful here.
Make friends with foreigners. – Keep in touch with friends you’ve met abroad. Say hi from time to time and ask them how life is. Their stories and different point of view will be a breath of fresh air for you, as yours will for your foreign friends. Set an alarm (right now) to say hi once a month.
Go on a photo hunt – Explore your city by going out to shoot a few photos imagining you’re there for the first time in your life.
Become a local guide – There are many web platforms allowing you to be a local guide to someone who has never been to your city (such as Couchsurfing, GlobalGreeters, ShowAround, etc.). Showing the local attractions forces you to see them as a foreigner, and thus, reasses them.
When was the last time you tried anything new? – One of the greatest pros of traveling is that it inspires you to try new stuff. Why wait for your next vacation if you can try painting, horse riding, snowshoeing, or snorkeling this weekend?