Traveling is almost an exciting and enjoyable experience that allows everyone to learn about different cultures, beautiful destinations, and explore the unknown.
Travel is filled with joy and surprises — some may disappoint you (rare chances depending upon your selections). But travel can be exceptionally wonderful most of the time.
But the best and recommended way to enjoy your chosen travel destination is to have mindful traveling. Yes, you can take most of your experience with the right attitude. Just savor the moment and awe your pretty surroundings by bringing utmost mindfulness to your next travel.
Curious, what is mindful travel? Keep on reading to learn what it is and how to be a mindful traveler.
What is Mindfulness
‘Paying attention solely to our present-moment experiences with openness, willingness, and inquisitiveness, without being lost in the past or future.’
Mindful.org defined mindfulness as the “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>/mark>”.
According to Mayo Clinic, mindfulness is “focusing on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment”.
Mindfulness is a “nonelaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, sensation that arises … is acknowledged and accepted as it is”. – Scott Bishop
Mindfulness is an “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
These people or organizations used similar words to define mindfulness – fully present, aware of the moment, present-centered awareness, paying attention in the present moment…
In simple words, you have to be present at the moment with all your feelings, sensations, and thoughts. Be mindful of what is happening around you without being judgemental.
Tips to be a Mindful Traveler
1. Throw Away Expectations
‘90% disappointment comes from unrealistic expectations.’
Having expectations of a destination is normal. We often wish to experience things the way we want or what we witness on social media— and when our experience is a bit different, there tends to be ultimate dissatisfaction.
So don’t let expectations ruin your trip. Don’t focus on how it should be, how the food should taste, and things like that. Be prepared for different or what is to come. This way, your journey will be full of surprises.
2. Meet the Locals
‘Life is beautiful not because of the things we do, but of the people we meet.’
Just explore and get to know about different cultures and languages. It’s one of the best things about traveling. It allows you to meet and connect with new people from all walks of life and hearing multiple stories.
You can start a simple conversation and appreciate what life is actually like. Get to know about the history and beautiful cultures— there is more on its way!
Read also: How Travel Changed My Life
3. Take Time
‘Let everything happen naturally.’
As discussed above, mindfulness is all about focusing and paying attention. It means you may have to slow yourself and activities down and observe the environment.
You may have a full list of activities and things to do but forget about it, as it can ruin the most precious moments. Don’t focus on rushing from one point to another just to complete your listed entries.
Take time, relax, and avoid any anxiety caused by rushing. Don’t ever put a time constraint on your adventure; just slow down and get a much deeper feel. At least, that’s what I have learned from my experiences.
Read also: 7 Ways To Practice Self Care While Traveling
4. Be Curious
‘Curiosity is an eager confession of ignorance.’
You can choose those places in your desired destinations that are less popular with visitors. Often it could be the best adventure of your whole life.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being curious when you actually travel to ask as many questions as you can to locals and tap into their knowledge. You can learn about a particular destination and enhance your overall travel experience.
5. Practice Zero Waste
‘Don’t be useless, use less!’
Sustainable travel is proportional to mindful travel. Sustainable travel means you are responsible for your actions that will affect the local environment.
You actually agree to be a responsible tourist by adopting it, and it goes in your favor. You can do it in many ways but first, start by practicing a zero-waste lifestyle.
Read also: How To Become a More Sustainable Traveler
6. Walk More, Drive Less
‘After a day’s walk, everything will be twice its usual value.’
You are on a trip to explore and experience, not just to sit in a car and to miss the wonderful scenery passing by you! So stop using the UBER service, and go out for a walk.
Walking the streets, observing the city and people will keep you mindful. You can opt for a free walking tour. Your aim should be to enjoy and explore, not to scroll apps to catch rides!
Haskins (2017) suggested ditching a car for public transportation, walk or bike to your destination, or set up a carpool with neighbors or co-workers. Most ride-sharing services also have a carpool option.
Reference: Haskins, J. (2017, November). Make a difference with mindful travel. Nation’s Health, 47(9), 24.
Read also: Ridesharing Safety Tips
7. Watch Out What You Eat
It’s super easy to fall out of healthy eating habits while on a trip, considering there will be a lot of delicious choices. But it’s necessary to accept that diet changes can harm your health, especially if you are away from home.
Always pick the ones that you never had or would never find back home. Similarly, be mindful while eating, take smaller bites, and chew thoroughly. This will give you more taste and a brand good awareness of the moment.
8. Pack Light
Packing could be tiring and stressful in itself. You may require to free yourself of that hassle, and so choose a light travel backpack with only essential items in it. Getting to different points is so much easier when you don’t have luggage bags to carry.
9. Practice Gratitude
‘It’s the gratitude that brings happiness.’
Paying gratitude can have a positive effect on our health. So you should practice it while traveling as it will make your experience more mindful.
Remember, traveling is a grateful action, as most people never get a chance to do something similar to what you are currently doing. So be thankful every day for what you have got.
On a final note…
Mindfulness is the right tool to incorporate into your next travel. Don’t think much, take less stress, go with the flow, and see what happens.
The idea is to be present and aware of your surroundings and allows your inner self to enjoy the moment.
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Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.
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