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Mindful Travel

Leah Almond

There is lots to read on Mindfulness and living a mindful life in general. This also applies to travel and how we spend our holidays. For many, holidays and travel used to provide people with a good opportunity to be more mindful. However now more and more people seem to be losing that relaxation time as holidays become packed with activities and social media offers opportunities for the phone to be continually used to document experiences and interactions.    

People are therefore coming home and still in need of time to relax. So let’s look at how we can engage in mindful travel so that we enjoy ourselves and are able to offer ourselves a well deserved break from everything and return full of energy. 

Packing: Be mindful before you go on holiday or your travels and only pack what is necessary. This will give you less clothes to choose from and therefore make it less stressful in deciding what to wear each day. Also be aware of what you are taking in terms of plastic containers and consider how you will dispose of them in the country you are travelling to.

Sightseeing: Consider what you want to see before you go so that you can schedule in relaxation time as well as busy days. Also think about how you will sightsee. Often it is easier to see more and interact more with locals through walking or public transport rather than being separate from life on an organised tour bus.

Relax: We all have different ways of relaxing and therefore this will apply to us all differently. Make sure that you build in enough time to relax and recharge your batteries, for some this may mean time at the beach, socialising, taking photos and packing its in to the holiday but others may need quiet time to relax away from other tourists, reading or finding time to have 1-1 conversations with locals. Whatever you need make sure you have time to do it and do it properly. 

Technology: Consider what technology you will take with you and how you use it. You may want to take lots of photos to record the experience however if you are continually behind a camera, are you really experiencing everything fully? Will you remember it all afterwards if you haven’t engaged all your senses in the moments so give yourself time without the need to take photos. This also applies to social media, will you be mindful of how much you interact with people on your social media platforms? Will you switch off from tweeting, messaging or posting photos. After all if you are engaging with your friends everyday then what will you have left to tell them when you return?  

Be mindful: Make a decision to be mindful. When walking along, notice everything, the smells, the tastes of the food you buy, what can you hear? what do you see that is beautiful, challenging or positive? Be in the moment to give yourself the chance to notice your surroundings and also yourself within that moment. Who are you in this experience? Who do you want to be? How does it make you feel? 

Let go: Let go of any worries you have allowed to come with you on your journey, don’t let people from back home interrupt your holiday as they will be there to deal with on your return and if you have given yourself a break then you will find them easier to deal with. 

Returning home: If you have enjoyed your mindful travel then maybe you will want to incorporate theses ideas into your everyday life and get more from your life.

Please let us know below how you have experienced your mindful travel.

#mindfulness #senses #travel

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