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7 ways to travel more mindfully

Image: @asiyami_gold/Instagram
Image: @asiyami_gold/Instagram

Mindful travel entails being entirely present while experiencing a new place.

As a society, we’ve normalised being preoccupied with social media and what’s going on at home or work, always trying to be 10 steps ahead.

As a result, our minds are left undirected and can cause destruction to our mental well-being in a range of ways.

According to Center For Change, “Mindfulness practices can help us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help us to focus our attention, as well as to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgement.”

Vacationing is usually thought of as a way to unwind, unplug and enjoy exploring a new reality that’s far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Unfortunately, in a world where your office woes can follow you around in the form of a hand-held device buzzing with an endless barrage of email notifications, calendar reminders and unwarranted phone calls (yes, even while on holiday); combining mindfulness with travel is more necessary than ever.

Instead of hiding behind a screen, exploring the world through a camera lens or going into autopilot, a thoughtful approach to travel planning can help create an open mind and establish the tone for the rest trip, laying the groundwork for genuine connection and pleasure from the ideas and cultures you encounter.

7 tips for mindfulness travel:

Travel light

How much of our travel becomes influenced by the pressure to post on social media? When you travel light, you won’t waste time each morning attempting to put together the perfect outfit for Instagram because you’ll have fewer options. You’ll save valuable room in your suitcase and can focus on enjoying yourself. You’ll also spend less time worrying about the chance of losing something expensive.

Stick to a budget

Food, boarding, necessities. Avoid being swayed by touristy traps and unnecessary shopping if that is not what planned to do while on holiday. Frivolous spending can bring instant gratification at the moment, but in the long term, it can leave you feeling regretful and disappointed. If you set a strict budget, you’ll focus on the true purpose of your travels which is finding fulfilment in non-materialistic ways.

Journal

Journalling is the perfect way to slow down and reflect. It’s all too tempting to race through a trip, believing there’s never enough time to see or do everything on your itinerary. If you’ve ever returned from a trip feeling as if you needed a break from your vacation, this is a great reason to start keeping a travel journal.

The act of putting down your thoughts and feelings can help you organise your first impressions of a location as remember—destinations, hotels, restaurants, and people.

Unplug

Go tech-free on your vacations. You’ll be able to properly de-stress if you make an effort to steer clear of social media and check your work emails. As a result, you’ll return feeling entirely recharged and perhaps with a new appreciation for establishing healthy boundaries when it comes to yourself and tech.

Try something new

Travelling is all about enjoying the fullness of life that comes with seeing the world and all of its marvels. Staying in your comfort zone will leave you with more regrets than great memories. Whether it’s an activity on your bucket list or something a little outside your comfort zone, trying something new is a great way to be in the moment.

Explore by foot

So long as it is safe, try exploring on foot rather than going everywhere by car. There’s so much more to see when you’re immersed in the wonders of a new city. Walking meditation has Buddhist roots and can be incorporated into mindfulness meditation. The approach may help you feel more grounded, balanced, and tranquil, among other things.

Consider wellness travel

Healing holidays, wellness retreats and mindfulness vacation packages are on the rise in 2022. If you have trouble being mindful on your own, these retreats may be ideal for you as they are designed to enhance your ability to be in the now. With yoga, spa treatments, hiking and lots and lots of downtime on the agenda, it’s too tempting not to try.

This article was originally published on IOL.

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