Pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart once said, ‘adventure is worth it in itself.’ For those who have the opportunity to visit far-flung destinations, travel is a wondrous way to broaden the mind, learn about life outside of your neck of the woods and see first-hand how other people live.
When you do embark on an adventure to another part of the world, near or far, it’s important to travel in a mindful fashion and become a keen observer of your surroundings. Here are five simple ways to become a mindful traveller:
Learn the lingo
Whether you’re visiting a non-English speaking country for a single weekend or a few weeks, it’s a great idea to pick up a few phrases before you arrive. You may not have the pronunciation perfected or a grasp of what people are saying to you in response, but the words for ‘please’, ‘thank you, ‘excuse me’ and ‘sorry’ in the language of each new country you visit can go a long way. Jott them down and keep them handy; and, if in doubt, use friendly body language!
Keep an open mind
Sometimes your expectations for a particular destination might not match up with reality. But, by keeping an open mind, you can develop a ‘go with the flow’ attitude and learn as much as you can without pushing your own preconceptions on a place or people.
Leave nothing but footprints
Sadly, tourism in large numbers can lead to negative environmental impacts on a destination. While travelling, make sure you keep your best eco-friendly practices in mind and avoid dropping litter wherever you go. In natural settings, leave nothing but footprints behind.
Take in the little moments
The best way to get the most out of a holiday, no matter where you are, is to take time to pause and mindfully enjoy the little moments. Take in the sights, scents and sounds of a destination, and (at least once in a while), put the camera away and allow your eyes to do the observing.
Consider cultural differences
Often, countries you visit may have unexpected cultural customs and traditions. It’s a good idea to do your research first. For example, if you’re visiting spiritually significant sites, you may need to make sure your clothing meets appropriate dress standards. This may seem strange, coming from a country where denim shorts and singlets are the norm, but when you’re in another land it’s always a good idea to respect the local culture.
Most importantly, stay safe, have fun and make beautiful memories.
Where have you travelled to lately? You can share your stories on littleWren, or tell us a tale in the comments below…