This guest post is by Isabel William
Thoughts are important to make sense of things that happen to us in life, but it is experiences that truly change us. This is how a concept of mindful traveling came to be so popular, but in order to understand it, we need to break the notion down first. Mindfulness is a state akin to the Zen state of clear awareness. It translates to being truly present in the moment, letting the influx of information through your senses take you over. This is not a state of being overwhelmed – it is the natural state of being awake and ready for anything. Practicing this while you travel might sound like a sensory overkill, but it can truly boost your experience in ways you can hardly imagine. If such ideas excite you, here’s how to create a more mindful travel experience.
Find a destination where you can be still
If you’ve never had a mindful traveling experience before, it might be good to begin with finding a destination where you can be “still”. Go on a distant journey to the nooks and crannies of the Far East and find an accommodation near the highlights of the region (preferably within the walking distance). Concentrate on savoring the most out of this location and dwell on small details that inspire you. By learning how to be still in such a place, you’ll realize how refreshed your spirit actually becomes. You’ll return home invigorated and ready to tackle all the challenges of daily life and work. If your acquaintances ask where you have uncovered these wells of energy, tell them all about the mindful travel experience. Of course, if you’ve been practicing “being present” for quite a while, the adventure arrangements can be much more flexible and mobile.
Connect with your ancestors by going on a caravan pilgrimage
Covering great distances in a caravan is a practice that has remained common throughout most of the history. It is only the technical aspect of it that changed. These days, we have an endless laundry list of vehicles that are compatible with a variety of trailers and appliances that make up a caravan – and the thing is, the very concept of traveling this way can help you create a more mindful experience. Road trips are a perfect way to forget about time, obligations and schedules and simply travel inward as you march onward. The very fact that you don’t have to think about accommodation with caravan traveling is just another plus to this whole situation. It is a perfect mode of traveling for going across the US and Canada or embarking on a trans-Australian journey. Of course, if you’ve decided to utilize this method of traveling, chances are you’ll come across a few bumps on the road, to say the least. This is why it is important to get a reliable caravan or trailer insurance that will get you covered if your eventful journey goes awry.
The introspective journey
When it comes to mindful vacation experiences, there are essentially three modes of traveling. Two have already been mentioned – finding a destination – aka being static, and going on a road trip – aka being mobile. While the first two modes are all about your impressions of everything that surrounds you and reflecting those onto your inward experience, the third one is all about the introspection. In other words, it doesn’t matter where you travel or how as long as you have a “platform” to go on introspective journeys and better yourself. We are talking about resorts that promote meditation, detox gurus deep within a lush rain forest, and artistic retreats that will enable you to express yourself creatively while practicing being present. These are also adventures that will strain you physically – like week-long hikes and camping through thick woods, or simply enlisting yourself to work in an exotic animal shelter and doing some hard labor and menial work for an environmental protection group. Mindfulness is possible as long as you are involved with physical activities that put you in touch with nature and which show immediate results as you execute them (this is why so many people go completely Zen when they are mowing the lawn). Getting involved in the eco-activities in your travels also helps you practice one of the most important disciplines that are closely related to mindfulness – gratitude.
Most people who practice mindful disciplines are extremely calm and prepared at the same time. It sounds paradoxical, but you’ll actually have to start practicing it yourself to truly understand what it is all about. When you decide to practice this state of mind while you are traveling, venturing into new and previously unexplored territories can turn into oceans of eternity that will forever stay sealed in your mind’s eye. For decades to come, you’ll be perfectly able to recall everything you’ve seen on your faraway travels – from the hue of sunlight that hits the walls of the temple, to an incredible mixture of scents that intrigue and fascinate in equal measure. If you’re one of the many people that have decided to practice being present, creating a more mindful travel experience is definitely a way to go.