W A N D E R L U S T W E D N E S D A Y
I have been known to be focusing on the next trip while traveling, or thinking of other trips, or what to write about certain places. However, the past couple of years I’ve been working harder and harder to be more in-the-moment when I travel. So, I came up with seven tips for ways to accomplish just that while you travel.
Talk to People ⋙
⋘Nothing will introduce you to a new place like talking to the people who live here. One of my favorite locals I’ve ever met was this man, Nik. He owned a store in Athens, and I stuck up a conversation with him about his store and his city, and we ended up having a lengthy conversation. He warned us about a group of muggers that had been hanging out around the ATMs in that area, and walked us to a safer bank while his daughter watched the store. He recommended restaurants and other things. He was truly amazing!
Try Not to Make Comparisons ⋙
⋘ I have a bit of an issue with this sometimes. When I visit a city, country or even a hiking trail I can feel myself thinking, “Well, this city is nice, but I really loved Chicago.”, or “This trail is nice, but I love the view from Devil’s Courthouse.”, or “I love this place, but I think I liked Italy better.” Is it natural to make comparisons? Yes, it absolutely is. But wait until you get home to do this type of thinking. When you’re there soak up the sounds of the city, the skyline, the people of the countries, the art, the food and the nature surrounding you and be glad to be standing there in that moment.
⋘ When you’re outside in nature it’s so much easier to unplug because often times you have no cell service, but I urge you to put your phone on airplane mode when you’re in cities. When we were in Lima, there were serval small details that I would have possibly never caught if I had been texting or Instagramming. So, be sure to take a break from your phone and soak up these moments and snippets of the cites you visit.
Be Spontaneous ⋙
⋘ Last winter, my friend James and I decided to go on a spontaneous hiking trip, which got EVEN MORE spontaneous when we got stuck in the mud on our way up to a hike that we planned on doing and we had to get pushed out by a group of eight or so men! It was crazy! Then the spontaneity continued when we made a random stop beside the Steel Creek and found a little hiking trail to take and had all sorts of spontaneous fun!
Get Lost ⋙
⋘ I’m not saying be careless and unsafe, but I am saying that sometimes getting lost is half the fun! I’ve found that when I turn down the wrong road, wing it or just take some time to explore down new roads, that’s when I find some of the coolest things! Whether it’s a new state park, a new coffee shop, a hidden lake or a tiny museum, getting lost is sometimes the best part.
Be Curious ⋙
⋘ I think when you look into things with a curious mind you find out more than most. Ask questions. Take an interest in what others are doing. Look at things with childlike wonder. That is when you experience things to the fullest. My favorite moment of curiosity was when I got to the U.S.S. Constitution after the tours had ended. There was a guard standing at the gate, and just being curious and willing to ask, I asked if I could simply step through the gate to take a photo, and he, amazingly, let me not only step through the gate, but gave us a private tour of the U.S.S. Constitution – I even got to help uncover the helm! So cool!
Journal & Reflect ⋙
⋘ One of my favorite ways to stay in the moment, is to take a few minutes to write down what I’m seeing, how it makes me feel and what I can learn about it. Traveling teaches you in a way that nothing else can. I truly treasure the facts, history, tolerance, patience, compassion, respect and many other lessons that I’ve learned on the road, and taking the time to write them down helps keep them in my mind.
How do you guys stay in the moment while traveling? Do you find yourselves distracted while traveling? I would love to hear about your tips and your experiences. Cheers!
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