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How to » Be More In the Moment While Traveling

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.

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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!

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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.

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Unplug ⋙

⋘ 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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Patricia Steffy (@PLSteffy)
    November 30, 2016 at 11:44 am

    There are times when I have a problem staying in the moment, too. It’s not so much the comparison problem, but my brain seems to frequently be worrying about the logistics of the next thing we need to do (make the reservation, check in for a flight, etc). I want to try the journaling idea, and the having conversations tip (Andy is far better at that than I am). Even if I make just small changes, I think it will help me be more present as we travel. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jen Morrow
    November 30, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Unplug, get lost, and be curious are the top 3 tips! For me, the best way to really be in the moment and enjoy traveling is to slow down, do not overplan, and focus on the beauty all around.

  • Reply
    What's Katie Doing?
    November 30, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    This is a great reminder! I’m guilty of being too plugged in and not in the moment (usually trying to write up blog posts whilst somewhere else!), so I’ll definitely try out some of these tips.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    November 30, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Not comparing is SUCH a good tip but is so hard. I think it’s a great way to stay in the moment though because you are focused on where you are, what’s around, etc. Journaling is a tip I love and don’t do often enough. But when I do, I end up writing more than I thought I would!

  • Reply
    Megan Indoe
    November 30, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    These are all awesome tips and something everyone traveling should remind themselves of! It’s so important not to compare places to others, everywhere is different for their own reasons! Also, we need to practice unplugging ourselves from technology more often. Trying to run a blog while traveling leaves us running around trying to capture everything and afterwards we are behind a screen for hours getting all the content ready to share for our readers. We really need to slow down and enjoy the moment more often!

  • Reply
    nycgingeronthego
    November 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    These are all great tips. I have been trying to unplug more on my vacation. I try to dedicate 1-2 hours to blog work but really enjoy myself the rest of the time. One thing I don’t do enough of is journaling. I think it will be so therapeutic and also beneficial for my blog. I did meet a ton of locals on my most recent trip, so I am proud of myself for that as well.

  • Reply
    carmyy
    November 30, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Great tips! I am so bad at unplugging! I’m practically attached at the hip with my phone. It’s just so hard when so many things are instant on your phone that you feel like you’re missing out on something elsewhere when you should be enjoying the moment!

  • Reply
    Nisha
    December 1, 2016 at 2:01 am

    I agree with every one of the points . Getting lost is something I am quite good at 😉 I think our reliance on technology is so much that blogging and being plugged in almost goes hand in hand.

  • Reply
    shobha42016
    December 1, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Being in the moment is something that I have to work at too. Usually I am travelling with kids and I have to keep an eye on everything. I too love talking to bartenders, waiters, taxi drivers, hotel staff and finding out what they like to do. Getting purposefully lost is also a great way to discover a place.

  • Reply
    Kerri
    December 1, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Some great thoughts here. Some of them are easier than others depending on personality types, where you are, who you’re with etc. I actually have a slightly different view on comparisons. We do it all the time – deliberately – as it makes us really think about where we are, what we like and why, what we don’t like and why, what we can learn from, how we can apply it back home, what we are most thankful for. We don’t do it to say one place is better than the other but it allows us to critically think about it all.

  • Reply
    TalesOfABackpacker (@clairesturz)
    December 1, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Talking to people and unplugging are the best advice I think – you have to interact with who & what is around you instead of what;s going on in social media! That is a curse of being a travel blogger I think, is that you can’t just enjoy a place without thinking about an angle for a pinterest photo or story for a blog post!!

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