Content and Editorial Director
When we’re traveling, we’re often pondering our next meal, the next day’s activities and even our next trip. Here’s how to make the most of every moment by focusing on the here and now.
That word pops up a lot these days, but what does mindfulness really mean? Basically, it’s when our minds are focused on what is happening in the moment. It might sound simple, but our fast-paced lives can make it difficult for us to stay in the present, causing us to disengage from what’s actually happening. We bring this distracted mindset with us on our travels, which means that we’re not getting the most out of our adventures. So practice "mindful travel” by focusing on the present during your journey.
“I should check my work email.” “I need to buy souvenirs for everyone.” “How can I ship this pottery home?” Relax. You’ve earned this time off, so don’t create chores for yourself. You have no responsibility other than enjoying your vacation, so be as unproductive as your heart desires.
Experience Instead of Document
We’ve all seen it, and some of us have been guilty of it: walking through a museum or some other attraction and taking photos and videos the entire time. This keeps us from immersing ourselves in the now and truly experiencing the moment. So unplug. Keep experiences at a maximum and documentation at a minimum.
Go Light on Your Itinerary
Instead of packing 10 activities into a single day, slow down and select a few instead — with no end goal other than enjoying yourself. Choose the things you want to see, not the obligatory sites better suited for someone else. You’d rather have some rosé overlooking the Seine than slog through the Louvre? Go for it. It’s your time and your choice.
Make the Most of Little Moments
Maybe you’re impatiently waiting in a long line to get into the Vatican. Or sitting at a café in Colombia hoping your waiter will take your order already. These are perfect times to relax, look around, take in the scenery and even do some lovely eavesdropping. These are moments worth savoring if you take the time to notice them.
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