As we anticipate a future trip, we tend to build expectations of what might be. However, when things don’t unfold in the way we thought, it can be dissatisfying.
On my last trip to Guatemala, I was going on three months of full-time travel. I was missing the comforts of routine and then I got ill with the stomach flu. I eventually got better and enjoyed my trip to Guatemala overall but that experience has motivated me to speak on mindfulness while traveling.
So, let’s discuss ways we can become mindful during traveling, especially when things go haywire.
- Let go
It’s so easy to try and control situations but if I have learned anything this year it is to let things go. When things are out of your control such as a delayed visa process or canceled flight, there is no reason to stress or dwell on the outcome. We must let it go and let things play out for themselves. In the end, you will know why the situation unfolded as it did and it will possibly bring along a better outcome. Whether it is a funny story or a challenging adventure, it will be okay!
2. Embrace learning
If you try a new experience while traveling and you end up not enjoying it, understand that it was a learning opportunity. What aspects of the experience did you not like? How can you improve your future experience?
When I first started traveling solo, I took a 3-month backpacking trip around Europe and was cruising to the Aland Islands near Sweden. If you know that area of the world, you know there’s really not much to see there. I was feeling as if I was traveling for nothing and felt defeated on my trip within the first two weeks. When I left the Aland Islands for Latvia, I made sure to get excited about at least one experience or sight in each country. For example, I pictured House of Black Heads and how awesome it would be to see it in person. When I finally got there, the experience felt so much more surreal.
Any situation where it feels unpleasant, diffuse any negative emotions by getting curious and remember it is a learning opportunity to do better in the future.
3. Meditate during the discomfort
Okay, hear me out here… When you travel on a budget you are bound to end up on a chaotic bus ride. My most uncomfortable bus ride was traveling alone for 10 hours overnight in the Philippines with no air conditioning. In times where I feel physical discomfort, I try to meditate to get my mind off of it. Then, I come to be grateful for the situation I am in. After arriving in the Philippines, I was off the grid so far away from an airport or a city. It ended up becoming my favorite destination I have ever been solo.
Discomfort brings about growth and true happiness. If it wasn’t for discomfort, you would be in the same situation for the rest of your life! To continuously improve and evolve as a person and achieve bigger goals, we must seek discomfort. So calm your body down and embrace the experience!
4. Blame it on the moon cycle
Whenever something goes wrong or there is tension, I always blame it on the Full Moon as they bring out heightened emotions in us. Full Moons are always bound to cause issues, especially when planets are retrograde so don’t sweat it! You might not believe in this tip, but it sure does help to laugh it off and eases tension to blame it on something!
These are just a few ways to help you have a better experience traveling! Comment what you do to practice mindfulness while traveling, I would love to know!