Maybe traveling is not just about capturing the perfect Instagram picture, or sharing our every moment on Snapchat. Before social media we travelled differently. Of course we had our cameras and captured moments, but these moments were for ourselves, they were treasured memories not staged photographs to please our followers and gain more likes.
These days it is hard to escape the feeling that everyone is traveling and perhaps we are missing out. And that maybe travel has become more shallow than before. Is traveling really only about becoming famous on social media? Or making your Facebook friends jealous? Now more than ever, we need to take time to think about how we can be a mindful traveller – an admirer of earth. How can we get back to a more simple way of travel, like we enjoyed before Instagram and social media changed the way we travel?
TRAVEL WITH PURPOSE
Everything begins with intention. So before packing your luggage, plan and make a serious intention for your trip. Maybe you will learn new language? Join an art course? Without purpose, without intention, travel can become a hollow pass time, a constant party, or just another thing to consume. Take the time to think about something you want to achieve during your travel.
WRITE YOUR INTENTIONS DOWN
It’s always easier to realize plans, when they are clearly written on paper. Speak your intentions out loud, either before your trip, or while you’re already on your journey. This will help you to be accountable to your mindful travel plans.
OBSERVE THE WORLD AROUND YOU
Find a place to sit and relax. Watch people living their lives, feel the atmosphere of a new place. Learn by observing life around you. It can be a nice cafe, park, beach, wherever you feel comfortable. Put down your phone, or close your laptop and take time to observe life happening right in front of your eyes. Why travel to a new destination, if you hide behind a screen and don’t see it?
MELT INTO A PLACE
Don’t be a tourist, be a local! Eat like local, spend time like they do, find their local insider spots. Adjust your timetable and daily routines to the place you are in. If the locals are starting day at 5 o’clock, maybe you should too. You may see experience things you never would if you just get up with the other tourists.
MAKE AN OFFERING
When you arrive to a new country or continent, take something of yours that has some significance to you, and bury it in the earth. Maybe a stone from your home, or a bracelet you’ve worn – as long as it has some connection to you. Leave a part of you in every place. Maybe one day it will become your new home?
DO SOMETHING GOOD
Set a goal to do at least one good thing on every trip to take. To help somebody, you don’t have to give them money. Maybe take your time, and help some kids with english? Work for somebody? Use your knowledge, skill to make a good, positive change into the world. Research your destination in advance to see if there are organisations that you could offer your time, not just a donation.
Being grateful sounds like a perfect remedy for everyday problems. But really, especially while traveling – be grateful. Write down every little thing that amuses you, make a list of amazing things that happened to you during your journey. Make every day count!
To travel is a luxury, that not everyone can afford or even consider doing. If you have the luxury of either time to travel, the means to travel, the ability to travel before you have children or older parents to look after then do it, but be grateful that you can. And when you travel look for ways to truly enjoy and immerse yourself in it, and for ways to give back whilst doing so.
We hope this post has helped you to re-evaluate the way that you travel and consider being a more mindful traveler. Read Next > How To Travel Slow
By We Are Travel Girls Contributor Weronika Król
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