August 8, 2017

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?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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
Connect with Weronika on Instagram






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  • Reply Sujata Luchmun August 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you!

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls August 12, 2017 at 4:23 am

      Thank you for reading Sujata, glad that you enjoyed this. Becky x

  • Reply TheWickedSoul August 8, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    What a beautiful post! Yes I love to travel slow and connect with the locals. Feels good to live life like them for a few days and realize how privileged we are 🙂


    • Reply We Are Travel Girls August 12, 2017 at 4:22 am

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed this post and completely agree with your comment. Thanks, Becky x

  • Reply Vivian August 9, 2017 at 1:30 am

    Such a lovely reminder to appreciate the world <3

    Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE
    IG | @viviyunn_


    • Reply We Are Travel Girls August 12, 2017 at 4:21 am

      Thanks for reading Vivian, so glad to hear that you enjoyed this post. Thanks, Becky x

  • Reply RED RIDING HOOD August 9, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Completely afree, many people ravel just because they cn say I have been there. But if you ask them what are three major sites of the place, or what is the capital of the country they visited … they will stay blank. -_-

  • Reply Zhanna August 10, 2017 at 1:03 am

    This post reflects my thoughts about traveling. At some point of time, I felt like traveling has become a sport for users of social media. I love traveling but this type of traveling seemed to be so empty to me. I sat down and figured out for myself why I wanted to travel. Travel with purpose, travel to learn something or even teach others… Experience not the number of the countries you and I visit are what important for me. I created http://www.morethandestination.com to be a mindful traveler and inspire others to do the same.

  • Reply Frances Tse August 10, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Thank you! Totally agree with this! I have bee a traveller for over 45 years and seen so much change. For me, travelling is about meeting local people and experiencing the real culture of that place. I live in Bali. It shocks me still that while I watch a sunset or ceremony, all these tourists are just watching their phones and not even looking up!

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls August 12, 2017 at 4:17 am

      Thanks so much for reading Frances, I totally agree and am sometimes guilty of doing the same. Trying to live more in the moment and get away from the phone when I am enjoying a place. Becky x

  • Reply Tessa August 10, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    I’m grateful you explored having a different mindset when traveling. This is why I prefer staying in an Airbnb when I travel. In a neighborhood you can feel at home and get in the local groove. I too am shocked at how selfies have replaced experiencing where you are in the moment. Moments that can’t be captured by a camera or a social media post.

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls August 12, 2017 at 4:09 am

      Thanks for reading Tessa. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this post. I agree that it is hard to find a balance now with the way that we travel. My first backpacking trip we didnt have computers, iphones etc. just film cameras, so we just enjoyed the moment and didn’t take as many pictures as we do now and just enjoyed the place we were in. Becky x

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