Gallivanting around the globe with my family has always been an experience that makes me feel excited. There is the art of people watching at airports, the buzz of the train stations and that big audible sigh of relief when you arrive at your destination. Over the years, I have come to realize that I favor places that are slightly chaotic and full of character versus sanitized and impersonal. The adrenaline rush of having a break from our everyday routines, in a different part of the world still gives me such a thrill.
Travel takes us out of our normal daily routines and away from our list of things to do. Somehow when we leave home we notice things with newfangled eyes and it is such a delight.
What I love about traveling is that it brings about a new awareness, you begin to experience new smells, tastes, sounds and all of your senses are on high alert as you step out of the comfort zone of your day to day patterns. Immediately you are more alert to the experiences, you pause to notice the diversity and what is beautiful. You note this awareness when seemingly unexpected things happen that point you in a particular direction with incredible surprises.
When you travel mindfully you have to remember to be very flexible, it is not all picture perfect post card moments. There are unplanned delays, queues, and bumpy rides. In addition to being flexible in your attitude, you'll also need to pack a willingness to receive help and support from strangers along the way. All of this is a part of the adventure and, as always, the things that go wrong make for even better stories to share with friends and family upon your return home. I’d say through all the undulations of traveling, being mindful is a practice, and I am always striving to be present to all the pleasures of traveling, both positive and negative.
I’ll leave you with the opening verse of Van Morrison’s These are the days.
The lyrics emphasize the simple act of appreciation in life is to be rooted in the present moment: “These are the days, the time is now. There is no past, there’s only future.There’s only here, there’s only now.”
Be mindful, savor your days and be present to the pleasures in your life.
Neila Steele & Andy Vasily