It takes time to learn how to travel. Not how to travel on budget or ho to travel light. Sure thing those take practice, too. But if you really want to become a mindful traveler and discover the world around you with your true eyes, you need to stay humble. It also takes courage to learn hot to travel without being a tourist. Why? Because you'll be the one taking risks of being true to yourself, true to your fellow man and true to the world around you. So what exactly does it mean to be a mindful traveler?
The world we live in seems to build around the idea of excitement. We try to do our best to live up to this idea – exclaiming WOW and AWESOME every time we encounter any possible tourist attraction. It almost seems like a competition where the more exciting the experience the better. I do not deny you of living the life to the fullest and experiencing what is out there. But it is also a road to nowhere as you can become and excitement addict and will lose the magic of many things that come with being mindful.
Excitement is overrated
I know some might not agree but I think excitement is overrated – mindfulness isn't. Being mindful traveler is all about being in the moment and experiencing it without any distractions. This moment doesn't have to be labeled 'exciting', it just has to be discovered and experienced. What you should do is try to resist the urge to take a picture of every attraction all the time. Just look and experience instead of watching it through a small lens and then applying a filter to distort it again. Use your own eyes and see the vibrant colours by yourself!
Be mindful about things
Not only things for that matter. You should be mindful about people, strangers you meet on the road, food you eat and taste and things you view and experience. Those do not have to be spectacular in a western kind of way. As a matter of fact they are all amazing – you just need to take time to appreciate it. Like the taste of a fresh fruit or a first bite of a sandwich after a long walk. Or the Sunday Markets your friends take you to, to do the groceries. It may not sound exciting but it surely is an amazing experience. Why? Because you get to know the people and the world like it is and not some sort of a fake, disney kind of amusement park.
Live and learn
Life's a journey not a destination. I'm sure you've heard that one before. And I'm pretty sure some might view it as some sort of a cliche, not to say cheeky thing. But I view my life in a constant journey mode. How? By making it all experience and by making it all a journey. Just like David Allen in his book suggests to "Make It All Work”, I'm trying to make it all a journey. It is a never ending road filled with moments, people and things that I share with care.
Share with care
I'm a mindful traveler but I also like to share the beauty of this world with others. I have noticed however that a special moment needs a special care. With the modern technology sharing is easy. You post, upload, download, share, like, tweet and stuff. But the problem is there very often is no story behind it. And that is why I prefer to share and be mindful about sharing, too. Taking time to post my experiences on share.travel, adding the details so that my friends can get a full picture and not just some flashes of excitement. I'm not perfect. I'm still learning on how to travel without being a tourist. There's a thin line… you'll know it.
By Florian Klauer By Elaine Li By Alex Talmon