Ask people why they travel and not many would say their goal is to skim the surface of a foreign culture and take photos to share online while answering office emails. Yet, too often that’s the reality.
Before you go away next, consider whether you could travel more slowly and mindfully and with a little more integrity. The following ideas from Sara Clemence, author of Away and Aware (Piatkus), apply to any destination and budget. They will help you become a more considerate and respectful visitor, attentive to the people you meet and the places you see, travelling in a way that leaves your heart bigger and your mind broader.
Try to extricate yourself from the stresses of daily life a few days before your trip begins. Consume less news, change your notifications, eliminate brainless browsing time. All this will make the transition into a mindful- travel mindset easier.
A siesta is one of the simplest and most powerful indulgences. Naps boost imagination and alertness, reduce stress and improve health. Build them into your daily travel schedule to help your mind process all the new experiences of a trip – and just because naps make you feel good, too.
JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) is way better than FOMO. It’s letting go of being in the know, enjoying real connection instead of virtual approval, and focusing on yourself instead of everyone else. To achieve a state of JOMO, you might need to let yourself be uncomfortable, but remember that you’re probably not missing anything of any actual importance. And think of the power of saying no to endless doses of affirmation. To help, consider buying a new, basic phone that only lets you perform the simplest tasks – phone calls and texts. The old made new again.
More on page 88 of August's The Simple Things, including trying a new food everyday, making a holiday resolution and taking up a hands-on hobby.