Discover how to be a mindful traveler. We give you five quick tips on how to take your next adventure up to a new level of moment-awareness, making the whole experience much more rewarding.
The Greater Good Magazine at UC Berkeley defines mindfulness as “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.”
Mindfulness is not meant to quiet the mind and find a non-existent stillness. It is meant to allow you to use the tools you have at your disposal, In order to gain a deeper understanding of oneself and appreciation for what you experience every moment. When traveling, it can bring awareness for deeper appreciation and understanding of our surroundings; in a world of insta-pleasures, that sounds pretty important to us!
5 ways of excercising mindfulness when traveling
Mindful Magazine has a simple yet direct list of five helpful tips on how to be a mindful traveler. Here’s our adaptation of this specifically for you mountain lovers!
If you feel yourself rushing through your travels and experiences, stop immediately and take three long conscious breaths; stop to notice exactly where you are. Doing this among the glorious high mountains, is something we really, really recommend. Take the moment to notice the stars, the blades of grass and the shimmer of the ice.
Doing so after your “crux”, will mean you really appreciate what you’ve achieved. Doing so before, will make you more aware and more likely to achieve what you’re setting out to do.
#2 Feel each step
Our physical state exists in the present moment; however our minds have the ability to travel into the past, the possible future, and many other places. Whether walking, hiking, running, or just sitting, take time to feel each step as it hits the ground, feel the air as it moves around you and with you – let each movement have meaning and notice how it feels. It doesn’t have to be anything monumental or a huge self-discovery, just the simplicity and appreciation for the physical body.
#3 Savor the moment
Regardless of the activity, whether its taking in a spectacular view at the top of the mountain you just climbed, conversing with a native… let yourself be a part of that moment. Instead of perhaps being worried about getting the perfect picture for your followers on social media, just be there in that moment.
#4 Relax and rest
Put down the electronic devices and let yourself rest from the constant flow of news, messages, deadlines, schedules, and everything else that connects you to that other world. Rest the eyes and the brain from that overflow of information and stimulation, and let them take in what is right in front of them.
#5 Bounce back
Not everything in our travels goes as well as perhaps we planned it. Especially when you’re exploring or on an adventure, anything can happen. Perhaps the weather isn’t in accordance, unexpected costs, unforeseeable changes of any kind, or you found yourself in a disagreement. “Hit the reset button”, take a moment to notice your body and your breath and let yourself go in no specific direction.
Colombia and Peru are countries filled with beauty through life and nature. Ears are filled with music, taste buds stunned by new and delicious cuisine, and eyes blinded by amazing nature and history. All five senses come to life daily, and are able to explore on a different spectrum than perhaps in their original comfort zones. What a better place to practice mindfulness in order to gain gratitude for what we are experiencing in this lifetime?
As you make the conscious decision to embark on a new adventure, you also must try to take the time to separate yourself from the experience and be in the moment. If not life might fly in front of your eyes, and the mind will continue to be busy without a purpose.
About the author
Sasha Jarufe is a 31 year old traveling yoga instructor & practitioner. She’s originally from Connecticut, USA with family roots in South America. Her yoga journey, which started about 5 years ago, has brought her to Medellín, Colombia. Sasha is a 200hr Vinyasa trained teacher. She is currently working on her training to become a bilingual yoga instructor in both Spanish and English.