The benefits of travelling go much further than just being able to relax and unwind. Although letting go of stress plays a large part in a rejuvenating holiday, sometimes it's the things we gain which play a much bigger role. For example, finding compassion, patience and a better understanding of ourselves can have such a powerful impact that it will affect how you act in your day to day life when you return home.
You don't need to go to a yoga trip or meditate for ten days to reap the incredible benefits of getting away; it's a lot simpler than you might think. In fact, you can practice and start becoming more mindful before you even leave. Here's how . . .
1. Release your need for control
Things won’t always go according to plan; that’s just life. If you have certain expectations and are not willing to be open to a change in plans, you’ll be in for some serious disappointment. Being constantly stressed is such a horrible feeling, especially when it's about something you can’t do anything about like a storm prediction when it's your one day to roam the city.
Some of the best experiences I've had started with moments like these and ended in an entirely unplanned experience which I would never have considered. Releasing control means you learn to turn every moment into a new experience without wasting your energy on bits you can't change.
2. Release stress
As with releasing control, you do actually have the choice just to let it go. If something is genuinely stressful, ask yourself what is bothering you so much and why. Ask yourself what you would say to a friend of yours if they were getting worked up about the same situation. The chances are that your views will change when you're able to release the stress and look at the sitatuion from an outsider's perspective.
3. Read as much as you can and about everything
Immersing yourself in a great book can bring you into the now where you're engaged in what's happening at that very moment. Books provide you with lots of great information, especially if you choose one specific to the country you're visiting. It'll help you gain an appreciation of its history and culture, and you'll be able to get a deeper understanding of the way of life, something many travellers never bother learning.
4. Get enough sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep and still head out all day, every day, you’ll completely wear yourself out. The beauty of travelling for longer means that even if you are really busy most days you can justify a rest day occasionally to recoup and rejuvenate.
Although you're in a new and exciting place, you still need to take care of yourself first. And that comes with finding the balance between wanting to go and explore all the time and ensuring you get enough rest every day.
10 Simple Ways To Become a Mindful Traveller #travel feat. @malacollective
5. Surround yourself with good people
Most of the time we have the choice to choose who we spend our time with. If being around someone doesn't make you feel good, go somewhere else.
You don’t need to be best friends with everyone you meet, and you will likely meet your fair share of people you never want to see again. The sooner you realise this, the better your relationships will be. You’ll spend more time focusing on the people who you bond with really well and less time with draining people, or ones with whom you just don’t click.
6. Practice patience
Patience is what you need when you don't get to choose with whom you spend your time. Consistently practicing patience can be tough, because we're all human after all. But that's why it's called a practice. If you find yourself getting annoyed at something (usually also something you can't do anything about) try to relax, breathe and let it go; the moment won't last forever.
7. Spend more time in places that make you feel good
When you find places you really love, don't simply take a few photos and move on. Be there. Enjoy it. Feel it. It's true that the best way to experience a city is to get lost in it, so if that’s more your scene then absolutely go for it. Leave with no expectations and roam the streets finding some little hidden gems along the way.
8. Take items which make you feel good
Something I always take with me
I also love knowing I can always brew a great cup of coffee or herbal tea wherever I am. I take a portable coffee filter like this one which makes it easy to make a great coffee whenever I need. This is a great alternative if you prefer a paperless option.
My third feel-good item is essential oils. You can dab the tiniest amount behind your ears or on your wrists and take in the relaxing smells all day or dab a few drops of lavender oil on an item of clothing and breathe it in as you doze off to sleep.
9. Enjoy food like the Italians
Food is something we should enjoy and eat while we're relaxed, even better if you can do so around great company. When you prepare a meal or snack, sit down and eat it slowly. When you wake up in the morning, allow some time to prepare your breakfast rather than inhaling whatever you see first. Of course, travelling doesn't always allow for the extra time and occasionally you'll need to scoff something down as you run off to catch a flight, but try not to make a habit out of it. Eating is something we all do daily so use this time to your advantage and make every meal a mindful experience.
10. Stay openminded
One of the most valuable things is to catch yourself being judgmental about certain aspects of another culture which are so different to your own. Learn to turn those judgements into curiosity. Remember, you are there visiting their country, wanting to learn about their customs and immersing yourself in their culture. Keep an open mind with anything you see and experience, even if it means challenging your own beliefs. This is how we, as travellers, learn and grow.
Image source: stocksnap.io
How many of these points do you already incorporate into your travels or everyday life? Is there something you think I have missed? Tell me in the comments below.