5 Easy Steps to Mindful Travel

What does it mean to travel mindfully? In this blog post we explore the concept of Mindfulness and how it can be applied to travelling. We provide you with ‘5 Easy Steps to Mindful Travel’ which are easy to follow.

What is Mindfulness?

“Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice which is still very relevant for life today. Mindfulness is a very simple concept and means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality.”

The concept of “mindfulness” seems to be simple one – staying focused in the present moment…how hard can it be?

The answer is VERY! Everyday worries and stress can make it super difficult to just focus on you, in the present moment, exactly how it is.

When you’re travelling, especially on a group tour, it can sometimes feel like you’re constantly surrounded by other travellers without a moment to yourself. One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to find a quiet spot, take a seat and watch the world go by. Observing the environment around you is a great way to get out of your head, and to focus on the nature surrounding you.

Mindfulness master, Jon Kabat-Zinn, describes Mindfulness as:

“the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”

His book, ‘Mindfulness for All’ was released on February 5, 2019. It is his take on healing the world through mindfulness practice, both individually and through working together to cultivate greater wisdom, compassion, and inclusivity.

Website mindful.org agrees with Kabat-Zinn and expands on his theory of Mindfulness:

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.

Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodelling the physical structure of your brain.”

The NHS website promotes mindfulness as as a natural path towards wellness and says

“Awareness of ourselves and the world around us – sometimes called mindfulness – can improve our mental wellbeing.”

An example of the opposite of mindfulness would be ‘auto-pilot’ when you arrive at a destination that you have travelled to many times and you can’t seem to remember the actual drive itself.

Have you ever walked down a street, that you’ve walked down before, and noticed something for the first time? Knowing you would have walked past it several times without noticing that particular landmark.

One day you may have been in a different mind set, you looked up, you were present. You weren’t absorbed in thoughts of the past or worries about the future but engaged in your present. You were mindful of your surroundings and it resulted in being more engaged in the here and now.

This is a form of meditation as you allow thoughts to come and go whilst concentrating on the here and now trying to maintain a clear mind.

THE MINDFUL TRAVEL TREE LOGO

Mindfulness is very important to us! so much so that our logo features the mindfulness circle.

This is the Buddhist symbol for mindfulness and is a circle that is almost closed. The opening allows for awareness to enter the circle, and also for awareness to leave and be shared.

We’ve added a tree to the logo because we believe that there are ways to make mindful travel easier. One of the ways is to travel with less guilt – through offsetting your emissions and planting trees.

Another way to make your travels less stressful, allowing you to practice your mindfulness, is to allow a professional (that’s us!) to plan your trip with you. That way, there’s always someone on hand to help if anything should go wrong! Also, there’s not chance of you missing any of the good stuff because your itinerary has been planned by a travel expert!

Mindfulness doesn’t have to mean meditation. You can practise mindfulness anywhere and at any time.

“Travel, like Mindfulness, is about being in the world, in the present, and giving meaning to our existence and to the existence of others.”

– The Mindful Travel Co.

5 Steps to Mindfulness when travelling:

  1. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Appreciate where you are.
  2. Let your brain catch up with your body. Notice the smells and sounds around you. Take it all in.
  3. Savour the moment. Pay attention to the person talking to you. Ask questions. Look up and see what’s happening around you. Not just for Instagram but for your own memories.
  4. Turn off your phone or laptop and pay attention to something real. Mother nature is all around us bursting with colour. The culture around you is fascinating. Sit in a cafe or a park and people-watch. Learn something.
  5. Travel with mindfulness every step of the way and make memories that will last a lifetime. The body can only be in one place at a time but our mind can take us back to anywhere at any time.

Let’s talk about our tree planting initiative

We believe no two getaways should be the same and a busy life deserves the very best.

We take the time to get to know you so we can help you find your perfect escape.

Learn More