Last updated on November 2nd, 2016
Travelling the world is something that many people dream about but few people manage to realise. Trying to juggle our busy work and home lives people can’t always go on a long holiday to some exotic destination, like Thailand or Mexico. So, they choose the next best thing; a shorter trip, like a last minute holidays weekend in an exciting city closer to home. Whether that be sunning yourself in a Spanish Costa, or sitting with an espresso in one of Italy’s many Piazza’s, the list of options is endless.
This is a great way to see the world, but shorter trips give the traveller less time to explore and with so little time, they forget how to travel with mindfulness. But why does mindfulness matter? Here are a few reasons.
Allow yourself to experience new things
It’s tempting when travelling to seek out the familiar; food from a chain restaurant, booking a room in a well-known hotel, but going to another country should mean that you try something new too.
So, eat something weird, stay in a local hostel; get yourself out of your bubble.
Have a meaningful conversation with a stranger
If you’re travelling alone, talking to strangers will become part of your everyday life, but if you’re in a group, it can be very tempting to talk amongst yourselves. If you find yourself at a loose end, sit down, and start talking and then listen, really listen to what others have to say.
Think like a local
Where do the locals go? Where is good to go on what day? Where can you try a specific dish and which clubs have the best music? Ask around and then seek these places out.
Don’t spend your trip with your nose in the guidebook, or staring at your smartphone; leave them in your bag. Look up, look around and find something new.
As with restaurants, seek out the shops that the locals go to, you’ll see a difference in price and experience.
Different cultures have different customs, so before you go, research what is considered polite and what could be seen as a faux pas. You are a guest in another country, be polite, be courteous, be respectful.
Cut down on waste
If you have rubbish, throw it in the bin. Pack lightly, so you’re not bringing too much waste into the country and minimise the impact of your stay by recycling and using reusable bottles.
Be an ambassador
When you travel, you are representing your country, so act in the way that you would like to be treated, be aware of how the things you say and do can be received and adjust your behaviour accordingly.
Sometimes, it is best to take the road less travelled and start at a random point and just wander through the city you are staying in. Find where you want to go and then take the path of least resistance to get there. You could find yourself on an adventure along the way.
When you smile, everything suddenly seems different, so try to maintain a positive outlook as you travel. It’ll help you and your travelling companions keep their spirits up too.
Author Bio – After conquering the financial world Bob decided to take early retirement and travel the world. It is his ambition to visit every continent before the time he’s 50 (he’s only got one left to go!). When he’s not living out of his suitcase Bob enjoys spending time with family, which more often than not these days consists of his niece telling him how severely uncool he is.