Today’s article comes from a guest writer who invites us to think differently the next time we travel. Is it time to try something new? Perhaps in the way you travel in a practical way? Or the way you travel in your head?
So many of us essentially live our lives for our holidays — for those golden moments when we get to escape the irritations and woes of everyday life, and put ourselves in an entirely different context, one in which we’re relaxed, fun-loving, confident, and adventurous.
There are many ways to enjoy travel, from a trip spent hopping from destination to destination, to a weekend centred entirely around one town. People travel for the cultural experience of visiting museums and art galleries in foreign lands, and tasting fine wines, and they also travel as a way of getting away from the comforts of modern life and testing their endurance in the mountains.
Whatever your preferred mode of travel, each type of excursion can have a tremendous impact on your sense of self, and well-being. Simply getting away from it all for a while can have rejuvenating benefits that can scarcely be overstated.
For the sake of making your travels as uplifting, effective, and dynamic as possible, here are a variety of different things you can do to get the most out of your travels.
These tips are sometimes contradictory to one another; they’re not intended to be applied all at once, but rather represent different strategies which have their own unique benefits.
Read what is home anyway?
Think Differently with Accommodation: Stay in a holiday villa
Staying in a luxurious holiday villa, such as those which can be found via Interhome, can be a tremendous experience for all sorts of people, particularly those with families and young kids. Some will naturally be attracted to the idea of staying in a holiday villa, while others will hate the idea.
In any event, there are certain unique potential benefits to staying in a villa which it can be very difficult, if not impossible to achieve otherwise.
For one thing, those who have young families will benefit immensely from the fact that a holiday villa allows a certain level of comfort which is unlikely to be found in a hostel, a camper van, or a tent in a campsite. For young children, this baseline level of comfort is often a deal-breaker in terms of their overall capacity to enjoy the vacation in general.
For another thing, a holiday villa will grant you the gift of space and privacy. If travelling with family or friends, this will be an immense benefit in the sense that everyone will have a moment or two throughout the trip to take a breath and be on their own if they need to. This can in turn effectively defuse many potentially inflammatory situations before they develop.
This “space” will have other significant benefits, too. For example, allowing you to sit and think, work, if you’re on a working vacation, or even just to balance the excitement of the day with a bit of rest and relaxation in the evening.
Think Differently About Luggage: Travel as light as possible and hit the open road
A completely different and contradictory approach to the villa-based vacation, is the ultra-minimalist backpacking trip, where you throw a few core essentials into a back, sling it over one shoulder, and hit the open road, travelling from place to place.
While staying in a villa is often a better option for family vacations, and while it allows for a more “settled” type of vacation overall, minimalist backpacking is all about the adventure and chaos of being constantly on the move, waking up somewhere new each day, and finding out your next action moments before you take it.
These kinds of backpacking vacations can take many forms. You may spend the entire trip camping out somewhere in the mountains, and hiking across the misty peaks each day. You may use the public transport network, along with strategic hitchhiking, in order to cover enormous distances that you could scarcely believe you would have been able to cover. Maybe, you’ll find yourself crossing entire countries on foot, such as if you were to do the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route through Spain — a trek that draws huge numbers of people each year, whether or not they’re religious.
A backpacking trip of this sort can be risky. You should know what you’re getting in for, have decent street smarts, and ideally travel with other people.
Nonetheless, there’s a lot of self-discovery to be had out on the open road, and it’s often on these sorts of wild trips that you develop the kinds of memories that will stick with you for a lifetime.
Think Differently About Your Art: Take up a journaling practice while on your travels
Have you ever read a good travel log, or other expert piece of travel writing in your life? If you have, you’ll know just how incredibly engaging these stories can be, and just how many rich details are often captured by these accounts.
From the adventures of Marco Polo, up to the works of contemporary travel writers, there is just something immensely engaging about reading tales of people’s travel experiences.
While part of the charm of travel writing is, of course, the linguistic and literary talents of the writers themselves, the other major part of the equation is the fact that they are able to record some of the most uplifting and intriguing moments of a trip for later reference.
Whenever you travel, you are bound to come across an enormous number of things, big and small, that make some kind of impression on you. If you rely only on your memory and the occasional photograph as a record of these experiences, however, you can expect to find that you forget at least as much as you remember.
Taking up the practice of journaling while on your travels — whether your journals are recorded in traditional paper format, or on a digital device, will ensure that you capture many more of the nuances of your experiences.
What’s more, journaling is a great way of helping you to reflect on your day, each evening or morning, and to draw out valuable lessons and insights from it.
Think Differently About Your Thoughts: Meditate and practice mindfulness while travelling: let go of your expectations
One of the leading reasons why holidays prove disappointing or underwhelming to people, is that those people have taken entirely the wrong approach towards the act of going on vacation.
Instead of taking a mindful and enthusiastic approach to the trip, with the express aim of remaining open to the mystery and adventure that lies ahead, these people will construct vivid and detailed images in their minds of the exact experiences they want to have, as well as exactly how these experiences will manifest themselves and play out.
When you adopt such a mindset, disappointment is all but inevitable. When you do your best to take a blank-slate, “expectation-free” approach, on the other hand, you can expect to find that the trip constantly surprises you with memorable, awe-inspiring, and at the very least, instructive experiences.
The principle here is “mindfulness” in a general sense. Mindfulness is a term often used to refer to a state of being entirely “present” in any given situation. The concept of mindfulness is heavily derived from Eastern religious systems, such as Buddhism, as well as the work of New Age gurus such as Eckhart Tolle.
Mindfulness can be cultivated through repeated practice — that is, taking a deep breath and paying attention to your surroundings to see what you might be missing out on, and then repeating this regularly.
Mindfulness can also be fostered through a regular mindfulness meditation practice.
Both meditation and general mindfulness can transform your holiday in immensely positive ways.
So what do you think? Is it time to think differently the next time you travel?
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