Wherever 2023 takes you, put down your phone and get engaged! Pick a time for your trip that you will be able to disconnect from calls, emails and texts. What good is taking a vacation when you bring your office with you? Everyone needs to let their brain rest, and yes, that includes you!
How great the experience of the traveler who can slow down and empty their mind so they can fully embrace and experience a moment in time via all their senses. Cutting out mental distractions takes practice and discipline. On your journey, be aware of when your thoughts start to drift to things like emails or responsibilities at home and work. When they do start to drift, bring your focus back to the sights, sounds and smells of that particular moment. It is important not only to be mindful during your journey, but also to fully understand the reasons why you’re taking this trip in the first place. Don’t pick a destination to “just get away.” Be purposeful in your choice. There are many reasons people pack their bags and lock the door behind them:
- To commune with nature (like hiking in Yellowstone)
- To have quality time with family (like a cabin on a lake)
- To go inward and self-evaluate (like a spiritual retreat)
- To learn about other cultures (like a visit to Thailand)
- To challenge themselves and push past fears (like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro)
- To just have fun (like Mardi Gras)
Traveling is good for your psyche. It brings you out of what is familiar and puts you in the unfamiliar where new concepts and thoughts are born and tested. It heightens your self-confidence and gives you a stronger sense of self. It can affect your personality as well. If you tend to be an introvert, being in a situation where you are forced to interact with strangers can expand your range of comfort. Traveling can create an ease for change you wouldn’t normally feel in your day-to-day routine. You can gain an appreciation for life you wouldn’t notice if you didn’t get out of your familiar surroundings.
For me, the ability to relax, detach and unplug from my worries and responsibilities is a huge reason I love to pack my bags. Take time to delve into the “whys” of where you want to travel. Go beyond superficial answers like “to get away” or “I’ve always wanted to go there.” Make travel a deep, personal experience, not just itineraries, museum schedules and sightseeing. When you reach your destination, promise yourself you will be present with all your senses and I guarantee you will return a changed person in many ways.