The one year anniversary of my personal blogging adventure is quickly approaching and has left me with much to reflect on over the past year. The so-called wanderlust gene has set forth on a different kind of journey, one of self-discovery and new experiences, with an added heightened awareness in being more present.
Living between two countries brings to mind Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken, the first stanza in particular, where he expresses his apprehension in not being able to travel both "roads". It presents both choice and opportunity, past and future, and for me, has roused a deeper look into what's really going on right now.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Becoming more present through mindfulness and practicing mindfulness exercises can boost concentration and productivity, both advantageous for travel. We're always so busy getting to the destination when it's really the journey that counts.
Your plans are more than likely to change due to unexpected circumstances, weather, traffic, etc. Take the situation for what it's worth: go with the flow and just [be].
2. Ditch the digital
I'm all for tech and testing new apps, but constantly linking and syncing is a sure-fire way to exhaust your own mental battery. Connect with la natura; you don't have to literally hug a tree (No judgment if that's what you want--do YOU, friend!), but listen to the birds chirping, smell the grass, or--if you're stuck in the never-ending blizzard world of NYC--feel the chilled breeze against your cheeks. Save the posting for later and enjoy that bike ride or walk to the museum.
3. [Be] down for some down time
Make time for free time. We try to see everything at once, and like I said earlier, sometimes that's just not part of the plan. It's OK if you happen to see things that aren't on any 1,001.5 Places To See Before You Die lists. Your down time will help you create your own unique guide.
4. Go local
Make friends, experience things off the beaten path, and find your own road less traveled. Though recommendations from friends and fellow travelers are great for exploring an unknown destination, you'll find that becoming more mindful will enhance your own personal experiences. Maybe instead of stressing to see 30 countries in 30 days, maybe choose three so you leave time to observe and really immerse yourself in your local surroundings.
5. Mangia, mangia
Eating is one of the greatest pleasures we have in life, and why not reap the benefits of mindful eating while traveling. Savor every bite and each burst of flavor, feeling the textures and inhaling the aromatic qualities of your cuisine, thus sharpening your senses through the local gastronomía.
Sometimes the road less traveled by is, in fact, the one you're more than familiar with; it could very well be considered one "not taken" simply because you're not seeing it and experiencing it at that moment.
There is much beauty and splendor to see through a different perspective and a more present mindset.