What is Mindful Travel? The Beginner’s Guide
A look into the beauty of mindful travel, how to incorporate it into your travel style and reap its wonderful benefits.
Mindful travel is special to us at Planet Conservation Travel. It combines many of our beliefs and outlooks on travel into one specific category. That’s why we want to share the joy of this travel style with you, so you too can begin to implement it and reap the benefits that mindful travel brings.
What is mindful travel?
As we are now in a world where machines have replaced many of the jobs once done by humans, there has become an added value to human contact and connection with one’s self. Mindful travel embodies on that as it focuses on living in the moment, away from technology, and in touch with yourself and your surroundings in a healthy and sustainable way. It’s a journey of self-discovery and self-renewal.
Traveling is the perfect time to incorporate more mindful aspects and lifestyles into our habits. It can become the first step for many people to direct their habits towards a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Mindful travel is about being present
Imagine sitting on a glorious mountain top overlooking the sunset after completing a rigorous hike. You didn’t have your earphones plugged in, you weren’t distracted by your cell phone or the outside world, it was just you, nature, and the sunset.
The benefits? You appreciate the moment more as mindfulness helps us be more open to our senses and the world around us.
Mindful travel is about being healthy and balanced
Whether it’s yoga, outdoor excursions in nature, or meditation, mindful travel involves traveling with health in mind. The healthier your body feels, the more balanced it becomes, resulting in more mindful and present experiences during travels.
Mindful travel focuses on tranquility
Along with being present and having a sense of balance, mindful travel embodies a spirit of tranquility. Going at a slower pace by enjoying every possible moment, sharing time with family and friends, and worrying less are all aspects of things a mindful traveler might do.
How can I practice mindful travel?
Hopping from place to place adds unnecessary stress and keeps you from having a fully immersive experience.
When visiting touristic sights, try to take a moment to think, reimagine what once was, and take in the moment rather than only snapping photos and quickly heading off.
Let’s not forget food. Travel typically means trying a variety of interesting and unfamiliar foods along the way. Slow down and savor the flavors, enjoy the company you’re with, and take in your surroundings and the locals sitting around you.
Use your senses
A way to be fully present is to use your 5 senses. Listen to the sounds and languages around you, breathe in the aromas, feel the textures around you, keep your eyes open and look all around you, and taste slowly and enjoy your meals to the fullest.
Keep a journal
Mindfulness is also about reflecting and documenting what you’re feeling and experiencing. It’s best to write in moment when it’s the most prominent in your mind or before going to bed. Sometimes our thoughts can change the longer we wait, so journaling as you travel is the best way to help you stay mindful and reflect “in the moment” feelings and thoughts.
Get out into nature
Nature calls! This is a great way to practice mindful travel. Take some time to wander through nature. Go on a hike, have a swim, or wander through parks and gardens. Venture into the unknown. Part of the idea of mindful travel is getting out of cities and exploring what our planet has to offer us.
Visit spiritual places
The world “spiritual” means different things for different people. For some, it’s meditating and practicing yoga in a temple in Bali for others it may be escaping the city life to find stillness and silence in search of deep meanings and self-understanding. Whatever spiritual means to you, incorporate it into your travels.
Explore spiritual destinations that are sacred in nature or history such as the Dead Sea, Machu Picchu or Lourdes, France to get in touch with yourself and your surroundings.
Put down your electronics
Instead of searching for WiFi to update your friends back home about your travels or scrolling through social media, put your phone down and soak in the moment. Try to save that for evenings or down time.
Even on bus and train rides or sitting in cafes, you can miss out on a lot when your head is down and looking at the phone instead of watching the world go by around you.
Book tours with mindful companies
Though small, there are a select number of companies that do have a focus on mindful travel. Planet Conservation Travel has a niche of mindful travel tours throughout Costa Rica as well as Colombia and Nicaragua. These destinations are full of spiritual experiences and untouched nature.
Mindful Travel Destinations will also help you find mindful hotels and tours primarily in Spain.