Make travel timeless with mindful awareness
Make the most of an adventure with mindful awareness and the right intentions.
In just a few short hours I’ll be boarding a plane to head to paradise. My man and I are celebrating 5 years together with a trip to the US Virgin Islands. I’m so excited that I was woken up this morning by those jittery butterflies in my belly. Besides marking such a landmark in our relationship, this trip is the first big trip I’ve taken since launching my business two years ago. I want to honor this trip and squeeze the most out of it as I can with mindful awareness.
Setting intentions are my favorite way of setting the tone for what’s to come. When I put them in writing I can revisit them and remind myself of what I’m hoping to get from an experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the adventures and float away in the excitement. Because this trip is so special, I want to be as present for it as I possibly can. I’ve noticed that when I’m fully present for an experience, I can lodge that emotional memory in a place that can be revisited years to come. Without that awareness, the trip comes and goes like a flash. Mindful awareness of the experience as it’s happening makes it eternal and timeless.
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No. 1: I will notice the senses that are activated with a sense of wonder.
I don’t totally know what to expect of the USVI. I haven’t been to the Caribbean since I was a kid. I have distant memories of lush flora and a plethora of iguanas. I will notice the smells, tastes and sounds of the island. I will pay attention to the way my heart feels, the rhythm of my breath and the emotions that arise while I explore the tropical island. I will be fully aware of the feelings of being in that place.
No. 2: I will practice gratitude.
I’m thinking this one will be easy to maintain while I’m there. As I explore the jungles and paddle the bays, I will express my gratitude for the opportunity to be in this place at this time. I will store the vivid feeling of overwhelming gratitude in my heart and mind so I can revisit years later.
No. 3: I will take photos but will stay present.
I love to take pictures and videos of my adventures but the process can have a tendency to remove me from the situation. Knowing this, I will continue to capture my experiences but will take the time and the energy to stay present in the moment. If I feel compelled to take a picture then I will match that with a moment of mindful awareness of what I’m looking at.
As I write this, the adventure awaits me in my future. Every second that goes by, I’m one moment closer to being there. I know how quickly these trips whiz by so I’m looking forward to absorbing as much as I can while I’m there. Before I know it, I’ll be back in Seattle with memories instead of anticipation.
In another attempt to immortalize and share my adventures, I’ll be posting what I can to Snapchat and Instagram (as @happyseekers). Follow along and let me know if you have any recommendations for our time on St. John.
Image via Flickr. Soon I’ll have my own.