Traveling can do one of two things…help you enter the present moment or make you really uncomfortable. Of course this is completely up to us once we understand how it works. Like everything else, we are not victims of our circumstances so we can shift how we interact while traveling if we make a conscious effort.
When traveling (especially in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language), simple, everyday things cannot be taken for granted. Every small task needs to be handled in a way that you’ve never done before. You have to focus on what you’re trying to accomplish and how to accomplish it. When doing this your attention is completely in the present moment.
For people that are incapable of doing this, the experience will be very uncomfortable. Every little thing becomes an overwhelming task that they cannot control thereby inducing tremendous anxiety. If someone derives their sense of safety by seemingly controlling their circumstances and then are suddenly thrust into a situation where they can’t depend on all the habits and ways they’ve developed to bring consistency into their lives…there’s a problem! The uncomfortability grows and is basically ever-present while traveling which blocks them from experiencing much, if any enjoyment. This person obviously doesn’t enjoy traveling and most likely minimizes it as much as possible.
On the other hand, if someone is able to let go of the seeming control of everyday life or isn’t very attached to it at all…travel can be very enjoyable. Constantly being in unique situations seems to effortlessly slip them into the present moment and allows them to stay there more consistently than being in a routine existence back home. Being in the present moment allows the feelings of peace and joy to surface from within and will certainly enhance their experience.
When your attention is completely in the present moment, spontaneity can arise, you will walk with a sense of freedom, of play, of choice and of wonder through each aspect of your day…how exciting is that?!?!
This is actually how we’re supposed to be experiencing life on a regular basis. If you are anchored in the safety of the Eternal and interacting with life in a more inquisitive, fun, playful way just think how enjoyable it would be! Imagine your life being one long vacation where you know you are safe but don’t know what’s going to happen next. You only know that it’s happening is for your benefit; to enhance the experience on your vacation. Then your decisions are much more enjoyable. “Hey, let’s try this”, or “maybe I’ll do this”, or “I wonder what this would be like, whoops I didn’t really like that but what about this?”. That’s a fun vacation!
So certainly, enjoy traveling and experiencing new things while you’re here and allow these circumstances to help push you into the Now. In the meantime, practice looking at everyday life more like a vacation in an exciting place while knowing that you are eternal, you are safe and you only have a finite amount of time to take it all in. Make everyday a practice of living in the present moment bringing the sense of wonder and awe of a child back into your regular experience. Make sure you take time to enjoy your vacation at home or abroad!