Anytime we plan for something new, there is a certain level of excitement that comes with it. Your state of mind is altered from the mundane to whatever this new “thing” is. This is even more true when it comes to vacation. There is something about it that’s just different. Travel puts a person into a mindset that provides a new perspective on life, on who you are, who you want to be, and how you want to spend your time.
I really like the way that Darshak Rana describes the traveler’s mindset as, “not an escape from reality but an escape into reality.” I often feel the same way when I get really immersed into a fantastic book. So often, I just want to crawl inside the pages and spend some time living there alongside unique characters. I want to experience life the way that they have, through their eyes. And it’s amazing how much you can gain from that type of reflection.
In a similar way, when you combine travel with culture, it levels up the experience. All of a sudden, you’re embarking on a journey that offers complete enrichment for your mind, body, and soul, rather than just adventure or relaxation. It doesn’t take away from what is already there, but enhances the overall mindset. The way we experience life is linked to the mindset we cultivate. I like to call this the “mindset lens.”
On a normal day, I tend to dislike waking up. I loath rolling out of bed and leaving the comfort and warmth of my covers. It doesn’t matter the time of day or year. Waking up typically falls into the “do not like” category of my life. I like my bed. Sleep is my jam. I guess you could say that alarms are like a red-colored lens for me most of the time.
How much does your mindset shift on a day that’s not normal for you? When there is a deviation to your routine? For me, vacation or travel are as opposite as night and day from my everyday routine. I’m up before anyone else without that dreaded alarm, and I’m ready to go! Instead of savoring my first cup of coffee, I am in a rush to hit the road and skip breakfast entirely. I have this “let’s get the party started” attitude.
Having a lot of planned activities in a day is not my cup of tea, and I usually prefer to keep things simple with only one or two plans. If I do more than that, I start to worry and get anxious. It’s just part of my personality.
- Will I have enough time to get from point A to point B?
- Will I be rushed?
- Will I be able to enjoy it?
- Will it be worth it if I have my mind on other things?
- What if something unexpected slows me down and I’m late?
But when I am traveling or on vacation, it’s like something comes over me and for the most part—all those questions are thrown out the window. I want to cram as much as I possibly can into the time that I have. Sleep is for when the adventure is over! Food, meh—it’s overrated. Unless it’s a local cuisine, that is.
I’ve gotten better at meeting myself in the middle, but hands down, I still want to see and do as much as I can.
I used to believe this entailed spending a lot of money on entertainment, such as shows or events. Peace is now much more desirable. Those things certainly have a place, and I enjoy them as much as the next person. But, my mindset has shifted. I find joy in exploring the daily life of the locals, in taking nature walks, visiting the beach (especially in the off-season), and immersing myself in diverse culture.
The tranquility of hanging out with friends by the pool is just as peaceful as sitting on a fallen log and listening to the sounds of the rainforest. It’s all about where you are at in your season of life. It’s okay to change it up, too. What brings you peace in your early 20s doesn’t have to be the same things that give you peace in your mid 30s.
As we age and grow, our perspectives change along with us, hopefully for the better. The activities we relished at 22 can still be savored at 35, but it may evoke different feelings. We should see the experiences through more mature eyes. That’s one reason I love the idea of going to the same place more than once. This is often the case, even when there is an entire list of places that I would also like to visit for the first time.
I recommend diversity when traveling as well. If you’re looking for unique experiences, don’t discount local travel and adventures. They are like hidden gems, which I will cover in a later section of this series. Local culture is a great way to learn more about yourself, and what season of life you are in while also staying close to home.
Life is meant to be experienced. Your brain often retains more information when you experience something rather than just reading about it, though reading has its own set of benefits. Take time today, evaluate what type of mindset you are currently in. Plan something on your next day off- it can be anything. A trip to a park, a short hike, whatever makes you smile at the thought of it. Now, what is different from your first evaluation?
Get out there and expand your mind with adventures. Share some pictures or comments and don’t forget to use the #TravelCulture and #LiveYourLore