Setting up a traveler mindset is a crucial step in preparation to travel. It is important to be prepared internally to the adventure loaded with surprising possibilities. After all we like to have an outcome of deeply satisfying experience with fun, discoveries with lessons of resourcefulness and creativity, and unexpected insights that were beyond our previous awareness.
What are the qualities of a traveler mindset that are instrumental in allowing us a smooth sailing on travel journey where a notion of control and stability most likely be seriously undermined?
- Positive Intention. This is the foundation of your core experience — to be in a positive mental world view, independently from outer circumstances. It is a deposit of strength to rise up above any situation that my come your way. It is a source of all other qualities that comprise traveler mindset. This quality is the main conductor of your inner experience, that which manages your inner growth.
Growth happens when you are able to see value in any situation of your journey, however that is. That is not a denial, but a deliberate conscious reframing, like a wrestler that does not surrender to techniques of an opponent.
- Surrender. To surrender to your travel is to be completely immersed in the experience internally. It is similar to becoming of the same substance of it — dedicated and inseparable. I believe there are few components that illustrate surrender to the travel journey.
Ground yourself — Be Present.
Any time your mind goes in conceptual interpretation of what you perceive, you loose presence. That is how dexterous illusionists are capable to manipulate reality of crowds.
Use your body and its senses as an anchor of sanity against fear, confusion and unchecked influence. The most succinct advice on the topic is the one Buddha gave to traveling wanderer Bahiya:
"In the Seen, let be just the Seen,
In the Heard, let be just the Heard,
In the Sensed, let be just the Sensed,
In the Cognized, let be just Cognized."
Do not Panic.
As a matter of preparation of a traveler mindset, make a clear conscious commitment to never give in to panic, ever. When you're in panic, you always make irrational decisions and complicate the situation you are in.
When you panic, you reduce your mind's capacity to provide the best quick answer. To panic is like placing yourself in a centrifuge, closing the door and pushing a "spin" button.
Depending on the situation, you need a help of subconscious inner resources to respond effectively and quickly but a panic locks you in a loop of a limited conscious mind with its only references to the past experiences and you may freeze.
By staying unaffected, you give a chance of your whole being participate in solution.
Trust your Intuition.
When venturing in new environment, intuition becomes very important part of a traveler mindset. In your habitual environment, whether it is your city or culture, your conscious mind has a data bank of results from the past decisions you've made that gave you favorable results.
In the new environment, perhaps with new culture, language or geography, those results may not apply. You most likely be faced with the opportunity of risk. You would have to become clear on your inner motivations not to be confused and stay in fear. Because that what will be the reaction of the mind "looking for data" and not able to find it.
Trust your intuition, but not fear. Invoke your inner guide and gradually develop direct knowing. It is very helpful to become aware of your desires and cross-check them with your intentions.
Take gradual risks to train subtle perception of your intuition. It is said that it is better to listen to intuition and fail, than listen to fear and be stuck.
Have Faith and Determination.
Have faith that you will succeed. No matter how you define successful journey, let it be a part of your traveler mindset. Going on travel with faith opens your mind to the unexpected, to synchronicity and insight. Have faith and your experience will be richly infused with ingredients of adventure and discovery.
Have faith in reaching your clear objective and your heart will be filled with the energy of determination and stability. Having faith will protect you from sliding in despair, regret and misery even in a midst of perceived challenges.
There is a powerful example of faith and determination in the movie "Touching The Void".
Go with a Flow.
Going with the flow is an ability to use what is available for advancement toward ideal objective. It is a necessity for a traveler mindset. The best way to learn the wisdom of flow is to observe a river or a creek.
You can quickly notice that the water uses gravity to chart river's course and it uses every feature of environment to form its body — a process of moving forward. When there is an obstacle, the water seems to be patient and waiting to rise up to it. When there is a gradient the water goes very quickly, sometimes in a free fall of a cascade. Decide to use wisdom of non-resistance and sharpen utility of resources and circumstances available, like a river.
- Be Active on Boredom. A critical feature of a traveler mindset is to become aware as much as you can when you lose mindful attention — become bored. I heard some people say that boredom gives rise to curiosity, but it is not true.
Boredom most often produces restlessness and that may lead to making of compulsive decisions and development of destructive habits. Weave it into your traveler mindset a deliberate relationship with yourself. Boredom is not about having nothing to do, but is a mode of looking for external preoccupations.
When you look at something, really examine what you see. When you hear something or someone, listen to what you hear.
Even if you daydream, know that you are daydreaming. Even when you don't have ability to daydream and visualize, simply sit quietly, close your eyes and pay attention to your breath.
I am not implying that you need to keep yourself busy all the time. It just makes sense to be conscious as much as possible as there is simply no time to lose. That preciousness of time rises, once you contemplate the value of your human life.
Imagine vast expanse of the physical universe filled with planets and billions of galactics spanning across many billions light years...
Imagine a vector of time running across from the beginning of cosmos to the present moment and disappearing into infinity of the future...
Imagine the planet Earth floating in a dark blue space...
Imagine the center of the Earth as a ball of raging melted fire, intense lava...
Imagine the surface of the earth with its beautiful meadows, lakes and mountains...
Imagine yourself being where you are now...
Now imagine and contemplate that in a middle of an intersection of history and a vastness of the Universe, there is your life, one of a kind as it is, with your capacity to do and experience so many things...
- Practice Unconditional Self-Acceptance. Travel journey is an exposure to the sea of chaos. To proceed without stress and hijacking anxiety, infuse your traveler mindset with
No matter how well you plan your journey, it is a movement of variables which could be draining if we attempt to overly control it. Things could be lost, and itinerary destroyed, you could get stuck in uncomfortable conditions for more than you were planning. Most of us at times approach life as stage where we act a precisely chosen role.
Travel very often relieves us of that ability and we have to face the world without a mask of a persona, just as we are.
It would be extremely distressing if you accept yourself only certain way. Perhaps one of the purpose of travel is to force more spontaneity in our life and to bring estranged parts of ourselves upon the stage for unconditional self-acceptance.
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