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12 Confessions Of Travelers That They Want People To Know

12 Confessions Of Travelers That They Want People To Know

1. I’m not rich, but I do watch my budget.

Most people think we must be rich to be able to travel so much. Yes we’re definitely fortunate, but we might not be rich. When we’re planning for a trip, whether a short jaunt or slow travel, we watch every dollar before we leave, taking full advantage of the latest budgeting apps. I use similar technologies during my trip, too, to make sure I’m not overspending, and I rely on guides for affordable accommodation and budget-friendly travel tips. Sometimes travel is less trains and planes, and more paper and pen.

2. I get excited but also nervous before travel

What we usually see on social media about travel are beautiful photos, with epic scenery and wide smile. But to be frank, every time before travel, we more or less feel nervous, wondering how things will go on and whether we’ve missed anything very important.

3. I like to spend my money on experiences, not things.

Travel is a choice, one that we prioritize over a million others. To be able to make this choice, we pennypinch until we have enough for the next adventure. Dropped my (still two-generations-old) iPhone? Well, a cracked screen isn’t a huge deal. New restaurant opening? Tempting, but I can eat cheaper at home.

I may not have the nicest things or the latest technology, but I have been able to rock climb in Thailand, learn to cook in Vietnam, and hike through the mountains around Macchu Picchu. Besides, who needs the newest fashion? To me, travel chic is always in.

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4. I love to make plans, but I also like to break them.

There are few things more exciting than sitting down to plan our next trip. Where will I go? How I can get there? What can I eat there?

It’s fun to get wrapped up in planning, planning, and more planning. What’s not always so easy is changing those plans. But if the train’s four hours late, my bag got stolen, or I barely missed my flight, I have to. Sometimes it’s scary or frustrating, but by keeping an attitude of adventure and determination, unexpected changes might even become the best part of the trip. Travel is as much about changing plans as it is about making them.

5. I know things can go wrong.

We’ve heard the horror stories about traveling, especially when we travel alone. And that’s the key: research. I look deeply into every place I visit, and if I ever feel unsafe, I leave. No questions asked. Then I refer to Confession #3, embrace my inner last-minute-planner, and do what I can to adapt.

I know that at some point something will go wrong that I can’t anticipate or change. But that’s life, right? We do what we can to plan ahead, but at the end of the day, we know that not everything is in our hands. Relaxing and letting go are two skills not only essential for travel, but for life.

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6. I may start my trip alone, but I end up with friends all over the world.

In addition to meeting some really interesting local people, I get to make friends with fellow travelers from around the globe. Fellow travelers teach me about their home countries, share experiences with me, and have some of best and most budget-friendly tips. If I meet the right group of people, I might even drop my plans to head on a new journey with them! Some of these chance encounters have turned into my very best friends.

7. I’m okay with looking a little silly.

Often the best advice comes not from the thousands of reviews on TripAdvisor, but from the people who actually live wherever I’m traveling. This means that I have to put myself out there by learning and speaking some of the local language. I know I’m pronouncing it wrong, and I’m probably using hilariously incorrect words, but hey, I’m trying!

It can be a struggle to communicate, but we learn so much from the local people. Seeing how appreciative people are that I can say “thank you” makes any embarrassment or fear worth it.

8. I’m not just on a vacation.

It may look like I’m on an extended holiday, but traveling is so much more than that. I’ve traveled for vacation, but I’ve also travelled to study or work abroad. Even when it is “just a vacation,” I’m working hard. Every day. Travel is exhilarating and exhausting, always filled with a million things I didn’t think of and things I couldn’t plan for. I’m enjoying every minute of it, but constantly learning, challenging myself, and expanding my worldview is definitely hard work.

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9. I love new experiences, but I get homesick sometimes, too.

Even though travel is my passion, I do get lonely sometimes. I miss my best friends, my family, my tex-mex, the smell of my hometown, the feeling of effortless belonging. Some days, like holidays or birthdays, can be really hard. But we’re also fortunate to live in the time of endlessly helpful travel and communication apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and Skype, so I can pick up my phone and instantly connect with anyone. (Unless the 14-plus-hour time difference makes me wait out of compassion for my snoozing parents.)

Like any other emotion, homesickness always passes. And when it does, I’m still so happy to be where I am.

10. I know that I’m privileged.

Travel has opened my eyes to the huge range of lives people lead—and are forced to lead—on this planet. To be able to travel as I have, I know that I am more fortunate than so many others. I may scrounge and save to be able to do it, but knowing how fortunate I am makes me especially conscious of the choices I make when I travel. I support local, responsible, and sustainable tourism efforts as much as possible.

11. I understand that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay.

It’s probably pretty clear by now that I love travel. I love the new foods, smells, people, and even those moments when I think, “What did I get myself into?” But at the same time, I know that travel isn’t right for everyone all the time. If you’re even slightly considering traveling, I encourage you to go for it. But if now isn’t the right time for you, that’s okay too.

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If travel has taught me anything, it’s that the world is full of people who are similar and yet so astoundingly different, and the key to happiness is, as Joseph Campbell says, to follow your bliss.

12. I’m not sure where my travels will take me, but I know it’ll be worth it.

I saved the most exciting confession for last: Who knows where I’ll end up at the end of these travels? Or what I’ll learn? Or how I’ll change? I certainly can’t anticipate even half of what lays before me, but what an exhilarating thought: to be part of a worldwide community of travelers, of people, all going somewhere with open minds to see and learn something new.

Can’t get enough traveling? Read more about the 12 ways travel makes you a better person.

Featured photo credit: Stephen Lewis via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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