Reflection: After a vacation, I like to take a bit of time to reflect on the experience.
There’s an element of savoring involved – remembering people and places, incidents and moments.
And, for me, any kind of noticing usually triggers lessons as well.
As I thought about this summer’s travel experiences, it occurred to me that there are some lessons that might be applied to everyday life.
I’m sharing them here in the hope they might be helpful for you, too.
Action: When I’m traveling, it seems so much easier to dress for the day. Choices are limited to what fits in one suitcase. What if we simplified those decisions everyday by streamlining our wardrobes at home?
The touring days that are most satisfying are those where we narrow the focus to one or two places or experiences rather than trying to jam too much into a short period of time. What if we narrowed our everyday focus to a couple of high priority items and stopped trying to do it all at once?
Some of the most ease-filled moments on vacation occur when we give ourselves time and space to put up our feet and take a break. Whether it’s catching a nap, dipping into a book, or jotting a few notes in the travel journal, there’s something to be said for retreating and regrouping. What if we made a regular habit of stepping away from the press of everyday activity to refresh our energy and reflect on our experience?
Several times during our vacation, I shared a few photos and comments with friends and family via FB posts and email messages. I did not, however, feel the need to be in touch every day or every moment nor to share every detail. What if day to day we used electronic media with a bit more discernment and a lot less enslavement?
It is lovely to have company on an adventure, but time alone is welcome, too. Separate experiences generate fodder for conversation and also inject breathing space into a relationship or a shared journey. How might it enrich our everyday lives, if we carved out time for solo experiences just a tad more often?
While traveling, we visited a lot of museums and galleries. After every couple of visits, I wanted to stop looking at art and start making art. I needed to stop ‘taking things in’ and start ‘putting things out’. What if we paid close attention to the everyday balance of input and output? What if we spent less time on the sidelines appreciating and admiring the contributions of others and more time creating our own?
Quotes Of The Week: Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. – Ibn Battuta
Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. – Anonymous
Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else. — Lawrence Block
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller
Resources Of The Week: If you are interested in mining experiences for meanings, you might enjoy a great example of this practice in Whitney Cox’s article: 10 Important Life Lessons You Learn From Living Abroad.
Also on a travel theme, this article by Francine Jay who translated traveling lightly into a more minimalist lifestyle: 10 Reasons Traveling Light Will Change Your Life.