12 Things You Should Give Up To Be a Mindful Traveler
Understanding the difference between what you want and what you need is crucial when you are trying to save money, pack light, and always be on the move. After many hard lessons, I have curated this list to help make it easier on you.
Give up your want for unnecessary possessions
Traveling by its very nature demands simplicity but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Have you ever tried fitting everything you own into a backpack or suitcase?
The key is prioritizing between needs and wants and realizing that your sense of identity is independent of your possessions. Your want to buy new things dictates how much money you think you need to earn and it almost never enriches your life in any way.
The less you own the more free you become.
Give up low-priorities in your life
The job that’s keeping you unfulfilled.
The relationship that’s dragging you down.
What the media wants you to believe.
What society expects from you.
Everything that’s not making you happy is a low priority in my book.
If you want to travel the world, make it a priority and go fucking do it!
Don’t live your life according to what other people think it’s best for you and don’t let anything distract you from following your own path.
Give up clinging to your ideologies and stereotypes
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” -Wayne Dyer
This is something that it’s hard at the beginning but it’s essential as you travel around the world with people that don’t share your worldview.
Try to understand rather than evaluate other cultures and cultivate the tolerance and patience to try to see things for what they are.
Spending time with people who have a different worldview as yours will challenge you to learn so much more about the world and the vast diversity of interests and beliefs.
Respect the differences, try to adapt them to yourself and realise that to them, you might seem backwards in many ways.
Give up your urge to rush and obsess over your itinerary
As part of american culture, we are conditioned to get to the point and check things off from the “to-do” list.
It’s ok to plan to estimate your budget and learn what’s out there but your itinerary should be nothing more than a reference point.
To make the most out of your travels enjoy every single moment, be present, and leave room for spontaneity.
Give up the idea that you need to get rich first before you go travel
Your self-worth is not measured in terms of what you consume or own, but in how you spend your time.
There is this general consensus in society that a little more money will set things right but the truth is that there’s never enough money.
Come up with a travel plan, create a simple budget, and work your way towards it while you still have time.
Money is needed to survive but time is what you need to live.
What good is having all the money in the world but not having truly lived?
Give up your need to be in control of people, places, and experiences
The expectations we have about how people should act or what a place should be are all based in our need to be in control of our environment.
The only thing we have 100% control of is our attitude.
The world is predictable and unpredictable; pleasant and unpleasant.
When you travel, let these expectations go and learn to see things for what they really are.
Give up your idea that somehow you are special
It doesn’t matter where you come from, the world doesn’t owe you anything despite you feeling entitled.
There are amazing people all over the world with different lifestyles but the same day-to-day needs as you.
As you travel, try to practice humility and realize this one simple truth: we are all one interconnected species.
Give up haggling for the lowest possible price
People always recommend to haggle for the lowest possible price at the local markets.
It’s one thing to practice your negotiating skills and spend money consciously but another to tenaciously scrap for the lowest possible price in countries where the average annual domestic income is smaller than what you’d pay to fly back home.
To avoid this situation, watch what the locals do and become aware of local prices and procedures.
Give up your ego
Even when you plan your hardest, something can go wrong. As a matter of fact, that’s the general rule when you travel around the world.
Holding grudges and trying to win every argument is just going to make your travels very stressful.
Sometimes it’s best to let your pride slide for the sake of clearing the air with someone.
In situations where things aren’t exactly going your way ask yourself: “Would I rather be right or Would I rather be kind?”.
Give up the comforts of English language
English is the universal language spoken around the world but if you don’t make an effort to go outside its protecting bubble, you will never truly experience the local culture on a deeper level.
Give up your need for TripAdvisor
You can read all you want about people’s opinion from particular places and activities, but until you go ahead and experience them for yourself, you will never truly know what it means to you personally and how you can relate to it.
Traveling is personal and just because someone gave a 3-star review to something it shouldn’t stop you from trying it. You might end up loving it so much that you end up giving it a 5-star review.
Give up your excuses for not keeping in touch with your family
Family is so important to me and I always make a conscious effort to keep in touch with them no matter where I am in the world.
We live in the information age where the internet is the great equalizer and all you need is a good WiFi connection to keep in touch with your loved ones.
Don’t be that person that ends up regretting not keeping in touch with family when they had the chance.
Bonus: Give up supporting organizations that don’t care about the environment and sustainable practices
When you travel you immediately become an investor where you have the power to decide what’s important to you.
Your money gives you the power to choose about the kind of world you want to live in.
Keep yourself informed and try to support local businesses that care about the environment and the community they are part of.