I’ve been lucky to have traveled a fair bit, both on my own and with a job that’s taken me around the world.
While I believe that travel is one of the fastest ways to expand your mind, I’ve also seen the opposite happen. I’ve watched people glued to their phones in the midst of beauty and critics who refuse to try new things, always comparing foreign places to back home. I’ve been guilty of the same, losing myself in my own thoughts while ignoring the wonders around me.
Meditation has helped me see that traveling without presence is simply moving your body without having placed your mind. The more I meditate, the more I can stay present. I still love to travel, but I’ve discovered that if you open up to the present, even mundane moments become incandescent.
The experience is akin to how travel makes you feel invigorated, with so many new sights, sounds, and tastes to take in. Present-moment awareness does that to places, people and things you may have already experienced dozens of times, and it’s as if you’re seeing them for the first time.
It happens because that’s the truth of it — as the saying goes, you can never step into the same river twice. Even though you may pass the same street every single day, it’s really not the same street today as it was yesterday.
Developing present presence has helped me appreciate my life, whether I’m at home or overseas. The best thing about practicing awareness is that anybody can do it, anytime, anywhere, without having to pay for an air ticket. You just have to sit and train your mind.