Saturday, October 26, 2013

#109: Be Away "Live everyday like a foreigner"

This is the fourth post in a series about lessons learned being away from home.

I figured it out. I know why people love travelling so much. Try this: think about your daily routine. Would you agree that the monotony of it creates a perfect storm for:

  • Ignoring
  • Numbing
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Disinterest
  • Senselessness
  • Indifference?
If you're like me, you'll agree that doing the same thing everyday causes you to forget, ignore and become numb to your surroundings, your feelings, your thoughts and your experience. This is why mindfulness has become such a hot button therapy and coping skill. We're totally over our daily experiences. Mindfulness is a strategy for plugging into what's happening to us everyday, and actually experiencing it. 

But travelling isn't the same thing everyday. It's different; it's new and fresh. It's exciting. The smells are curious, the colours are vibrant, the people have an odd inflection. The coffee tastes sweeter, the calming wind is warmer, the sidewalk curves strangely under your feet... your senses are overwhelmed with new feelings! Now that is mindfulness at its best!

Imagine you could bottle up those new sensations, that attention to experience, and your alertness to everything that surrounds you, and take it with you on your daily routine? What would you see? How would you feel? What would you think? 

And would you ever need to travel again?

If you could live your daily life like a foreigner, like someone who's never done this before, the allure of travelling and being exposed to newness and strangeness would be lost. Everything would be new all the time. So how would travelling be different? 

Today's Saturday and I'm going to try it. I'm going to sip my coffee like I've never tasted it before, go for a run in the rain like I've never felt it before, and read my school books like they're a New York Times bestseller. Just like I did when I was away this summer, and just like I'm going to when I'm away again next week. 

Who knows? Maybe I'll never crave novelty again. Or maybe, I'll crave it more and more because damn, it feels so good!
Me, totally present on the island of Kolocep, off the
Dalmatian coast of Croatia.

1 comment:

  1. I totally get sucked into the monotonous black hole that is my every day life. I love the idea of being more mindful of our everyday experiences. Great post!