THE TRAVELLER'S MIND
When you highlight travels perhaps you reflect on meeting amazing new people, great food, epic weather and hitting up grammable tourist spots. But there is one underlying benefit that is commonly overlooked that occurs in all those new experiences. You may think fun, rest or relaxation; although those usually aren’t overlooked. Underneath all the experience is our brains processing those experiences! And with every new experience we are creating more neural pathways that help strengthen the brain and brain plasticity. You may be wondering why is that important?
In mindfulness, we talk a lot about living in autopilot and how it can be a place to feed into the wandering or critical mind. In autopilot you are less present, reacting on how you have reacted a million times before and less likely to notice any joy in the moment. When we step into something new as we experience in travelling we open the door to finding more presence, break routines and promote feeling good.
Experiencing something new also builds resilience. Whether it be navigating a new place or trying something new we practice how to move through uncomfortable unknowns. And more often than not when travelling we move through these stressful unknowns with a lens of gratitude and joy through experiencing something new. And the more one feels feel-good feelings the more one strengthens the mind and body to go back to feeling that way time and time again (brain plasticity) and conversely helps break the pattern of wanting to always at the negative side.
Year’s back I participated in a mind strengthening course called, Silva Mind and it gave me tools on how to build strength in memory and optimize my overall brain. I remember one of their suggestions was to find a different route to work everyday to simply build more new brain connections. This reminded me you don’t necessarily have to go across the world to embody the Traveller’s Mind.
Here are 5 simple ways to embody the Traveller’s Mind without travelling in everyday life.
Find a different route to work everyday, even if it’s just one small street change.
Explore different workshops, events in your city you have never done before. i.e. cocktail making, hand weaving, a Beyonce dance class.
Try brushing your teeth with your non dominant hand.
Look up 3 new words a week and see if you can incorporate them into conversation.
Read a book not on your radar or wear a shade of color you would never choose.
In any of these scenarios invite yourself to stay curious in the experience and find gratitude and joy in experiencing something out of your comfort zone, knowing that there may be uncomfortable moments but to simply notice and come back to finding presence in the moment, in the spirit of the Traveller’s Mind.