Meditation is the art of focusing your attention in one area. Sometimes our worries and concerns build at such a rate that it feels impossible to turn them off, but active meditation practice can do just that. So what does all of this have to do with travel and vacationing?
One of the greatest causes of stress, doubt, and worry is uncertainty, and it is often when we travel that we feel the greatest sense of uncertainty. Vacationing puts us in unfamiliar surroundings and off of our routine. We may worry about planning, packing, flight delays, hotels, money, and many other things. Just as with real life stresses back home, meditation can help, but meditation practice is ironically one of the things that suffers when we’re away from home.
I cannot emphasize enough how finding magical moments to meditate can transform your entire vacation and maybe even your life. However, meditation can be done almost anywhere, and even 10 or 15 minutes can be enough to feel its benefits. But like many things in life, longer is often better.
The following tips will help remove some of the mental mediation hurdles you may experience, especially if you are a beginner. I am by no means a meditation expert, and I definitely could meditate more than I do currently, but I also believe that sometimes novices give the most useful, realistic tips and advice, so here goes:
- Focus on your breathing. If there was one common element of all meditation, this would probably be it. Take deep breaths, and focus on the feeling this creates in your body as well as the sounds made by your breathing.
- Do not get bogged down by “correct” postures or positions. Yes, there are positions for meditation that are supposed to be better than others. For me, I noticed that many of these positions just weren’t comfortable, and adhering too much to them only led to my feeling discouraged.
- You may want to start your day with an intention or an idea. Try: “I embrace wherever the day may take me” — repeat this idea to yourself as you meditate.
- If thoughts pop into your head, let them pass through as effortlessly as they arrived. If concerns or worries start to build up, rather than trying not to think about them, attempt instead to proactively replace them with positive thoughts or your positive intention. Or, bring the focus to your breathing and your body. Feel every muscle, and see if you can feel the energy moving through your limbs.
- There are many guided meditation apps and recordings that can be really useful. When you find one you like, make sure that you always have it with you.
So remember meditation while on your vacation. It makes no sense to spend hours packing your luggage without spending even ten minutes a day to clear out your mental baggage.
About The Author
Bryan Herb is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Zoom Vacations. Bryan has been a high school English teacher, personal trainer, model, freelance writer, and a hotel marketing and events sales manager. He grew up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, known today as Oregon’s premier wine country, and his childhood was filled with outdoor adventures. In addition to his duties at Zoom Vacations®, Bryan also served on the Board of the Directors of the IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association) for four years, and as Board Chair for two. He was one of nine travel experts featured on the Travel Chanel’s hit show, “Vacation Challenge” and was the South America Gay Travel Expert for four episodes on Logo’s Gay Travel show, Bump. In addition, Bryan has hosted gay travel shorts for Comcast, and he is the gay travel expert for several gay online and print publications.