Living like a Traveler


For two nights in a row I could barely sleep due to the excitement of booking our plane tickets to New Zealand! When I finally drifted off my dreams were filled with beautiful scenes of the mountains and the seas and the anticipated adventures that will come while camping through the North and South Island in December.  There’s something special about traveling.  The colors are more vivid, the scenery more beautiful, the moments more intense, the people more fascinating and the experiences more memorable.  But the reality is, there are beautiful mountains outside my window. There are amazing people all around me.  There are moments to cherish every day.  There’s beauty to behold each and every day.  So why is it so hard to see it?  I don’t know about you, but I want to live like a traveler every single day! 

Here are my 5 ideas for living like a traveler – at home!
1.  Capture the moments.  Jetting off to a foreign land strips away the cares and concerns of the day to day.  You know, those cares and concerns that tend to blind us from the special moments. But we don’t have to live like that. Maybe you journal or perhaps you like to snap photos.  For me, I love both!  Why not try a Photo-A-Day challenge?  Journal about your day.  Blog about the funny things that happen. Keep a gratitude journal.  Do something intentional that will help you be on the lookout for those moments. Before you know it, it will no longer be intentional but the norm.
2.  Try new things.  There’s absolutely no reason we can’t try new things in our day to day lives.  Buy something random in the produce section at the grocery store.  Take a new route to work (oh wait…there’s only 1 way to get to the living room from the bedroom for me…).  Try a new workout.  Find an ethnic restaurant you’ve never been to before. (Than and I are on a mission to visit all the ethnic restaurants on Colorado Boulevard while we live in Pasadena – there’s everything from Argentinian, Japaneses, Afghan and so much more!).
3.  Simplify.  When you travel, you fill your suitcase with the necessities.  Ok, maybe some of us include a little more than that…  But regardless, we take a lot less than we have at home.  Sometimes stuff just gets in the way.  I’m not suggesting we all start living out of suitcases, but perhaps it’s time to purge…  Start small.  Maybe with shoes.  Or clothes.  Or a hall closet.  
4.  Take a break from media.  Traveling means time away from the constant bombardment of emails, texts, phone calls, social media, apps, etc etc! As hard as it is to pull away from those things, it sure is refreshing. Limit your time.  Set boundaries.  Do a media fast.  Allow yourself a break and enjoy the benefits!
5.  Share experiences.  Traveling alone can be great, but there’s certainly a special bond that forms when you travel with other people.  The experiences you’ve had together are often priceless!  The same is true in the day to day.  Our lives are enhanced when we have a community of people we’re sharing life experiences with. Not just people who are similar to you.  People who live and think differently.  In the same way that travel provides us with new perspective as we experience new places and new cultures, relationships with people who are different from us help keep things in perspective.
Disclaimer:  This post is in no way intended to discourage you from traveling and seeing the world.  It’s simply advice for travelers at heart to sustain that spirit in the day to day.

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