Vacation schedules are often hectic as we rush from dawn until after dark trying to fit in every site and activity we can. Too often we allow ourselves to slip into the mindset of visiting every possible tourist attraction in a short span of time. We put our focus on the packed schedule instead of the beauty and wonder that we’re experiencing.  

The antidote to rushing around while on vacation is starting each day with a Mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness puts our focus on “present moment awareness,” which heightens our attention to what we’re experiencing in the moment. In doing so, we encounter our new surroundings in a more deep, more rich way and allow ourselves to enjoy the experiences that travel provides more completely. 

With Mindfulness, instead of worrying about having enough time, we let ourselves become more grateful for the way in which we spend our time. Imagine the difference between walking through a botanical garden with our eye on the time we’ve allotted versus immersing ourselves in the moment and fully taking in the colors, shapes and fragrances of the garden before us.  

The expression “getting lost in the moment” becomes the elevated travel experience that we’re all after. We may miss one or two sites on the agenda, but we’ll have seared the moment of enjoying the beauty into our minds in such a mindful way that we’ll remember the moment well into the future. 

To set the stage for staying present in the moment, start each day with this Meditation for Being in the Moment of Now

1. Find a quiet place to sit. 

2. Close your eyes. 

3. Feel yourself where you are right now. 

4. Note the room — any sounds, smells, breeze from a window, etc. 

5. Invite yourself to be present in your meditation. 

6. Tell yourself that it’s okay to let everything and everyone go. 

7. Put your focus and awareness onto your breath. 

8. Take several deep breaths in and out. 

9. If your mind begins to wander at any time, bring your focus and awareness back to your breath, which will always bring you back to the present moment. 

10. Say silently, “I am in the moment of now.” 

11. Say silently, “Now is all there is.” 

12. Say silently, I accept this moment I am in.” 

13. You can repeat this to yourself as many times as you wish. 

14. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes. 

15. Be aware that you are still in the moment of now, and that there’s no need to rush out of it. 

When we feel ourselves falling back into a hectic pace or stressing about the need to get somewhere else, we should consider it an alert that it’s time to slow down and reconnect with the present. Use the breathing and focus statements from the meditation at different times of the day if needed. 

Mindfulness is a practice that we can take with us wherever we go. It doesn’t have to end when we get off a meditation pillow. In fact, the practice of Mindfulness strengthens when we engage in it regularly and apply it to whatever we’re doing, whether traveling or in our daily lives.

**Originally published at Go World Travel