Endless TSA lines, canceled flights, lost luggage, crowded trains with broken air-conditioning…as much as we love getting away, the stress of it can sometimes make vacations feel like more trouble than they’re worth. But unless you’re willing to stifle your inner travel bug and feeling of wanderlust and resolve to live the rest of your days never straying far from home, travel anxiety and stress are necessary evils you’re bound to encounter once in while. So how do you mindfully deal with those unwelcome obstacles, so that they don’t ruin your entire trip?
Andy Puddicombe, co-founder of the meditation app Headspace, has done his fair share of globetrotting, what with training as a Buddhist monk in Myanmar and teaching meditation in Russia and the U.K. And, fortunately for all us jittery jet-setters, he’s put his travel experience to good use. In the past few years, Headspace has collaborated with airlines like Virgin Atlantic and JetBlue to help travelers find a sense of calm at 30,000 feet, and the company recently launched its Sleep by Headspace partnership with Sister City, a new wellness-focused hotel on New York City’s Lower East Side. And now, he’s sharing his go-to tips for keeping travel stress-free. Check out below what the Zen master himself has to say about keeping calm and traveling on.
Let Zen master Andy Puddicombe’s 5 tips for stress-free travel wash over you.
1. Meditate daily
“It will help you reset, rebalance, and settle into a new space. Done in the morning, it will help you leave the hotel feeling refreshed. Done at night, it will help you unwind and go to sleep. Most of all, it will help you experience your destination to the fullest.”
2. Maintain a curious mind
“When we are very rigid with our expectations, travel tends to feel like hard work. So keep an open, interested, and curious mind, enjoying the journey as much as the destination. When we take this approach to travel, we can’t help but be more flexible, patient, and calm along the way.”
3. Dial back your tech use
“Obviously we need to use technology at times, but try to spend less time looking down at your phone and more time looking up at the new world around you. Engage the senses, notice the sounds, the smells, the sights. Sure, it’s fun to capture our experiences online, but not at the expense of our own enjoyment.”
4. Seek out nature
“Even if it’s just a local park, being in nature can immediately settle the mind and help you feel more connected with the world.”
5. Set your routine
“When you’re in a particularly busy city, it’s important to find a routine—i.e. the things you find helpful to be more mindful when you’re at home that you can apply to your travel destination. This means getting a good night’s sleep, getting some exercise, doing some meditation, eating well, and so on. When all these things are in place, you’ll likely be more mindful, but also a happier and healthier person.”
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