Final Days of Travel: Learning to Live in the Moment

I didn’t think that the last leg of our travels would be this hard.

With 6 days left before we touchdown back home, I’m finding it more and more difficult to fight homesickness. My mind constantly wanders to my family and friends, and I find myself planning all sorts of things that I want to do when I get back. These feelings have resulted in days seeming long, and some moments where, well, I’ve been kinda miserable

There…I said it. I’ve been a grumpy bear this week. Poor Shaun has had to deal with a very homesick wife.

Of course, I recognize I need to change my tune. I’m actively choosing fear over love. If I’m not careful I’m going to waste the last few previous moments I have on this adventure looking forward instead of standing still.

I often find myself taking moments to appreciate my surroundings, but it is always in obvious ways, like when I’m watching a sunset of when I’m laying in a hammock. In those moments, its easy to be present, and appreciate the beauty and tranquillity that surrounds me

It’s the mundane times that I find challenging. Evenings where it is dark early, and no amount of Netflix or crazy eights are going to keep me entertained. Or days where I’m faced with a very hot walk to the store to get groceries. There are so many instances during my day where my mind wanders, I start thinking about home, I get lonely and I’m no longer present.

I started reading about ways to “be in the moment” and although I agree with most things I’ve read, I still didn’t really know how I was going to go about doing it. It’s easy for me to be present when I’m reading something about it, but as soon as I put my book down, I forget. The mind is a powerful thing and it will wander where it wants to wander.

I needed a concrete exercise to help me stay present, so I chose a day last week and decided to make myself a reminder.

I set an alarm on my phone for every hour. Whenever it went off, I took note about what I was thinking about. Most of the time it was about home, or something in the future. I took a second to appreciate that thought and let it come to an end.

Then, I took a deep breath and really looked at my surroundings. I would to myself, what am I grateful for in this moment? What do I want to remember? It didn’t have to be big things. Some of the things I noticed were all of the hibiscus in bloom, the amazing feeling of walking into a room with a/c, or a wicked huge Iguana. All things that I know I won’t have when I get home.

Taking time to appreciate and feel grateful for those little things helped keep me in the present moment.

This exercise totally falls into the “practice makes perfect” category. I found that after doing it for a while, it started to happen naturally. Now I have an alarm set for twice a day, but find I’m finding I am much more naturally present throughout the entire day.

So, if you are every finding yourself in a situation where you are spending to much time looking back or looking forward, try this exercise to help train yourself to stand still.

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For more on the evolution of my philosophies and “kateness” visiting my Philosophy page.

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

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5 thoughts on “Final Days of Travel: Learning to Live in the Moment

  1. So good to read as I too come to the end of my big trip too and am constantly looking back and forward. Completely understand where you’re coming from. Enjoy your last few days x

  2. Amen sista! I have 13 days left before I go and I have been feeling the same way! While of course part of me doesnt want to leave, the other part of me is getting homesick! Ill have to try your suggestion. Thanks for sharing- I totally relate.

    • Glad to hear I am not alone! I certainly didn’t expect it to be this hard, but the more I talk to fellow travellers he more I realize it is pretty normal! Hang in there!

  3. i think every traveler can relate to this. sometimes it’s hard to get out of your head when you’re on the road! thanks for the tips on how to really appreciate being in the moment. i just returned home from a long trip in southeast asia, and despite the emotional ups and downs, i definitely cherish all of my experiences (and i’m sure you will too!). i hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!!

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