Friday, December 4, 2009

Stay in the Moment

How many of you are like Clark W. Griswold when it comes to travel? Do you have a checklist of your must-see items and every minute of the trip scheduled down to the “T?” That sort of vacation planning makes me think of the Griswold’s in National Lampoon’s “Vacation” movie. Clark had everything planned out that he wanted his family to see so much so that the schedule trumped any sort of enjoyment at those sites.

Are your vacations like that to some degree? Does the schedule become so rigid that you fail to fully take in the things that are seeing and doing on your trip? If that is the case, here is my tip for you...stay in the moment.

Looking back at my years of traveling and the different locations I have visited, the things that I remember the most are those moments when I was fully engulfed by my surroundings. For example, I have been to Jamaica. Now you would think that the beach or the lush tropical rainforest would be the things I remember the most about that beautiful Country. I remember them and how beautiful they were, but that was just part of the trip. One of the most memorable moments on that trip was the ride my wife and took with our private driver to the resort. His name was Perry. He was full of life. He helped us get a vision of his country through explaining the Jamaican philosophy through speech and music. That short 30 minute ride made me see his homeland and his people and we will never forget Perry and it was a moment where we were fully engaged and not just watching things pass by out the window of his car. Time seemed to move much slower during that trip even after we arrived at the resort.

Other examples include standing in a small town at the base of Mt Fuji and watching the uniformed school children make their way from school to home. Our ultimate stop naturally was the half way point up Mt Fuji, but that small travel break in that tiny Japanese village brings back such a vivid memory and it was one where I stopped and just observed life going on around me. That does not mean that I do not remember or cherish my time actually up on Mt Fuji, but it shows that the journey held as much importance as the destination because I allowed myself to stay in the moment no matter where we were during the trip.

Are you seeing my point? So many get caught up with getting to each destination so they can check it off their list that they lose sight of the journey itself. Stay in the moment no matter where you are on your trip. Maybe it is a side trip in a small town to eat a meal on your trip. Stay in the moment and look around and you might be surprised what you will see that will make a lasting memory. I promise you that if you slow things down to that level, your trips will end up being less stressful and much more enjoyable and memorable.

Do you have moments and memories like that from your trips? If so...I would love for you to share them so please comment and become a follower of my blog as well.

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