I believe part of what makes travelling so magical is the fact that it forces us to really appreciate our surroundings. Who knows? Maybe this will be our last time being in the suburb of a foreign beach soaking up the sun with a stray dog dozing off peacefully near us. Or maybe till the next time we are here again, say, 10 years’ time, this place will no longer be the same as it is now; and neither will us.
This sense of urgency- the sense that if I don’t soak it up now, it will be gone forever- forces our scattering minds to retreat into its child-like state again- curious, inquisitive, and hyper aware of all our surroundings. This will not last, might as well as drink in as much as we can for now, right?
It makes sense that these fully utilised attention and awareness brings appreciation and ultimately happiness because it coincides with the notion that mindful living- the act of being aware of what’s happening today instead of worrying about yesterday or anxious about tomorrow.
I don’t know. I just think travelling is so appealing to so many people partly because it forces them to be mindful which in turns brings about a sense of slowed-down time, and clearer mind.
That begs the question, why can’t we always practice this sense of ultra-awareness and indiscriminate attention in our everyday life? After all, wherever we are, there’s always the urgency of death, hanging upon our every breadth. This life, no matter how ordinary, will cease to exist in the future. This moment, no matter how mundane, never happened in the past, and will never happen exactly as it is now ever again.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this trip in Sri Lanka, it is to really commit to mindful living because life is way too short and precious to only be alive during the holidays.
If you’d life to explore more, read my take on the art of slowness here, Slower, Harder, Better!