It’s easy to be in awe of what you see around you, especially if you travel to a place you’ve never been to before. But are you taking the time to be fully present in where you are at the moment and appreciate the beauty around you?
This is where mindfulness comes into the picture. It’s the act of being fully aware and being present in the moment rather than getting distracted during your trip. But why should you – a female solo traveler – need to be mindful while on the go? How does mindfulness as a solo female traveller benefit you and your experience?
What Exactly Is Mindfulness and What Are the Benefits?
It’s common for one to become mindless – instead of being mindful – during travels. As a result, you’ll easily get distracted by thoughts such as where to go or what’s next on your itinerary, or even what’s happening back home or at your job. Instead of savoring the wonderful moment of exploring, you end up thinking and worrying too much about other things. Being mindful, however, will help change that.
The practice of mindfulness as a solo female traveller lets you become fully aware of what’s around you, your thoughts, feelings, and how your environment makes you feel. There’s no reminiscing the past or feeling anxious about the future – there is only the now.
Here’s how mindfulness benefits your travel:
- You’ll be making the most out of your trip – As you travel, mindfulness will help you become completely aware of the experiences in an unfamiliar place. It also helps you let go of distracting thoughts and limiting beliefs that may hinder you from having a blast during your trip.
- You tend to appreciate more – When you pay full attention to your travel experiences, you will have a better appreciation of what happens to you and of the things around you.
- Better focus – Mindfulness helps improve your focus, which is required especially when you travel to a new place all on your own.
- An opportunity to discover yourself – solo travel and mindful travel usually go hand-in-hand, After all, traveling alone takes you away from the stressful environment you may be used to. You don’t have to meditate to be mindful. Waiting for your bus, or even riding a train to your next destination can help cultivate mindfulness.
Why Female Solo Travelers Need Mindfulness?
I know the thought of traveling alone as a woman can be intimidating for many. This could easily be one of the reasons why some women who want to embark on a solo trip would rather not. Understand that you’re not alone. Below are some of the scenarios or common worries you might be able to relate to as a female solo traveler:
- Homesickness – If you haven’t ever traveled far from home or you haven’t traveled in many years, it’s easy to feel homesick. And that’s not a bad thing to long for the presence and warmth of loved ones. However, if you dwell too much in that state of sadness you will be more drawn to that feeling. Mindfulness helps bring you back to the present – where your energy should be focused on.
- Safety – This is probably one of the biggest concerns among female solo travelers. Getting pickpocketed or scammed are popular horror stories that tourists always hear. The key is to be fully aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re in big cities like Paris or London.
- Budget – Budget is also one of the most common concerns of travelers in general. After all, it would be hard to go broke when you’re in a different country. But if you’re fully aware of your expenses and where they should go, then you’ll be fine.
- Accommodation – Where should I stay? What happens if I get lost? Will I be able to find suitable accommodation? Will I be comfortable? These may be some of the questions replaying in your head before a trip. This will relate to the next common concern.
- Things not going according to plan – It can be frustrating, indeed, to not have something going the way it should. But the thing is, mindfulness is about letting go of things you can’t control and letting things happen. When traveling, open yourself up to possibilities and opportunities that are out of your comfort zone. This makes the experience even more worthwhile.
6 Ways To Use Mindfulness As A Solo Female Traveler
The many worries and concerns over traveling solo can have an impact on your decision to go for that much-needed trip. That doesn’t have to be the case if you cultivate mindfulness. Below are some ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your life as a solo female traveler.
1. Reduce stress and anxiety
Admittedly, planning a trip can be stressful. You have to be sure you have everything in place. You tend to think about your budget, worry about where you’ll be staying, what happens if you’ll get lost, or if things don’t go according to plan.
These worries could develop into anxiety. But when you’re mindful, you can distinguish whether your worries are useless or if it’s a problem worth solving.
By being fully present, you are aware that you are starting to worry and that it’s time for you to step back and focus more on the positive rather than imagine the negative outcomes. And of course, you’ll be less reactive to stressful situations, which makes you devote your time to things you can control rather than overthink about something you don’t have control of.
This is where meditation can help – and the best thing is that you can do it anywhere. You can mindfully meditate on the bus, in a park, or even in your hotel room, to bring yourself back to the moment.
2. Improve self-awareness
Mindfulness can be a tool to develop self-knowledge or self-awareness and self-reliance, allowing you to have a purpose behind whatever it is that you do. If you are more self-aware, you are doing yourself a favor by not letting negative thoughts and sensations hold you back.
3. Be more adaptable and less fearful of the unknown
Since you are not letting limiting beliefs hold you back, you become more confident and self-reliant. In turn, you can easily adapt and learn to face your fears of the unknown – which are mostly negative thoughts you’ve nurtured in your head. Mindfulness will help you make the most of your trip and not be fearful when exploring a new culture in popular female solo travel destinations like Beijing where the language barrier might be difficult to overcome.
Don’t expect that this fear and doubts will go away overnight. If you’ve been fearful your whole life, it may take some time and practice to retrain your mind to think differently. The more you practice mindfulness, though, the more you will get better at it.
4. Overall improved work performance
Mindfulness can also be used as a stress-management technique. By dealing with your stress, you can function better. This becomes extremely helpful for digital nomads who may need to find the right environment to carry out their work.
You can be relaxed when you take a break, practice mindfulness and meditate, which will then give you cognitive benefits such as better perception, increased clarity, and increased focus and attention to detail – all of which can help in work performance.
5. Have a healthy mind and body
Maintaining good health is important when you travel, so engage in mindful physical activities such as yoga which you can practice in many destinations around the world.
Another way you can use mindful living for a healthy life is by paying attention to your body and what you eat. After all, what you do to your body can have a negative or positive impact on your mental health.
6. Be happier during your travels
While all travel experiences are not perfect, you can still go on a trip happily and have mostly pleasant experiences. You can achieve this if you are truly aligned with yourself and you know your purpose. Let mindful travel be an opportunity to discover more of your potential.
To travel solo would be a remarkable opportunity one shouldn’t pass up on. Understandably, it’s easy to let fears hold you back on your dreams to explore the world. But if you know your purpose, you travel with more intent, you can turn the dream into a reality and have the most amazing experience of your life. Don’t let mindlessness sabotage a wonderful trip. Travel mindfully.
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