Today’s post is going to take a different approach than many of my previous posts.
We’re not going to talk about how to save money on travel.
There is absolutely no mention of points, miles, or credit cards (other than in this sentence).
And yet this might be the best advice I share with you this year.
I promised to help you find freedom in 2015 by expanding my focus beyond the world of saving money on travel. Today is another step to making good on that promise.
Remember that traveling is never in and of itself the goal. Traveling is only the means to accomplish other goals like escaping the grind of day-to-day life, learning self-reliance, and finally being able to unplug and relax.
Which is why today I want to talk to you about how you can get more out of traveling (and life) by doing less.
You see, we as human beings have a tendency to overdo things.
When we go online we feel the need to consume information until we burn out. We go from Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram, to Reddit, then back through the cycle again. Trying to digest as much information as possible to feel “caught up” with what is going on in the world.
When we go to a restaurant we often find that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. We end up ordering way too much food, eating more of it than we should, and never pausing to actually enjoy our meal.
When we watch TV or Netflix we can’t watch just one show. Instead, we mindlessly binge-watch until our brains are fried or we fall asleep. Only to wake up and do it again the next day.
Put simply, we take the joy out of otherwise enjoyable activities by trying to do too much of them.
Traveling is no different.
Many people take most or all of the joy out of traveling by trying to do too much with too little time.
They fall victim to their desire to “maximize their vacation time” and “get the most out of their money”. Both of which are complete fallacies that have entirely the opposite effects.
I myself struggle with this issue, and occasionally find myself falling back in to old habits.
So how do we overcome this obstacle?
By making a conscious effort to do less.
When planning a trip, don’t over plan your itinerary just to check destinations off your list. Cut out 30% of your stops and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the places that you really want to visit.
While on vacation don’t fill every hour of the day and night with activities. Rather, see a few things and take the time to thoroughly enjoy them. Be present and try to savor each moment.
Leave time to relax, be spontaneous, or just do nothing if you like. I promise it won’t kill you.
Return home knowing that there will be more to see on your next visit. After all, you can always go back.
Make a conscious effort to do less on your next trip. I promise it’ll help you enjoy it even more.