You look around you in wonder. You feel like a child again – everything is unfamiliar and new and so full of life. Enchanting smells waft over from the nearby bakery that ignite a familiar sensation, like something you had forgotten you had lost. You hear the chatter of a language that you don’t quite understand, but something about it enthralls you anyway. You feel connected through the familiar smiles of strangers and their laughter. It’s a world unseen, a world you had only heard of.
Much of the wonder that you feel when traveling can be largely attributed to the open-minded lens that you put on when you go to a new place to explore. You’re expecting things to be different – strange, even – so you’re much more okay when they really are. In fact, you learn to enjoy it.
Hooplah! You’ve caught the travel bug, and you can’t get enough of the unfamiliar. Unfortunately, you have to return to your 9 to 5 on Monday. Even if you love what you do, some days are just difficult when you’ve got the itch to see places.
Fortunately, traveling is a mindset that you can apply to your everyday life. Even when you’re just spending the weekend at home. It probably won’t beat that trip you took to Japan last Winter, but it can definitely make a boring weekend seem new and exciting.
The first step is to consciously erase the assumptions you have built around the familiar. You know how we all go through our day-to-day lives on our own schedules, minding our own business, going from the bank to the library to work to home to cooking dinner? You see these places solely for their purpose in your life instead of something you might appreciate aesthetically. It’s simply more practical. But if you want to add a little more wonder and spice into your life, look around and discover the places just a short drive away that you never had a second thought about visiting. Maybe take a second look at that store you’ve lived next to for 10 years but never walked in. Go to the local places and put on the lens of a traveler. Open your mind and be willing to meet someone you had never given a second thought to talking to. Be curious.
You know the wild happiness and unbridled curiosity that most kids have? Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get some of that back? Travel a little bit to get a sense of the traveler’s mindset, then try and apply it to some places that are more local to you. I guarantee you’ll experience something new!