When travelling (or in life, generally), it is very easy to get caught up in thoughts about your destination. Rather than focus on your journey, you tend to be preoccupied with your ideas and expectations about the place you are heading to, what you are going to do when you get there and the duration of your visit. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. However, if you plan on travelling a lot or spending long hours on the road, you might want to learn how to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
WHY SHOULD YOU ENJOY YOUR JOURNEYS?
Most people are a lot more focused on where they are going than the actual act of getting there. This mindset is not exactly wrong, as it has its own positive effects such as; keeping you motivated and helping you remain focused on your goal (when your mind is on your destination, you are less likely to take detours or lose sight of where you are going and the reason why you’re making the journey in the first place). However, the downside is that you may not be able to enjoy your journey as much as you possibly should.
There are many reasons why you should enjoy the process of traveling or journeying, and they include the following:
- Enjoying the journey allows you to live in the present
Today is one of the greatest gifts life has to offer (which is why many people say that the present is a gift). Unfortunately, not many people recognize the present for what it is. Most people are either stuck in the past or too focused on the future. This mindset, however, may be detrimental in the long run because it doesn’t allow people to appreciate what they have, and the experiences they are currently passing through. It may also blind them to many opportunities that they can take advantage of, by virtue of living in the moment.
In the instance of an actual physical journey, you should try to focus on the scenery around you and interact with the people around you, so that you can appreciate new places and make new friends.
- Enjoying the journey allows you to be happy
The process of achieving happiness in life may be exactly that at times – a process. Sometimes, we become so focused on the goals we have set that we forget that we also have a responsibility of being happy in the present.
You only live once (as the popular slogan – YOLO – says). However, many people don’t get to actually live. Instead, a lot of existences can simply be summed up as the culmination of a handful of celebrated destinations and much endured journeys.
Rather than simply enduring the process of achieving your goals, you should learn to live in the moment, take advantage of the present and open your eyes to the joy you can find around you today (even as you work towards a better tomorrow). That is one way you can truly become happy.
Usually, the process of trying to achieve a goal, or the act of travelling or journeying to a place, makes up a large percentage of life. Even when you achieve that goal or reach that place, you will most likely need to set another goal (because life does not remain stagnant for too long, and things change). However, the actual act of reaching that goal – no matter how important or impactful it is – tends to make up a relatively small percentage of time. A lot of goal-driven people are always prepared to forget their days of toil, since their general idea is that the achievement of their goal would more than make up for their invested time. However, some of them may eventually feel like they wasted their youth in unhappiness – not because of the toil they had to put in – but because they weren’t happy during those periods.
HOW DO YOU ENJOY THE JOURNEY AS MUCH AS THE DESTINATION?
There are a number of ways you can enjoy the journey as much you possibly can (or as much as the destination). They include the following:
- Be mindful
It takes a certain state of mind to be preoccupied with anything other than what is currently going on in your immediate surroundings. In instances such as this (i.e. when you’re not in the present), you are either too busy thinking about the past or the future (or about events that are happening elsewhere). However, when you pay more attention to the moment, and what’s going on around you, you’re much more likely to find something to enjoy about it (except, of course, in extremely unpleasant situations).
Mindfulness allows you to truly take note of the chances presented to you per time, and you’re by practicing it, you’ll have a higher likelihood of taking advantage of these opportunities as they come to you.
In the process of actual, physical travelling, mindfulness gives you the opportunity to learn new things about your mode of transportation and the people you are journeying with. It also gives you the opportunity to enjoy yourself as much as you can before you arrive at your destination.
- Go with friends
Some journeys are much more enjoyable when you go with your friends. Good friends have a way of making some moments more special with their presence. This is why some people plan their vacations with their friends.
If you have no choice but to travel alone, try to interact with your fellow travelers.
Now, you don’t have to be too friendly with the people you’re traveling with (especially if they’re strangers). As a matter of fact, the rules of safety indicate that you interact with your neighbors ad little as possible, particular in public transportation (stranger danger and all that). However, a kind word here and there is allowed, and so is politeness. Anything from a simple smile to casual conversation (with the right person) can go a long way to increasing the quality of your journey.
Even in life, the act of living is usually much more enjoyable when you’re in the right company.
- Try to have fun
Sometimes, you have to make some attempt to have fun before it actually begins to happen. The process of enjoying a journey may also require the investment of some personal effort.