Hope everyone is having a great start to their 2015! We’re back in North Carolina after our NYC escapade, enjoying the slightly less cold weather and spending as much time as we can with family and friends. We still have so many stories to share about our recent travels – as well as reveal where it is we’re headed next in just two weeks! But in the meantime, we hope you enjoy this guest post from Damien Dante. He’s got four great tips he’s sharing today on how to get the most out of quick trips abroad!
Do you want something more?
Something more than just an all-inclusive hotel with free drinks and an all-you-can-eat buffet?
Most of us do. We want to feel the connection with the place we travel to. Feel the differences of it.
Feel like we’ve experienced something important.
But there’s never enough time for that, right?
Believe me, it’s not your fault if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your trips.
I was lost for a long time. I thought that becoming one with a place was about the amount of hours I was gonna walk around or about how many national galleries I was gonna visit.
It’s not, I learned with time.
Here are my 4 quick ways to feel like you’ve maxed out the experience.
1. What’s your definition of success?
When it comes to most areas of our lives, we have a definition of what it means “to succeed”. You know what you want to achieve in your work life, right?
You have a measurement when you’re happy with your physical looks. You have a scale for success in your finances, your relationships.
Did you create one for your travels?
Do you know how hard it is to feel satisfied if you don’t have a measurement of what “satisfied” means?
Create your definition of success for your next trip. Meet that expectation. It’s as simple as that.
2. It’s all about the money…
One of my favorite ideas about success in work and life is, “You’re good if you do something for the money that you would do even if they didn’t pay you”.
Life is about processes.
Do you remember the moment when you read a really fascinating book and you forget about anything else in life?
Or when you’re in the cinema and there’s nothing else but the movie?
There’s no YOU, no EGO, only the process of being so deep into something the whole world stops.
Find these processes, discover what pulls you in the most, and start doing as much of it as possible every day.
3. The way to experience life ‘the local way’
Most people say that you should try to interact with the local people. See how differently they live and experience their way of existence.
That might mean sharing a coffee, couch surfing, or simply stopping by and having a conversation with a stranger.
I’ve tried all of these. They’re pretty nice. But I’ve found something that’s even more fun.
Instead of trying to experience life by asking questions and interacting, SPY instead.
Yes, you read it correctly. I want you to spy on people.
Do this… Sit down in the nearest coffee shop. Find a target, somebody that looks interesting, and then try to find out as much as possible about that person without actually interacting with him/her.
That usually means following and spying. It’s fun and great way to feel the tempo and style of people around.
I spy on people at least once in every country.
Try it out for yourself. You’ll discover a whole different side of the city you’re in.
4. How to ruin your travels…
You know one thing that constantly destroys even the best trip idea?
Being an adult.
The opposite of that is being a child.
Adults JUDGE. Children don’t. Children are curious.
As soon as you take a perspective of an adult, you lose the ability to be wowed and amazed because everything has to fit into a category. Everything has to have a label.
That’s simply how we operate.
My suggestion is this: Don’t judge, be CURIOUS instead. That’s when you experience magic around.
Ask quality questions.
“What else could this mean?” is a great one to test on anything that you look at. “Why?” is another one worth asking a couple times a day.
And then answer your questions. They’re like mysteries waiting for you to discover answers to them.
The world around you holds many of these mysteries. But if you label them, you cut yourself away from the chance of adventure.
Time is not your problem
We all want to experience similar emotions in life. We all want to feel, in the end, we’ve succeeded and had life beyond our wildest dreams.
For many of use that success has a different label. There’s no one definition that fits all.
One thing I’ve been learning lately is that a journey is not about time. Time is not the most precious resource we have in our lives.
There’s one missing ingredient to seizing the moment. It’s called ATTENTION.
Time without attention is just something that flows by.
But if we put our full attention into the moment, the power of now, and we explore the world around us with the curiosity and smile of a child, we create happiness.
Inside, but mostly around us.
The world around us wants to be discovered and treated as something fresh and new. Without judgments.
And if we can make the world around us a happier place, it gives back that happiness.
And then we go to bed and fall asleep with a smile on our face.
Do you agree?
I hope you want that to happen as much as I do.