To even the most seasoned traveler travel has a way of upending daily routines and can disrupt a sense of being settled. Surroundings, noises and smells all change. So, how do you find peace and centering in this situation?
I recommend looking, listening, breathing and eating all you can in this new space/place and savoring each and every moment possible.
OBSERVE: Notice your surroundings. Really look. Notice the trees and how they may differ from those in and around your hometown. Observe the colors, the texture of the leaves and the bark. Go outside for a sunrise or sunset. Stop by a park and observe the locals playing with their families, exercising, eating. Observe the architecture and how the city or town incorporates nature (mountains, waterways, flower boxes, etc.)
HEAR: What sounds do you hear? What language or slang is being used? Are the voices happy, hurried? Is there laughter? How does the sound of traffic move? Can you hear nature here? A breeze? The bell of a harbor lapping on harbor docks? Birds chirping?
BREATH: Just inhale and exhale. Sit simply, comfortably. Eyes open or closed. Breath. Slowly and deliberately. What do you notice? Is your breath the same here as it is when you are home?
TASTE: Embrace what is different about this place. Try a new dish or drink. Savor the flavors by swirling, swishing and slowly chewing. Enjoy the combination of spices, textures without comparison to anything else you have tried. Enjoy this moment and combination of tastes (and smells).
Taking a moment to slow down and observe a new place in these ways will make it feel a little more familiar and those feelings of being out of sorts will, likely, subside. Who knows, maybe the next time you visit there will be something familiar to look forward to.
BONUS: While in a place of comfort in this location, take a journal or postcard and write about what you are feeling and how you are experiencing the place. Review these comments on your own or with the person with whom you shared the thought by postcard. A sweet memory can make the new place feel a little more like home the next time you are in town and passing through.
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