Here’s a unique twist on something you already know…
Travel is exciting.
It’s so easy to get swept up in the frenzy of novelty and want to see EVERYTHING.
But what if I told you… That you can enjoy yourself MORE by doing LESS.
I know, I know. That sounds so counter-intuitive. We’re programmed to believe that more means better. But this isn’t the case. In fact, the opposite is true.
First, let’s discuss the practical philosophy of Essentialism.
Essentialism And Travel
Essentialism is focusing on what is essential for you and letting go of the unnecessary.
Everyone already applies this to the stuff they bring while traveling. You obviously can’t take everything you have, so you have to decide what is truly essential for your trip.
And anyone who has traveled long-term has felt the freedom that comes from realizing that you don’t need so much stuff. It’s all about the experiences.
But guess what? Essentialism applies to experiences as well…
Essentialism And Experiences
When traveling, you probably won’t have a lot of stuff, but you might be trying to horde experiences.
I’ve done this so many times; trying to pack everything into a day, seeing everything, waking up early, staying out late.
The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real!
The irony of this is that a vacation becomes a different version of your normal life; a busy, jam-packed schedule, filled with deadlines and stress.
We’ve all seen the extremes of it. Families moving through tourist sites like anxious robots because they have to stay on their schedule.
Where’s the enjoyment? Where’s the peace? Where’s the leisure? What happened to being in the moment?
Can you really enjoy the moment when you’re just rushing from one thing to the next?
What if, instead of trying to do everything, you just picked a select few things?
That’s exactly what I started doing.
Focus On Your Big Win
It’s about the quality of experiences, not necessarily the quantity.
I would honestly rather go to one awesome place, FULLY experience it and not care about time, then have to rush through the day to see as much as possible.
So here are the magic questions…
What’s the one thing you really want to see today?
What’s the one thing you really want to see on your trip?
That is your anchor point. That’s your sun that the rest of your trip revolves around.
And as long as you do/see that, everything else is bonus. You can flow into whatever other things catch your interest. It allows you be present, not stuck to a rigid schedule. And not stressing trying to fit everything into every day.
There’s a huge difference between rushing through things and pausing to truly appreciate something. It’s really profound. Yet most people never experience it because the clock has become their new boss.
Yes, This Works
I’ve traveled more in the last 6 years than most people have in a lifetime.
I don’t say that to brag. It has allowed me to develop some practical philosophies around travel. And this essentialist mentality makes travel so enjoyable.
When I first started traveling, I would try to do everything; all of the tourist stuff and everyone’s recommendations. Each day became a rushed schedule of activities, where I wouldn’t fully enjoy any of it. I would just take a picture and move on, like most people do.
I quickly discovered that this wasn’t working. So I started picking one or two things that I deemed essential in each place. I would see/do those, without the pressure of having to be somewhere next. In doing this, I started fully experiencing everything.
If you’ve never done this, it’s hard to imagine. But there’s a world of difference between just snapping a selfie and pausing to deeply EXPERIENCE a place.
So here’s the core message of this article: Focus on your big win. And beyond that, allow yourself to flow wherever the moment takes you.
If you want to experience true leisure, try practicing this.
You’ll find out what I mean; that less really can be more.
For more about Essentialism, check out my new book Essentialism and the Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
– Stevie P!