I’m a souvenir slut. I really am. If I look around my room right now as I’m writing this, there’s shit I’ve acquired from so many places lying around everywhere. I’m looking at an Irish wishing candle, a silk scarf and incense from Kyoto, a saltstone lamp from Arizona, various shot glasses from the Caribbean….and the list goes on. It recently occurred to me what the reason is for my souvenir hoarding.

When I’m in traveling, and I know that my time in a beautiful new place is limited, I get panicky. I want the wonder of what I’m feeling & experiencing to last. That’s the part when I start buying up everything in sight. It’s my subconscious way of trying to bottle up the sense of place around me to bring back home. That, along with taking a bajillion pictures.

Usually, once I get home and start unloading my suitcase full of affliction, none of what I’ve acquired quite captures the magic I’d hoped. It’s always lovely to collect things from foreign lands, and have a selection of hallmarks to prove you were somewhere. But that feeling deep inside, that feeling of awe, you can’t pack that in any suitcase. Therefore, recently I’ve started trying to figure out other ways to capture the marvel you experience when you’re traveling, and I’ve discovered something that works for me.

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Meditation is becoming more and more popular as the world becomes more and more berserk and hectic. Meditation has a seemingly never ending list of benefits for both health and mental health. Here is my way to use it whilst traveling:

Find as quiet a spot as you can (understandably this can be hard in some places). Notice how the breeze feels against your skin. Listen closely to the sounds in the background. Pay close attention to what each of your 5 senses is feeling at this moment, and try to notice the sensations. Try to smile. Make sure you’re breathing deeply all the while.

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When you’re back home, again find a quiet spot (or your regular meditation spot). Recall the sensations your body was witnessing. What did the breeze feel like against your skin? What were you smelling? What were you hearing? Bathe yourself in the moment, and you’ll be transported back to that special place and time.

If you really want to immerse yourself in a full-on experience, buy some sort of oil or candle of a scent that is popular in the destination you were exploring. Or try to obtain some local music. The memory reacts best to sounds and smells.

Have you ever used meditation while traveling? Tell me about it in the comments below!