responsible travel


9 ways to be more present in your travels

Published May 9th, 2019

As travellers, we roam the globe avidly seeking to be wowed by new places. New experiences. New sights. New smells. And all the magical little details that make a place truly one-of-a-kind.

But sometimes, it’s all too easy to be distracted and miss the whole point of travelling in the first place. The essence of a destination lost, as those magical little moments pass you by.

So here are 9 ways to stay in the moment while you travel, to keep the magic, joy and inspiration alive wherever you roam.

Put the camera down

Yes really. Put. It. Down. When you view the world through the lens of your smartphone or camera you’re missing out. Because instead of taking in the insane beauty, the incredible history or fun adventure of what surrounds you, you’re too busy switching angles, re-snapping 10 times and applying filters. Then writing a caption, tagging, hashtagging, and posting. AND constantly checking for new likes and comments. It’s distraction overload.

So focus on feeling the moment. Being there. Taking it in. Not snapping the perfect Insta picture. (And no picture ever does a beautiful sunset justice anyway.)

Have a realistic itinerary

So much to see, so little time. But as tempting as it is to do it ALL, try not to overcram your holiday. There’s nothing worse than rushing between tourist attractions, countries and cities only to get home feeling exhausted - then, looking back to realise you barely stopped to enjoy it. Why travel if you don’t even soak up the unforgettable moments? Or feel the feels?

Our top tip? When planning your itinerary, prioritise which spots on the map matter most. Then, consciously add in some time to just chill, see what pops up and who you meet as you go. Because it’s always the random adventures that you wind up loving the most. Amiright?
Eat mindfully

You’ll never taste better pad thai than hot off the wok, in the streets of Thailand. A better slice of pizza than the kind that costs US$1 in New York City. Or a sweeter cocktail than the happy hour drinks by the beach on the Greek Islands. Eat mindfully to savour every flavour. Mouthful by mouthful. And you’ll see…it tastes 10 times better.

Seek out nature

There’s nothing like a walk through a lush forest, by the beach or even just through a city park to chill out, find peace and calm and hone in on your thoughts. Or just not think at all. Especially handy when jet lagged or hungover. You’ll feel grounded in no time.

Actually listen to your surrounds

Take the headphones out and just listen. Tune in to the new and different sounds around you. It might be birds tweeting, local music, foreign languages, waves crashing, a call to prayer ringing through the air or, yes, it could be hectic AF traffic too. But it’s all part of the experience. Cut that out, and you’re missing half of what’s going on around you. Can’t ditch Spotify? Save the tunes for the long bus, train and plane rides.

Try technology-free days

For the ultimate test, try leaving all technology at the hostel some days (or for a few hours at least) and just go explore. Completely unconnected. At first it’ll feel weird as - like you’re naked. But with a little practice, you’ll come to feel the freedom and openness of having no strings attached. 

Be spontaneous

Ask questions. Talk to the locals. And give in to the curiosity to dig deeper and find out more, wherever you go. What’s around that corner? On that mountain? Down that alleyway? Go and find out.

Try meditation or yoga

Yogi or not, a few stretches never go astray - whether it’s a dedicated practice of pure flow energy or some clunky limb extensions between flights. It’s a great way to relax and focus. Meditation is also easy to do anywhere. In transit, on the beach, in your hostel bed at night, or in a cafe. Too hard? Follow us. Breath in...and out. In....and out. In…and out. Over and over again.

Remember to focus inwards

It’s a holiday, not a race. That means do what you want, when you want, and listen to what your body is telling you. Your inner voice already knows exactly what you need. Feel like an early morning dip in the Mediterranean? Do it. Need a nap after a long day of wandering? Don’t feel guilty for it. Want to stay an extra day? Fabulous idea. And what about two (make that three!) scoops of ice cream instead of one? You’re on holidays, duh! The point of a holiday is to unwind from all the schedules, structures and expectations of real life back home.


Tijana Jaksic

After some hardcore scrimping and saving, Tijana’s first backpacking trip confirmed she was onto something good. She hasn’t stopped since. Fave memories to date include dancing with locals in the streets of Havana, bartering for too many scarves in the markets of India, getting lost in the bustle of Hong Kong, sipping cocktails in the Greek Islands and jumping off waterfalls in Croatia. Now she gets to write about travel for a living – the best way to satiate the wanderlust between adventures.