Spark Inspiration

Wandering

Iceland2There is nothing like travel to increase mindfulness, particularly international travel. What I love about traveling is that there are no routines. Since so many experiences are new, I cannot mindlessly go about my day. Even something as mundane as pumping gas or buying groceries brings with it something novel and interesting.

On our recent trip to Iceland, it only took us a few minutes of driving to get lost and have to stop and ask directions to our apartment (I’ll take the blame for that one. I got all turned around in terms of my mental map of the city). Reading a map and looking for street names in an unfamiliar language can be challenging at best. All of the road signs are different. The speed is listed in kilometers instead of miles. Lucky for us, Icelanders drive on the right side of the road.

Making purchases in a foreign currency is another experience that supports mindfulness. I was forced to make calculations and conversions that often felt like mental acrobatics. Admittedly, I did cheat a few times using a currency calculator. However, there was more than one time where I slowed down a checkout line by counting change. Of course, it would be easier just to use a credit card. Someone else makes the calculation for me. But I like to feel the money and practice something new.

After just a week in Iceland, I notice that things become easier. My mental map is firmly in place. I’ve seen sights and had experiences in Iceland that have changed me. I’ve learned things about the Icelandic culture and people, broadened my view of the world, and expanded my knowledge of myself. Now onto my next adventure…

“Not all those who wander are lost…” – J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954.

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