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Put down the phone.
Smartphones are one of the main things that take us away from fully enjoying an experience, conversation, or moment. With the world at your fingertips, it's so easy to get distracted with something more "interesting" and ignore the person you're with or environment you're in. Arrange a set amount of time for yourself where you can check your phone and post on social media. After this time, set your phone to silent and put it away so you're not tempted to constantly check back. Do not check your phone again until you have left the restaurant, park, or wherever you may have been. This will bring you a more meaningful visit with whoever you are with or a more memorable experience where you're not constantly on your phone.
Get out from behind (or in front of) the camera.
Like our smartphones, we are obsessed with capturing special moments and experiences on camera. It may seem great at the time to snap a shots of an awesome place, but when you think back, you may only remember taking photos the whole time. So, just like with your phone, set time aside to take some memorable photos for your social media or scrapbook and put your camera away when you're done. Map out where you want to snap your shots and only take out your camera out when you reach these spots. Experience life without feeling obligated to take a photo. Yes, you may miss some great potential pictures, but you will have those memories embedded in your mind forever without technology distracting you.
Take a moment to be aware.
After you've taken your time for photos & social media, take a moment to soak in where you are. Remind yourself that you are living in the now. Do not worry about the past, or what you might be doing tomorrow or in a few hours. Let your inner thoughts go and simply flow away. Say to yourself, "I am here now. In a few moments I may not be. I will fully enjoy this present experience."
Take a mental picture.
To help you feel more aware in the moment, try taking a mental picture of your surroundings. Actively take in everything about your location and who you are with. Make note of all of the colors, feelings, smells, and sensations. After you've done this, you can then add it to your collection of memories. Setting aside this time to capture the moment mentally will only enhance your experience. When you think back to that special moment, you'll remember the smallest details that you may have missed if you weren't actively engaged with your surroundings.
It's all up to us to make the most out of our experiences. You only live this life once and when you think back on your memories, you should be able to remember the most amazing places you've visited with great detail, not just through photos. So, I hope some of these tips help you in the process of becoming more self aware and present while traveling!
Have you noticed that you aren't fully present when you travel or in everyday life?
What are some things you do to bring you back into reality?
Let me know in the comments below!