Living in the present moment is easy when each day is an adventure. Life on the road makes it easy to completely soak up and revel in the moments we experience.
I remember my time in Africa so vividly because I kept reminding myself, “Stay in this moment…remember this.” I remember the wind blowing through my hair and wanting to remember exactly how it felt. It wasn’t just wind to me, it was the wind of Africa, a place I had dreamed of for years, a place that seemed to hold all the secrets of the world and those of my soul.
Each day in Africa was an adventure. We’d wake up and there would be something new to see or do. Some days it was a safari in a national park, other days it was walking up a sand dune to watch the sunrise; no matter what it was, it was always special.
Being in the present is no doubt important. The great thinkers have always tried to remind us of how important it is to live in the present moment.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha
But, even while it’s so easy to do while traveling, whether it’s in Africa or anywhere else around the globe, it’s coming home that makes living this way more difficult. There’s laundry to do, bills to pay, jobs to work, mouths to feed, all while we look forward to our next adventure, or back on past ones. But, this is not living in the present.
I have found it much more difficult to live in the present when I have so much to look forward to, but even so, my goal for the year is to do just that. To not look forward to the future or back into the past, but instead to concentrate my mind on the present moment. I plan on staying in the moment, no matter where I am or what I am doing, and thinking about how those moments make me feel. I will look for the best in each of those moments, instead of wishing them away because of the excitement of my next getaway.
“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”
I have always looked at travel as an escape, but what am I escaping? I should be living a life that makes me happy each and every day. Being happy depends on living in the present moment, and I am vowing to find a way to do that, even if I cannot be traveling.
Throughout the past few months, I have realized that a nomadic life is not necessarily the one for me, even though it was one I thought I wanted. I want to be in the lives of my family and friends, while also traveling as often as I can, and I have started to realize that I need time at home, as much as I need life on the road. While I admire people who do it, I could never be one of those people who leaves home and doesn’t return for years, if ever.
Which is why it is so important for me to love each moment and the people I am with in that moment. Life is too short to live in the past or future; the present holds all the power.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
Henry David Thoreau
I think that even though living this way could be difficult, especially with the normal routines of life, the idea of enjoying each moment of life is the way I want to live. Travel has always inspired me to find the good in my daily life, even if it’s just the beauty of a sunset on my drive home from work. It’s a great reminder that even with the responsibilities at home, this world is still pretty amazing, whether we’re on one side of the globe or another.