Living in the Present Moment

The Okavango Delta (Photo Credit: Michael)

Living in the Present Moment

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.

The Okavango Delta (Photo Credit: Michael)

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.

Sunrise at Dune 45

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.”

Eckhart Tolle

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.

Spread the love

Comments (10)

  1. Anna @ The Blonde Banana

    It really is hard to live in the present, especially when constantly planning the next trip! I am with you on one thing though – I wouldn’t want a nomadic life either. It might be fun for a few months but I like having stuff, I like having my friends nearby, a gym that I always go to and being able to revisit my favorite restaurants over and over again.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Agreed, and there are so many amazing places to see! Glad I’m not the only one. I love travel, but I always love to come home, even if only for a little while, for the comforts of home. Then, I’m ready to get back out there. 🙂

  2. Anna

    I totally agree with you. It’s easy to live in the present when you are traveling and experiencing new and amazing things but much harder at home. I also resolve not to wishing my life away waiting for the next adventure – sometimes I even find myself doing it when I am away and working in Australia and I can’t wait to get back to exploring Asia how bad is that! But I agree that travel has opened my eyes to finding the beauty in the more mundane moments of life and appreciating them more too. Great post

  3. Lisa - Wee Wanders

    Well said, living in the moment is something that I am trying to work on too! Although I am really looking froward to travelling the world, I am also trying to appreciate the here and now – largely thanks to practicing meditation. I find it really helps me calm down and be mindful of what’s going on around me.

    I often thought that setting off to travel the world would be the answer to so many things but actually the answer is being more aware of what’s is happening in the present moment, how I feel about it, and seeking happiness regardless of where I am in the world 🙂

  4. Lance | Trips By Lance

    Just don’t wish your life away. My mom always told me that when I was a kid. I think it’s good advice. You don’t have to make the current moment of doing laundry, grocery shopping or paying the bills exciting. It is what it is. Not every moment can be fabulous. But do enjoy the moments you have. If you live in a cool city, enjoy the little things in that cool city with your friends more. We get out often in Memphis and love it.

  5. Ways to Live in the Present Moment. | The World Wanderer

    […] the other day’s post about living in the moment, I realized that many other people have the same problem that I do. When […]

  6. Traveling Ted

    Tom Petty from the song Even the Losers – “Life is such a drag, when you’re living in the past.” While it is nice to enjoy past memories, it is best not to be consumed by them.

  7. Leah

    You’re so right, it is difficult to live in the moment when home. It’s familiar. It’s not exotic. One thing I’ve tried to do is remember that exotic to one person is another person’s everyday life. For me, Texas is home, but I try to look at it as someone who’s never seen it before. It has a way of changing myperspective and makes me live in the moment a bit more.

  8. Brianna

    I spent most of my twenties discounting where I live and dreaming of far off places. In my thirties I’ve really started to discover my own backyard and really how amazing coastal Virginia is. While I love traveling and the research and anticipation leading up to a trip I’ve really focused on noticing and enjoying the little things around me wherever I am.

  9. lola

    oooo i LOVE this post! as much as i love to travel, i need down time to regroup. and, as much as i LOVE all the friends i make around the world, i also have amazing ones at home that miss me too. XO

Post a comment