3 Reasons Why a Meditation Practice Will Improve Your Road Trip

I recently rolled over 10,000 cumulative minutes of meditation. That took about 4 years, so getting to 10,000 hours may be a bit of a challenge. About 6 months into my meditation practice, I took a motorcycle trip around Europe. I covered about 8,000 miles and visited 22 countries in 90 days. Having a meditation practice during that trip turned out to be enormously helpful.

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February 3, 2021

I recently rolled over 10,000 cumulative minutes of meditation.  That took about 4 years, so getting to 10,000 hours may be a bit of a challenge.

About 6 months into my meditation practice, I took a motorcycle trip around Europe.  I covered about 8,000 miles and visited 22 countries in 90 days.

Having a meditation practice during that trip turned out to be enormously helpful.  I used Headspace, but a number of good tools are available.

If you're planning a visit to the United States, I would encourage you to look into one of these tools.  Here are my top three reasons why a meditation practice will improve your road trip.

Staying Present for Safety

Made it all the way back to the UK with no big spills by staying present

Mindfulness meditation exercises, like Headspace, get you in the habit of returning your attention to a tangible, constant sensation (usually breathing) when you realize your mind has been chasing thoughts.

When I rode around Europe, I realized that chasing thoughts while on a motorcycle was a health hazard.  Being distracted while on unfamiliar roads is dangerous, especially on two wheels.

Bringing your attention back to a tangible, constant sensation (in my case, it was the ever-changing scenery and the sensation of the bike's engine) is one of the best ways to stay safe while driving in a foreign country.

Being Open to the People You'll Meet Along the Way

Met a Royal Air Force Red Arrows pilot and his girlfriend in Croatia

The people you encounter and the relationships you make along the way are some of the best parts of travel.

But having a pre-set idea of what a person is like because of where they live can snuff out a relationship before it even begins.

Meditation teaches practitioners to experience the world with a beginner's mind, looking at a thing as if it's the first time you've ever seen one of its kind.

Chatting with Americans as if you've never chatted with one before will help you uncover the enormous diversity of thought and experience that we have in this country.

When you loosen your grip on the idea "I know what Americans are like," the people you will meet and the relationships you will make will be widened and enriched.

Your Road Trip Will Not Match Your Expectations

Having a gray day for Stelvio Pass was a bit of a disappointment…

Anticipating something and not getting it is a common source of unhappiness.  That's because there's a gap between our expectations and the outcome.

There will certainly be a gap between your expectations for your road trip and the outcome.

The question is, if a stretch of a road trip isn't as good as you had hoped, what will you do about it?  If left festering, dwelling on this gap can easily boil over into "This place is horrible" or "I shouldn't have come."

Having a well-developed meditation practice will help you spot that festering earlier and earlier - before it gains momentum - and return your attention to what's going on in front of you, right now.

So if you're planning any sort of travel, I would encourage you to start a meditation practice.  You can download Headspace, or a number of other good tools, and start for free today.

And if you're planning an American road trip, and would like to ditch the rentals and buy your own car, get in touch with visitor.us today.

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