Use The Force, look, listen, taste on your travels

Use “the force” of all your senses.

Do you use all of your senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch when travelling in order to fully experience “the moment”?

I remember when I was first being taught meditation suddenly hearing a clock ticking across the other side of the room that I couldn’t previously hear, and the smell of grass being cut on the lawns outside even though the windows were closed. Removing the day to day clutter from my mind had cleared it to receive ALL the sensory signals arriving, and I know that we often miss out on similar inputs on our travels.

Mindful travel needs to operate in the same way, not meditative, but understanding that we can use all of our senses to fully experience our environment, enriched by more than just “looking” at something. Of course I’m not suggesting that you try and touch or smell a work of art in a gallery (!), but that you are aware of the added enjoyment from sitting in a city square, walking up a mountain slope, a village bar …… and using ALL of the sensory input available to you. Walk around a Buddhist temple and hear the chatter or bells, smell the incense or butter lamps, feel the carving on the prayer wheels, observe the light reflected from the gold rings above the stupa, take it all in. Heres a few examples:


The visual impact of clouds, sky, rock colours, mountain …


The crunch of pebbles or splash of the waves, the cry of the gulls …


The smell of incense or butter lamps …


The feel of letters as prayers carved into the prayer wheels …

Even simpler, when you visit somewhere new, immerse yourself in the culture of the place, especially the local food with the tastes and textures you may not have experienced before. Here are some examples of specialities from Rome, Burgundy, Alsace, Bruges, Madrid, Kathmandu; It beats the Brits Abroad culture of sticking to the Irish Bar and only eating fish n chips! Can you identify them or know anything about them culturally?



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How many did you get?

Categories: Travel

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6 replies

  1. Good advice. As I travel I keep telling myself to write down in my note book how I feel, which is basically just about the senses!

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  2. There’s nothing better than exploring new places and taking in the “newness” of everything. Really enjoy reaching a place that you could only reach with a bit of effort… like this photo on Black Tor in Dartmoor!

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  3. A great post. As a writer, it is important for me to experience all the senses when I travel to be able to write convincing descriptions later. I love trying the local food wherever we go. I had to laugh at your comment about the Brits. It is so true. On my first trip to Spain, we visited my British in-laws who had been living in Spain for a number of years. The first thing they did was take us out for fish and chips!!! Go figure.

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