5 Free Things You Can’t Buy That You Should Never Travel Without

I came across the article, “What should you never travel without?” It’s a great article with helpful practical advice, and it made me think about the things I wouldn’t travel without. I realized that the most important things I travel with can’t be bought. Here’s what they are:

5 Things I Wouldn’t Travel Without

5 Things You Can't Buy That You Should Never Travel Without

1. An Open Mind

nepal prayer flags

Traveling makes you realize something pretty quickly. Other countries do things differently than the way you do them at home. I realized if I wanted things to be the same way they were at home, then I should have just stayed there. I realized that the sooner I developed an open mind to things that were different and just went with the flow, the more fun I would have. The main reason I like to travel is to expand my world and my mind. The open mind that travel has given me has helped me to become a more flexible person and added to my experiences of life.

2. A Sense Of Adventure And A Willingness To Try New Things


My motto in life has always been, “I want to try everything-TWICE!” If you aren’t willing to get out of your comfort zone and try new activities and foods that you aren’t used to, then you will miss the best part of travel. My sense of adventure has helped me overcome fears, added new beauty to my life, and caused me to discover new things about myself that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been willing to get outside my comfort zone.

3. Mindfulness

coconut at the sanctuary resort, thailand

Learning to travel mindfully has added to my experience of travel like nothing else has. I try to absorb each moment of travel while I am in it, rather than letting it slip away. I use all of my senses and an awareness of presence to notice the subtle things about a place. I smell the smell of jasmine and pandanus that fills the taxi cabs in Thailand. I feel the hot cinnamon-rose breeze in Morocco against my skin. I notice the sensation of joy that I feel when I step into the clear waters of the Gili Islands ocean. I let myself get lost and try to stop using my mind and let my whole being explore the new place that I am in. I walk the streets, I look people in the eyes, I let myself wander. I become the observer. I write down the things I discover about not only the new place, but also about myself.

4. Flexibility


Oh, the thing that travel has taught me the most if flexibility. Especially, traveling in Asia. I used to get frustrated when my plans fell apart. Now, I look at it as all part of the adventure. Plus, I have learned to quickly come up with Plan B’s and Plan C’s to fall back on. And, often Plan B turned out to be more fun anyway. I’ve learned to give up trying to be in control (which is an illusion, anyway.) I’ve learned to go with the flow and to be more calm and balanced when unexpected things arise.

5. A Desire To Connect With The People Who Live In The Place Not Just See The Sites


My best travel moments have been when I shared meals with the locals, had long conversations with them that changed my ideas of life, spent time giving toys at Christmas to the kids in Cuba, and volunteered at the orphanage in Sri Lanka. I have come to realize, all of this travel has really been a desire to connect more deeply with life. And, what better way is there to do that than by connecting with people? It is our presence in each other’s lives that have the ability to bring more love into each other’s lives. And, isn’t that what we are really all looking for in the end?

You see, I have come to realize the true Paradise isn’t the prettiest beach, or the most magnificent stretch of sand, or even the most delicious looking plate of food. It’s each other. And, if we forget to see each other, if we don’t make a difference in each other’s lives, then what is this all for?

May you connect deeply with the people you love today. May you connect deeply with someone new. That’s something you can do. And, that’s something you don’t even need to buy a plane ticket for.