February 2008 – travel is great for mindfulness

motorcycle

In 2008 I took a 3-day weekend motorcycle trip by myself to Joshua Tree and the Salton Sea in California.  The picture above is not me, but it’s what I felt like the first night, driving in a light snow, having not realized that the high desert in winter is not great with a bike.

While going on my motorcycle weekend I had momentary glimpses of that great feeling I always have when starting on a long trip away from regular life — the same feeling I used to have when riding in the back of my parents’ car at night on a really long drive.

And I realized that what’s so great about that feeling is that it is pure mindfulness.

What I’m feeling is that it is totally pointless to plan anything for the future, because I’m just going to wait until I get there and all the other necessary planning is done — and it’s totally pointless to ruminate about my home life, because I’m leaving it behind me for at least a while — so the only thing there is left to think about is this precise moment.

It’s funny because I didn’t realize before how much being in the moment is associated with being carefree.  And really, purely happy.

The trick is to identify and remember that feeling, so as to bring it more into my regular life.