There are two types of travelers in the world: those who want to relax, and those who want to immerse themselves in something foreign. Even if you want to be the latter, it can be difficult to fully disconnect from yourself, where you come from, your work, and even your social standing.
This is a shame, as traveling is never better than when you completely disconnect from these things to experience everything you encounter when fully at the moment. There is a feeling to this mindset that goes beyond joy, contentment, and wonder. It is a deeper fulfillment that you must concentrate on pursuing. If you want to travel fully disconnected from your life, here are five tips to help you remove yourself from all the worries, troubles, and obligations to be in the moment while you’re gone.
Turn Off the Wi-Fi
While you could go a step further and turn off your phone completely, you might need to turn it back on to access information about your journey. However, if you feel comfortable enough without your phone, challenging yourself can lead you to a sense of self-worth and actualization that goes beyond anything you can experience on vacation. You should do your best to travel without access to Wi-Fi.
This doesn’t mean that you have to always get lost and struggle without your phone, but there are plenty of ways to only use it at your hostel, bed, and breakfast, or hotel. For example, you can use a website capture function to keep vital information in an app without having the internet on all the time. You can also write down directions and vital information. Avoiding using the internet will clear your mind and change the way that you travel. You will be forced to talk to more people and experience new things.
Learn the Language
So many people around the world speak English, there’s often no reason to learn the language of the place you are going. Challenge yourself to learn the language of the country, ethnic group, or region and only speak that to the locals. They will speak back to you in English, but you can explain that you want to practice and learn their language.
When you make an effort to speak to the people in their own language, you will be more deeply immersed in their culture. You will gain a new perspective on where you are and what you are doing. It will be easier to pick things up about the people and how they live their lives. Learning the language will help you disconnect from your own culture and self to look beyond and see the bigger picture.
Use Less Money Than You Have
This might sound silly, but there is really something to be gained by using less money. Not only will you be forced to stay in hostels, take buses and trains, and eat at local restaurants, but you will also be living more as a local does. The odds are, the locals in the place you are going to don’t live like the average tourist do, either. They do not have money to stay in fancy hotels and to go to tourist restaurants.
When you are spending this kind of money, you won’t be truly experiencing the place anyway. Doesn’t that sound boring? Yes, planning is key, but when your budget to save and live as the locals do, you will have a much more authentic experience overall while there.
Traveling alone is completely different than traveling with companions. You will have a more contemplative experience. Since you will be lonely, you will try harder to make friends. You will be more self-reliant because no one is there to help you. There is a sense of freedom that you don’t get from traveling with others. It provides an awareness of your surroundings that you simply don’t get when you go somewhere with other people. Mindfulness results from traveling alone because you have to be mindful.
The longer you travel somewhere, the more disconnected from your life, technology, work, and social life you will feel. The journey will change you. There will be ups and downs. There will be good memories and bad ones. You will get to know people and immerse yourself in a new culture, place, and way of life. Don’t just take a week in a country, spend as much time as you can to do your best to understand and engage with something beyond yourself.
Travel is accessible these days. You have to try to do these things. But when you want a real experience of something new, using these five tips to disconnect will do wonders. You will return home a fully changed person — complete with new stories, friends, and knowledge about the world.