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Wednesday Wisdom: How To Adopt the Tourist Mindset

Let’s go on a little mental vacation for a second.

Close your eyes, and imagine yourself on an airplane en route to the exotic destination of your dreams. That plastic-y, gasoline smell of the plane fills your nose as you sit with a jitteriness in your stomach, excited for an escape from reality. You sip on a tart mimosa and munch on some airplane pretzels in great anticipation. You look out the window when the plane begins its descent, and it’s like you’re overlooking a completely different planet. The winding roads, the colorful buildings, the possibilities… you could just jump out then and there! After the rickety landing, you grab your bags, check into the hotel and hit the beach. With a sigh of relief, you sink your toes into the sun-heated sand and gaze out into the endless ocean. You feel great — without a care in the world. At night, you go into the city with your closest friends. There are beautiful strangers chattering in every direction, and you almost feel disoriented at the sense of newness and excitement.

…And now we’re back to real life. But hey, don’t be disappointed. There’s actually nothing stopping you from maintaining those feelings of bliss, freedom and spontaneity you felt on your temporary vacation — you could feel them every day of your life if you wanted to. It’s all about adopting a special kind of mindset. The tourist mindset.

When we’re on vacation, we live our lives to the fullest. We try to do as much as possible before we have to go back home. We talk to the cute guy we would never have had the guts to approach; we go zip lining; we try weird street foods on sticks, and we notice everything. We do this because of an acute awareness that our time in that new place is limited. Well, I hate to break it to you — our time is limited no matter what! Time ticks by on vacation at the same rate it does when you’re back home. That’s why there’s no better time than now to start living like a tourist. (Well, tourists can be pretty tacky, so let’s go with explorer.)

Here are some ways to add a little more vacation into your everyday life:

1. Take risks.

Girl, it’s time to start adding some risks to your daily routine. Life is just too short to not do the things that you know you want to do. Talk to that boy in class you’ve been eyeing. (Just ask him if he did this week’s homework, works every time.) Wear that new dress around campus and feel like a boss (because that’s what you are). Go to that party you got invited to even if you hardly know any of the people going — you never know who you could meet.

2. Be playful.

Life does not have to be this treacherous, awful voyage headed straight down the gutter. Life is awesome! Let’s have fun while we can. Break out your inner child, the part of you who is light and silly, and let her be your guide. Laugh more, dance more, crack jokes, sing everywhere and anywhere (and not just in the shower).

3. Let your curiosity lead you.

Follow the pull of whatever is alluring and interesting to you, no matter how random it may seem. That glow-in-the-dark Zumba class? Do it. That free once-a-week pottery class? Take it. That favorite spot on campus you never visit enough? Leave for class a bit early to spend some extra time there. And spend a little too much money on that $13 eggs benedict at brunch. It’s worth it. Just saying yes to doing these few, simple things could literally make your day.

When you start making changes to adopt an explorer mindset, you’ll notice amusing, unexpected and worthwhile things happening to you! You’ll start to attract more positive things into your life, and people will be drawn to you because of your zest for life. You’ll become someone that people want to be around. You’ll also begin to see mundane things that you previously overlooked in a new light, and you’ll get in the habit of taking more risks and seizing opportunities.

So, live each day with a sense of wonder and enchantment. Because when you’re off to bigger things out in the real world, the little things back here are going to be what you miss most.

So let’s explore.

Photo credits: stylecaster.com

 

Tori Rubloff is a National Feature Writer and News Blogger. She is a senior at the University of Florida, and will be pursuing a Master’s in Mass Communication next fall. Her dream is to work in the journalism and writing fields to make positive social change and spread big ideas. She enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, journaling and jamming out to old school R&B.
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