Warning! This is a Tita article.

We all have been there—after a week of travelling, we come home tired, out of money, and remembering not much of where we went or what we did. Sure, there are hundreds of new photos on our phones or in our hard drives to remind us of this day or that moment. But were we really there? Were we present?

Memes say it best: the perfect moment is now. When we stand before an amazing sunset, are we thinking, “OMG, you can’t create this moment” or are we thinking, “Ano kaya ang outfit ko later sa dinner?”  When we step into a marvelous cathedral, do we pay our respects and quietly appreciate its beauty or do we barge into praying folks and let out a joke? 

Being aware of our actions is being mindful. This is especially important if we go to places that have a different set of practices, traditions and dialects. We must be mindful of the people around us (Remember, when in Rome, do as the Romans do?). We observe how they do things, and we adjust to them. We flow with their rhythm, and we dance to their music. Doing such will help us make our travel a more meaningful and satisfying experience.

So, how can we be the mindful traveller?

Mind the reason for travelling. Focus on that one thing. Is it snorkeling, hiking, shopping, yoga training, or simply getting away for some rest? There is no need to fill up the calendar with all sorts of activities. Instead, choose those that are related to the purpose of your trip. When settling the hotel bill, use GCash STP QR code—it’s fast and easy.

Mind how we pack and what we pack. Bring clothes that need not be ironed or can be worn many times such as denims. Go with sneakers, eco-friendly bags and toiletries. For things we forget to bring, we can get them in convenience stores with GCash STP barcode. No need to bring our wallets, just our phones, so transactions are safe and secure.

Mind our budget. Food and pasalubong can take up much of our allowance so it’s good to set aside money for it. But there is no need to bring cold cash that could get lost or stolen. Just use GCash and buy from any of its 50,000 partner merchants nationwide.

Mind our actions. Let’s learn a few phrases of the place’s dialect. That way, we feel a semblance of belonging. Respect their ways. Some cities have a laidback nature so it is best we cultivate some patience.

Mind how we treat the place. Often, more tourists means more trash, and not all towns can handle that. Little things count. We can avoid the use of too much paper from stores or ATMs. Just pay with GCash. We see the transaction history online without printing it and get real-time confirmation of purchases.

Mind every moment of our trip as if it is the last one. Let the trip be ingrained in our hearts and not just in our phone’s cameras. Relish every experience. Do not take for granted that you have the strength and sufficient income to see more of the world. 

O, who wants to travel with me?