How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Categories: 

Want to know a secret to one of the best ways to travel? Using your senses. It is genius to incorporate a whole body experience when traveling, whether local travel (try it at your farmer's market!) or to far-flung destinations. Along with an inspirational inforgraphic from Kenwood Travel, here's how:

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

Sight

Pick a place to stay that will give you a visual feast every day, whether it is a location with a balcony or large picture window, where you can have your morning coffee and see the world awakening around you, or a large deck where you can star watch at night. Perhaps you love art - visit local galleries, find street art, and discover public statues that can teach you about what's important to this community (and why). Wherever you are, open your eyes and take in what is around you. Be still, and notice. 

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

Sound

We all love music - search out local concerts and musicians. My best tip? Ask locals, and go where they go. You'll discover interesting small jazz clubs, or large parties in a town square. You can listen to the waves, if you're ocean-side, or perhaps the wind rustling the leaves in a park. Are you somewhere with simple musical sounds that align with spiritual beliefs, i.e., sacred sounds? Listen to the large bells in Japanese temples (tsurigane), the singing bowls in Tibetan Buddhist traditions, drumming in parts of the world, the Muslim call to prayer, or singing or chanting. 

Perhaps it is the bustle of New York City or Paris that entices your ears and mind? Or the constant quiet lapping of waves hitting the shore? Maybe it is the sounds of a different language, or the laughter of children playing in a park.

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

Let the sound wash over you, and simultaneously educate you as to place, and welcome you to the local culture. Take a language class, follow your ears to discover new sounds, sing along when you can. 

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

Touch

Do you love walking on a beach? Well, who doesn't? It combines sound (those waves!) with touch, grounding you in a location more firmly than you can get while wearing shoes. Walk as much as possible, when you travel. But also explore other ways to engage your sense of touch - with a massage, perhaps, by touring a tea plantation, where you can touch the leaves, or by taking an art class. Soak in a Japanese onsen, or float in the Dead Sea. Engage your whole body when you can, from swimming to art to textiles

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

Smell

My favorite way to experience smell when I travel? Food! I know, you're thinking about the sense of taste. But what is taste without smell? While you're wandering amongst a night market or area filled with food trucks, inhale. As Toucan Sam says, follow your nose! See what you find.

Other smells can also enhance your travels - from sweetly scented gardens (the Rose Garden, up in Duluth, is a treasure during summer) to taking a coffee or chocolate tour, incorporate the sense of smell when you can. I love the smell of freshly cut lawns, so I tend to follow my nose outdoors to that smell. But there's also the lovely scent of a pine forest after a rainfall, or the complex aromas of the rainforest. Let your whole body soak in the smells, led by your nose, of course.

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

Taste

This is the easiest sense to satisfy, if you're a foodie like me. I love taking cooking classes, to learn more about local tastes (and bring them home to share with friends and family). Try new things (including durian!) - you'll often discover new flavors that you can't live without. Culinary travel can teach you much about where you're traveling. In Paris, find your best crepe stand (oh, what a hardship!). In Italy, try new flavors of gelato. In Japan, order the grilled taco (surprise! It's octopus - and delicious). Avoid global chains in favor of small restaurants and markets, where chefs shop daily for the best available ingredients, and highlight them in their food. 

At the market, ask the vendors for recipes, when you purchase things! Yet another taste to bring home...

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

Balance

A new way to view utilizing the senses during travel, this sense is about restoring balance to your senses. It's about letting go of the physical and emotional baggage and stresses you brought with you, and allowing travel, culture, relaxation, and utilizing these senses to rejuvenate your body and soul. You'll emerge from travel refreshed, revitalized, and restored. 

How to find your balance when you travel? Be open to new experiences. Use your senses to engage with the local culture. Allow serendipity to enter your life, by scheduling less and playing and discovering more. 

Some say that travel allows us to find our true selves. I think we have to be aware of this opportunity, and let it into our lives, during travel and at home. Cultivate a sense of wonder, and use your six senses to be present in life, in travel and at home

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

How do you awaken your senses, during travel?

How to Awaken All Six Senses During Travel

 

Share