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Maggie Butler

One Year Challenge: Travel Every Day

One Year Challenge: Travel Every Day

I'm on a quest to capture the passion of travel in my every day.  In lieu of a New Year's resolution, I've entered into a year long commitment with adventure and open-mindedness.  

I've decided to capture the beauty of travel in my every day.  I'm going to prove our normal lives can be an adventure, if we are mindful of our actions and awake to the things around us. Each month I will focus on one task that is derived from an aspect of travel I love. The goal is to increase happiness and become a more mindful human being. If I can't jump on a plane and explore new land, I'll bring the exploration to me.   

Since my very first trip to Europe, I've been addicted to travel. It's been my passion and companion over the last few years, the driving force in my career and pursuits. Yet at times, when days are hard, travel becomes my escape route. I've healed my wounds by running fast into new lands, discovering cities and towns with an open-mindedness unseen in my normal life. Travel was, and is, my path forward. Both as a route towards adventure and a crutch, when all else fails. 

Every vacation, I intentionally make efforts to maximize my time. My days abroad are packed with sightseeing, tours and exploration, whatever I need to truly experience everything the city offers. Yet each trip home, the magic of travel quickly disappeared. I fall back into my normal routines and adventure takes a back seat.

To fully understand why this was happening, I began exploring why I travel. I realized after every trip, my desire to keep exploring grows. Since that first vacation, I've tried to capture the magic of travel, why it invigorates and entices. There's something that makes you feel alive, discover vulnerability and open yourself up to all experiences. It's no coincidence you meet more random people on your vacations than you do in your hometown. And I promise you, the trees in Portland really are just as wonderful as your back yard. They are just trees.

So if a tree is just a tree, yet it seems so much more alive and beautiful on vacation, then what are we missing in our every day lives? My theory: mindfulness.

It's as simple as that. Travel and new experiences force us to be mindful. Adventure makes us aware of our surroundings and shifts our gears out of autopilot. Stopping to smell the roses means we pay attention. We focus on our surroundings, we deeply see those around us and observe their patterns, we appreciate our food and the laughter that comes along with new experiences. We start living again. We can be human once again. 

Being mindful means being aware of your life. Focusing on what makes travel, and ultimately our lives, inspiring is what I'm trying to obtain. And we can have that in our every day.

I hope you follow my journey. Below is my action plan for the first half of 2017 (subject to reordering). 

  • January: Planning
  • February: Walking / 10K steps + breakfast every day (Read Febuary's journey here!)
  • March: Mindfulness + minimalism
  • April: Food
  • May: Charitable
  • June: Education + Exploration

With January and February well behind us, be on the look out for how my first two months unfolded!

National Parks: Five Days in Zion & Grand Canyon

National Parks: Five Days in Zion & Grand Canyon

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