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April 26, 2012

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Capture special moments and experiences. I can’t tell you how many trips I’ve taken whose memories are slowly fading. And when they’re gone, so is the trip. I’ve since learned my lesson–O.K., I’m working on learning my lesson. When I set off to wherever it is I’m going, I tell myself to capture the trip. I try not to leave all the heavy lifting to my mind, and instead use some of the tips and tools below.

1. Take pictures, video, and notes.

The first two are obvious, but not so the last one. Jotting down a few thoughts in a journal or notebook as you take in the scene is a simple way to get at things from your trip that visuals can’t always transmit. Not only can you describe how something looks; you can describe how something makes you feel at that moment.

If you don’t know it yet, I’m a nut about history. Several years ago I traveled overseas, and, as part of the trip, I had to sit at the doorstep of Franklin’s London home. The alleyway was deserted, aside from my travel mate around the corner nagging me to hurry. I ignored him, opened a small notebook, and wrote down one thought. Those words, written while squatting on the concrete curb in front of an old doorway, are the things I treasure most from the trip.

2. Collect meaningful mementos.

As hilarious as the shot glasses and as touching as the t-shirts are at every tourist trap, gather items from your trip that speak to something just a little deeper. Here’s an example: one of my close friends always brings back a glass jar of sand from her trips. She doesn’t have a plastic knick-knack made in China or a hat that tells you where the party is; she has a piece of the place, something genuine to keep forever.

I’m not saying the trifling items aren’t fun to buy–personally I get a lapel pin everywhere I go–but along with them it’s important to capture something authentic to the city, state, or country. This way, as with my friend, you can take a piece of it home.

3. Get in touch with the natives.

If you really want to experience the destination, get in touch with people who live there. Talk with locals. Ask about history and lore and everyday living. If you enjoy the food, learn recipes that you can stumble through in your kitchen. If you enjoy the music, record it.

Every great place has two faces. One is plastic and hums along the surface, calling out to touristy tourists. And then there is the real place, the deeper place that takes effort to unearth. Connect with the people who have lived their entire lives under that unique glare of the sun and you’ll have a direct link to the true heart of the city.

20120309-120239.jpgHow does this tie into happiness? It’s another way for you to make the most of your hours and days. Life is a string of experiences, blips along time that bundle together to form your existence. As far as I’m concerned, anything you can do to make those blips burn a little brighter is worth it.

Until next time…

~DHSI

Author Information: Motivation123.com
Get hundreds of simple motivation tips, along with your free Motivation123 Welcome Kit, at the Motivation123.com Web site. Visit http://www.motivation123.com today.

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