Why Should We “Live for Today” ?

The mantra of the 21st century, the inspirational message that appears on more social media posts than any other. “Live for Today” is a call to arms, if you will, a reminder to let go of excessive planning, of collecting and hoarding of material possessions and of spending less time thinking (or rather, worrying) about tomorrow and more time planning for experiences we know will bring us immense happiness today.

The mantra of the 21st century, the inspirational message that hits straight in the heart more than any other, “Live for Today” is a call to arms, if you will, a reminder to let go of excessive planning, of collecting and hoarding of material possessions and of spending less time thinking (or rather, worrying) about tomorrow or dwelling on yesterday.  To be present and find beauty in your every moment.

To put it simply we should live for today as it will make us happy.

* Without the focus on dwelling, you’ll be less likely to be disappointed. You’ll be so focused on the beauty around you that perspectives on the past or future will be very different. In fact if we live in the present absorbing beauty then our memories will be a collection of wonder and our cast for the future will be looking forward to more beautiful moments as each moment is going to matter.

* Difficult decisions will seem easier you won’t be so afraid of failure as you know that each moment holds so much potential.

* You will find peace within yourself as you will spend less time concerned over your past mistakes or future paths and more time enjoying right here, right now.

* You’ll be energetic as the past and future won’t weigh you down. Everything around you right here, right now will be fascinating and important.

* Living for today will bring peace, you won’t have time for jealousy or judgement.

* Your relationships will flourish with judgement aside you will look for beauty and goodness in not only your surroundings but the people who fill your life.

So how do we live for today?

Aside from the obvious advice of downing your social media and opening your eyes to look around you, to search for beauty every day, one of the very best ways to live in the present is to travel, to spend your hard-earned money on things that make you happier and more fulfilled. On experiences rather than things.

Travel is always right at the heart of this message.

Live for Today

Credit: Shutterstock

Travel is often used as the epitome enticement of the “Live for Today” movement and it’s certainly not hard to see why this particular experience, more than any other, is the ideal poster-child for a carpe diem philosophy. Travel makes us happy because travel doesn’t just push us out of our comfort zones and tedious routine-life, it propels us out of it at breakneck speed. Travel shows us who we really are, right now, away from the expectations of everyone in our lives. Travel offers new sensory inputs and the chance to sharpen our skills; it surprises us and introduces us to new cultures, new food, new and outstanding landscapes, new challenges and offers rewards we couldn’t even imagine enjoying whilst sitting on the couch day-dreaming of far-away places. Travel has the potential to literally change you, as a human being; to change your views on life and the world in general. More than anything else, however, travel simply satisfies the soul.

But don’t just take our word for it! Countless studies and researches have conclusively determined that travel makes happy (for the most part and with a few caveats thrown in for good measure) and that the benefits of travelling are countless. When you also consider that experiences have been shown to make us happier than material possessions, it reasons that spending money on travel is a considerable component of the secret to happiness.

Live for Today

Credit: Shutterstock

So…What’s So Good About Travelling?

Travelling is inarguably one of the best forms of escapism, one that offers a wealth of benefits long after the trip has actually ended. When you take a journey to a destination you’ve dreamed about visiting your entire life, there’s a level of personal achievement that is indescribable and long-lasting. More so if what you seek is experiential travel, the kind that leaves you with infinitely more memories than dust-collecting souvenirs. The kind that sees you hike to Machu Picchu, cast your eyes on Torres del Paine’s magnificent peaks and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula. Share all those exceptional experiences with your loved ones and the positive effects of travel are infinitely multiplied. Ask any family you know, especially one with young kids, what their best ‘family bonding’ experiences have been and they’ll likely answer “our most recent family trip”. Sure it was. Away from mundane routines and hectic schedules, away from i-phones, i-pads and i-lives; away from commitments and obligations, from work and school and housework, and with time to simply enjoy each other’s company and relish in shared experiences that are fun, educational, inspirational and totally unique.

Travelling can…

*Remove us from the stresses of everyday life

*Recharge our internal batteries

*Improve our communication and social interaction skills, especially when practising a new language

*Introduce us to new cultures, cuisines, religions, ideas and ways of life

*Shift our priorities when experiencing life outside our comfort zone

*Test and train our patience, our problem-solving skills and our adaptability

*Make us less precious and inflexible, enhancing our ability to cope in all sorts of situations

*Broaden our minds and our horizons as we meet people from all walks of life and every corner of the globe

*Give us precious time to think of important issues we often overlook when too busy with work and everyday life

And that’s just the start. The scientific benefits of travel are numerous and include making us healthier, overall, reducing our stress levels and lowering our risk of depression.

When we travel to Live for Today we are greatly increasing our chance of more tomorrows and isn’t that the most beautiful benefit of all?

More time to enjoy more life.

 

Live for Today

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Credit: Shutterstock

Travel more…or more often?

Interestingly enough, almost every study ever conducted on the matter concluded that the benefits of travelling more often far outweigh those of taking a longer trip less often and that’s because the planning stage and actual booking bring about colossal amounts of happiness. The anticipation of travel is one of the most underrated happiness-boosters of all and that’s why planning more trips during the year, if possible, is better than taking your entire vacation in one combined lump-sum. It certainly correlates to the opposite conundrum, the one whereby we buy more things (clothes, shoes, furniture, knick-knacks) because the gratification at the moment of purchase is huge (the anticipation of putting it in place at home or wearing it is lovely) and then we find the euphoric effects wear off swiftly so we go out and buy more stuff in order to experience it all over again. Except, unlike with material things, the benefits of travel run much deeper and with much more intensity, creating lifelong memories and, especially when shared, creating a much greater level of personal bonding.

Yes, you could share the enjoyment of buying a new couch with your partner but that doesn’t really compare with sharing a visit to a King Penguin colony on South Georgia. The latter you’ll likely want to recount to your grandchildren. The former…not so much.

Live for Today

A large colony of King Penguins on South Georgia Island. Credit: Shutterstock

Live for Today tugs at the heartstrings of those who feel that there’s more to life than working hard to pay the bills and to constantly upgrade our gadgets and wardrobes. It means being more conscious of where our hard-earned savings are going and ensuring our investment is in those few precious experiences which actually enhance our lives and help us lead a more meaningful existence.  That. That’s what we should all be expending our money and energy on.

Travel now while you’re still young and curious, travel now while you still have good health, travel now while you still have the chance.

So why should we live for today? To be present and to be happy.

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Author: Laura Pattara

“Laura Pattara is a modern nomad who’s been vagabonding around the world, non-stop, for the past 15 years. She’s tour-guided overland trips through South America and Africa, travelled independently through the Middle East and has completed a 6-year motorbike trip from Europe to Australia. What ticks her fancy most? Animal encounters in remote wilderness, authentic experiences off the beaten trail and spectacular Autumn colours in Patagonia.”

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