The Importance of Noticing Details and Being Present

Details are so important. I live my live surrounding them. As an anxious person, there’s nothing more important than details. As a traveler, nothing should be more important than details.

But sometimes it’s really really hard to notice details when you’re travelling. It’s super easy to get caught up in looking at all the big things that everyone else is noticing. I mean once you lock eyes on the Eiffel Tower, you can’t really focus on anything else. Or at least, it’s really hard to focus on everything else.

I have come to love details the most. They’re my favourite things about travelling. All the big, amazing things are incredible, but the small things keep me learning. They keep me surprised and renewed and in love with where I am. They keep me present.

And being present is the most important part of travelling, because not only do you remember what you see, but you remember what you feel. Being a naturally very observant person, this probably comes more easily to me than a lot of people. You get a deeper meaning from everything that is happening to you. Unfortunately, you will probably miss it more because you formed a deeper connection.

A really good way to notice details and remain present is to journal, and journal about everything. Even if you don’t feel like what you’re writing is an important contribution, write it in there anyway. You’ll thank yourself later, I promise. Write about everything you see (draw it if  you can!), but go deeper. Also write about how it makes you feel, what you smell, what you hear, what you learned.  Even the most seemingly trivial details will make you laugh, cry, cringe, and remember when it is over. And take pictures! or videos! even of the most stupid stuff!

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You won’t just remember that it  was raining when you were on the train to Germany, you’ll remember the way the rain drops looked and the sound they made when they hit the train windows. You won’t just remember the cute little cafe, you’ll remember the big fat orange cat that sat on the stone steps and watched you as you walked by. You won’t just remember eating pastries outside your favourite bakery, you’ll remember how the sun looked shining on the awnings, how the architecture of the building opposite looked, and how the summer breeze carried the smell of bread all the way down the street. You won’t just remember low tide in Venice, you’ll remember standing on the steps that are usually covered in water, the smell of the algae, and the sound of the waves.

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