Fall is almost here, which means cooler weather, colorful leaves, cozy clothes, and two more special days of observance: World Gratitude Day and International Day of Peace. While gratitude is something I personally try to practice daily, having an official day set aside as an extra reminder to express thanks for the good in my life is always appreciated. And in terms of peace, I think we can all use an extra dose of that in today’s world, especially with how easy it is to get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to pause and appreciate the simple things.
World Gratitude Day is celebrated annually on September 21st. The idea behind this day is simple: take time to appreciate the little things and express gratitude for what you have. Some ways I like to observe this day include keeping a gratitude journal and listing a few things I’m grateful for each day, practicing mindfulness, and learning to really be present in each moment. Focusing on gratitude helps shift my mindset to a more positive state and improves my overall well-being and happiness.
International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day, is also observed each year on September 21st. The day was established by the United Nations in 1981 and first celebrated in 1982. This day is dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Some ways to spread peace on this day include engaging in interfaith dialogue, reaching out to someone with whom you have a disagreement and extending an olive branch, organizing community events centered around themes of unity and understanding, and donating to or volunteering with organizations that. Promoting peace, even in small ways, can have a huge impact.
As a budget traveler, I have found that one of the greatest benefits of trips is gaining a fresh perspective and learning to become more mindful and grateful for life's simple pleasures. Immersing oneself in new cultures and surroundings helps strip away the superficial clutter and mental chatter of everyday life, allowing you to gain clarity and focus on what really matters.
In honor of World Gratitude Day and International Day of Peace, I wanted to share a few of the lessons from my travels that have taught me to slow down and cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Here are three simple ways travel has helped me find more peace through practicing gratitude:
Appreciate the Little Things: When you are far from the comforts of home, you learn to appreciate the simple conveniences and pleasures you usually take for granted. Things like a hot shower, your favorite snacks, or a comfy bed become little luxuries to be grateful for. Train yourself to notice and give thanks for these little details in your daily life, even when you're not traveling.
Connect with Locals: One of my favorite parts of budget travel is connecting with locals and learning about their lives, favorite activities to do, and favorite places to eat in their area. Try striking up a genuine conversation with someone in your own community. You may find that they help shift your mindset and remind you of the blessings right in front of you.
Unplug and Be Present: It's easy to get caught up posting the perfect Instagram shot or updating your friends on the latest details of your trip. But some of the most meaningful travel experiences happen when you unplug from social media and be fully present in the moment. This is a point my mother reminds my sister and me of often when we are on vacation. Make a point to do the same at home - put away your devices and do one activity each day that allows you to slow down and be fully focused on the simple pleasures of that task. Savor each sight, sound, and sensation.
While world travel isn't always possible, practicing an attitude of gratitude can help you find more peace and meaning in your everyday life. Appreciate the simple conveniences, connect with the people around you, and make a habit of slowing down to be fully present. When we focus on life's simple blessings, we realize we already have everything we need to be happy and at peace.
Do you want to get started with the practice of gratitude? Do you need a new resource to continue your habit of gratitude? Download my 3-page gratitude journal below. Please let me know in the comments how your gratitude journey is going.
Until next time,
Eat, Drink, and be Melly