It’s really up to you to cultivate joy—no matter where you are.

Joy is found wherever you get completely enveloped in an experience, when you lose yourself: your worries, your ego, your past, and your future.  Travelling offers a chance to reboot. It’s an opportunity to sink your teeth into an area, to step outside your comfort zone, and to explore new approaches to life. Below are 4 suggestions on how to lose yourself in the travel experience, and cultivate more joy in the process.

1. Connect with locals

Creating meaningful connections with people while traveling will help you deepen and expand your capacity to empathize with people in your world. Create real, true, deep connections. Introduce yourself to an elderly person. Ask a local directions. Start a conversation with a fisherman. Smile at the teller at the grocery store. Below are 4 ways to enhance your travelling experience.

2. Engage the senses

You may already be a person who lives by the adage of stopping to smell the roses. But life can be busy. Our ability to be truly present comes and goes. Riding a bicycle or paddling a kayak are great opportunities to slow down, hit the reset button, and engage our senses – to practice being present.  Take time to breathe in the fresh, salty air; savour a new, local flavour; pay attention to the little flowers you pedal through the forest. Being mindful and soaking up the world around you will enhance your experience.

3. Be open to new experiences

Sometimes it’s those simple moments – the ones that you don’t plan – that are the most memorable.  Don’t be afraid to relax and find the humour in the small moments when you travel. Often the little challenges – the flat tire or taking the wrong turn – can lead to new adventures (and belly laughs) that you’ll remember long after your holiday.  Open your heart and mind to new opportunities, try something new, get silly. You will be surprised where it takes you.

4. Start with yourself

Here you are. Right here, right now. Your joy matters. The world needs a lot more of it, and your capacity to cultivate it within you directly translates to creating a space for happiness around you. While on the plane or train traveling to your destination, make a list of joy-blockers. Note that we are not talking simply about the things that make you smile or laugh. Joy is that deep contentment and lasting happiness that you can call upon within yourself even in the most troubling of circumstances. Take a look at what factors, beliefs, and circumstances rob you of your joy. While you are out experiencing your destination, work through your list of joy-blockers and see what action there is or what support you might need to bypass them.