The children of Krang Yaw welcome us to their village in Cambodia. Photo by Matador editor Lola Akinmade

Finding quiet time on the road can often as easy as getting up before the world has opened its eyes, but it’s not as simply achieved at home. What’s a body to do?

I’ve had my share of those lovely slices of solitude walking the coast in Cinque Terre or the beach in Panama where the only others awake are fishermen. Usually, I’ve dragged myself out of bed early so I can greet the foreign sun with morning yoga.

Waking up early at home, though, doesn’t always bring the same sense of peace and rejuvenation, mainly because home is the place where you do things. Opening your eyes early only brings you more quickly to piles of dishes, mounds of laundry and any of the other things on your endless to do list.

These are the times that give us pause, allow us to close our eyes travel to another place, time or event even for just a few seconds where we simply exist.

The times I get up first to do yoga, it’s rarely to greet a gorgeous sunrise on a watery horizon. More likely, it’s the sun peeking through the window, sometimes past bars, and I have to push aside toys, clothes and any other number of things to make room for my mat.

Yes, life takes up a lot of space, so how does one clear it out in order to find the rest we need in order to feel truly alive.

Keep A List Of All Your Favorite Things

I keep a list of mine in the memo pad of my Blackberry. There,

Photo by Fabbio

I note down all those details that stick out in my mind. They can be major events, like the birth of a child or a wedding. Or they can be minor, like trampoline jumping somewhere in the South of France. Feeding leftover bread to the ducks and geese after a picnic. Or staying out all night dancing with Couchsurfers in Bocas del Toro. Over the years, I have literally hundreds of little moments tucked away. I turn to them when I need a break, a smile and a little window to somewhere else.

That’s when I turned to the other Matador team members to hear some of their favorite moments, moments of quiet, joy, even of fear an loneliness. These are the times that give us pause, allow us to close our eyes travel to another place, time or event even for just a few seconds where we simply exist. Then bring what you find there back to the present.

Call it meditation, call it nostalgia, better yet, don’t give it a name at all. Just breathe in and enjoy what you find.

1. Slowly, slowly, you will climb the mountain.
2. Feel the fear as you come close to the edge.
3. Reading Festival, opening day before the crowd arrives.
4. This is how we are patriotic!
5. Who can resist the sunset? (Especially from a van!)
6. The little things in life.
7. I sip my vanilla ice blend, sitting in a comfortable 70 degrees with my nice shoes on
8. Learning how to let go.
9. Experience the glory of the giant redwood.
10. The boatman wore a crooked smile.
11. Reflections on a first meditation retreat

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into our brains and the events that make our lives special. Now share some of yours with us in comments below or begin a blog of your own in Matador’s own travel community..