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Thanking our Body and Senses for the Touristic Experience

Appreciating Our Nature

By N. Michelle Rodríguez Amadeo

Issue: March 2019

Many people follow a routine that may involve taking care of job responsibilities, assuming a series of roles, such as mother, father, sibling, daughter/son, grandparent, friend, colleague or volunteer, as well as planning and engaging in leisure activities. By doing so, people tend to focus on adhering to their life’s agenda. While such behavior is comprehensible and a natural consequence of living, sometimes the everyday demands and tasks interfere with recognizing how privileged we are as human beings in terms of our priceless basic physical functions and senses.

Nature and cultural or history-related amusements may give us opportunities to value how extraordinary is our body. During outdoor or cultural recreations or visits to historical sites, we may regard and be thankful for any of the following:

1) Our Sight―for empowering us to see and admire the beauty and wonders of nature, historical places, and artistic creations, and to look at culinary creations or people dancing.

2) Our Legs―for being instrumental when we hike, bike, ride a horse, walk on a river or farm, set up a tent, surf, swim, dive, explore a canyon or cave, rappel, climb a cliff or engage in stand-up paddleboarding or other outdoor recreation.

3) Our Arms―for helping us: (a) conveniently touch and feel plant and animal life, (b) protect ourselves from some outdoors hazards, (c) use a binocular to watch birds or the scenery, and (d) ride a bike or horse, set up a tent, rappel, climb a cliff, row while kayaking, swim, dive, sail or perform other activities at natural areas.

4) Our Ears and Hearing―for enabling us enjoy sounds of nature, such as bird songs, ocean waves, breeze, waterfalls and river flow, or listen to music.

5) Our Nose and Smell―for letting us smell flowers, crops, such as coffee, fruits and spices, as well as food in general.

6) Our Taste Buds and Taste―for serving as instruments to indulge in food or specialty drinks during gastronomical encounters as a traveler or local, or savor the distinguishable flavors of farm products.

7) Our Heart and Feelings―for being principal elements for us to stay alive and feel life, and thus, live the experience while exploring nature, or discovering culture and history.

As we show gratitude for our body and senses, we may become more empathic with respect to people with physical disabilities and admire more those who have overcome physical limitations in order to keep appreciating life, including natural surroundings and their ecosystems.

We exhort you to take advantage of your nature, culture or history encounters to be grateful for the role your body and senses play during such experiences.

Photo by N. Michelle Rodríguez Amadeo

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