Travel teaches you a lot about the world. That’s something that’s pretty well accepted among most people that value travel. Whether traveling abroad or within your own country, you often see, hear, and experience things you otherwise never would have.

Sometimes the learning that comes through travel is in putting yourself in new situations. Sometimes, however, it’s meeting fantastic people far from home who tell you about the strategies they’ve been using in their lives and teach you better ways of doing things.

An author by the name of Hal Elrod wrote a book called “The Miracle Morning.” I have not read the book, but while I was in Seattle, my amazing airBNB host told me about something called the “S.A.V.E.R.” Miracle Morning. This conversation came on a drive on the way to the gym, after I had been saying that I was having trouble finding the time to keep up with my freelance writing (for work/money), my blog and YouTube channel, my training, and my preparations for my upoming trips. He mentioned to me the idea of the “One Big Thing” (also from a book), which essentially means you should find the one big thing you want to focus on and then do that. Having “one big thing” more easily helps the other things in your life – that aren’t as important, and that you may have been wasting time on –  fall away.

I really liked that idea but said I had, I think, two “big things” and neither of them provided an income (my traveling and my personal writing), at least right now, so that made three “big things” I couldn’t get away from.

Then he told me about Hal Elrod’s “S.A.V.E.R.” morning routine. The idea is this: every morning, you complete a series of activities for a minimum of six minutes each (but on days you are swamped for time, it could be as little as  one minute or on days you are free, as long as ten or more) in order to better focus not only your day, but your entire life. I’m a big fan of things like indfulness and a dedicated meditation practice (though, dedicating myself to it in reality is a bit harder) so I loved this idea as soon as I heard it. When I heard what the actual acronym meant, however, I got even more excited because they are all things I already try to work into my day, so the idea of a consistent morning routine with all of them made me super happy. This is what the acronym stands for:

S: Silence

Silence here means allowing your brain to chill out for a few minutes with no activity. I’ve been doing ten minutes, instead of six, because the Headspace app was recently recommended to me by a bestie and I’m loving it. Starting my day with intentional silence (not email, not work) has made a huge difference in making me feel like I’m in control of what’s to come.

A: Affirmations

Hal Elrod prescribes a system for getting to affirmations that matter, through four steps. First, you write down what you want in your life overall (which you can do for multiple “categories”: relationships, work, etc). Then, you write down why you want those things. According to Elrod, this helps you get clear on whether you really want the thing or things from step one. Then, write down the obstacles preventing you from getting the things and how you can rid of them. Lastly, you write down an actionable step to be taken every day to achieve your goals. What I like about this is that it doesn’t just have you imagine some random goal, it creates a system for achieving results.

V: Visualization

Again, Elrod here gives a perfect solution for the bullshit “visualize yourself with a million dollars” thing people see a lot of. He doesn’t just prescribe visualizing the end goal, he also prescribes visualizing what you are doing every day to achieve that goal. So, with my novel, the idea would be I visualize myself having it written and published and happy, sure, but also visualize myself actually writing it. If you don’t do shit, you won’t achieve your goals, and I think that’s the point here.

E: Exercise

This doesn’t mean running five miles before five AM. Remember: the program can start with as little as six minutes. The idea is just to get your blood flowing! I’ve been doing just six minutes (this is apart from my normal running and weight intensive daily workout) and it’s been great. My routine is something like: a minute of jumping jacks, a minute of pushups, a minute of squats, a 30-second plank hold, 30 seconds of chair dips, a minute of lunges, and a minute of stretching.

R: Reading

Elrod says your minutes of reading in the morning should be on something for personal development, but I’ve been fudging this one a little bit and just reading my current book (Anna Karenina, which I’ve surprisingly never read, in case you are wondering). The reason is because I feel like I read a lot on personal development throughout the day already, and since I started my travel journey, I’ve been having a hard time fitting in normal reading which makes me sad because it’s one of my favorite activities. So I thought this was a great way to work it into my morning routine, if only for a few minutes at a time.

S: Scribing

This is another one I’ve been fudging a bit. For Elrod, scribing means keeping a personal journal. He gives an idea for a “Five Minute Journal” which involves writing down things you are grateful for, an affirmation, etc. I’ve been using this time to do some of the writing that will help get me to my goals (like this blog!), but I may adjust that and start doing some real journaling in the future.

Overall, I’m so fucking happy I met my airBNB host in Seattle and that he told me about this. It’s a super cool, quick practice that makes it worth it to wake up a bit earlier in the day.

And I never would have known about it, or met him, if I hadn’t decided that traveling was an important part of living the life I want.

How Travel Teaches You- The Miracle Morning S.A.V.E.R.