Back from Greece
The yoga bug and the travel bug entered my life around the same time. Neither have ever left me, and likely because there is always more to explore in each. In both, you can visit many places, and also dig in deeper and learn something more focused and singular. You don’t have to choose one over the other. You can practice being present in 25 unique poses in an hour vinyasa yoga class and also find yourself digging into one of them -- like pigeon -- to reflect what is going on deeper than the surface.
Mindfulness is a large part of travel. Sometimes by necessity - finding your way around a new airport or train station, sometimes by intention - when you choose to purposefully immerse yourself in an experience (like watching sunsets in Santorini). Other times your attention is grasped unintentionally as you are struck and swept away in a moment. There are many reasons to travel -- one is the reminder of mindfulness in the present moment that comes with breaking routine.
Yoga practice can take on those same qualities, but it also can easily become a routine when you are a regular practitioner. The journey becomes a commute as you make the familiar movements practice after practice. I recall a teacher saying once that when your practice becomes boring soon you will have a breakthrough. Perhaps you have experienced this, perhaps not. If and when you do, it is important to stick with it for the long run, and perhaps reflect on what you could do to introduce a new layer or focal point to your practice.
You can break out of routine by taking a workshop on a yoga-related discipline, read a book about how the brain works in meditation (highly recommend Rick Hanson’s books), try a different style yoga class or a completely different physical activity to challenge your body in a new way.
Wander, find something new, and as they say - once you begin practicing yoga (or traveling), it will always find its way back to you.