Travel can be hard.
We get out of our routines. (Not always a bad thing, but can really disrupt your system.)
We sleep in beds we aren't used to.
We eat things we don't typically eat at home (more junk and packaged snacks on the run or maybe we drink more alcohol and caffeine).
We're off kilter.
We don't speak the language.
We don't recognize the food.
We are crammed into economy seats on airlines - unless you are fortunate enough to travel first class. That does not happen very often for me, but when it does I relish more space NOT more food or alcohol.
all in all it IS worth it IF you can keep to some healthy habits.
The most important of which (to me) are:
* some kind of exercise.
* some semblance of decent sleep. (I ain't 25 anymore. Hostels, couch surfing and sleeping in the airport don't work for me.)
* regular, healthy meals. (That doesn't mean don't try the local fare. Just be careful of the hot Thai food, the oily Greek food, the saucy French food, and the meaty English food if you aren't used to those cuisines.)
this is what I have found to keep me as sane, healthy and happy on the road as possible.
GET OUT AND WALK! The single best exercise you can do. AND IT'S FREE!!! Many, many cities are not only walking friendly but encourage walking. Some of the Hop On Hop Off buses are really expensive, so walking can be a better alternative. Pick up the pace, slow it down, alternate, swing your arms, climb the stairs, park your vehicle far away from the entrance to a building you're visiting. JUST WALK!
I practice Qigong everywhere I go. Qigong is a moving meditation that works on flexibility, balance and strength. It's the mother of Tai Chi. You perform the same movement over and over again. No need to memorize a long series of movements. OR you can string movements together. There are many simple warm-ups that get your blood flowing. (Videos on the way!) It's unbeatable for stress, tension and relaxation. It's fun, easy and portable. Like walking, there is no equipment needed but your body. The best place to practice is outdoors. BUT you can certainly practice in a small space like in a hotel room, hostel or wherever you happen to be staying.
Meditate! I suggest meditation because (again) you need nothing but your mind and body and a place to sit. Just focus on your natural inhalation and exhalation. Take deep, cleansing breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Stare at the sky, focus on a lake, the ocean, the mountains, wandering wildlife, or a flower. The options are endless. Ride a horse, pet your dog, dance, do some rhythmic, gentle exercise. It's all meditation.
I once meditated in the New York Subway. As detached as possible I watched the trains rush in and out, and the people scurry AND I did it with a smile on my face. I may have looked a bit demented BUT the simple act of smiling releases oxytocin, the feel good hormone.
If you need more ideas for meditation, feel free to message me. I've got a million of 'em.
While traveling I always seek out vegan restaurants. That's because I'M vegan. Luckily, they abound in nearly every place I've been, or at least vegetarian restaurants or vegetarian choices.
Even if you AREN'T vegan ditching meat and dairy for a day or two won't hurt you, as a matter of fact it may help you. Meat can make you lethargic, disrupt your digestion or make you out and out sick while on the road. Vegetables and fruit are often locally sourced - farm to table - or organic. A vegan eating program is full of fiber, vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients. Many of which we may lack while we are traveling. We ALL know what happens to our system when we're on the road. It's important to keep the pipes running smoothly. (Hey, that's the best way I could possibly put it!)
My cardiologist says he never does blood tests on his patients after the holidays because the results are always too high or too low. He lets his patients get back to their regular routine before he feels he can make an accurate assessment. I'm one of those people who traveled then had a scheduled routine blood test just a few days after I returned home. The results weren't stellar compared to the previous year because I was out of my eating, exercise, and sleeping routine. As soon as I got back to my clean eating, exercise and sleep hygiene everything went back to normal. No need to have the life scared out of you because you mistimed your annual blood work.
Don't forget your supplements, or medications, because vacations are especially not the time to wean off of medication. Most of us need at least a multi-vitamin, copious amounts of water and to be extremely careful with caffeine and alcohol while traveling. It's TOO easy to celebrate, party and overindulge on vacation.
Need a pick me up in Peru or another high altitude South American country? Drink Coca from Coca leaves. It's unparalleled for altitude sickness and a perfect replacement for caffeine without the jitters, nervousness, anxiety or acid. It's perfectly legal in South America. How do you think the terraced Andes mountain farms and Machu Picchu were built? Yep, Coca! Children can safely drink it, too. The reputation of this life affirming tea has been decimated because of the chemical process that it has been subjected to to make cocaine. Leave it in its pristine state and it's a miracle herb.
If you are interested in more tips to stay healthy while seeing the world, don't hesitate to contact me.
As always thanks for reading!
Take a look at the slideshow. I add new photos every week.