When I am preparing to travel, I get all sorts of big ideas about keeping up my healthy living lifestyle while on-the-go.
I mean, I aim to live fairly healthily in my ‘normal, at home life’. I eat my greens, drink lots of water, get in some movement, make sure to balance social connection, creativity, and alone time, and I mediate almost daily. So yeah, I live fairly healthily (but most certainly not perfectly).
But when I travel, all that just seems to go right out the window. And I find myself traveling a good amount, between work, family adventures, camping, and, you know, just seeing the world. So it can really impede on my well-being lifestyle to constantly be getting back on track. But, I know, I would feel better overall if I wasn’t playing catch up so often.
Why is it such a challenge to keep up the healthy habits we have ingrained at home while traveling?
Mostly because of one thing.
Many of us may have grown up with the mindset, ‘Hey I’m on vacation! Live it up!’. Which translates to ‘More dessert? Yes, please!’, ‘Exercise? Shmexercise!’, ‘food sensitivities, what are those? They won’t touch me here!’ and other fun thoughts. (I, oddly, even experience vacation mode when I am traveling for work, ‘Hey a new place! I must be on vacation!’.) All of this is great… for a day or two. But perhaps is not all it’s cracked up to be.
I am all about fully enjoying traveling, getting the full ‘experience’ of vacationing, and sitting on a beach all day if that is an option, but there is one major flaw with this mindset. If I go all-in on vacation mode, I feel like crap. And I miss out.
I mean it might not be as big of an issue if it’s a once-and-awhile weekend vacation, but longer or more often than that and I start to feel pretty bad if I don’t exercise and eat green vegetables. I start to feel discombobulated if I don’t meditate for more than two days. And my stomach is not happy from overeating loads of tasty, but rich foods.
What is all this based on? The idea that it is temporary. Which it is, but how many days can we neglect ourselves and still enjoy our life and our travels thoroughly? And why do we travel (when it is by choice)?
To experience life fully.
So by entirely ‘living it up’ on our vacation, we can actually end up missing half of it by having low energy, fogginess, irritability, and (insert your own symptom here).
This also goes for work travel. As vacation mode really gets in the way if you need to have a clear, focused brain, and to feel energized and productive.
Living it up is great- just until it’s not.
What is your goal while traveling? To experience all your desires no matter the consequences? Or to indulge a bit, keep total laziness at bay and not feel like crap? (This has of course to do with your priorities, if your priority is to get as drunk as possible for your time off, then do it. That is your goal and feeling great and experiencing the area is not. Totally fine. Go for it and don’t feel bad about it.)
If you do want to 100% enjoy and experience your travels and feeling sick and tired does not fit into that mold then what do you do? How can you get out of vacation-mode and into living-mode while on the road?
So how do we move past this? How can we get out of vacation-mode and into living-mode while on the road?
At this point I don’t know everything about how to move through this. I have yet to completely find this balance. But this is something that I will be exploring as I go along on my travels and sharing here on this blow so we can learn and grow together. I will also be interviewing others to glean information on how they find their balance to be a healthy travelers.
But… one major thing that will help with this is setting a few easy, clear goals for your trip. Ones that you can actually do. So often we overdo it with goals and expectations which then make us feel like we failed. If we are able to actually reach our goals we feel capable and ready to add more the next time.
- Drink one large glass of water upon waking everyday
- Walk 10,000 steps each day or do a vigorous exercise (run, hike, swim, circuits, surf, etc…)
Tips for Goal Setting and Keeping:
- Start small and doable
- Make sure it is something you really want to do, not just feel like you should do (because you won’t do it if it isn’t in you)
- Set yourself up for success: bring what you need, plan activities, prepare night before
- Track your success: write down in your travel journal what you did each day (it feels good too)
- Take notes: Was it easy? Hard? Why? What would make it easier next time?
Start now: Think about your next trip whether it is a weekend getaway or epic adventure. What healthy habits do you want continue or implement? Follow above tips for ensuring habits are implemented.
What has been your experience with vacation-mode? Does it prevent you from feeling your best while traveling? How so? And what have you done to combat it?Comment below!
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