Editor’s Note: We are excited to introduce our new contributor who has managed to make a life and career of traveling the globe. She’ll be sharing her travel insights and tips from all four corners of the globe and we’re quite excited about the arm chair traveling we plan to do with her. Take it away Haylee!
For each of us, travel brings a form of new meaning to our lives, it’s an adventure like no other, that will have you head over heels, flirting with the globe. It’s my version of fulfillment and has allowed me to be molded by the unfamiliar. Immersing oneself in diversity is the ultimate driver for internal growth and it is oh-so-contagious. Although freeing, intriguing and downright exhilarating the unfamiliar has been, traveling can be an emotional and physical roller-coaster.
Unfamiliar foods, foreign culture and a new language can leave you feeling as if you’re a mere child among adults. Exotic dishes lead to overindulgence and weight gain, and we miss the security and the familiarity of home. Keep reading for my tips on How to Maintain a Healthy Routine While Traveling.
PHOTO: Haylee Forbes
Keep Your Fitness On Track
Traveling for work or leisure can send your fitness routine out the window. Falling out of a routine that your body has come to rely on can turn your health sideways. I know the feeling all too well that arrives as a consequence of not working out, coupled by an overindulgence of Gyros in Greece. It’s a shame to feel this way when you’re trying to take in all the breathtaking sights to see. My go-to in getting me back on track is adopting a workout that can be done anywhere. A gym membership isn’t the only way to keep fit. There is a plethora of online resources or YouTube videos that you can turn to and learn the basics of squats, lunges or even yoga. My go to is the 7 minute workout app by Wahoo Fitness and this youtube workout, it doesn’t require any equipment which means I can do it in my hotel room.
Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the old towns you visit, those devils in disguise have staircases galore that will serve as a perfect workout while exploring. You will have many opportunities to run those cobblestones stairs, racing to the top of your next breathtaking view. Bonus points if you sprint them up and down a few times, and add in some squats. We know you can do it!
PHOTO: Haylee Forbes
Eat Healthy, Yet Allow For Travel Indulgences
If you’re someone like me who is certain you have a stomach for sweet and savory, then I’m sure food would be your weakness when new dishes are tickling your senses. My first trip to Italy had me consume two servings of gelato a day, sometimes three (no I’m not exaggerating). That trip alone is what had Mamas voice resonating in the back of my mind – “Everything is okay in moderation”. I failed that one pretty hard and arrived home heavier – true story. Don’t worry, no one is denying you your first true New York City pizza, or pistachio gelato under the Tuscan sun. There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, but remember the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time opt for healthy foods, and that other 20% is time to let your hair down (i.e. chocolate time!). Balance these indulgences and you will be thanking yourself on the long days of wandering endless cobblestones.
At the beginning of a long day of sight seeing, drop into the local grocer for some protein snacks or nuts. I find they keep me sated between meals and less famished when I sit down to a meal. Don’t forget to take advantage of the kitchen at your accommodation, this will banish the risk of eating the enormous portions many destinations serve. The local markets will help you out in this department, fresh produce is always around the corner, waiting to enter your temporary kitchen.
Bringing travel sized protein powders and shaking them up in water is also a great way to start the day so you don’t have an energy crash early and reach for sugary foods.
PHOTO: Ivory Ella
Flying 36,000 feet in the sky, walking long distances, hot sun and gusty winds, they all lead to dehydration. It can creep up on you and before you know it you feel tired and depleted. Carry a light weight re-usable water bottle with you and keep filling it up. Ask the restaurant you dine at for a few extra lemon wedges and toss those in too. Most people do not drink nearly enough water and it causes a lot of physical problems, but there is no time more important to stay on top of this than while traveling!
PHOTO: Haylee Forbes
Curb Homesickness with Familiar Comforts
In a foreign environment that is constantly in flux, it’s not hard to fall into an emotional lull. When you feel this lull, it’s important to find your ‘outlet’ — something you would usually do at home that will add just a slice of normality to your time away. I find this in the books I read, I immerse myself in worlds that remind me of the novels I read at home. Yours could simply be listening to a familiar podcast, or keeping photos of loved ones close to your heart. Time zone differences can make keeping in touch difficult, but scheduling a little Skype Time or FaceTime really does wonders.
Having the opportunity to travel is a gift that has taught me how far I can stretch my own boundaries, this road has led to a confident me and a growing love for those I leave behind. I hope my tips are a reassuring helping hand for your next trip! Get out there and be fearless!