Road Rituals

Well Being on the road has to do with health. And feeling healthy is boosted by daily rituals, activities that create comfort and ease, such as brewing a cup of coffee in the morning. Why else do so many hotels provide coffee machines in the room?  Some habits nurture us, including our morning coffee! 
For an upcoming trip start with identifying your  “Wellness Must Haves”. This list can be represented by physical objects, like a favorite scarf or “food” such as a daily vitamin. Be discerning and only bring what you’ll use everyday. Without sounding like a hypochondriac, for me, a ziplock bag packed with homeopathic medicines is my companion on every trip.  Everyday my immunities are boosted with a probiotic, chewable Vitamin C, Chyzme (a Chines herbal mixture to aid digestion) and a warm lemon drink. A small pocket size journal with writing prompts accompanies me at breakfast. I’m almost more deliberate on the road than at home!
Consider also your daily activities at home that boost your health. Why not duplicate them when away? Even if there’s not a hotel gym, a morning stretch suffices. Ignoring our bodies will make them scream later. Yes, sometimes space is quite tight and the ground hard. Still, try to adapt exercise to the space.
Even without a cushion, meditating is usually possible anywhere. It just might take a different form and or occur at different times depending upon the travel schedule. Stay flexible and committed to your self-care. While recently roaming in the Cotswolds, for example, a Walking Meditation instead of a sitting practice became part of my routine. 
Nutrition plays a key role for wellness on the road. Vani Hari, owner of Nutiva and author of The Food Babe Way, suggests: 
  • Ask the restaurant for what you need listing ingredients to avoid. It might mean you skip whole categories of a food, such as in France not eating gluten-filled croissants or cheese when lactose intolerant. This can be disappointing, Yet, feeling well is more important. You know your body and can make the right choice;
  • Pack nutritional snacks. Kind bars and ginger chews are my biggest friend; 
  • Bring your own airline meal and or peruse the “special meals” and order ahead for better ingredients. For plane travel, Linden Schaffer, author of Living Well on the Road (page 183), also advises  (1) booking a seat that provides as much space as possible so that you might rest; (2) Walking the aisles and stretching occasionally throughout the flight; (3) Smiling at passengers and always willing to help others (really like this suggestion); (4) Skipping the airline food all together and taking advantage of the chance for a small fast!
  • Stay hydrated which means bring a water bottle with you on the trip;
  • Detoxify by drinking warm water with lemon. Whether it’s at the beginning of the day or after dinner, this is a very helpful habit to incorporate. Hari suggests bringing cayenne pepper to add to the hot lemon drink and packing lemons in your bag!
What matters most at home and on the road is knowing what kind of self-care you need and then setting yourself up to receive it everyday, wherever you are! Download those necessary podcasts, pack your running shoes, find a cafe for journaling. These rituals are about enabling wellness so that you can enjoy the destination and company.
During this busy time of year commit to your health on the road. Feel enlivened from daily rituals. Whether at home or far way our daily rituals enable a happy Life As a Traveler: curious, flexible, willing to take risks, open to differences and present in our bodies, mind and spirit.