Smart Travel

I Want To Go Home; Focus On Your Health While Traveling

It’s inevitable, if you’re away from home for an extended period of time you’re going to have an “I’m done” moment. It’s the moment when you just want to be back home in your own bed where everything is easier, cheaper and quieter. ‘Traveling is overrated,’ your irrational (and exhausted) mind thinks.

I had a few “I’m done” moments during our 35 days in Europe, my most memorable was on the third day of our trip when I wrote Our First Day In Europe Was A Disaster.

Here’s my advice: Take your breakdown as a sign that it’s time to take care of your emotional, mental and physical well-being. Chances are you’re neglecting your health in one way or another.

Emotional health

Travelers are especially susceptible to poor emotional health because we are working so hard to stay upbeat, outgoing and positive. After awhile, our negative emotions bottle up. “I just missed my train and I have to wait 45 minutes until the next train. I only have THREE DAYS IN FRANCE. Why do these things always happen to me??!!!”

Sound familiar? Hint: Watch out for key words like always during your emotional breakdowns. They tend to sneak in when you’re emotionally exhausted.

Take care of your emotional health by allowing yourself to feel your full spectrum of emotions. I find that talking openly to friends and family helps keep my emotions in check. As does writing out my blessings when I’m feeling down, or acknowledging my overwhelming joy with my travel partner.

Mental health

Mental health has a variety of meanings. Here, I’m talking about your thoughts.

I had two very unique mental health problems while traveling: 1. I don’t feel like I’m learning enough about this city 2. There is no way I can figure out this public transportation system.

The first problem comes from a lack of stimulation and a desire to achieve greatness. I want to be cultured! I must visit every museum in the city! Balancing my days with something informative and fun helped me feel like I was doing something positive with my day, rather than just meandering from attraction to attraction.

More often than not I was mentally spent. In those moments: Do something easy. Go to the same restaurant you went to last night or chill in the hotel watching reality TV. Give yourself a brain break. Trust me, Rome will still be there tomorrow. Although, Venice might not be…(too soon?)

Physical health

Backpackers, drop your bag and relax!

Traveling works the same muscle groups, over and over again. Think: tight calves, achy shoulders and a strained lower back. My husband and I got Thai massages in Prague and it was one of the best things we could have done for ourselves mid-trip. Did you know that a one hour massage feels like the equivalent of 8 hours of restful sleep?

Take a full day to rest your muscles. Do something that takes minimal effort like lying out at the beach or seeing a classical music concert.

Remember that what you eat will also influence how you feel. Incorporating honey, nuts and seeds, salmon and green tea into your diet will help loosen tight muscles.

Have you noticed feeling like you’ve aged 10 years after a long trip? When you’re traveling, your mind, body and soul are constantly at work absorbing and reacting to your surroundings. Take care of your health while on a trip and you’ll notice yourself feeling invigorated for what each day has in store, and you’re less likely to get sick after your trip, too!

Thanks for reading,

Emma

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