Busy bustling streets, unfamiliar cultures, strange languages, weird foods, different climates, new people, unusual situations, wild nights and adventurous days. Just an average day in the life of a traveller.
I have been on the road for 6 months now and at times travelling can be slightly overwhelming. There is always so much to digest. You must constantly adjust your behaviour, expectations and interactions to suit your current environment. Every now and again travelling can leave us feeling unsettled, dis-connected and un-grounded.
I have developed some small practices to help you remain present, feeling relaxed and well balanced while exploring this wonderful world.
These little exercises have been my saving grace as I ventured through Australia, Bali, Europe and Central America.
There is nothing quite like spending few hours in a hammock with a good book. Whether you trade, borrow, buy, just get your hands on an uplifting or inspirational read. Reading has been proven to actively reduce stress and improve concentration. Take the morning off from exploring and allow yourself 1-2 hours of peaceful reading.
The more I travel, the more I realise yoga is EVERYWHERE. It is officially (and finally) a worldwide practice. Ask fellow travellers or locals about the yoga scene in your current area and make time to attend a class. Yoga is all about calming the mind, grounding into the present moment and re-focusing our energy on what is important. Practising yoga is not only phenomenal for your body and mind but it also provides you the opportunity to connect with like-minded people in the area.
Rest under a palm tree or dine on a bustling street, it doesn’t matter where you are, you can always listen to a Podcast. Have a laugh out loud moment, be guided through a relaxing meditation or gain insightful information, podcasts are the way forward. I personally find listening to someone’s voice so therapeutic and soothing. Allow a recording to take your mind away from any stresses, close your eyes and let go. Some of my favourite stations are; The Minimalists Podcast, TED Talks and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
To remove any mental blocks and to help digest the world around you, write it down. Journalling is an incredible method of clarifying thoughts and calming the mind. Don’t worry about punctuation, grammar and spelling. Don’t plan what your going to write or try and make it sensical. Just put pen to paper and let it all come out. Journalling about your bad experiences helps reduce the impact and intensity of the emotions.
5. Self-Love Ritual
Treat yourself to a locally made body scrub, essential oil or lotion, sit down in a quiet space, maybe start with some gentle stretches, then give yourself a yummy self-massage. I use essential oils mixed with coconut oil and spend anywhere between 15-45 minutes on a self-massage. This act is the greatest expression of self-love and kindness. Guaranteed to ground you, destress you and rejuvenate you. Once you have massaged the body, give yourself the gift of silence. Sit or lie in stillness, allowing the skin to absorb the oils and the mind to find peace.
6. Write Home
Go into the local souvenir shop and purchase a cheerful postcard to send home to your family. Writing to relatives and friends is such a lost art. Write about your day, the food you ate, the people you met and the incredible sites (don’t forget to tell them they are missed!). Send it off with mountains of love and a lightness in your heart. There is something very comforting in picturing the faces of your loved ones receiving a picturesque postcard.
So no matter where your vagabond shoes take you, use these simple tricks and tips to stay grounded, balanced and stress-free.