Travel Light, Be Light, and Break the Bubble!
By Sarah Oleson
Have you ever planned a trip, (vacation, business, even an overnight or day trip) and totally stressed yourself out the night before, or even minutes before traveling? You get that internal conversation...Am I forgetting something?....Why am I even packing this?… Will I even wear this? ….Is my spouse/child/pet going to miss me? Will they secretly have a “YAY! They're gone!” party?
If you have had any of these internal self talks...you are human.
Traveling is amazing, but it can bring up fear, worry, guilt and anxiety. When you travel, you are moving outside of your comfort zone, you are leaving your bubble, you are…. OMG don’t say it…. BREAKING THE ROUTINE!!!???
I lead yoga and wellness retreats so I travel for a living, BUT I still experience the stress of leaving my bubble and my daily routine. I have come up with some ideas and gentle reminders for you to help ease into the travel transition.
1) Pack Light. Take only what you need. Then you will be way less worried if you are forgetting something, or tearing your bag apart in front of everyone at the airport because you cannot find that darn hair elastic. I have traveled to a dozen countries with the same neon green backpack (I can always find it in a crowd!) and If I cannot fit what I want to bring in my backpack, then I need to re-evaluate. Your back will thank you! This is also a life lesson to shed what is not of use to you. If you can travel with just a backpack and live for a week or however long… why do you have a walk-in closet full of clothes?
2) Shed the fear of change. Think back to hundreds of years ago when people set out to sea for months and even YEARS at a time… and we are worried about going away for one week? Traveling somewhere new, even for an overnight or a day trip is good for your body, your soul, and for breaking out of the fears and worries. It’s doing something different. We think that when we leave our bubble, something about the bubble will never be the same. Chances are, your houseplant will still be semi-alive like it is now, your kid will still be waking up WAY too early in the morning, and your spouse/cat/dog will be sitting in the same place they were when you left. Pop the bubble.
3) Drink water, breathe, & move. When we travel, especially to different altitudes, temperatures, and climates, we forget that this can lead to fluid shifts in the body. Drink more water than you think you need. If you are taking a plane on your trip, we all know that it is nearly impossible to find fresh air. Do some deep breathing right before you get on the plane, to calm you and to get rid of stale air held in the body. There are currently nine Airports in the US that have yoga rooms, so give those a try, OR, just do your own breathing, stretching or meditating while you wait for your flight. Sometimes when I do this in the airport random people join in. It is totally awesome and a beautiful feeling. People might stare, (they probably wish they were in child’s pose too!) For food, pack your own healthy snacks, or take the time to look at the options the airport/flight offers ahead of time.
4) Smile. Make friends. I travel alone A LOT. I have actually met people in the airport and on planes that I have kept in touch with and visited years later. So, rather than burying your head in your cell phone, talk to the person next to you. Make eye contact. Make them laugh. It eases the stress of travel and they might just have a beautiful Villa in Tuscany that they want you and your bff to come stay at next summer!
Just remember, when you travel, you are in charge of your attitude. So choose the attitude of calm and grace, and know that the when you travel light, you feel light.
Sarah is a yoga teacher and world traveler. Feeling inspired? Head to saraholesonyoga.com and travel along with her to one of her yoga & wellness retreats! We promise, she will get you out of your bubble, and blissfully smiling ear to ear.
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