In my constant quest to merge my travel and daily life, I’ve realised that there are many things that I take for granted when traveling, that could serve me well when at home. As much as my travel life and daily life often seem to overlap, here are some of the things I’ve learned:
- Make a plan. When I’m traveling, I like to capitalize on time. This means that although I’m not adverse to the occasional sleep in (especially if I’m traveling for long periods of time), I’m usually ready to get up and get going right away. It’s safe to say that this doesn’t always happen when I’m at home. I plan my day, whether through creating a detailed itinerary or having a loose agenda of sights and activities that I want to explore. Having a simple to do list, whether at home or on the road helps to keep focused and productive, and also serves as a mini record of where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, and what I’ve done.
- Check the weather. Weather can have a huge impact on traveling and often plays a heavy hand in packing and dressing appropriately, as well as in the types of activities added to my daily plan. At home, I often dash out the door and into my car, only to find myself without a much needed umbrella, sweater, or appropriate footwear.
- Respond to important messages. Although I appreciate the value of being able to “unplug” and enjoy my travels, I also believe in striking a balance. Letting messages go unanswered while I travel is not only challenging because I run a small business, but the amount of travel that I do can lead to an enormous amount of time playing “catch up” upon my return. Instead, I choose to set aside time before leaving the hotel (although getting increasingly easier, it may be difficult to find reliable WiFi once out and about) to scan through the emails and messages that I’ve received and answer those deemed as important, urgent, or necessary. By clearing these off before I start my day, I can explore my surroundings to my heart’s content without feeling stressed to find more WiFi or respond to things coming in throughout the day.
- Explore a new neighbourhood. My neighbourhood was recently “crowned Canada’s greatest neighbourhood” and it got me to thinking about all the wonderful, beautiful places that I have explored on my travels. There’s always something magical about grabbing a map, and just walking about, taking photos, finding the most popular coffeeshops, boutique stores, and hangouts, and then discovering the ones that are tucked away on quiet street corners. Those are always my favourites. And I know that there are many places waiting to be explored, much closer to home.
- Ask for recommendations. From the doorman, to the taxi driver, to the hotel concierge, to the restaurant server, there’s no end to the people I ask for recommendations about the places I’m exploring, when I’m traveling. Although I could spend hours researching the area online, the very best recommendations always come from locals themselves, excited to show off their town/city.
- Stay present. Traveling to new places is similar to being a small child discovering new things for the first time. I often find myself admiring the things around me – the sky, trees, buildings, people, and stopping to look at things I wouldn’t pause for when I’m at home. Staying present in my travels means taking in sights, sounds, and smells to get a full experience. And, of course, in some cases, safety, such as being able to cross the street in Thailand, or India, necessitates full presence and awareness.
- Enjoy time alone. Finding others to travel with can sometimes be challenging. With time, money, work, and other personal responsibilities (family, relationships, etc.), many just don’t have the freedom to pack up and go on a whim. Having time to explore new places, build my own adventures, and learn more about myself is something that I’ve come to enjoy and look forward to.
- Read. Another thing I look forward to when I travel is having time to read. It seems that my “must read” list only continues to grow, and it’s so easy to get distracted by other priorities when I’m at home. There are so many benefits to reading – to think, to learn, to grow, or just get lost in. A great album or book is the perfect companion at the beach, a solo dinner, or long wait in the airport.
- Talk to strangers. It’s easy to reach out and talk to strangers when I’m traveling, because well, everyone is a stranger. Whether I’m asking for directions, or recommendations, or simply meeting interesting people, making connections with others is always the highlight of my travels.
- Rest. The best part of traveling? Making and taking time to relax and renew…each and every day.
Want more travel tips? Follow this blog and check out my next post: 10 MORE Things I Do When I’m Traveling that I Should Do at Home
Have a travel or healthy lifestyle question? I’d love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below!