Experience has taught me about the simple things that can make a trip go well. Becoming aware of and applying them at home has helped me get more out of life. Here are some that help to set me up for success:
- Walk. My favourite mode of transportation when I’m traveling, is walking…pretty much everywhere. It’s not (just) because I’m cheap (although it can also save some hefty taxi costs), but walking allows me to chance upon and explore things I would never stop to see if I was riding public transit, or in a car. It’s also a great way to ensure that I’m getting daily exercise and am outside enjoying my surroundings.
- Join an activity. Many of my travel choices center around the things I like to do. Yoga has been a great outlet for meeting and connecting with others, has helped me to further my business, and continues to create more opportunities for traveling (through attending workshops, retreats, or other yoga events). I never have to worry about being by myself because I can easily find a warm yoga community, or network of people, wherever I go. I’ve also recently started kitesurfing, which has led me to connect with other types of people. Investing in an interest or hobby can be extremely fulfilling as you advance your skills while having fun.
- People watch. Let’s face it. The most interesting activity we can do while traveling is to observe others – where and how they live, what they do, their interactions with things and others…and it creates opportunities to reflect upon and learn about ourselves and how we might be similar and different to those around us.
- Discover new things. At home, it’s easy to gravitate towards the comfort of things I know, meeting the same people, and frequenting the same shops, restaurants, and activities. When I’m traveling, I’m more apt to step outside my comfort zone (and admittedly, sometimes my safety zone too) and try something new or different (including food, style, activity, or way of doing things). New experiences offer a sense of adventure and add interest in an otherwise routine lifestyle. They can also lead to greater personal awareness and opportunities to grow and learn.
- Treat myself. It’s really easy to justify spending a little bit more on a fancy dinner, spa treatment, or beautiful piece of clothing when I’m traveling, and it always makes me feel “oh, so good”. At home, it’s a bit more difficult to make the time, space, and justify the cost, but I know it’s important to treat myself, even if it’s on a smaller scale – get a massage, cuddle with someone (could be a pet), read a book, blast some favourite tunes, take a nap in my hammock, practice some yoga, curl up by the fireplace, take a bubble bath, or anything else that makes me feel peaceful, relaxed, and comfortable.
- Connect or check in with loved ones. Checking-in is part of my safety routine when traveling, but also serves to reassure my worried parents, partner, or others, that despite all of my adventure’s risks, I’m alive and well. Sometimes my check-ins are used to vent, complain about the hardships of my travels, or to simply share my experiences. Regardless, it’s important to take the time to connect with those who are close on a regular basis.
- Review my purchases and finances. When I’m traveling, I always take a few minutes at the end of the day to review my daily purchases. This helps me to keep track of what I’m spending in each place, and also allows me to budget for the rest of my travels. At home, knowing where my finances are at on a daily basis helps to keep me motivated to reach my financial goals, and also let’s me know when I’ve gone off track.
- Lighten my load. The end of each travel day is an opportunity to unload my bag, take stock of any purchases and things I won’t need to carry around with me the next day, and mindfully put them away. Anyone who has ever traveled with me knows that although my luggage may be light, my daily “purse” is certainly not, and I’m constantly looking for ways to offload it. I once complained of aching shoulders only to discover that the bottom of my bag was filled with a rather abundant supply of beach souvenirs (also known as beautifully shaped rocks, colourful stones, and pigmented seashells) that I’d collected…but I hadn’t been to a beach for days.
- Review my day. I try to end each travel day with time for reflection (this includes lightening my load, sometimes writing in a journal, updating my itinerary, or downloading photos from my camera and writing notes to keep track of each place). It’s important to note the highlights of the day, and to feel grateful for them. And, if there were negative things that occurred that day, pausing to reflect about what could be done to prevent similar occurrences helps to let go of the issues or experiences.
- Prepare for the next day. Before I put everything away and get ready for bed, I always take some time to check the weather, take out and put aside whatever items I think I’ll be using the next day, and organise my things for an efficient departure. This is also the time to book anything I might need (hotels or activities) for the next day or two, and to catch up on any missed emails or messages. Of course, the most important way to prepare for the next day is to always get a good night’s sleep, so I can feel energized for whatever the next day brings me.
Missed Part 1 of this post? Read it here: 10 Things I Do When I’m Traveling that I Should Do When I’m at Home
If this post has resonated with you, I’d love to hear from you! Or share your own travel/daily life tip in the comments below!