It’s been a summer of restless, joyful travel, and each new trip — big or small — has seemed had a drink to remember it by. There was tequila in the dessert and margaritas by the water; champagne on the coast beneath a bruised sky; Spanish-style gin and tonics shared with friends to lighten life’s twists and turns; wine tasting in the arms of a grove of trees; old fashioned martinis in the Castro as we gathered around a screen to watch the end of something that’s been with me throughout my adult life. And if you just looked at heavily edited blog posts and instagram feeds it would seem like that’s what the blogger life looks like. Reality is far messier, more boring, and less magical-seeming, and I hate that blogs and social media have created this thing called fomo. I love documenting and curating images but my goal is to focus on the good stuff – the things I want to remember — rather than to whitewash reality or inspire jealously. A recent trip to SoCal was heavy on reality and light on documentation — we barely managed to snap these few images at the last minute. This jaunt was for birthdays and graduations and young love. It was personal and largely unglamorous. We drove back and forth from one end of Southern California to the other; visiting, exploring, eating, and of course indulging in the odd drink. As sort of a reality check I thought I’d share the side of travel that isn’t so photogenic — trying to stay balanced (emphasis on try) and healthy while on the road. Here are some tips and tricks for my fellow travelers out there:
- Hydrate. This one seems obvious but it can be difficult while you’re on the go. The first thing I do when I enter any airport is buy a bottle of water — the ones they give you on the plane are too small and there’s never enough of them. I also no longer allow myself coffee or alcohol while flying — the plane ride itself is already incredibly dehydrating on our bodies. Ask for water when eating out, and keep a small bottle in your bag while you’re moving around.
- Lemons. I buy a couple of these at the beginning of each trip and each morning I add fresh lemon juice to room temperature water (with cayenne pepper sprinkled in if I can get a hold of it). This kick-starts your digestion, boosts your immune system, and detoxifies your liver, which is great on a regular basis and essential when traveling.
- Digestion. This is the year I have really realized how much we are what we eat. The fiber and enzymes to keep your digestion regulated are best found in raw vegetables, and you know what that means. Yep. Salads. Salads every day. I know, believe me, I know. But when my digestion stops working properly I get bloated, lose energy, my skin breaks out, and I have insomnia. This isn’t fun anytime but can really wreck havoc on my ability to do as much as I want on a trip and keep from getting sick or burnt out. In short, I’ve learned to really like salads, and I make sure I eat a bunch of raw vegetables at least once each day when I’m traveling.
- Chia Seeds. A great tip I got from Rena is to pack a jar or baggie of mixed chia seed cereal. It travels easily and all you need to do is add water and you’ve got breakfast or a snack high in fiber, protein and healthy fat. My cereal of choice is to mix the chia with nuts (cashews, almond, hazelnuts), pumpkin seeds, cocoa nibs and some cinnamon and a little sugar. Soak in water for 5-10 minutes (sometimes I’ve done this right in the plastic cups the hotel leaves in your bathroom). If chia seeds aren’t your thing try to stock your airbnb or hotel with carrots, celery, humus and the like to be able to start the day right and keep healthy snacks around.
- Sleep. We all know how important this is. Sleep doesn’t come easily for me as it is, so I travel with a sleeping mask, ear plugs, and I love this white noise app on my phone. I try to stay awake until at least 9pm local time when I’m out of the PST, and set an alarm for the morning. Worse case scenario I’ll take a PM pain killer but nothing stronger than that.
Travel — new places, situations, foods, and rhythms — puts strains and stresses on the body, even when you’re having a great time and everything goes right. Reaching for raw veggies at least once a day, keeping hydrated, and kick starting your digestion each morning keeps your body at peak energy and sicknesses away. I travel better and feel better if I put a little advance planning in and try to focus on these methods — but even so I always manage fail at some point — which is totally ok in my book. We’re traveling to taste new things and indulge in ways we don’t in the day to day. Don’t feel guilty about having that extra glass of wine, over-indulging in the local food, or staying awake until dawn… there’s always time for a smoothie cleanse back at home, right?
How do you keep healthy while traveling? Do you have any tips or secrets for sleeping on planes (I can NEVER get a decent amount of sleep on an international flight no matter how hard I try)? Let’s hear all about it!.
I hope you have a great week! Until next time let’s stay connected over on instagram, pinterest, or twitter, and if you want to stay up with the latest post follow me on bloglovin’ or subscribe to my newsletter — the link is on my home page. Thank you for reading!
Photos by myself and MB Maher