As travelers, we abandon many things the average person might deem necessary. We live in suitcases, thrive on minimalism and disregard most luxuries that are too large, heavy or time-intensive. It’s just the nature of the beast, isn’t it? In living outside of the lines it can be challenging to find normalcy… but it’s something we all are willing to grapple with. But the dark reality of life on the road and on the go is that we often abandon what is most important – our inner needs and desires.
In the midst of long journeys, we must ask ourselves, are we listening to our selves? Are we feeding our emotional needs while overwhelmingly fulfilling our desires to do it all and see it all?
The biggest challenge we face as travelers is accepting that self care is a worthy and needed aspect of our lives. It’s not self indulgent – it’s necessary. It’s not silly – it’s needed. No traveler is superwoman. We need to prioritize our selves in order to see the world with fresh eyes, a curious heart and two ready feet. Once we realize this, we’ll become more centered and ready for the world at large.
This is what self care looks like as a traveler.
The hustle to document is one fed by social media and the desire to share. No matter if you are a influencer professionally or an avid Instagram user, deciding to practice self care by going offline is an important step. Removing ourselves from our screens gives us time to truly soak in the world unfolding around us. It gives us appreciation without the need to document (and in turn, disassociate with what is going on around us).
For those who find this concept daunting, take small steps. Put your phone on airplane mode for an afternoon. You’ll find that when you do actively seek to reconnect with the online world, your presence was not missed as sorely as you might have thought. For those seeking more, choosing a disconnected weekend away or even an offline retreat will give you the piece of mind from the online world we all desperately need.
Stop The Travel-Talk
So often, our dinner conversations center around “what’s next,” reviewing itineraries, discussions options or reliving the day’s highs and lows. It’s hard to not become dizzy in the world of travel-talk. It’s a buzzy feeling that pushes us to do more, more, more.
Adopting a healthy amount of conversation centered around travel is a great way to find solace and seek self care while on the road. It doesn’t take much. Making the decision to keep travel-talk off limits over one meal a day will open up so many other life-giving topics of conversation.
Feeding Your Introvert/Extrovert Nature
The cliche idea of self care looks like this – bubble baths, candles, blankets, face masks, movies on the couch. The notion of finding cozy, happy feelings from things can be straining on a traveler. After all, no carryon suitcase can fit all of the above! That’s why self care as a traveler centers more around practices and exercises than things.
For the introvert, feeding your inner need for quiet time alone is a crucial element to self care. Stay in for the night, watch television in your room or write and read.
For the extrovert, indulging in your quest for connection and energy from others is critical. Join in on a coffeehouse show or book reading, look into meet ups focused on what you are passionate about.
Abandoning The Camera
Quite similar to going offline, abandoning our cameras gives us the time to see – truly see – the world around us. Feeding into the notion that there is nothing for you to do but soak in your settings will feed your own senses. Tap into yourself. What do you see, smell, feel? How are your emotions today? These questions will allow you to meditate in your moments and truly find presence.
Buy A Piece Of Home
Be it a book you’ve loved, a familiar bite to eat or a ticket to a movie theater – find something that makes you feel a cozy connection to home. Self care comes from taking active steps to reconnect with ourselves and feed our inner needs. Ask yourself what you miss most along your travels, and see if you can’t find a piece of it on the road.
What self care looks like as a traveler is different than what is expected, but it’s an important practice to put into motion regularly and often while on the road. Prioritize and love yourself, Dame Travelers.
What do you do to practice self care while on the road?