For my first beach vacation as an adult, I traveled to Jamaica for a long weekend with two dear girlfriends. The only thing on our agenda was relaxing, connecting, and soaking up the sunshine. I had spent the previous several months training for and running my first marathon, and I decided my vacation would involve as little physical activity as humanly possible.
We enjoyed every second of our time in "paradise" - hours reading by the ocean, decadent meals, a lesson in Jamaican cuisine, dancing into the morning, and sleeping into the day. We returned home full of great memories, but I found myself out of sorts and off rhythm. Despite the break from running, I felt physically exhausted. I needed a vacation from my vacation.
Does that sound familiar?
I learned an important lesson that week. Travel provides a great opportunity to let our pendulum swing away from our usual patterns and routines, but if we allow it to fly too far, we risk ending up off center.
In the [MANY] years since that experience, my approach to travel has shifted. Yes - I find ways to slow down, relax, and indulge, but I have come to recognize certain parts of my routine are necessary for my overall well-being whether at home or away. Wherever I am I try to incorporate little doses of the movement and solitude I need to ground my body and anchor my mind in the present.
These actions needn't be the centerpiece of your day - nor do they need to be exact matches for what you do at home. On my recent visit to sunny Florida, I found what I needed in different forms. Some mornings it was a sunrise run along the beach. Other days, it was a quiet afternoon reading and writing on the back porch. Both left me feeling rejuvenated and ready for whatever was to come.
Before your next getaway, consider what you need to stay grounded, and think of ways to incorporate those elements into your itinerary. Caring for yourself will make you a better travel companion and enhance your own experience.