One of the hardest things about living a healthy life has to be knowing where to cut ourselves some slack, and give into the fact that we can't all be perfect 100% of the time. This is never truer than when you are on the road, away from home without your blender, your cosy bed and a well stocked kitchen. I don't know about you, but after a couple of days without yoga, vegetables or a good sleep, I start feeling pretty frazzled and out of touch with myself.
So how can we allow ourselves the space to have fun, be spontaneous, and still maintain a healthy routine?
Travel can be an amazing journey (and challenge) in developing self awareness and self care. You start to listen to your body, and begin to know when a day of rest is more important than another day sightseeing or hiking that mountain you told yourself you HAD to do. Your body talks - all you have to do is listen.
After over a year of travel and constant change in routine, switching between rejuvenating yoga retreats in Spain and hilariously unhealthy months in Ireland, I'm slowly working out what works for me. Or so I like to think..
Here are 10 on staying healthy while traveling.
1. Drink some wine at night, and lemon juice in warm water in the morning.
You can burn the candle at both ends, by all means. We all do it. Just give yourself some TLC when you can, and alkalise your body so you can dodge any sicknesses.
2. Eat bacon
But eat it with a pile of vegetables. Because let's face it, bacon is pretty hard to resist.
3. Stay up all night, but catch up on sleep whenever you can.
Power naps are your friend - 20 minutes is optimum. Or maybe a wee slumber on the beach/ grass/ airport floor when the mood strikes. Sleep is essential, which we all know, but sometimes wine makes us forget..
4. It's okay to miss a day of your yoga routine.
You know how good it makes you feel, but if you stress about missing a day then that's counter-productive. Sometimes a trip to the beach with friends is just as good for the soul. Believe it.
5. Double up your wellness with your fun.
Do 15 minutes of yoga on top of the mountain, or take your beers to beach and go for a naked swim.
6. Be a wellness warrior.
All everyone wants is to be a bit healthier, especially those poor malnourished nomads you meet on your travels. Lead a yoga session in your hostel, cook everyone a healthy yet thrifty vegetable soup for dinner, or give someone a massage. They'll remember you for it.
7. Keep it simple.
This applies to everything: food, clothes, toiletries, travel plans.... The less chemicals, ingredients, complications and cost, the better for your mind, body, soul and bank account.
8. Coconut oil.
An essential item in any health conscious traveller's toilet bag is a massive pot of raw organic coconut oil, which you can use for cooking, cleaning yourself, moisturising, treating sunburn and healing your battered little feet. You can make all kinds of goodies with a little bit of coconut oil and some motivation: lip balm, massage oil, toothpaste, body scrubs....
9. Drink water. All day, every day.
Get yourself a good quality, BPA free water bottle, and top it up whenever you can.
10. Be a little bit prepared (but not too much).
Make some plans, pack some nuts. Don't agonise, and know that occasionally you will have to eat a slightly soggy, overpriced salad from a gas station.