Aside from my beautiful Instagram photos, traveling with Remote Year hasn’t been easy. I get homesick, I miss out on major milestones with friends and family, I have deadlines in different time zones, I am overlooked for promotions, I am easily overwhelmed with social anxiety, I break down with language barriers, and I also get burnt out more often than you think because I’m only human. On the other hand, I didn’t sign up for this one-year program because I thought it would be easy. I signed up because I felt that I wasn’t growing personally and professionally and wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone. As an artist, I am a curious being by default with a need to break complacency. I wanted a global perspective and an intense immersion into cultures I wouldn’t have fully gotten to experience if I stayed in my bougie Los Angeles neighborhood. I am now well aware that I should be careful what I wish for because this so-called glamorous year also comes with a heavy dose of fatigue, struggle, rejection, headaches, late-night crying, and loneliness. Traveling to a new city, sometimes new country each month with multiple side trips in between takes a toll on your health and well-being but is also something that I’ve recently accepted as part of my new life.
I try my best to stay grounded and healthy in my regular life back home, and so far, it has been fairly easy to integrate those practices into my new nomadic lifestyle. I’m not perfect; I love wine and bread, and fried chicken, but also understand the importance of exercise and moderation. There are also so many reasons why traveling is good for your health and I urge everyone to travel as far and wide as their oyster will take them. If you don’t ever want to feel like you need a vacation after your vacation these are my top tips for staying healthy and sane while on the road.
#1: Drink Water
Water is essential to flush out toxins, keep your body working properly, and to avoid dehydration. Drinking two liters a day sounds obvious, right? Well, with long travel days, new environments, brunches, happy hours, etc., you tend to put the old h2o on the backburner. I make a conscious effort to drink more water. To keep myself accountable, I pack my water bottle and challenge myself to fill it up multiple times per day.
Last year, I did a twelve-week program called The Artist’s Way as a way to learn how to reject self-doubt, pursue creative endeavors, and try to figure out my life’s purpose. At the core of the process is a daily ritual called “morning pages,” based on the belief that writing out three stream of consciousness pages, in longhand, each morning, will unclog your mental and emotional channels that get in the way of being happy, productive, and creative. I can’t stress enough how valuable journaling has been for me since I’ve completed the program. It’s also a great way to remember small details from your life that would normally be forgotten and overlooked amongst the big events. Sometimes these small challenges or breakthroughs are more important in the long run, and it’s rewarding to reflect on how far you’ve come.
#3: Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Yes, I know everyone rolls their eyes when I talk about my weekly farmers market visits and my desire to eat as local and organic as possible, but I strongly feel that your diet is the foundation of your overall health. And what better way to get to know a city and culture than by visiting a local market and picking up exotic fruits and vegetables? In fact, finding an all-natural market is the first thing I do when I get to a new city. I make sure I pick-up healthy, high-protein snacks to avoid eating too much sugar and I also try to at least keep eggs and fresh vegetables on hand to make a quick, healthy meal on the go. I love both cooking and eating out, and recommend to find a balance that feels right for both your diet and your budget. And always drink more green juice!
#4: Stretch and Sweat
Exercise is a universal language. In almost every hotel, you can find a basic workout room on top of cities being full of gyms and fitness classes. If gyms or classes aren’t your thing, put on your sneakers and walk/jog around town. I bring my travel Manduka yoga mat with me to practice yoga and pilates at home if I don’t have time to take a class. Taking yoga, spin, and pilates classes in each place I’ve traveled has also helped me get a sense of community and learn the language. I also love getting out of the city and finding a quiet space in nature to recharge and hike in the natural environment. It’s especially important to hold yourself accountable with an exercise routine to maintain a balanced mind and body.
#5: Slow Down and Take it In
Let’s face it – you will never be able to do or see it all, so why not let go of your expectations and allow yourself to relax more often and take in each moment for what it is. Traveling is more rewarding when you set time aside to do the things you love to do, and in return, you will have more energy in the long run.