Travels : In Harmony Through Time Zones
September is my favorite month of all!
For the last decade, September usually means time off, traveling and exciting projects. Having worked quite hard the months leading up to this time of the year, I barely had time to pack and I found myself already on a flight towards East.
I was very happy to be back in gorgeous Armenia. But to reach there, I first traveled to Portugal with a long layover in Greece. Once I reached Armenia, I quickly became aware of how my system was behaving after all the jet lag from moving from one time zone to another, eating different foods, different water, the change in my sleep patterns and my overall daily routine.
Travels, although exciting, are not always as glamorous as they may seem on social media!
My body was talking to me out loud and it needed a little more time and attention than I initially had intended to give it!
Having practiced Yoga for several years, I guess I grew sensitive to how the body feels and its subtle changes. Also, some insights from Yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, have been constant guides. I have the privilege of sharing my life alongside an Ayurvedic Consultant, and he’s the person who will always encourage me to observe, feel and pay attention to how daily habits (or the lack of them!), foods, lifestyle impact my overall wellbeing. So if I forget, he’ll always be there to remind me.
According to Ayurveda, long travels, excess movement and exposure to wind and sun, lack of sleep, jet lag, all vitiate vata dosha (bodily humour) and may cause digestive issues, fatigue, disrupt sleep, etc. That was very true for me. Despite being in foreign lands, there are always choices to make and ways to adjust our system, to keep ourselves in balance. I had learned the hard way in the past, so this time I jumped into action!
So far, it has been an amazing but intense month of travels. I had many projects and plans to make happen, and most of all, I wanted to accomplish them with pleasure and savor every moment of it. To make this happen, I decided to take the necessary precautions to make the most of it.
Here’s what has worked for me :
Sticking as much as I can to healthy food choices (fresh local veggies, fruits) and if possible, prepare simple meals where I’m staying, instead of eating out all the time.
Favor more soup like dishes over dry foods
Remember to hydrate myself enough! (In Yerevan, Armenia’s beautiful capital city, you can find cool fresh water fountains everywhere)
Have at least one food item per day to help with elimination (figs, prunes, etc)
Do daily oil massage before shower (or at least application of oil)
Keep daily sadhana – yoga practices, meditation have a rejuvenative effect on the body and the mind, and are an important support for me during travels.
Protect myself from too much sun exposure (wear hat, avoid midday strong sun)
Protect myself from wind – wear layers if necessary, avoid being out too much in wind, cover head.
Take care of my hair! The last two points completely dry out hair, making it look unhealthy, dry, brittle! Applying coconut oil before washing the hair, or applying amla oil has helped a lot.
Avoid eating, if possible, airplane food. Or just having cooked veggies and making sure to drink water.
What are your tips and tricks you use to keep yourself healthy and vibrant during your travels? I’d love to hear from you!