6 Practices to Keep You Balanced and Grounded When Traveling
Busy bustling streets, unfamiliar cultures, strange languages, weird foods, different climates, new people, unusual situations, wild nights and adventurous days. Just an average day in the life of a traveller!
Traveling is incredibly rewarding, exciting, and eye-opening. Yet at times, traveling can be slightly overwhelming. There is always so much to digest. You must constantly adjust your behavior, expectations, and interactions to suit your current environment.
Every now and again traveling can leave us feeling unsettled, dis-connected and un-grounded. As a world traveler who’s been on the road the past six months, I have developed some small practices to help you remain present, feeling relaxed and well-balanced while you explore this big beautiful world.
The following exercises are simple and easy to implement, and they have been my saving grace traveling through Australia, Bali, Europe and Central America:
Hit the Books
There is nothing quite like spending a few hours in a hammock with a good book. Whether you trade, borrow, or buy, just get your hands on an uplifting/inspirational read. Reading has been proven to actively reduce stress and improve concentration. Take the morning off from exploring and allow yourself 1-2 hours of peaceful reading.
A few personal favorites are The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Want more awesome book recommendations? Check out 10 Books Every Yogi Should Read.
The more you travel, the more you’ll realize that yoga is EVERYWHERE. Yoga is officially (and finally) a worldwide practice. Ask fellow travellers or locals about the yoga scene in your current area and make time to attend a class.
Yoga is all about calming the mind, grounding into the present moment and re-focusing our energy on what is important. Practicing yoga is not only phenomenal for your body and mind – it also provides you the opportunity to connect with like-minded people in the area.
If you can’t make it to a local yoga class, try these four yoga poses for calming and grounding and hold each pose for 10-15 breaths:
Child’s Pose – to ease the nervous system
Legs Up the Wall – for stress reduction
Tree Pose – for grounding and concentration
Triangle Pose – to stabilize and steady the mind
Listen to Podcasts
Whether you prefer to rest under a palm tree or have a coffee on a bustling street, no matter where you are, you can always listen to a Podcast. Have a laugh out loud moment, be guided through a relaxing meditation, or gain insightful information. Podcasts can take your mind away from any stresses – you can just close your eyes and let go.
Some of my personal favorite stations are: The Minimalists Podcast, TED Talks, and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
To remove any mental blocks and better digest the world around you, write it down. Journaling is an incredible method of clarifying thoughts and calming the mind. Don’t worry about punctuation, grammar and spelling. Don’t plan what you’re going to write or worry about how it sounds – just put pen to paper and let it all come out.
Just put pen to paper and let it all come out.
Journaling about your bad experiences helps reduce the impact and intensity of the emotions. There are a few different techniques to journaling. My favorite journal technique is free-writing where you allow the words to tumble out uncensored and unedited.
Some people resonate with gratitude journals where you document things you’re thankful for each day. You may even experiment with art journaling where you create little collages or a collection of doodles to express your inner thoughts.
Want to learn more about journaling plus further guidance to get you started? Then you’ll want to read: Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice & Tips to Get You Started
Give Yourself a Massage
Grab some locally-made body scrub, essential oils or lotion, sit down in a quiet space – maybe start with some gentle stretches – and then treat yourself to a yummy self-massage. This is such a simple yet effective act of self-love that you’ll never regret spending time on.
For my self-massage, I like to use essential oils (lavender essential oil is great for relaxation, and eucalyptus or peppermint oil help relax tense muscles and encourage deep conscious breathing) mixed with coconut oil. Spend anywhere between 15-45 minutes on your self-massage, and enjoy!
Self-love rituals are the greatest expression of self-care and kindness – guaranteed to ground you, destress you and rejuvenate you. Once you have massaged the body, give yourself the gift of silence. Sit or lie in stillness, allowing the skin to absorb the oils and the mind to find peace.
Ready for more self-love?? Here are 8 more simple yet effective practices of self-love.
Go into the local souvenir shop and purchase a cheerful postcard to send home to your loved ones. Writing to relatives and friends is such a lost art. Write about your day, the food you ate, the people you met and the incredible sites (don’t forget to tell them they are missed!).
Send your letter off with mountains of love and a lightness in your heart. There is something very comforting in picturing the faces of your loved ones receiving a picturesque postcard.
There is something very comforting in picturing the faces of your loved ones receiving a picturesque postcard.
No matter where your vagabond shoes take you, use these simple tricks and tips to stay grounded, balanced and stress-free. Traveling is an amazing experience that can change your perspective, broaden your horizons, and add so much depth to your life overall. Applying these six practices to your travels will help you get the most out of every moment. Safe travels!!