I don’t know whether or not I’m supposed to be asleep or awake these days. Since late April, we’ve been bouncing through time zones, skipping like a stone across the Atlantic and back again, then ricocheting between the East and West Coasts. I read somewhere that when you travel vast distances quickly, it takes your soul extra time to catch up with your body. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but I can say that my thoughts and emotions feel scattered all over the map right now, like debris blowing out the back of a pick-up truck speeding down a desert highway.
Tomorrow morning, I will wake up in Europe. If I ever go to sleep that is. Whatever the mode of travel, I’ve never been able to sleep well while moving. My body has trouble disengaging from the motion, every lurch and bump seem to jolt me back away from the edge of slumber. My mind refuses to let go as well. Thoughts about where I am traveling to and from and what new experiences await when I arrive will not let me rest.
Perhaps tonight will be different. Perhaps I will somehow manage to contort my body into some kind of pseudo comfortable position on the plane and I’ll persuade my mind to let go of its swirling thoughts for a little while. Maybe I will be able to drift off into sleep just long enough so that I do not miss the first light of the sunrise striking the shores of what for me will be a New World.
I am back on the road again with several months of travel ahead of me. Trying to keep up with previously established good habits as well as developing new ones is something I want to be intentional about during this period. A recent episode of the No Meat Athlete Podcast provided some useful tips for doing just that.
- Have A Plan
- Be Flexible
- Make the Most of the Situation
Have A Plan
This is one area where I don’t often do a good job. Too often I wake up in a new place, wanting to maintain my morning routine only to give up on it because I haven’t planned accordingly. If I want to maintain my meditation habit, I need to have a plan the night before about where I am going sit, clearing the space of other things if need be. If I want to go for a run in the morning, I need to have clothing and shoes pulled out of my baggage and accessible and at least a loose idea of where to go.
If I normally meditate for 20 minutes, but can only do 5, I need to be okay with that. If a six-mile run is replaced by three miles and some brisk walking during the day, that’s okay too. I’m pretty good with this tip, the only exception might be with my writing. If I miss this first thing in the morning, I usually don’t go back to it. I need to be more flexible with when and where I write.
Make the Most of the Situation
Not able to run my usual workout routes because I’m on the road? Cool, now I can try something different and see a new place. Not around my favorite place to buy healthy food? Great, now I can explore my location and find something new.
These three tips are simple but powerful if acted upon. Life on the road can be bumpy and keeping up with the habits that promote health and happiness can certainly help to smooth things out.
What about you?
How do you maintain good habits while traveling?