Thursday, May 1, 2014

How to keep your health and sanity while traveling

Today I'm linking up with Postcards from Rachel for her last expat diaries.  Get your travel posts ready and link up!

Traveling is thrilling, exciting, fun, happy, and completely exhausting!  In one trip you might experience airplanes, buses, taxis, motorcycles, bikes, and walking.  You will eat amazing food, drink amazing drinks, and get very sweaty, dusty, dirty, sticky, and germ-y.  Let's face it, traveling is rough on the body.  Over the years I have come up with some routines that have helped me stay healthy and keep my sanity, so that I can fully enjoy myself and each beautiful country I explore.

1.  Wash your face and brush your teeth EVERY NIGHT, no matter how tired you are.
This is my life rule in general.  I never go to bed without washing my face and brushing my teeth. Even when I had the flu!  Plus, no one likes waking up in the morning with their eyes glued shut from old mascara.  Yuck.

2.  Wash your feet and give yourself a mini foot massage before getting in to bed, no matter how tired you are.
Traveling is tough on your feet.  Think about it - when you get off a long flight, your feet are swollen and sore.  When you explore ancient ruins in the summer, you're walking around dirt roads in sandals, and it's likely that your ice cream cone will drip on your feet.  Yet, showering before bed is not often an option.  Maybe you're staying in a church/orphanage that doesn't have showers.  Maybe you're rooming with 10 other girls from your choir and two of them hogged all the hot water.  Or maybe you're just plumb wiped out.  Do yourself a favor and, at the very least, wash your feet!  Then take 2 minutes and massage some lotion into them.

3.  Drink LOTS of water, no matter how small your bladder is.
Your bladder will hate you, but your immune system will be grateful.

4.  Do what the locals do.
In Korea we were offered some sweet-tasting tea after dinner.  "For digestion."  We drank it.  In Cusco we drank cup after cup of coca tea.  I don't know if the Korean tea helped our digestion or if the Peruvian coca leaves helped fend off altitude sickness, but I'll tell you that I never got the runs nor had to be hospitalized for low blood oxygen levels...

5.  Bring hand sanitizer and baby wipes with you everywhere.
Seriously.  Ev-er-y-where.  You never know when you might get pooped on by a pigeon on Venice, sit near a guy on the airplane that gets drunk and vomits all over everything in a 10 foot radius, or be stuck on a 20 hour bus ride with a lady that brings a cat in a diaper (that, my friends, brings "cat lady" to a whole new level)

What are your tips for keeping your health and sanity while traveling?


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