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7 Elements Of Conscious, Healthy Travel

Not many places are as inspiring to me as airports. My hypothesis is that it's the rush of travel, excitement of going somewhere new, adventures by the dozen on the horizon. The vast majority of my writing has taken place on airplanes (and it's usually in the Notes app on my iPhone). On my most recent trip to NY, the following materialized. Enjoy. I hope it allows you to travel a bit more consciously, and who knows, maybe airports will become your new mecca of inspiration, too.

1 Hydration -- Go ahead. I give you permission. Actually, I insist. I know it's a $6 bottle of water, but it's also your best travel buddy. Keep your cells happy; fatigue and illness at bay. I always make sure to splurge on a giant bottle of water at the airport. If you do nothing else in this list, do this. (Even if you're not thirsty.) (Yes, both ways.)

2 Immunity -- The very best arsenal against the bombardment of foreign germs waiting for you around the world is your very own immune system. Help it run optimally with a vitamin and nutrient boost. A few days before departure, have a series of green juices. Bring a supplement for daily support while traveling. I'm currently obsessed with these Korres vitamin tablets I purchased while in Greece this past summer. And I am dying to try this new green powder from Aloha for my next trip! Nutrient dense green juice to-go? Yes, please. Staying super healthy while jet-setting? Check.

3 Nutrition -- Snacks. Snacks. Snacks. There's few things I love more than going to Whole Foods and stocking up on a plethora of healthy snacks for upcoming travel. (Too cool for school, huh?) A few of my favorite, easy, items to bring: apples, kale chips, and nuts with sea salt (will help keep you satiated and hydrated!) But seriously, who doesn't want to be snacking on a trail mix complete with almonds, blueberries and dark chocolate while your neighbor picks through a microwaved meal of fake meat and bread wrapped in plastic from 2009? #duh

4 Clean -- Few things rival the cleanliness (err, sea of contained germs) aboard your trusty 747. Some of my go-to ways to stay fresh while galavanting the globe are face wipes, travel-sized castille soap, and washable pillow cases. Baby wipes do wonders for your face, hands, and cell phone screen. For an especially nourishing experience, I absolutely love Josie Maran's Bear Naked wipes (which also donate a portion of proceeds to protecting polar bears affected by global warming -- a small, but meaningful way to offset your travel carbon footprint). Dr. Bronner's castille soap is another inexpensive, natural way to keep your hands and face clean in sub-par airport bathrooms. If you like to bring a neck pillow, make sure it has a washable cover (and wash it!) Do you really want to snuggle up to everywhere that pillow has touched over the years of being dragged through planes, trains, and busses around the world? Exactly.

5 Comfort -- The only rival to the cleanliness of your seat is the comfort it provides. Combat that by wearing comfy, versatile clothes. And layers. The temperature of planes and subways are always variable, often extreme, and generally unpredictable. Being prepared and comfortable will give you the ability to relax and enjoy. I also love to stick a pillow or blanket behind my lower back for extra lumbar support.

6 Rest -- When else do you have 6 hours of uninterrupted me time? Totally disconnected from the constant bombardment of work calls, social media updates, and daily errands? Take advantage of it! Close your eyes. Throw on some chill tunes. If I'm feeling especially anxious or stressed, I'll take a moment to sit straight in my chair, connect my feet to the floor, and place my hands over my chest or heart chakra. Then I'll continue to #7.

7 Breathe -- Travel can create some of the most hectic situations you'll ever encounter. It can also allow for the most peaceful moments of your life. Breathe. Mindfully. Stay disconnected from the digital world and connect to the world around you. Look out the window at 37,000 ft and take it all in. This unique vantage point. Change of perspective. Realize there is always sun above the clouds no matter the weather on the ground. Enjoy its rise. Wonder at the mystery of the world. Soak in its immense beauty. Meditate. Relax. Breathe. Be.

6 Ways To Create S P A C E In Your Life

Those tips I promised in yesterday's post:

1 Keepsakes. Always a hard one to justify. Try allowing yourself a certain, reasonable amount of space. Something small enough that you could sift through in 30 min or an hour maybe. I allowed myself one quart size ziplock bag for ticket stubs, cards, etc., and one shelf for yearbooks and whatnot. Also, see #2.

2 Digitize. This is super helpful for some of those “keepsakes” that are flirting with the border between junk and funny (i.e. not the ticket stub from your first Phish show, but maybe the flyer for an aftershow that you didn't even make it to). I spent the better part of Tuesday texting, emailing, and Instagramming so many memories that I came across. Not only did it make for an evening filled with laughs and connecting with old friends, but it also helped me realize what a great gift the digital era has brought. Now instead of saving that flyer, send a mass text ("next time we'll make it for sure..."), have a few laughs, and toss it. You now have a digital copy somewhere when you feel the need to see it again (which you probably won’t, because let’s face it, it’s a old flyer).

3 Prioritize. Take a moment to meditate on what’s really true and meaningful for you in your life. Certainly this important information to know about yourself (you’re thinking “DUH”, but, ummm, you’d be surprised...), and it definitely makes for a more efficient life-cleaning-process. For me, music is everything. So I decided to keep my record collection, but sell the majority of my books. Per #2, I figure Kindle is the way to go in my reading endeavors. Even though most of my music is digital (Spotify premium has even helped me clear most of my hard drive -- score!), there’s something about that beautiful vinyl that holds meaning for me, not least of which is the sound quality. So I’m keepin’ it.

4 Clothing. A good friend of mine once said, “If you haven’t worn it in 2 years, get rid of it.” That’s a good place to start, but it’s relatively easy to part with things you haven’t really thought about in years. The next step I took was the “Would I wear it this weekend?” question. This helps weed out the clothes you actually like. This final step separates the boys from the men: “How do I feel when I wear this?” If it’s something less than “amazing”, let it go. Think about this. What we wear has the ability to empower us, make our day, our life, better. It affects our environments. It could be amazing because it’s super comfortable, flattering, or simply expresses your style. All are great reasons to wear something. Because it’s sitting in your drawer and clean... not so much.

5 Burn. Not just found in abodes of hippies and yogis, sage and incense can provide much needed cleansing to any space. When burning, bring the sage to the corners of the room, windows and doors, and anywhere else your intuition calls. Clearing the energy will allow for peace, stillness. And space.

6 Cloud. I love the cloud. A few months ago I purchased a Macbook Air and really discovered its benefit. Even with the upgraded hard drive, this baby has minimal space. And who needs it? Dropbox. Spotify. Netflix. It’s the 21st century people! Stop hoarding, start streaming. Try backing up all of your files and clearing your hard drive or phone every once in a while. Who doesn’t love the feeling of a brand new gadget?

Alright, that should get you started. Ready? Go!

Background image by Sebastian Glasl.