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My family rarely traveled when I was a child. As in only a handful of times in my first 18 years and only once outside of New York State. Seem strange?Blame it on the cows. Dairy cows that need to be milked twice a day, 365 days a year. That and the constant struggle to turn a profit keeps many dairy farmers, especially those who own small family farms, close to home. Both the time and the money to travel simply did not exist.Somehow, I went from knowing little beyond the rural town where I grew up to literally crossing the globe many times over. In 17 years of working for both government and international NGOs, I’ve touched down in at least 70 countries, many of them multiple times. Those trips have run the gamut, from high end luxury travel to shoestring low budget travel.
I’ve stayed in every type of accommodation, from opulent 5-star hotels to threadbare hostels with no electricity to converted shipping containers in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There was also the time I pitched a tent outside of a tukel in the mountains of South Darfur and hiked to meetings with rebel groups that were recruiting and using child soldiers. In fact, it was this tukel:I’ve eaten beautifully prepared meals in the fanciest of high end restaurants; grilled meat at roadside stands in rural Africa and Asia; local food in generous and hospitable people’s homes; food I prepared myself in Airbnb kitchens; and, at last resort, packaged food completely out of my suitcase.In short, I’ve just about seen it all when it comes to travel and could regale you for many hours with outrageous, completely true stories. Every trip has been unique and the unexpected and sometimes bizarre usually happened. Along the way, I learned a bunch about how to stay healthy and committed to my wellness goals while traveling. About how not to derail, even in an unfamiliar place when my normal routine is COMPLETELY out of whack and I have little control over my schedule.Want some of my best tips? Read on!
THE PITFALLS OF TRAVELIf you’re not intentional about it, travel for both business and pleasure can wreak havoc on your health. The good habits you’ve worked hard to develop in your everyday life are easily upended when you leave your familiar surroundings and routine. Away from home, it’s so easy to fall into the trap overindulgence, little exercise, inadequate sleep, and toxic chemicals. However, there's no need to throw up your hands in surrender! With a little research, some smart packing, and basic prioritization, you’ll be on your way to the healthiest trip of your life. These tips (and those in an upcoming blog) will help you make good choices and feel less likely to derail physically or mentally while in transit and once you reach your destination.
CHOOSING LODGINGIf possible, book a hotel room, apartment, or house that has a full kitchen. That way, you can prepare fresh meals during your stay and have more knowledge and control of the ingredients in your food. This doesn't mean that you never eat out... just not three meals a day plus snacks! You will be amazed the difference it makes in terms of how you feel. Airbnb is a good option for finding a full kitchen. However, many hotels – such as Residence Inn and Homewood Suites – also come with full kitchenettes. TIPS FOR SELECTING A GOOD AIRBNB: I’ve stayed with Airbnb across the U.S. and overseas and had wonderful experiences. Be sure to carefully read the house description and look at the kitchen pictures closely to ensure they have the appliances and utensils you need. Also thoroughly read the reviews other renters have left to confirm they have had excellent experiences with the location, the property, and the host. I also reach out to potential hosts to ask questions, such as whether the house has a blender or other appliances I may want to use. This will help you better plan your meals. If you absolutely cannot get a room with a kitchen, bring a mini cooking device to warm your food, such as this mini crockpot or a 3-quart Instant Pot. You can cook everything from eggs to rice to whole chickens to soup in an Instant Pot. It's virtually an entire kitchen in one small appliance! If your hotel room does not automatically come with a refrigerator, you can still request a mini-fridge. Every hotel has some in storage for guests with medical needs for refrigeration, so calling or making the request ahead of time is best. If necessary, explain that you have food allergies.
Hey! I'm Rachel! I dove into natural wellness after my health crashed in 2014. I'm on a mission to help you understand the ingredients in the products you use and show you how easy it is to exchange toxin-containing ones for things that support rather than burden your body. You'll find me growing microgreens, homesteading, cooking whole food meals, foraging, and creating DIY skincare products.
Skincare and makeup is one of the most important areas to tackle! You'll love my favorite clean beauty brand, which makes swapping your existing product for toxin-free ones a breeze! Use that link for $10 off your first order. Plus, I'm here if you want help picking out the right product or shades for you!
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