Are you about to take a long trip, across the country or across the sea, and you are feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it?
One person recently told me about her church choir meeting where they were briefed about their upcoming trip to Italy.
She said, “The itinerary was SO OVERWHELMING – very rigorous schedule with very little free time. Up at crack of dawn – events every night with singing or dinners…
“I just sat and bawled after the meeting. I will do the most preparations I can. Just getting all the stuff seems overwhelming, let alone memorizing all this music.”
Is something like this coming up for you?
Or, are you a seasoned traveller who knows how to take good care of your sensitive self when you are on the road?
I have been asked by several people lately how to travel well as a sensitive person. I sent out an email a few weeks ago to ask you wonderful readers what you do. I got enough responses for two newsletter articles!
So, here is the first lot. I kept the comments anonymous, but if you find your words here, thank you so much for responding to my request!
One of my own ideas: Go to http://www.energizedforlife.com/store.htm, scroll down, and order “No More Jet Lag” on fellow EFT-er Meryl Beck’s webpage. It is only $10. This little card is a description of how to use the horary points in acupuncture to adjust your body as you fly over time zones.
The instructions on the card are rather vague. There are two dials. Basically at your departure you set the first dial for the time it is currently in the time zone you are leaving, and the other dial is set for the time it is currently in the location you are going to arrive in. Then you advance these dials together over each hour during your flight, and the card shows you what points to tap for each hour. If you fall asleep, just roll the dials forward to the current times when you wake up.
I invite all of you to send me more Best Travel Ideas For Sensitive People. I will create another article about them. Then, I will put my strategies and yours together as an ebook, including tapping scripts, that I will make available to anyone who is interested. I love it when we can support each other as a community!
Here is what you sent:
I bought a pair of sound blocking headphones that construction people wear (only cost around $20) and it has really enhanced my time at the airport and on planes. It blocks a lot of the engine noise (which can be fatiguing on the body). I can wear stereo ear buds underneath the headphones and can listen to my ipod. (I usually place the ear buds upside down and drape the cord around my ear to help things stay in place.) Because a lot of the engine noise is blocked, I can listen to interviews, etc, on my ipod that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to hear. Having the headphones on creates a sort of psychic bubble around me as well, and I find that people give me the space to have the solitude that I want. This way I arrive at my destination feeling less frazzled.
If going to a foreign country, take a small calculator to help with calculating currency exchanges. If possible, look on Wikipedia or elsewhere to see what the coins/currency look like so you will be more familiar with it.
Protein bars can be invaluable for tiding you over when you’re not sure where your next meal is coming from. Much better than being at the mercy of unhealthy food options that you may prefer not to partake of.
If you’re familiar with Donna Eden, follow her suggestion of tracing your meridians to eliminate jet lag.
If you’re traveling with a group, pay the extra money and get your own room.
Try to find a map of the general area where you’ll be staying so you can familiarize yourself with the area. Some places I’ve been, Buenos Aires comes to mind, don’t label the streets, so it’s good to have a visual representation of the area.
If you have allergies, try to print out the information about the allergy in the language of the country you’ll be traveling to. There’s a website www.celiactravel.com, for example, that lets you select the language and you can print out info about a wheat allergy. I printed this out recently in Portuguese for a recent trip to Brazil and used it numerous times when interacting with cooks and waiters. I printed a small size that I laminated and kept in my wallet with Portuguese on one side and English on the other.
Always keep a copy of your hotel’s address and phone number with you. I write it down on a business card and keep it in my wallet. Especially helpful when you don’t speak the language, and then you can just hand it to the taxi driver when you need a ride back to your hotel.
I try to iron my clothes in advance, and then I use the http://www.onebag.com/ packing method to pack my clothes so as to minimize wrinkles.
Thank you for your initiative to work on something useful to make longer travels pleasant and healthy.
Now that I can count on EFT, I use it every time I need it. To relieve stress, fears, tiredness, insomnia, fatigue, and any sickness or pain symptoms that come along. In long plane trips I wear Travel Socks to prevent legs and feet inflammation, and I do exercise frequently.
One tip I find tremendously helpful when traveling is to carry a small bottle of essential oil, something uplifting yet calming, like Eucalyptus or Peppermint, in my pocket. When I become anxious standing in airport lines, traveling in a car/bus/plane/train, or just waiting around, I rub a few drops on my wrists and inhale with a few deep, deep breaths.
This always brings me back to center and reminds me to be grateful I am able to travel! I even sniff the oil when I am perfectly happy, and the beautiful aroma just enhances my joy. Aside from the emotional uplift of carrying essential oil, they are very strong antibacterial and antivirals…a huge plus when traveling.
I do travel quite a bit, and find that my necessities are as follows.
Make sure that I have time booked out for me to recover after I get back rather than going straight back into work.
Try to have a room on my own where I have a space to retreat to.
Identify portions of the trips where I can be alone for a while, particularly if it is one where a lot of people are doing a lot of things. Naps are very good if there are late nights and now I have got used to taking them I thoroughly enjoy them rather than getting so overtired that I just crash.
Most importantly, setting the intention for the trip, e.g. I am going to have fun and feel refreshed. I often set an intention each morning or if there is going to be a special event set it for that too. Spending just a few moments seeing myself enjoying and loving the event pretty much always works and often exceeds my expectations
FIND LOCAL FOOD SOURCES:
When I traveled to Japan years ago, the first thing I did was check out where I could get fresh food. It saved me a fortune from having to eat restaurant foods, and was much higher quality food. Check out where to get inexpensive/good quality foods locally – even before you get there if you can; and get some healthy snacks. When you eat right your energy stays high.
Avoid wheat (bread, rolls, gravies, etc.), sugar and milk, because they reduce clarity of mind and congest your throat and voice. They may be tempting, but by the end of your second day of indulging in ‘away-from-home-treats’ you’ll be low energy and foggy headed and unhappy.
You can’t carry your own water on board planes anymore, and they won’t allow you to bring any into the area beyond security, but there ARE stores where you can buy small bottles to drink while you wait for your plane. I used to balk about the outrageous prices they charge for the water, but the price I pay in becoming dehydrated is even higher. Besides, one three-dollar bottle of water can be the difference between my having leg cramps on the flight or not.
Leg cramps = dehydration. Take one or two long sips of water and they will dissipate rapidly. Avoid sugar, and you probably won’t even get them. Buy the bottled water – the on-flight ‘tap’ water is garbage.
I always carry a small baggie or can of Tamari almonds in my pocket, not my bag – agriculture inspectors look in your bags but not your pockets.
Why Tamari almonds? Because if you cross an agricultural border, raw ones will be taken away from you. Roasted ones are OK. Get a small can of roasted nuts and replace them with health store roasted nuts. That way you can keep yourself fed if there’s a long wait, if you have to sit on the tarmac forever, or are stuck in some place where no food is available, you’ll be OK with no blood sugar dips.
I bring my own pillow case. Sounds crazy, but it makes home that much closer while I’m far away. Maybe the comfort of my own pillow case makes sleep easier. Make sure your hotel room cleaner doesn’t take it – leave a note for her telling her not to change it! I learned that the hard way. Now I straighten the bed so all she has to do is make it neater, without changing the sheets or pillow case!
If I start to feel low energy or unhappy, I tap like crazy – even if I can’t find words! Who knows what’s going on energetically at a hotel where there are hundreds of people in and out every day? There may be energy you have no clue what it’s about, yet it’s affecting you. So start off with saying “I have no idea what this is about but I feel _____ ….” and continue til you feel better.
I find it easy to become ungrounded and disoriented after long haul flights. I make a point of going for a walk to re-ground myself and get centered. If I can walk with bare feet on the bare grass or sand it is particularly helpful. I also wear a pendant which provides protection from electromagnetic fields. Apparently plane travel exposes people to high levels.
I am currently 2 days into an 18 day road trip with friends. I was stressed with real and perceived worries the day and night before. I tapped on those issues and kept self blaming/frustrating with the big “Why did I…?” , and “I should…” head talk. The round of tapping that brought calm and gratitude for a great vacation was…
Why not me?
Why not enjoy?
Why not let others take care of my house while gone?
Why not have plenty of $$$ for the trip?
Why not take my comfy clothes and shoes? Hiking is my fashion runway.
As I tapped with these choices/reframes I began to hear Winona Judd singing her song “Why Not Me”!
I suggest we look as strongly for the positive why nots and starve out the negative why’s.
You asked for tips Rue, this is one I use. I remember to breath deeply and inhale love and exhale stress! I also remember that the worst that can happen is that I may die and that is a better journey than I have taken so far…so no worries. I tap on my collar bone when I feel overwhelmed and know that I am not alone…lovely!
I do not particularly enjoy traveling, as I am highly sensitive to chemicals. Last year I visited my sister in Texas for her son’s wedding, and I was not looking forward to it. I ended up doing two things that helped immensely: I took with me my pillow off my bed as well as a clean sheet that I had laundered in my unscented detergent. I used the sheet to replace the bed sheets I encountered that smelled strongly of scented detergent. And I was more comfortable sleeping on my own pillow than on a strange one.
I carry a bottle of peppermint oil in my purse. If I encounter a strong smell, I immediately rub a little oil under my nose and on the back of my head. The scent blocks out offensive odors, and the coolness relaxes the muscles in my neck and scalp. When I attend events I usually wear a scarf and breathe through it to block out the perfume or cologne worn by the people around me.
I dislike light and noise, so I take a soft blindfold and earplugs along when I travel. I use earplugs when I go to events like concerts or college football games with my husband so I carry them with me wherever I go. Even with the earplugs in place, I can still hear what’s going on and can converse with other people. An added benefit is that the earplugs allow me to tune in to the sound of my breathing periodically so I stay more relaxed despite the crowd and noise.
Another thing I have learned is not to overschedule myself when I am traveling. I bow out of some events to allow down time. I have taken trips with groups that are truly overscheduled, and I make a commitment up front that I will do only what I really want to do so that I do not overextend myself. Or I go with the group and stay on the fringes, setting my own pace–staying close enough not to get left behind but far enough away to avoid feeling rushed. I have gotten old enough now not to worry what others might think when I choose not to stay with the group every minute of the day. As a young person it was more difficult for me to create a schedule that suited me. Now I do so routinely because it’s better for me in the long run.
I hope your readers find these suggestions helpful. I look forward to reading what others do to make travel more enjoyable.
1. Plan well.
2. Forget the plan.
3. Be in the moment.
4. Be able to say YES or NO to any experience.
Voila! A perfect journey.
Would you share your own challenges and your ideas?
I will create another newsletter issue out of all our suggestions, including soothing calming tapping routines.
Please send me websites, strategies, and your lifesaving tips right away, and I will put it all together, for all of us.
With my love and blessings for your safe travels! (In life, as well as around the globe.)