Vacation is important. There have actually been studies done that say travel is beneficial to your health. It reduces stress and burnout, increases energy and immunity and helps foster successful relationships. Sounds like we all should be taking more vacation time, huh?
Vacation to me means a road trip. Road trips have played a big part in my life. My parents drove my brother, two sisters and I all the way to California when I was 11. We spent a month on the road and I was hooked. I've driven across these United States a couple times, woke up next to Marble Fork and individual rays of dawn on the water, seen a thunderstorm move so fast it passed us going 50 MPH in Wyoming, played in a tide pool at dusk, gazed upon more stars than I could imagine through a redwood grove and witnessed a black bear mama and her two cubs foraging.
Travel is not just good for your health, it is downright magical. Anytime I can get out and see something new- across the continent, country or the county-I do.
I'm heading to Portland, Oregon next week for another road trip down the coast. It got me thinking of all the trips I've taken and a couple things I learned along the way.
--Have a plan. Traveling abroad or out of state requires some background. Do your research! Know where you are going and about how long it takes to get there. Make reservations so you don't miss out on that really great view or to ensure you have somewhere to sleep. Have a physical map and not just on your phone or GPS. Half the fun for me when I plan my trips is highlighting all the possible roads.
--Pack some food. Eating on the road can be exciting, experimental and gratifying. Hole in the wall diners or mom & pop health food stores are my personal favorites. I always have an eye out. After a day or two of this, my stomach and body hate me and I do not use hate lightly. Solution? Pack some of your feel good staples. I lived out of a truck for a spell and we always ate breakfast on the road. We'd pack up and pull off somewhere beautiful. We had yogurt, granola, bananas and a French press. It was a great way to start the day and my body and spirit appreciated it too.
--Be prepared. I'm a bit of a survival junkie so I always carry a first aid kit with me. I'm also prone to rashes, rolled ankles, and having to pee at inopportune times. My must have packing list-
1. Cooking supplies- A folding frying pan, a single stovetop, sharp knife (preferably one that folds), a couple plates, utensils, foil, a bucket/tub and some towels.
2. Utility knife- I suggest a Leatherman. They are loaded with all the goodies you will potentially need- nail file, screwdriver, bottle opener, tweezers, ruler, pliers- they have it all.
3. Toilet Paper- I think this one is self explanatory.
4. Scented goodness- Depending on who you're traveling with, access to facilities and physical activity, things can get a little fragrant. This is easily solved by a satchel of dried lavender. It also has a calming effect because road trips can be stressful. A two-for-one you shouldn't leave home without!
5. First Aid Kit- My most used items include ibuprofen, rubbing alcohol/wipes, and cortisone cream. Band-aids, sunscreen, aloe vera cream and over the counter allergy meds are helpful as well.
5. Physical Map- We discussed this.
6. Car charger for camera or phone- Sometimes you sleep in the car or in a tent or you just don't want to sit in a restaurant long enough to charge your electronics. Whatever technology you roll with, make sure you can use it lest you might unexpectedly incite a panic attack.
7. Tunes- Sometimes it's fun to actually listen to the radio! This is also a great way to hear what is going on locally. If you're renting a car, make sure you can sync your music or bring the cords.
Finally, throw away your well-laid plans. Don't make any plans, at least for one day on your trip. Change your plans. Take a detour. Stop at the ranger's station (those actually exist), nature center, gift shop, downtown square, side of the road pop-up stand where the tie-dye is waving in the wind. Ask them where to go and what to do- then go do it.
Upcoming Classes & Events
Tuesdays- Meditation- Converging Paths Meditation Center, 7-8:15p
Wednesdays- April 17- June 12: Park Yoga- The Enchanted Cottage, East Sandusky Bay MetroPark, 5:30-6:30pm. Bring a mat or blanket- no experience necessary! We will be outside on the deck when the weather is warm or perhaps take a winding, walking meditation through the meadows!
Fridays- Morning Yoga- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 9am A gentle yoga practice perfect for starting your weekend!
Friday, April 19: Froggy Fridays! James McBride Arboretum, 7pm. Join me as we listen for and look for frogs. These amphibians have come out of hibernation and their breeding calls are getting loud! Listen for and try to catch spring peepers, chorus frogs, American toads, and leopard frogs! Plan to get wet if you want to catch frogs! Nets provided. Registration appreciated.
Thursday, April 25: Full Moon Night Hike- Edison Woods MetroPark, main entrance, Rt 61, 8:30pm. Join me for a beautiful night hike on each month's full moon! Please leave flashlights at home; the moon will light our way. Family and friends are always welcome! Hikes will last about an hour. Registration appreciated.
Mondays, May 6- June 10: Runner's Yoga- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 5:30-6:30pm. Join Jess for a class designed specifically for runners! We will cover yoga basics, breathing and the deep stretching essential to the practice of running.
Sunday, May 12: Mother's Day Meditation- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 10am-12pm. Come celebrate our mothers at this free meditation class and stick around for tea, baked goods and fellowship afterwards!
Sundays, May 12- June 2: Meditation- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 10-11am. Various meditation practices, gentle stretching and perhaps some chanting!