Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More tips and tricks for the single traveler

Drink a ton of water. Will do. Wear comfortable shoes. Got it. Pack light. Done.  Carry a notebook. Of course. Get a music player and good ear/head phones. Duh! Learn please and thank you in the various languages you will encounter. Check and check! Ok so, what else is there, you're thinking, to traveling well? So much more mes amies- the above is obvious and generic! What's coming up (in my humble opinion) will heighten your experience, regardless of where you're going, or how you're getting there:

1: Bring a pen, actually no, bring three. You can never have enough pens. You will need to fill out forms and write down directions, not to mention sharing your wealth with a stranger that forgot (or can't find) a pen. Keep them in separate compartments of your bag, not randomly in the crumbly pit bottom of your carryon. Few things are more nightmarish than to search and scramble for a pen you're positive you've packed!

2. SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS! I heart snacks.  Candy, chocolate, and nuts are my weakness. Something sour/bitter (cheery blasters, sour keys, dark chocolate), sugary and soft (swedish berries), minty and chewy (mentos), and buttery (almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds...). I cant stress enough how happy you will be to have your own yummy munchables.... Hahah do I have diabetes yet?!

(On that note: yes indeed, drink lots of water. Of course.)

3. Wear a scarf. Yes, this applies to men as well. Scarves are multi purpose and chic, making you look instantly put together. It also can take on the role of blanket, towel, sun shield, pillowcase and pillow. By scarf I mean a large square cotton piece or a faux pashmina. Think lightweight, super soft, and a palette that compliments your wardrobe and skin colour.

4. Sunglasses. Don't skimp on this item. Buy a good pair. Take care of your eyes. Totally worth the $ and again helps in the put-together look and feel.

5. Wear something with a hood. This comes in handy if you wish to shield yourself from the daylight and wish to be left alone. I've spent countless hours in airports, bus terminals, and train stations, grateful for the cocooning effect of my hooded jacket and dupatta.

6. Carry a facecloth in your carryon. This is self explanatory but also pretty important. Traveling can be dirty. Be the traveler that looks and feels clean. One of life's daily pleasures is washing your face, even if it's just with water.

7. Sit at the airport bar, order a beer and chat it up with the bartender. Chances are the next time you order a drink (make it a mixed drink this time) the bartender will make it a stiff one!  Try it. Works every time.

8. Drink as many drinks on the plane as you possibly can, and don't be shy or embarrassed about the fact that you are enjoying your third beer while the person next to you just wishes he had the audacity to ask for another. Drink yourself to a comfortable state. Doze. Sleep. Stare. Listen to music. Meditate. ( I give this advice in jest; in no way am I promoting alcoholism. Please let that be noted.)

9.  Breathe. Do some breathing exercises. It will make you calm and focused, aware of the moment. Don't be hating on the fact that you're waiting, you can't connect to the internet, about finding your heavy book all of a sudden so incredibly boring. Just breathe. Sit up. Pull your shoulders back and down. Breathe in slowly for 4 counts. Hold for 2. Breathe out slowly and fully for 7 counts.

10. Stretch. make circles with your shoulder blades in one direction, then the other. make circles with your ankles. Move your head to one side, then the other. Do a  standing or sitting forward bend, hug your knees. The varieties are plentiful. Just close your eyes and focus on your breathing, your body. Where are you holding tension? Breathe into there and intuitively let your movements guide your stretching. Your body will thank you!

And lastly, 11. Smile. When you're walking around, dawdling, spritzing perfume in the Duty Free, minding your own business, killing time. Smile, and look people in the eyes. Connect. Trust. Talk to your neighbor. Smile! You're on an adventure! You're taking- or about to take- a plane/train/ferry/boat/bus! How awesome is that?!

1 comment:

Kayla said...

Merciii : ) I loved this