By Ekaterina Morrissey
As a former travel agency owner and a world traveler, I can say I am well familiar on most things travel related, be it airport and airline tips or different geographical destinations, from exotic islands to cold climates, to African safaris.
Traveling is one of the best ways to educate yourself and your kids, and is essential for the mental and spiritual health of the human being.
Have you read “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte or “Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, two of my favorite books, you perhaps remember, whenever the characters were heart-broken or feeling mentally drained, they traveled. Of course, back then people practiced common sense and didn’t have TV commercials telling them how paying off their house or car is more important than taking good care of their well being.
Changing scenery and meeting new people, or spending time with people who you don’t see often is a huge reward to our mental health which is absolutely vital for our physical health.
As a health conscious person, you probably know traveling does get you out of your daily routine, and that’s the whole point, but it does not have to feel uncomfortable or decline your health. I can’t think of anything worse than going on vacation and being sick half of the time, and yet that happens a lot.
As a health coach, I would like to share the 3 things I always bring whenever and wherever I travel, solo or with my family.
Regardless of traveling with car or airplane, the number one thing I always bring with me is:
1) Home made food.
Food is our bodies’ fuel and for that excellent reason I don’t do airport or airplane food as it is simply atrocious! It is loaded with sodium and chemical preservatives to make up for the bland taste. High sodium content contributes to water retention and many other problems, so on top of poor blood circulation due to sitting for hours on the plane, you will feel heavier, dehydrated, and might even experience allergic reactions. That’s no fun.
The easiest way to do this if you travel by plane is to prepare your own sandwiches, which are mess free and easy to pack. Raw veggies like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, olives, or grape tomatoes make an excellent side dish to accompany your sandwich. Nuts and seeds are also great choice for getting your fat intake during travel.
Cleaning up your fridge and creating take out is another version I do very often, especially when traveling by car. Most hotel chains in United States offer free breakfast but that does not appeal to us and we never eat hotel foods in the United States, due to the usual infestation of GMO, chemical preservatives, additives, and pesticides which are banned in Europe and other continents but widely used in USA and Canada.
Luckily, most hotels have a in-room fridge where you can easily store boiled eggs that you prepared at home, fruits, cheese, and butter. Typically, we take along a big cooler and have everything we need for a good “jumpstart the day” breakfast.
2) Immune support and natural remedies.
Regardless of how healthy we are, when traveling we are exposed to all kinds of viruses and microbes. Healthy people get sick too, they just deal with it and get back to normal much quicker with little to no consequences.
My little bag of remedies includes a bottle of Sambucus Nigra syrup (black Elderberry), which I make from scratch (click for the recipe)- a huge immune system booster for you or your kids, Allium cepa (onion)- homeopathic remedy which helps with nasal drip and allergies, Calendula oil – for healing of cuts, scrapes or burns, Ledum palustre (wild rosemary)- for insect bites, Olive leaf extract throat spray – promotes healthy immune system and seasonal wellness and melatonin – sleep aid helping to regulate the jet lag when travel overseas and changing time zones.
Washing hands often and caring alcohol rub for disinfection is a must. But the #1 tip I have for you when it comes to healthy travel is: avoid refined sugar a week before travel, and while at airports, such as donuts, cookies, desserts, or processed restaurant food. As I explained in gory details during my telecast in June, sugar is nothing but pure acid and every time you ingest sugar it puts your immune system in compromised state of depression for the next 5 hours and with that the body gets depleted from precious vitamins and minerals in order to digest and detoxify the sugar. It really is not worth the high!
3) Cosmetic and hygienic products.
The skin is the largest organ in the body with a total area of 22 square feet. Anything we put on our skin gets absorbed even faster than when we put something in our mouth.
Absorption through the skin is much more dangerous than through the mouth. The reason for this is how our body detoxifies chemicals from food and hazardous elements from skin products. “Chemicals taken in by the mouth get absorbed by the intestines, then passed to the venous blood and taken to the liver and kidneys where enzymes break them down and often detoxify them. Carcinogens entered through the skin bypass the liver and enter the blood circulation without this protection” explains Samuel Epstein, MD, and author of Toxic Beauty. Kind of scary, ha!
My little cosmetic products purse typically includes a jar of organic coconut oil for baths, body lotion and oil pulling in the morning, fragrance free herbal Ayurvedic soap, non-GMO herbal organic shampoo and conditioner, lavender (a drop on the pillow for a relaxation) and chamomile (anti-inflammatory, a few drops in baths) oils, and of course facial care products, non-GMO and organic eye and face cream which I change all the time.
And lastly, I always bring my sense of humor.
Nothing can ruin your vacation like not laughing at the inconveniences and the things that go wrong. And things do go not as planned all the time.
I still remember ‘in colors’ when I went to Bali, Indonesia 15 years ago with my boyfriend at the time and instead of Denpasar, Bali, our luggage went to Singapore. We were staying at the Amanusa Resort, part of the Aman resorts, a top notch resort but with not much shopping beside a small gift shop with traditional Indonesian ‘night gown’ looking dresses and netted swim suits, everything else was golf-related accessories.
As Bali isn’t exactly a fashion capital or destination and our resort being highly ranked due to its super seclusion and far from the city, by day 1 my netted swim suit got 3 sizes bigger and couldn’t stay on my hips at all, by day 2 a person could tell what was the menu for two days based on our clothes stains, and finally when our luggage made it on day 3, it was time to return to Hong Kong with well defined abs from non-stop laughing!
Being mind-flexible and accepting the fact that things can get out of control will guarantee you a great time and awesome memories!