You call yourself Reluctant Jetsetter, so I assume travel is simply part of the gig—non-negotiable. Maintaining your health while getting the job done is certainly a challenge, but you seem more determined than defeated. “I want to travel smarter now” is a decisive statement.
It sounds like the healthy activities you discovered during the pandemic made you feel a lot better. You want to keep them going on the road, but lack of time or access to clothing, equipment, classes, transportation or healthy foods make it difficult to stay on track. In fact, staying on track can feel nearly impossible when you’re consistently forced to veer off on various detours.
What if—instead of trying to stay on track—you maintain two separate tracks? You can’t recreate the exact routine you keep at home—and might drive yourself nuts trying to do so—but you can figure out your mobile version of being “on track.”
Once you’ve got that track established, you can switch gears whenever you like.
Track 1: Home
The pandemic was highly stressful for most of us, and yet, in the middle of it, you discovered (and maintained) a range of healthy habits. This tells me that you value taking care of your health, and you know how to do it. So, let’s establish what you’ve already figured out.
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What core healthy routines did you start during the pandemic?
What changes made a noticeable difference? Include sleep, exercise, groceries, environment, bathing, downtime or anything else that helps you keep your balance—no matter how small.
Which of these routines are most essential?
If someone tried to take them away, you would get grumpy—fast.
What windows of time or supplies make those healthy choices easier?
Identify the reinforcements that help you stick with healthy routines. Without them, your routines might very well fall apart or simply drift away.
Track 2: Detour
What’s the most frustrating part of how you feel on the road, and which core habits alleviate those feelings at home?
Sometimes building a remedy for a specific ailment is a good place to start. It gives you something concrete to work with. Of the essential routines above, which offer the most relief and/or require the least time or equipment?
What different healthy habits might be available on the road?
If you can’t do your usual at-home thing, what other activities or foods could be uniquely part of your business travel?
According to the American Council on Exercise, people should vary their exercise routines for two important reasons: to prevent boredom associated with doing the same workout over and over again, and to avoid reaching a plateau in physical performance and, thus, results.
The same is true of food options. Remember the adage about having a rainbow of foods on your plate? Variety keeps us healthy. If you need to change things up anyway, travel gives you an opportunity to play around with your options.
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What adapted routines could you try with the limited time or resources you have while traveling?
If yoga or spinning is your thing, what passes or apps might let you visit studios in different cities? If there’s no time for that, what natural resources or unique urban experiences exist in the places you’re visiting? What virtual options have you tried in the hotel or airport? What novel snacks, restaurants or exercise alternatives could become part of your travel identity?
I’m into hiking, so when I travel for work, I use the AllTrails app to identify trails, parks or city walks near where I’m staying. Brainstorm a little to see if you can find new ways to explore or sustain your energy on long travel days.
What do you absolutely need to keep your balance?
If healthy habits feel great at home, adapted versions could entice you to crave more nourishing options en route, even if the payoff isn’t exactly the same. Once you’ve dreamed up a few miniature or fresh ways to stretch or strengthen your body on those detours, you might find yourself looking forward to the alternative routine—even if it’s simply a guilt-free break from the norm.