Welcome to May. April showers brought peonies and I couldn’t be happier about it. What a delicate, stunning flower. Have you read what Mary Oliver wrote about them? When I picked up the last remaining bunch at Whole Foods last week, you’d think I’d won the lottery. I snapped the above picture and held them tight as I made my way through the aisles.
Tomorrow I’m off to Santa Fe to study Zen and writing with Natalie Goldberg. Her classic, Writing Down the Bones, was my first writing book and provided the nudge I needed to put pen on paper.
As I gear up for two months of travel for various conferences, hosting and attending retreats, meetings, and family time, I’m reflecting on how best to keep the journey as tranquil as possible. I’ve found that these seven tips can help make travel and a new environment more enjoyable.
1. Go direct when possible. While layovers help break up the flying time, as a nervous flyer I want it to be over as soon as possible. Also, direct flights lessen the likelihood of lost luggage or missed connections. If you’re driving and not in a hurry, you may want to choose a more scenic route so that you can take in the journey without watching it pass by at 75 mph.
2. Make it a family affair. Going to a new city for a conference? Invite your partner along and turn it into a mini vacation. I’ll often bring Tim and Mookie on my travels so they get their own time during the day and we have the evenings to explore.
3. Pack lightly. Since most of my upcoming travels are less than a week, I tote a weekender or carry on versus checking a suitcase. This also challenges me to keep things light. Basics: one pair of shoes, toiletries, clothing, books, writing materials, electronics, creature comforts (see #5). Here’s a downloadable packing list PDF.
4. Try a capsule wardrobe. A few staples can go a long way to mix and match. Granted I’m an all-black girl so what I wear always matches, but you can do this with your color, too. Choose two tops, two bottoms, and one dress for a weekend away. If the fabric rolls nicely (like TranquiliT), you can pack a lot of pieces into a tiny bag. Don’t forget a scarf!
5. Tote little luxuries. Creature comforts like bags of tea, ear plugs, lavender oil, easy snacks (almonds, dried fruit, or dark chocolate), a travel candle, a reusable water bottle, pain reliever pills, and perfume can help you create a happy home wherever you roam.
6. Create buffers. I used to set up meetings or teaching engagements right after I returned from traveling and found myself resenting it, exhausted, and unable to fully show up. Then I started created space without having to be “on” in any capacity for ideally 24 hours after returning home. This helps ease the transition and let’s me reconnect with loved ones.
7. Notice your natural rhythms. Do you do better with morning or evening travel? Does it take you longer to adjust to time changes? Does traveling upset your system? Once you become more aware of how your body and mind reacts to travel, you can make slight changes to ease the unplanned inconveniences that often arise when out of your daily routine.
As you gear up for summer travel, keep these tips in mind and make tweaks as needed. Do you have a favorite I missed? How do you make sure you’re at ease while on the road or in the air? Share below.
May your adventures offer a respite from the day-to-day and give you the opportunity to hit the reset button, learn, or explore with an infusion of tranquility. Bisous. x