In 2021, I took the leap to make my life a perpetual vacation. In that time, I’ve taken 20+ flights, and visited 15 different cities in 6 countries. Prior to this leap, I was terrified of the idea of solo travel and spent most of my vacations anxious about going back to normal life.
I’m writing this 2 days following the vacation tour of my dreams. From London to Paris to Dubai in 10 days and back to Lagos (my current home), making memories of a lifetime, and finally having the peace to go with it. And this is also following a year of living in Costa Rica and touring every beach across the country on the weekends. Over time, I’ve grown committed to beating those anxious feelings that diminish the joy of travel and I am sharing them with you here so that you too can maximize joy on your next trip.
- Leave a buffer. Use the day before and after your flight for hiccups and recovery. Recovery from work as you step into trip mode. And recovery from travel as you step back into work mode. These are very practical uses for PTO and you’ll thank yourself for it by having a better and more focused travel experience. This buffer time is perfect for catching your breath, releasing, moving slow, recalling what you may be forgetting.
The definition of ‘buffer’ is a person or thing that reduces a shock or that forms a barrier between incompatible or antagonistic people or things.
We actually shock our bodies by moving from constant work mode to travel mode. Give yourself a buffer in between to calibrate and align with a new pace before jet setting. The two lifestyles are incompatible and can cause a combustion to your vacation if not eased into or timed well.
Rest nearby before far travel. That journey from the airport to your first attraction can turn disastrous quickly. You’re likely in need of sleep, a good stretch, and a nap. Rather than arriving at paradise cranky and stiff, go straight to the nearby location, refresh, reset and get going to the attractions the next morning. It’s a great way to decompress beforehand and avoid the overwhelm that comes with further travel. Plus you’ll be less anxious and more energized when you arrive at your focal destination.
Sleep Shame Free. There’s nothing wrong with prioritizing sleep on vacation. It is not a waste of money. Waking up in paradise is a luxury all by itself. Treat yourself to as many naps as you need.
Leave room for adventure. Leave at least one full day for surprise adventures you didn’t plan on your itinerary. Try a local restaurant, or stir up a conversation with fellow solo travelers on the beach (remain aware of your surroundings and items though). Connect with your travel destination in real life for the best experience you couldn’t have planned for.
Eat well. Choose the fruit. Eat your veggies. Keep your body nourished. I know the all expense paid buffet can be tempting, but keep a balance and fit some vitamins and nutrients in before the extra dessert. A lot of that food is processed, high in sodium and preservatives because they have to feed large quantities quickly. So consider this as you dine and aim for foods that will sustain your energy for the duration of the trip. It’s hard to be grounded when you’re fighting a headache or your stress levels are high due to a low consumption of real food. Patronize a local by finding a nearby market. Grab some fresh fruit and take in the culture of your surroundings.
Spend time away from your phone. Leave your phone in the room and go for a walk. I do not recommend leaving your phone behind to go on major activities that take you far away from your home base as emergencies may arise. But intentional time away from your phone on short distances to clear your head is a great way to reset and ground.