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AGING IS A CHOICE Part 8 – Vitality for Travel 

By Robert Manni

Have you ever come back from a great trip only to get sick once you’re home? Just recently, a friend went abroad traveling through different countries, going on excursions, eating and drinking with gusto only to spend the next two weeks sick as a dog—and it wasn’t just him, but his entire family! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered this common phenomenon. Our bodies hang on so we can do all the fun things we want to do during our trip, then the fatigue hits our bodies like a pile of bricks. Down we go with the flu, cold, body aches, you name it. Our bodies will find some reason to shut down and recover. Fortunately, there are things we can do to maintain our health during and following our travels. 

For many seniors, travel becomes the reward of the golden years. However, endless security lines, currency exchanges, endless traffic in popular global destinations, travel can be both exhausting and a drain on our bodies. As this moment, I am currently in the sixth city of a two-week trip across six thousand miles. With this whirlwind of changes, I have developed a daily routine to support my body to adapt and keep my immune system strong. This month I’m sharing a few tips that will hopefully help you to stay at the top of your game while on the road.

Adapting to a new environment

Here are a few things that have helped me stay in the zone these past few weeks as I traveled to Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Turkey. When I hit the road, a top priority is to reset my body clock as quickly as possible. Adapting to a new environment depends on me connecting to my own body, mind and spirit. 

Upon arrival, I rehydrate with lots of water and do my personal routine. For my mind and body health, I hit the spa, pool or gym for a short workout. If none of these are available, I stretch, do breathe work, or qigong in my room. For my mind and spirit, I like to mediate daily, but when on the road it can be difficult to find the quiet time and privacy to meditate, so I often substitute with prayers, affirmations, and Ho’ponopono throughout the day. To keep my physical body strong, I pack a variety of vitamins, supplements, MyconShield mushroom spray, and Korean ginseng to protect my immune system. I get as much rest as possible, understanding that I will be full throttle and on the go every day of the trip.

Getting out of your comfort zone

Travel to new places is a novel experience, and it should be. But it’s up to us to try new things and expand our personal horizons. Nowadays, there’s a Pizza Hut, KFC, and McDonald’s in every corner of the earth. That’s cool, but the saying, “when in Rome…” still rings true. Try a local dish, brew, or mode of transportation. After all, isn’t that why you chose to visit a foreign city or country? Tomorrow I’m off to an old Turkish hamam (bath) where they keep the tradition alive from the fifteenth century. I find that new experiences keep my mind sharp and my body feeling vital. 

Managing your phone time

Let’s face it. Our world has gone digital. Everybody from every nation takes selfies in front of the world’s most iconic landmarks. Photo memories are expected but be mindful of phone usage. Remember, the place you wanted to visit is right in front of you. Soak new places in through your senses and imprint them into your memory. By doing this, the memory of the trip will be fuller and deeper.

These are just a few to consider that could help maximize your energy wherever you go and however long you stay and you strong to avoid the after-travel fatigue. After all, travel should stimulate our curiosity, enhance our knowledge, stoke our imagination, and keep us young at heart. So, the next time the travel bug hits you, include a plan for taking care of yourself as part of your itinerary. Bon voyage!