After 6 long months, the day has finally arrived that we embark on our journey! Adventure is all about going into the unknown and feelings of fear, excitement, worry, stress, anxiety, and apprehension are all very common. International travel can be an intimidating endeavor; however, there are many things you can do to travel comfortably and enjoy your experience!
First, mindset is everything. Adventure is all about going into the unknown. If you think for even a second that your month-long expedition will go exactly as planned, you are in for a rude awakening. Practicing non-attachment to your plans and non-resistance to the situation at hand is imperative to having a positive experience. This helps you keep an open mind to all the possibilities that lie ahead of you. Remember, there is little growth that comes from easy and smooth experiences. Although the lessons may be hard to realize in the moment, any challenge you face on your adventure provides a new perspective for you to grow and learn from.
Second, self care is key! Travel poses many threats; food and airborne illness, lack of sleep, time changes, jet lag, and mental stress can all contribute to compromising your immune system. Taking proactive steps to maintain your health while traveling can ensure you arrive at your destination well-rested and ready to go!
- Hydration is crucial! Bringing your own water bottle goes a long way in staying hydrated during your travels. On the hour long drive to SFO, I downed a full liter of water. Despite feeling close to having an incident moving through security, the benefits far outweigh the goofy pee-dance when grabbing your personal belongings. Immediately after security and a trip to the bathroom, I filled up another liter of water to drink before getting on the plane. Nearly every airport in the world has filter water stations to keep hydrated. Once on the plane, it is a bit more of a challenge. The battle of sustainability weighs heavy on mind as I plow through mini 12oz plastic water bottles, but such is the paradox of international travel and environmental impact.
- Sleep is when we heal. A 15 hour flights and 12 hour time change is going to through your body and circadian cycle for a loop, regardless of who you are. After powering through the first 4 hours of in-flight meals and the novelty of being on a plane, the mind can become restless as you realize you have 11+ hours remaining. My goal was to sleep as much as possible, as this helps support you immune system and hopefully put a little extra energy in the tank for when you touch down. Keys to success for having a solid 7 hour in-flight slumber were ear plugs and a merino wool buff as a night shade!
- Eating healthy is never easy while in the road. Slammed with heavily processed convenient foods, it can be an overwhelming task to sift through your options to find a well-balanced healthy meal. Luckily, SFO has a plethora of healthy, organic, vegan options, including the beloved Amy’s Drive Thru, which we took full advantage of scoring some veggie burgers and vegan milkshakes! Sometimes you may not be as lucky in finding healthy foods, which is why I always come prepared with a full snack kit. Mainly the same foods I would bring for a 3-day Shasta climb; loaded trail mix, dried fruit, homemade plant-based peanut butter cookies, and some chunks of energy!