What to Pack for a Balanced Vacation
Summer is so utterly amazing! We appreciate the extended daylight and laid back vibe. Our days feel more luxurious as we spend more time in nature soaking it all in. We give ourselves permission to sink our toes in the sand or in the cool grass while sitting on a lawn chair, chatting with friends, or just watching the world go by.
Summer also means…vacation! When we take it on the road, it's important to keep our balance. The goal is not to come back feeling like we need a vacation from vacation! So while vacation is fun, it can sometimes bring a wee bit of stress, especially if we are going to places or cultures where we might feel out of our element.
I recommend packing these 9 things to ensure a comfy and fun experience during your precious summer break:
An Adventurous Attitude
Enter into vaycay with an open mind, an attitude of adventure, and leave expectations behind. It's easy to have the “ideal” vacation in mind, but our high expectations can lead to disappointment. If we let go and stay in our full presence we will enjoy the ride so much more! Trying to hit our expectations every time is a very narrow aim. Keeping our expectations broad and light allows life's greatest experiences to enter. If you are traveling with someone else, remember their expectations may be different than yours. Pack the open mind and awesome attitude, and ride the waves before you set foot out the door.
A Mini Coconut Oil
Essential for an early morning and/or end of day massage. Coconut oil has a cooling effect on the body that nourishes the skin and muscles. Awesome for massaging tight shoulders and keeping skin that may have gotten dried out from the sun supple. As a bonus, the mind eases when the body feels loose and comfortable. Use on the face, feet (tip: foot massage actually soothes the eyes too!), hands, arms, and legs. If you want extra bonus points, you can even put some in your coffee for internal oleation. The people you meet on vacation might think you're a little weird, but who cares because your mind is totally peaceful. Maybe you could teach them an Ayurvedic thing or two! Tip: coconut oil solidifies when cold, but when warm it gets runny. Use a squeezy bottle in the summer.
A Big Hat
It's pitta season, the sun is hot! We can get cranky if we get too hot, not to mention sunburned. To promote the peaceful minded aspect of vacation, protect your head and face from the sun. Pitta people, especially, will get irritated or “hot headed” very quickly if they get overheated. Note: If that happens, hand them some ice cream and run away until they cool off (about 10 minutes).
*Spritz!* Ahhh...rosewater is wonderful for an anytime refresher. It is soothing, cooling, pitta-balancing, and reminds us that it's “Aaaaahhh” time. Pack a travel-sized spritz bottle. Tip: Leave one in your work drawer to use when stresses mount or you need a refresh even when you’re not on vaycay! Besides, spritzing co-workers is extra fun.
I Travel Well
Hectic schedules, increased demands on the immune system, changes in time zone, disrupted sleep and meal routines, and limited healthy food choices are some of the many challenges faced when traveling. This powerful blend of Ayurvedic herbs has been created to help keep you at your best when you are on the road. So easy!
A Chill Playlist
Make one before you go. Spotify is great. You might have your favorites ready to go but if not, some music chill recommendations are: Tycho, Washed Out, Zero 7, and Weekend Players. Or, use mine! Monica B's Spotify chill playlist.
A Small Crystal or Mala Bracelet
It's your on-the-go reminder that you bring your energy and create your peaceful place wherever you are. Set it out at bedtime and/or when you meditate as a reminder of why you are on vacation: to take a break, to “be,” to be open to the world, to nourish, to reset.
Alerts On Your Smart Phone
Instead of just using your phone for snapshots and social media shares, use it as a powerful tool to remind yourself how to BE. Put in inspirational reminders on your alarm several times a day that remind you why you are on vacation! We can sometimes forget that vacation is for slowing down, releasing what does not serve us, and savoring our adventure. Alerts could say something like: “Savor this time!” “Stop, breathe, and look where you are!” “Inhale LIFE, Exhale appreciation.” “Let your mind wander.” “Stop thinking about work. They have it covered. Let it go.”
Mint or Rose Tulsi Tea Bags
As a morning kick start or afternoon treat, skip the sugary drinks and trade them for a luxurious and cooling mint or rose tea. A little treasure from home that might remind you of vacation when you're back to the daily grind! You can even pour the tea over ice while lounging on the beach or in the pool.
Wherever you go for your summer getaway, remember that Ayurveda is meant to be adapted to meet you where you are. Just because you’re changing your routine doesn’t mean you have to change your routine. Have fun and stay balanced on your journey, and allow yourself to fully sink into the “Aahhhhh.”