Another trip to the Azores…
My daughter and I spent the first two weeks of July in the Azores. We spent most of our time in Terceira but also visited Faial and Pico. Three of the 9 Azorean Islands in two weeks. It was an epic trip and I swear my daughter went from 14 to 18 in just 15 days. It’s truly incredible what travel can do for a kid (and a mom).
I admit, I’m a bit obsessed with the Azores Islands. I can’t help it. I feel at home there and there’s so much to see, do, and enjoy. The islands are stunning and the people are so genuine… and it’s affordable (once you get there).
The time difference is 4 hours, making New Bedford 4 hours behind. So, when it’s midnight in Terceira, it’s only 8pm in NB. I usually turn into a pumpkin at 8pm, but when I’m in the Azores I can actually hang until midnight! Lol
But seriously, travel can be exhausting. It doesn’t matter if your trip is full of excursions or if you’re napping on the beach all day… Travel simply takes a lot out of you.
There are lots of ways to get the most from your vacation, your stamina, and your recovery so that you’re not a zombie when you get home.
Packing the essentials
Going on vacation doesn’t mean you have to abandon your self care routines. Your health and body should not be punished by your vacation. So here are some things I pack that may resonate with you…
I am fully committed to my daily greens, Athletic Greens, which need to be refrigerated once the bag is opened… Not so good for traveling. I make sure to always have travel packs on hand so that I don’t miss out on this super important ritual for my health.
LMNT always makes it into my bag. Not only will LMNT help keep you hydrated, it’ll help you stay regular, which is also important for sleep, bloating, and exhaustion.
I always pack my oatmeal – RX Oats. They come in single packs and are super convenient for having something small to eat in the room – maybe while waiting for your travel companions to get up and get going.
I often pack a jump rope. I don’t always use it, but I like having it in case the weather doesn’t cooperate for outdoor activity. I may have been known to jump rope in a hotel hallway 😅
Travel days can be fasting days.
It’s incredible how stressful a day of traveling can be for your entire system. Not only is it mentally exhausting, it can be nerve wracking when there are hiccups, there are crowds (which includes some mean people and lots of germs), fluorescent lights, dry air, and lots and lots of sitting.
One thing your body doesn’t need is bad airport food. It definitely doesn’t need the flight meal either… is that even food? But when I say ‘fasting’ I don’t necessarily mean no food. We recommend you bring your own healthy snacks on board. Eat very small portions only if you feel hungry. Drink lots and lots of water (hopefully you have an aisle seat). Staying hydrated and avoiding a lot of food can help you rest better on the plane, help you keep a clear mind, and help regulate your bowels once you’ve crossed the time zone. It will naturally help destress your body as a whole. Adding LMNT to your water can be a tremendous help to keep the hunger at bay too.
Take care on your first day.
Once you get to your destination, make sure to keep things low key so you can listen to your body and give it what it needs. Take care of your space and allow yourself to settle in.
Unpack your bags and set up your life. Toiletries in the bathroom, pajamas on the bed, chargers easily accessible… Get acquainted with the lights, temperature control, windows, locks… Find out where to go to stock up on water – lots of water…
Take a nap, go for a walk, or go to bed.
If it’s the middle of the day and you feel exhausted, take a nap. Most flights to the Azores are red eyes, so when we get there it’s the morning. Taking a nap is essential for me to regulate and pay back some sleep debt.
If you feel tired but not sleepy, go for a walk. Get familiar with where you are in space. You can even pick up your water for the room. Walking is incredibly therapeutic. Getting the sunlight (or twilight) in your eyes will help your brain situate with the time of day.
If you’re sleepy and it’s just about your normal bedtime (at home), go ahead and go to bed. When you wake, you’ll have the opportunity to get in the rhythm of wherever you are in the world.
Your morning routine.
Sunlight and activity are key to establishing your circadian rhythm. First thing in the morning, get outside and take in the natural light for at least 10 minutes. Take it one step further and add activity. My mother and sister traveled to the Azores with us and every morning we walked before the rest of the house woke up. Not only was that time with them food for my soul, but the science behind the sunrise and the walking was essential for helping us feel great. Who doesn’t want to feel great while on vacation?
When we got back from our walk I would go up to the pool area and do a 20 minute mobility routine. Because of this, my back wasn’t tight, my hips weren’t achy, and my feet weren’t sore. Even if you don’t get out for a long walk first thing in the morning, adding a short mobility session can do wonders for your body and mind!
And don’t forget to drink your greens:) Another reason you should have water available in your room.
There tends to be a common objective on vacation – Eat the food and figure out where to eat next. I get it, there’s so much good food out there, you don’t want to miss out. Plus, you’re on vacation… cheating doesn’t count – or does it? The thing is that you can absolutely eat all kinds of food without blowing it.
Remember, over consuming food is very stressful for your system. So, de tudo um pouco. Have a little bit of everything. And please don’t forget your veggies. Ordering a salad (and eating it) with every meal is a wonderful habit whether you’re at home or traveling the world. You’ll need the help of your greens to break down whatever else you’re eating. Most places everywhere will also cook up extra local veggies if you ask.
Local fruits are also a great way to incorporate some natural digestifs to your vacation diet. Chances are you’ll have access to not just the local stuff, but also to what’s in season. Now that’s where it’s at.
Not to be dismissed, ever. Sleeping in may be what you want to do, but if it throws your evenings into the wee hours, it can really wreak havoc on your return. Try to get to bed at a time that you can wake at a reasonable hour. Even on vacation, a sleep routine is super important.
When you get home
When we get back from a trip, we open our bags in the living room and put all our laundry in a pile for the laundry room. We then consolidate the rest into one bag to bring upstairs and unpack. The laundry gets started and the empty bags go to the basement.
Normalcy is what we seek. We do as much unpacking as we can muster and try to get the house back to normal as soon as possible. Then, we shower and relax… and usually order pizza 😁
Traveling is one of my absolute favorite things. If you love to travel too, I hope this helps you do so without fully abandoning your wellness routine. And then maybe you won’t be so jetlagged for your next session 😘