I hadn’t done any travel since the pandemic hit until last week. I’ve probably been in a comfortable at home routine for years (if you don’t count the cross country moves). But last week I went to Montana to do some house hunting. And I could tell I was out of practice traveling.
I used to be on the road pretty frequently. So frequently I started a travel cosmetics company. I was really dedicated to fixing the annoyances of being on the road with travel routines. They can be really simple routines. Always unpack immediately. Get yourself settled in with all your cords and charging stations. Bring your workout clothes. Have nutrition plans and exercise routines that can be adapted for airplane food and hotel rooms. Bring a water bottle. Pack supplements in daily baggies. Learn to fast during your flights.
I could go on and on about the routines that helped me prevent the recovery most travel requires. If you are gone for a week and don’t maintain your routines then you lose another week transitioning back.
I sadly didn’t bring enough of my routines with me to Montana. I underestimated how tired I’d be so I didn’t keep up with my workouts and physical therapy (I’m recovering from an injury which compounded the issue). I didn’t have a nutrition plan so I ended up eating whatever was readily available.
It wasn’t all bad to be clear. I remembered my supplements and vitamins. I went to sleep on a consistent schedule. Even if that meant being awake when it was pitch black outside. Montana is far enough north it doesn’t get light out till 8am.
But I think I could have done a better job not letting the excitement and change of environment ramp up my nervous system. One of the best parts of a routine is making sure you’ve maintained some amount of detachment so you aren’t always at the mercy of what is providing stimulus to your system. Remaining in a parasympathetic state can be a challenge in a new environment as everything reads as novelty to our nervous system.
Even though I’ve been back for 4-5 days I feel like I’m just finally settling back into a comfortable rhythm. It makes me realize just how out of practice I am with travel. What was once a routine event is now again something that requires time and effort. Journeys will once again be out of time and place. Our lives back home will be different than when we are in the road. Maybe that’s a good thing. But it’s not a reality is considered in decades. It makes me feel as if life is measurable worse.