Having a morning routine is pretty fashionable these days. It’s almost at the point where you can’t be successful unless you have one you stick to, to the minute, every single day. Luckily that’s not true.
When it comes to travel a morning routine is tricky. What you can do is create a few activities you do sometime during the day, everyday.
Some people keep their routine going no matter the circumstance. Sorry, you won’t find me running up and down the plane aisle at 7am after a 14 hour flight.
What you can find is me meditating for 10 minutes everyday.
While travelling (especially backpacking) a morning routine isn’t practical. Sometimes you won’t see mornings for days at a time due to bar crawls, bad hostel sleeps, overnight buses and other unpredictable craziness.
Having daily habits to perform while on the road is key. As humans we form habits from the moment we come on tumbling from the womb. Our daily actions are a combination of 1000’s of habits we’ve formed.
For whatever reason, creating healthy habits isn’t easy (I blame you sugar) so making a conscious effort to implement some of these travel habits below will enhance your time on the road.
What Are My Daily Habits?
If I’m in a place for over two weeks, I mediate first thing. If I’m moving around I’ll find a park to do 10 minutes of mediation in; this after finally gaining the confidence to meditate in public. Increasing this to 20 minutes is my goal by the end of the year.
There’s no right or wrong way to meditate. I use the Calm app on my phone and listen to the ocean sounds. Seeing my streak increasing helps me gain momentum (am yet to complete a full month). I listened to Tara Brach on the Tim Ferris Show today, she rocks and I recommended listening to the episode.
Benefits of meditation:
There are huge benefits to meditation however I struggled for so long as it still felt like I was wasting time (because refreshing Facebook isn’t…). When I’ve gotten in a good number of meditation days in consecutively I feel better overall and am less irrational. Also it makes me slightly calmer like today when I lost €50 to a street hustler. €50 is not a small amount to me at the moment but a few minutes later the moment had passed and better things were in store for the rest of the day.
This is an easy one to get my day started off positively (always in first hour of the day). I write down three things (in Notes on my iPhone) to be grateful for and a brief reason why. Here is my list from today:
The list isn’t fancy and you can do this half asleep.
Benefits of gratitude:
Starting off the day by appreciating a few things you normally take for granted is a positive, building momentum for the day.
Overall I complain less about things (I’m not a big complainer) by doing this and ensures I never start the day negatively.
I try and drink at least one cup of tea within one hour of waking up and will often have 5+ cups throughout the day. Green tea is my go to tea to start the day but there is always a selection in my bag.
Drinking tea with alcohol is a bonus.
Benefits of drinking tea: I won’t spell them out as a quick Google will do that for you. Tea is cheap in all supermarkets worldwide and often hostels/hotels will offer it for free. There are no excuses for not drinking tea. Coffee is more popular but you’d benefit by switching to tea.
I’ve been doing this for a long time however never knew how much I was spending month to month. I was simply listing my expenses in my notes app, which helped control my spending overall but I still have no big picture.
In June I finally got the awesome Trail Wallet app.
Benefits of tracking expenses:
A dollar made is a dollar saved as the saying goes. I don’t fully believe in this statements underlying message but on the surface it’s true. I used to spend ridiculous amounts of money on random stuff (*cough* Coke *cough*), but knowing it will get tracked prevents me from buying lots.
Yoga is something I’ve never been able to fully get into. Stretching is the same, spending five minutes stretching is a struggle for me. What I do do is three stretches/exercises for 20 reps which loosens up areas where I’m tight and the neck, well it is something we should all look after.
Benefits of stretching: We spend so much time in front of a computer and/or phone even while travelling we can get tensed up. A freer body is good for your overall health.
Carrying a drink bottle while exploring a new city is something I’ve never been good at. I can’t walk and drink at the same time; pesky multitasking. So a good way to get ahead on the cliché 2L of water a day is too drink 500ml immediately after waking up.
Benefits of drinking water:
We become dehydrated overnight, getting some water in us activates our organs right away and helps avoid feeling sluggish in the morning. We all know water is vital for survival, no more needs to be said.
What other habits can you get into?
Write Down 10 Ideas
I got this one from James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself!
. You simple jot down 10 ideas such as ’10 ways to find a girlfriend’. The lists can be random or aimed at a goal. It stimulates the mind, and you creative juices flow as getting 10 ideas is not easy.
I have used the Elevate app quite a bit and will use it when I am in one place for a few weeks at a time as it needs Wifi to work. This app keeps your mind sharp and the gamification aspect only takes 5 – 10 minutes each day.
Learn A Language
Meeting people who can speak English fluently but have never stepped foot in an English speaking country amazes me. As a kiwi I wish there was more emphasis on learning a second language in New Zealand, the benefits are massive. The best website as a resource for learning a language in my opinion is Fluent in 3 Months.
Currently I’m not learning a language but ‘clocked’ DuoLingo for German earlier this year.
Reading is something people love to do yet only read sporadically. By dedicating as little as 10 minutes a day to reading you are guaranteeing yourself some pleasure time and stimulating the mind
Most travellers will do a lot of walking day to day but making time to workout isn’t easy. Two apps proving popular for travellers are the 7 minute workout (iTunes, Android) and Couch to 5k (iTunes, Android). I walk/hike a lot when I travel and hope this means I can let myself slip through the cracks on this one.
Yoga does not mean it has to be an hour long class. Search for a few YouTube videos of various lengths that are suitable for you and get cracking.
Send Mum/Dad a Message
A quick text, email or phone call letting them know you are good as gold can make their day.
Write a Journal
Many do this everyday but it is a great way to get your feelings out on paper. Helping organising your thoughts and can provide some great memories years down the road. Another form of journal is the popular 5 minute journal, I haven’t tried this out yet but let me know if you have/had success with this one.
I’m far from perfect on my daily tasks, often missing out on one or two of them each day. When I complete them however it does make me feel satisfied and it almost guarantees an epic day has been had.
Thanks to some people way smarter than me, there are plenty of tips, tricks and tools to use to make your daily travel habits easier to remember to create better travel experiences.