How to Stay Energised When Travelling the World
Written by Nick Petrou
Human beings travel for a variety of purposes. It may be that they perceive the terrain over the hill to be a verdant oasis, and their own hovel basic and stale. It may be that they wish to immerse themselves in a different culture, and thus appreciate how truly diverse their species has become. It may even be that they travel solely for business, with the underlying intention to better their living circumstances back home (grow their business) or acquire the funds to later travel for pleasure. Though, regardless of destination and intent, humans, in this era of existence, are mortal creatures. Travelling Earth's many countries can be an exhausting venture.
But we are privileged. Certain efficiencies in our modern world can make the pursuit of travelling a far less fatiguing endeavour. I speak principally of this enigmatic, seemingly airborne collective intelligence deemed "the internet". Through this elusive medium, those of us who travel the world can share advice for subsequent adventurers - "travel hacks". And thus the practice of "travel blogging" has evolved.
You have quested into a spot of luck, dear reader. For now I will share you with you a number of my own travel hacks, finely blended with those of only the most revered travel bloggers, and travel professionals. You will find that a lot of it is mere logic.
A Dose Of Shut-Eye
Need I stress to you the importance of sleep? This unconscious practice can be applied throughout all phases of your travelling. For instance...
Before you leave to acquire a cheeky bit of trench foot along the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, it's a good idea to rest up sure and good. Acquiring illness becomes easier when you are unrested, and I have found myself particularly prone to it while inhaling the dry, rebreathed gases of an aeroplane's conditioning system.
When returning from the Louvre in Paris, bypass the men and women offering you "friendship bracelets" for exorbitant prices, return to your two-star hostel and collapse headfirst into your lumpy pillow. There is no shame in taking a siesta. For after a solid hour of wrestling foreigners to catch a four-second glimpse at the Mona Lisa, on da Vinci's wizardly beard, you've earnt it.
"Travelling and working can be exhausting at times, so to lift my energy levels I stick to the winning combination of a regular sleep pattern, exercising, eating healthy, staying hydrated, and of course my morning caffeine intake always helps." - Jayne Bray, Slow Travel Co.
"Long term travel is a tiring journey. You may not feel it after the first few days, but after a few weeks you can really burn out. This is where rest days are so important. These are days when you can sleep in, relax by the pool, and focus on planning the next stage of your trip. No buses, no trains, no hikes on rest days!" - Josh Shephard, The Lost Passport
Easy On The Sauce
What better way to see the medieval streets of Prague than with a drunken horde of Australians? The pub crawl was a lordly idea at the time, but now you suffer torturously for it. Your liver yelps at you: "Why doth ye mutilate I?" But you are trying to ignore it because your travelling companion is eager to repeat last night's dark actions. This may be the occasion on which you bend the knee to your well-being.
To a conclusion you may not wish to hear: alcohol is bad for you. In the correct doses, it can be a divine social lubricant, a real kick-start for the ol' brain. But if you have something that you wish to be in knightly health for the next day, it may pay to refrain from excessive consumption.
"Traveling can be disastrous for your daily routines, and for your body's natural rhythm. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and don't skip meals, no matter how busy you get. And while it might be less fun, it's important go easy on things like caffeine and alcohol that slow you down and make you feel drained." - Theresa Boehl, BeachDeals
Mobility Is Key
Just because I say take a nap, doesn't mean you should sit idle and watch the blue sky blacken. You will find that some of the most energetic people are the ones that use their legs.
If you are staying a mere two kilometres from the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II in Rome, walk. If you employ your locomotive appendages to traverse the streets of this city, not only will you save money and feel healthier, but you will see a great deal more along the way. If I had never seen that old man vomit into a bin on Via del Corso, I would have considered my entire European holiday a misuse of my precious time. I was a lucky traveller indeed.
Don't forget push bikes either.
"I'd argue that travelling makes you energised because you're experiencing new stimuli with new experiences, food etc. It might be easy for some to just laze around and do nothing, but I do like mixing it up by doing something active like walking around all day, bike riding etc." - Anthony Bianco, The Travel Tart.
Now, this is always going to vary depending on your age, general health, or how you like to travel. But you should always try and bring as little as possible. The less junk you have to carry, the more mobile you are, and the less you have to worry about your belongings being lost or stolen. I often dream about travelling the world with the clothes on my back and some futuristic passport embedded into my skin. I am not one to buy a whole lot of gifts overseas either. It's just more to carry, and more to spend. Sorry family.
Intravenous Vitamin Injection
Just kidding. But providing your body doses of organic compounds will certainly improve its well-being. Like sleep, this travel hack can be applied throughout the many phases of your conquesting. Before I go anywhere, excluding from my house to Coles, I load up on vitamins. Those orange fizzy tablets you drop into a glass of water are easy to carry and widely available. They are pretty general purpose too, and have, unless it was entirely a placebo effect, pushed me back from the dismal precipice of illness many times.
"How do I stay energised? With good nutrition and a killer morning routine to set me up for the day. I start each day with lemon water and apple cider vinegar. Not only does it flush out yesterday's toxins but it kick starts my metabolism and helps digest the nutrients from my food that day." - Monika Pietrowski, mymonpie.
Missing your flight, train, bus, or hovercraft is always a stressful procedure. You stand there, flushed and sweaty, while creatures of the night close in on you. Save yourself the stress - plan your transportation ahead at the very least. Winging accommodation as a backpacker can be fun sometimes, but missing a train isn't. Keep on top of this stuff. Have your little print-outs or phone notes. This is particularly important in countries where English isn't the primary tongue.
"The best way to stay energised while travelling is to get excited about the destination that you're heading to. I'll usually download a few videos of the destination that I'm heading to and watch them on the plane to keep me excited and to keep me from getting annoyed during the trip!" - Sam Williamson, Lahlatini Luxury Safari
Drink as much salty ocean water as possible. Again, a terrible joke. But that isn't to say don't take a swim in it. There is little else as cleansing as a dip in the ocean. Just be sure to avoid surging open waters, hammerhead breeding grounds, and abyssal chasms wherein dwell ancient leviathans.
In terms of drinking water, fresh is usually the go-to. Just be aware that the tap water of many countries is undrinkable. Bottled water, though its plastics are destroying the very planet on which you jaunt, is a great alternative. Drink plenty of it. I don't need to echo that oh-so-annoying fact that every human feels so scientific to recapitulate: "You are seventy-percent water!"... or whatever it is.
"Far and away the best advice I can give - stay hydrated and start exercising in local time to get over the jet lag faster." - Shane Thompson, Airline Pilot for QANTAS
Consume Organic Matter
Whether you enjoy plant or animal matter, eating, and eating healthily, is of vital importance. Certain foods weigh you down, often in the most physical of manners. Without ruining the enjoyment of your well-earned holiday, avoid eating junk food. Basically, if you look upon a heap of meat and cheese and think: I am undoubtedly going to regret this, then bypass it and buy your sorry self a piece of fruit. Eat something that is going to be as enjoyable on the way out as on the way in.
Getting Fat On A Cruise Ship
It would be easy to do the same old thing every day. But how many times can you wake up at eleven PM, eat brunch, take a chlorinated swim, eat dinner, then sleep? My point is that you need variety on your travels. Do things that you would otherwise never do, within reason, of course. Aggravating a mob of gypsies, for instance, I would consider unreasonable. Taking a leisurely kayak in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, I would consider very reasonable.
"What I am doing at this very moment is special, I am thankful and so lucky to be here experiencing this. How can I make this day even more special?" A line Dan Boland, Holidayers, says to himself to avoid become blase.
The Spice Of Life
I always thought Siracha sauce was the spice of life. Turns out I was wrong. It is a sonic vibration induced for entertainment purposes - music. Bringing your 2005 iPod shuffle along with you may provide you with the melodious defibrillation you never knew you needed. There is a reason that those psychotic people who jog regularly are always wearing earphones. It brings a beat into your life, one that just may breathe a hot lungful of optimism into your travelling ventures when you are jet lagged or homesick. The theme song to my most recent adventure, in New Zealand, was Will Smith's "Switch".
Sometimes You Just Need A Kick
Sometimes the above strategies just won't cut it. These might be the times to go for a coffee or an energy drink. Wink wink nudge nudge. But seriously, REIZE sachet's are so well suited to travelling. They weigh near to nothing, and all the foreigners will think you are a rad time-traveller if you whip one of them out.