Holistic Over Perfectionistic: The Best Approach To Travel

Over the past five years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many locations. The list of places I visited includes Russia, Portugal, Mozambique and a couple of others. I even spent eight weeks traveling through Africa, six weeks in America, and also had the privilege of seeing more of South Africa during a few local weekend travels (where lockdown regulations allowed). The experiences have taught me a lot, and to be honest, I made a lot of mistakes along the way! Every time I’ve traveled, I’ve made a promise to myself that I have to be healthy all the time. Trip by trip, this has been a letdown and led me to feel like I’ve failed, rather than taking a different view catering to tuning into what works, and what doesn’t.

A Perfectionistic vs. Holistic Approach

You might say that I took a perfectionistic approach to my travels, leading to rigidity and inevitable letdowns. It’s impossible to maintain the same routine when you’re in an unfamiliar setting. Over time, I’ve learned that a holistic approach to “wellness on the go” is a better choice, mostly because it incorporates a healthy mindset with flexibility, rather than expecting perfect decisions every day. There is a natural adjustment period whenever you visit a new space, and even switching accommodation can be destabilising to a wellness practice. A holistic approach to travel requires settling a bit, and adjusting and tapping back into a few things as you find capacity and energy.

The Right Intention Before Travel

First time travellers might be tempted to expect everything to go according to plan, especially because it’s so easy to get stuck in the image painted by online marketing videos created by the destination. Going into a travel experience aware that there will be hurdles and stumbling blocks already starts the trip with a more realistic outlook, and will lead to less disappointment. The right intention for wellness along your trip includes having a good foundational support system to work from, which might include (like it does for me) packing protein powder, charcoal tablets for days of overindulgence, and your usual supplements.

Allowing Yourself Treats and Temptations

When you’re on the road, you don’t have to cut out the things you love. Eating airplane food is part of the fun, ok! Allow yourself treats and indulge your temptations, as some of these might be something new for you to try and unlikely to be experienced outside of the region you’re visiting. It’s important to ease up a little, especially as you will be on holiday and it won’t be as easy to stick to your usual schedule. Try splitting good and “not so good” days 50-50, and work your way up to 80-20 once you are more settled. This might include being healthy in the week, and enjoying treats over the weekend.

Remembering What Travel Is Really About

At the end of the day, travel is there to be enjoyed. All you can ask for is to do the best that you can, and to cut yourself some slack around trying to “nail” it every day or week. Seeing other parts of the world is a way to enhance your perspective on the world, to turn inward for some much needed introspection, and most of all, to have some fun. You will be creating a lifetime of memories wherever you go, so it’s worth embracing the process, seeing it as a daily unfolding, and making the most of a special time away from your usual routine. Enjoy the adventure!