I was reminded recently how important the balance of work and play is when you are living the long-term travel life. Some days Sean and I have are quite boring, we work, cook food and watch a movie. Other days are full on of experiences and others it’s a mixture of both. Since I have anxiety, to-do lists and making plans is just a few things that I do to handle it. I like to research things ahead of times so even when I choose to wander and get lost, I plan to get lost. If I get lost unintentionally my anxiety goes into overdrive even if I seem calm and collected.
The thing is, I have never been very good at taking care of myself. I go far too long without haircuts and will wear shoes that have holes in them slightly longer than one should. I don’t buy clothes very often and I have trouble sometimes spending money on things and experiences. I’ve realized that I need to treat myself better so I try to do just that but sometimes it’s harder to say than do.
I’ve also realized that self-care doesn’t need to be just grooming or clothes but it is also very much a mental thing as well. It’s okay sometimes to sit inside and read a book if that’s what I want to do or if I want to treat myself to getting my eyebrows done, that’s cool too. Now that we’ve started traveling, my priorities have shifted…. I realize it’s okay to pay to do things that will lead to good memories and it’s okay to buy myself what I need like proper shoes so I’m not in pain the next day from wearing shoes that cost less than 10 dollars and give me NO support whatsoever. In fact, since doing this I’ve started writing down what I can do that month to take care of myself from buying a pair of shoes to buying a book that I’ve been wanting to read. It helps me and reminds me to take care of myself.
When you travel long-term, it’s also okay to spend a whole day inside watching SVU and not be in the sun or driving around the countryside trying to see a new city or thing because that’s what I’m supposed to do in this lifestyle. The truth is when you are attempting to be a long-term traveler I think it’s important to be okay with doing boring and normal things some days. Physically, financially and mentally I can’t be full on constantly. I need breaks away from people and time to do nothing but veg on the couch and I don’t’ think that means I am wasting opportunities. If I pretended to be that person, I would be constantly exhausted just like I was before when I was working full-time… Which is NOT what I want.
I also think that because I know this about myself, I don’t need to feel guilty abut taking time to do nothing at all and sometime’s you just need a little bit of Olivia Benson in your life while you eat cold pizza wearing PJ bottoms and other time’s you just need a chair in the sun with Taylor Swift playing in the background and drink your hand. One the best parts of this life is rediscovering the things that make me happy but also finding new ones.
Self care is important whether you are traveling or not. I’m curious to know how you treat yourself?