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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Travel Preps (Mental and Physical Readiness)

Travel is one of my passions and I make sure that I'm almost 100% ready for it.

Being Mentally Ready

For me, this is the first step and the most important aspect in terms of preparing for travel. This helps in readying the self for the challenge that travel may bring. Travel is enjoyable but exhausting and the only way to ease off a bit of stress is to start with the strengthening and conditioning of the mind.

Why the strengthening of the mind? Travel will present situations that will need you to think--like figuring out how to pack your things, planning your itineraries, knowing the ins and outs of an airport, analyzing maps and directions, etc. Sa pagba-byahe, kailangan streetsmart, madiskarte at kalmado ka. Bawal ang mental block at bawal ang tanga (sorry, but I just had to emphasize that). My way of mental strengthening is to study the country, maps, itineraries, good and bad reviews and even hearsays. I take everything into account. In this way, I'm able to have a sneak peak on what to expect on the place I will be going to. This practice lessens the element of bad surprises for me.

And what about conditioning of the mind? This one will help you in hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Not all trips are made in heaven. Almost all travels are prone to situations beyond your control. Condition the mind that you should be ready in bad situations that may come up, in that way, you can also prepare for plans B, C and D. Prior to travel, I play a mental game called "What if?". What I'll do is ask myself "what if" questions regarding travel, for example: "What if I lost my luggage, what will I do?"---questions like that also makes me logistically ready. For that question, one of my answers would be "to have my airlines' phone number for lost luggages". Most importantly, I condition my mind that every trip will have its hassles and my formula is to still enjoy it (it might turn out to be a blessing sometimes!) and to get thru every bad situation as gracefully as I can (the last thing I want to happen is to lose my temper).

Being Physically Ready

As soon as I know the date of my travel, I immediately start a couple of physical activities:

  1. Briskwalk 4-5 times a week from 30-45 minutes.
  2. On weekends, I mix briskwalking and running.
  3. Lift light weights for strengthening of arms, I try to do this thrice a week
  4. Eat more rich in protein foods.
  5. Eat youghurt at least a week prior to travel (youghurt helps in the adjustment of your stomach because when you travel you are susceptible to eating new cuisines).
  6. Religiously drink my supplements: Vitamin E and C, Calcium and Biotin.
  7. Sleep every chance I get

For my vaycay and wedding in January 2007, I physically trained six months prior to leaving Sydney because the reason of my travel then was of too many tedious things: my wedding, honeymoon, vacationing the phils. For the seven weeks of non-stop going and eating everywhere--not to mention that weddings are really really stressful!--I never got sick. My physical training paid off. On the other my husband got sick two weeks prior to our wedding day--hah! He wasn't physically prepared.

For my upcoming trip this week, I started physical training on the 3rd week of February. Then I also had an additional task: to eat McDo's cheeseburger twice before I leave Sydney. To make the long story short: I stopped eating hamburgers in 2005 but I eat when I travel coz I sometimes want one. Now since Hubby told me that we will be staying at place where there is a nearby Jollibee (yay!), so I needed my stomach to familiarize with cheeseburgers again, hence, I ate McDo's cheeseburger twice now. Now I think my tummy's ready for Jollibee.

Up next: Travel Preps (Itineraries and Logistics)