How Traveling Rejuvenated Me

Before last month, I hadn't traveled since September 2013 when I went to Italy. I was restless back then, ready to leave my job and move to NYC and I just wanted to see Italy again. I had a good job and awesome benefits and health insurance and a ton of vacation time so I went. It was fun and I took it for granted. It lacked the gratitude that my most recent trip had and I didn't come back as changed as I did last month.

I came back from London three weeks ago and I'm still enjoying the trip. Not just the memories or photos but the way my routine changed for the better. Jetlag is tricky. You don't think it's going to effect you because you think that all you need is a good night's sleep when you get home and you'll be back to your normal schedule. However, for me, it hung on for a week, at least, but it also propelled me into a new routine. Jetlag ended up being amazing for so many reasons.

First of all, traveling always makes me so grateful for the life I have back home. Maybe it's because I'm loving my life in New York City but halfway through my trip, I realized how much I loved London and how much I'm still in love with NYC. London is beautiful, it's clean, with amazing sites, restaurants and people. I walked miles, met up with friends, ate delicious vegan food and generally enjoyed myself. I also took a day trip to Paris, which was scary at first but ended up being a perfect end to my England trip. Secondly, traveling makes me realize how strong and brave I am, how I can navigate a flight and a new country by myself. It makes me appreciate another country and, also, my own country, my life, my job and my family and friends. I stayed a week and it was the perfect amount of time.

The jetlag was frustrating at first because I wanted to come home and get back to my old routine. Little did I know that my new routine would be so fresh and new and NEEDED. I could not keep my eyes open past 8PM when I got back to NYC. I went to a museum meetup two nights after I got back and I had to leave early. I went home and slept for 8 hours straight. Since then, I'm in bed relaxing with a book by 10PM and I sleep almost 8 straight hours without interruption. I wake up rested and ready to take on the day and often send out emails and tie up loose ends before 10AM. I feel more confident and ready to say yes and no with conviction. I checked off so many items on my to-do list for the studio in the last two weeks and I'll be able to close out some tasks before the year ends. Being productive early in the day and having boundless energy is so INVIGORATING. Yesterday I went running for the first time since the beginning of November and it felt great. The quality of my personal interactions and events that I show up for have improved. What a refreshing twist to my outlook on life.

I guess you have to be away from something to really appreciate, like the saying "absence makes the heart grow stronger." Being a small business owner, my thoughts are always with my business, whether I'm worrying about it or working on something for it or meeting with new customers, I'm always thinking about it. I left it for a week knowing that it was going to be fine and that I needed the time away. Now that I'm home, I'm bursting at the seams to improve it everyday. I redecorated my studio, figured out my new pricing, met with clients and just generally felt competent and productive. I feel so enlightened and grateful.

London was one of my best trips, if not the best trip thus far because I'm still feeling the after effects. It has stayed with me and helped rejuvenate my routine and gave me a fresh outlook on my relationships, business, clients, self care, everything in my life.

I know some of us cannot travel for various reasons or have to put off travel. But you can still refresh your routine. London helped me reset my sleep and helped me focus my energy. Refresh your routine starting with sleep.

1. Go to bed earlier each night until you fall asleep at the time you want.
2. Get up and be productive when you wake up after 7-8 hours of sleep
3. Make a list of what you need to do and check off the items
4. Write down 1 thing you are grateful for and remember it!
5. Exercise at some point during the day and remember self care
6. Eat your greens!!

Once you fix your sleep patterns and feel more awake and engaged during your day, you will notice that you smile more, you engage with others when you want to and when you feel comfortable, you figure out what you want more easily and you can turn around a bad day more easily. Winter is a great time to sleep earlier and rise earlier. The days are shorter, it's darker earlier and it's cold. Start your December off with great sleep; the holidays will be much more enjoyable for you.

Lastly, if you can travel, do it! It opens up your eyes to new surroundings, new ways of life, new people and places. There are many ways to travel on a budget and flight prices can drop depending on the time of year. You don't need someone to travel with, either, I've traveled twice on my own and I was fine. I am a sheltered suburban girl and I survived. You can too!

I love the quote: don't put off tomorrow what you can do today. Book your flight and prepare for your trip and you won't regret it.