I want to first express my deepest sympathies to the victims of the Toronto tragedy. On April 23rd, this article was still in draft mode when I got in the car to head to work. It didn’t just happen in my hometown, it happened in my neighborhood of North York. Senseless acts of violence like these do not dilute my desire to venture beyond borders. However, I am stunned, crushed but equally grateful my friends and family are safe. If you are reading this and you have been affected by this incident, please know I had you in my heavy heart as I continued to finish this article……………..MHD
Transit = to pass across or through an area
Travel = to make a journey of some length, or abroad.
I grew up in the melting pot city of Toronto, which exposed me to virtually all the cultures of the world. And I had a travel obsessed, multilingual father, so naturally I developed a curiosity for beyond border experiences. Now in my late forties I sometimes feel like I am making up for lost time because instead of taking my dad’s advice: “See the world before you settle down”, I ploughed through my education and post grad degree then went straight into business. But, here’s the thing: No regrets. It’s never too late to travel. And now that I have been in my field of natural health for exactly twenty years I can combine that knowledge with my travel obsession in this blog. I’m not a full time wanderlust. I am still in practice and now I also do consultations over the phone. I schedule the time away and have to strategically plan where I want to explore (which is everywhere). But I take into account what country is calling me at the moment. This is why in late February I ended up returning to Bali. My previous trip there was 3 years ago.
Unlike most travel blogs, I will show you how to keep yourself healthy (naturally of course), prevent weight gain and avoid getting sick on vacation and so much more! You will see my experience with native healers in other countries and learn how the locals do it…keep their stress down! And what I also love about travelling is that I learn, first hand, some techniques to bring back to my patients. I will also share some wonderful insights on some retreats, resorts I reviewed and more!
Here’s the first lineup of articles coming your way! (Not necessarily in this order)
- How to prepare yourself (immune system) before you travel.
- Ways to repair your gut and recover fast or detox after you return home.
- What to pack in your first aid kit, besides the obvious things.
- How to prevent jet lag (well ok, minimize it. I personally know this one is tough.)
- Preventing heat exhaustion, sun burns and tan safely to make your Vitamin D.
- Airplane travel: Eat well, move well & sleep… well, decently!
- Preventing neck and back strain in transit. Well, I AM a chiropractor so I have to write this one! (And happy to do so!)
- Safe travelling (especially for female solo travelers) and overcoming the fear of the unknown ie: Solo traveling with segments unplanned (no hotels booked, being a little nomadic) in foreign, far away countries was a big breakthrough for me, so if I can do it……
- Who said eating healthy takes the fun out of traveling? I’ll show you! I do it gluten-free.
- Cover stories on healing therapies I receive from native medicine men, local therapists, herbalists etc… Remember Eat, Pray, Love? If you enjoyed the book or movie you will love my upcoming article on my impromptu visit with “Wayan”, the Balinese healer. (I was seriously on my way to the airport and had to skip a rice terrace and waterfall experience due to the rain!) The book didn’t even feature half of her talents. She is a remarkably gifted healer and a new friend, so stay subscribed! See her in this preview video I featured on social media.
THE REASONS I DO IT…..
It is good for the brain.
You are as old as your brain so if exercising it keeps you young then, travel! Learning or just being exposed to a new language exercises the temporal lobe of the brain- the part that also controls functions such as long term memory and auditory processing. This is the first part of the brain to be affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.
Keeping track of where you store your valuables or simply staying on top of your itinerary (without solely relying on your gadgets which can die on you, or a piece of paper which can vanish) exercises the temporal cortex and frontal cortex of the brain – the parts responsible for focus, planning, attention and recall.
I’ll be expanding the brain benefits in future articles!
It grounds you.
Travelling to parts where life moves at a slower pace and the locals are happy with less can put things into perspective for most of us. You start to wonder why you stress so much over things you realize aren’t that important and you start living in the moment. Don’t be surprised if your mood regulates a little better in a different setting too.
It disconnects you; then reconnects you.
Sometimes to get perspective on your life you need to disconnect from your environment. Taking yourself to a new place with unfamiliar traditions can place you in situations where learn more about yourself, especially if you travel solo or at least take a time out during your trip. It erases the “to do” list, the screaming kids, the nagging boss from your mind and clears enough brain fog for you to have your own epiphany or light bulb moment. I have a very “vata” mind (This is an Ayurvedic dosha trait: racing thoughts, multitasking pro, can speak about 5 things in one sentence and drive myself crazy to exhaustion). So trips to spiritual places or countries where “la dolce vita” is in effect, work well for me!
It makes for great conversation.
Who doesn’t like hearing about your trips at the dinner table, especially those with a travel bucket list! The friends who have “travel envy”, I say just tone down your enthusiasm a bit to show sensitivity. But seriously, they really should just make it happen (like you did), even if it’s a road trip to the next state.
It creates visual memories and inspiration for more adventures, not to mention a nice looking Instagram feed! See my growing collection of travel and culture pics on Instagram @restorativeluxurytravels
Most of us are visual. Pictures speak thousands of words and crosses all language barriers so don’t be surprised how many social and business connections you make abroad and after you return home.
It broadens your horizons.
I know this sounds cliché but travelling beyond borders allows you to see life through a world lens versus versus your city limits. I always find a new awareness and appreciation for different cultural practices, foods and of course (my favourite), the healing therapies that are passed down through centuries. Your family of friends extends far and wide and offers new opportunities to visit their countries too!
I’m not saying traveling is easy.
There’s no doubt stressful situations occur when traveling; missed flights, getting lost, stolen valuables. The risk of infection and disease exists wherever you go. The planning phase itself can take a toll. Some things just happen! My goal is to arm with you with prevention tips, safeguarding and useful self-care and strategies to make traveling an optimally fun and healthy experience on all levels! As I continue to explore, I will keep learning and sharing. I already have a growing list of resources which include travel apps, and reputable tour guides and drivers!
And one more thing: Luxury Doesn’t Necessarily Mean a Five Star Resort.
And I will show you how to satisfy your senses and feed your soul without exhausting financial reserves! Sometimes the most luxurious experiences are found in the simplest things.
If you stumbled across this link on my Facebook feed or other channel, feel free to connect by liking and following @restorativeluxurytravels (Facebook and Instagram) and @drmelanied on (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest). My YouTube channel is linked on my website but feel free to click HERE for the direct access.
I would love to hear from you!
Have a suggestion? A question? You can post on my social media or please comment below and share if you feel so inspired!
Thank you and healthy travels!
Restorative Luxury Travels
Update (May, 2018): The first travel health article is published: “Balinese Chakra Massage”