Travel can teach us a lot. We see the way people in different cultures live. We see what affects our actions can have. But most importantly, we learn a lot about our own priorities and necessities. For me, travel has helped me realise what is most important to me and what I need, in order to be the best version of my self. On the flip side, it has also taught me what trivial things I can live without.
In our often busy day-to-day lives, it's easy to get caught up in trivial things and become overwhelmed by superficial things that aren’t important or necessary. Through my own experience with travel, I have learnt a lot about what is important to me and also what can wait, what I can take more of a relaxed approach to. The relationships I have with my friends and family is something that is very important to me, and something I cherish. Being both physically and mentally healthy is also very important to me. Nature, freedom and the open air are undeniably things that I can’t live without.
One thing that has always played a big part in my life (sometimes for the better, other times for the worse) is my obsession with exercise. Obsession or addiction, call it what you will, but exercise and fitness is something that has shaped my priorities in life and how I spend my “precious” time. Exercise has always been a way for me to deal with stress and anxiety. However, it has at times been a catalyst for my stress. If I was unable to fit in my routine gym session or long run due to work or other commitments, I would become irritable, unfocused, anxious and stressed. I felt that if I didn’t get a chance to fit in my regular exercise, my physical and mental health would suffer - and that was if I missed just one session in a week!
So now I've been traveling for almost 4 months and not once have I seen the inside of a gym. Sure I am still getting out for a run (once a week if I’m lucky) and doing some body weight training occasionally in teeny Airbnb room or camper van (surprisingly, slide doors offer a great place to do pull ups =D). But without my regular exercise, I am fine. My health is good, I’m more clear in my mind and most importantly I’m not stressing over missing out on my regular exercise. Ok, granted I am travelling, I don’t have the usual stresses of full-time work and living in “the real world”, but I like to think that even with normal every day life back home, the ability to be more flexible and less fixated with exercise, is a very achievable goal.
In summary, I'm not telling you to lock up the active wear and become couch potatoes. I'm telling you it's OK to miss that gym session, or that run that you had planned to do after work. Sometimes our mind and body need a break every now and again. Just like our mind needs a vacation in order to rejuvenate and function better, so does our body. Not only will you free up more time for more important things, or people in your life, but also when you do hit the gym or running track, you will be stronger, better prepared and more energised that ever.