I just decided to go. I packed a small suitcase and grabbed my phone, laptop, a few healthy snacks, and filled the car with gas. Then, off I went.
My 5 day solo car trip this week took me over 3 states to see family and friends, many of whom I hadn't seen for 3 years or more. Since my husband's time was pretty well booked with work, it seemed like a little fun and adventure just for me. Even if our poor dog didn't approve of my absence.
I've learned the hard way that traveling can be packed full of hazardous pot holes for a healthy lifestyle, so I used a few of my tried and true strategies to help me along the way:
- Sandwich bags filled with slices of cucumber, carrots, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes went into the insulated lunch bag that sat right next to me to help with those random munchies that always seem to hit while driving. That's in place of those darn Peanut M&M's I used to reach for many years ago.
- A case of bottled water and individual serving cans of V-8 went in the trunk for back up veggies and fluids.
- Since my neck, shoulders and back can give me a little grief, I always bring neck and lumbar pillows and my tennis balls. I also use 2 tennis balls tied in a sock to provide light pressure on tight muscles and sore spots. Cheap and effective.
- Sugar-free gum's a must for staying alert. This time, I grabbed a few Tootsie Roll pops which are one of my husband's favorite for traveling. Those 50 calories really do last a long time.
- I tend to sip on lots of water, tea, and coffee, so hydration is not a problem like it is for many people. The added benefit of all that fluid is that I HAVE to stop frequently, which gets me stretching and moving those muscles!
- I've always loved making a list of all the different license plates I see on road trips. Since I was alone this time, I tried to challenge my brain by trying to remember each new one until I stopped and could write it down. Much harder for me!
- While eating out, I concentrated on conversation, eating slowly, enjoying each bite, and stopping when I was full. It's wonderfully freeing focus instead of constantly berated yourself for making less healthy choices.
- I gave out plenty of hugs, which as we know, are the perfect way to make you feel good and lighten your mood.
- I tried to get plenty of sleep even though that didn't work out every night!
- This time, I didn't worry about exercise since I've been trying to give a nasty case of plantar fasciitis time to heal. I can honestly say that my foot feels much better at this point.
Though I'm tired, I'm also refreshed by my time reconnecting with family and rekindling old friendships, which give me a great source of joy. I find it amazing how we can pick up just where we left off and treasure memories.