The Sensitive Artists Guide to Traveling
I am who I always wanted to be, myself.
Over the last seven years I have carefully cultivated and curated the perfectly peaceful and seamless way to travel, turning two of my least favorite places, airplanes and airports, into a much more tolerable and even enjoyable segway.
To make things even more fun I drew up a little info graphic collection of the best stuff to bring on the plane, train, automobile, when you are, lets just say ...gravity averse.
As an artist, musician, audiophile, tea drinking, book reading, quiet time loving kind of girl I have also included some fun facts about things like:
Active noise cancelling Headphones, after some research I have recently discovered they are actually not just extra fluffy headphones. Active cancellation means they have two microphones pointed away from you that cut the lines of transmission before they reach your ears, therefore you can have them on without music! Muffling the mid tones the most, this type of headphones are fantastic for sensitive ears (or anyones ears, as I learned this year from my professor in communication disorders at UCSD, earbuds and cheap-phones are scientifically proven to kill off inner ear cell hairs on the cochlea, which can never grow back! Feel free to respond with any questions about this as I have much to share).
TIP: Make sure they require a battery to power the active noise cancelling or they are not true active NC headphones. They help a ton with all the chaotic noise of the airplanes and airports and also reduce stress for those where excess noise is unsettling.
FRESH ORGANIC GINGER ROOT! This is not only simple but the most effective for nausea and stomach pains, easy to carry and eat and super cheap at about $3. The organic will be the strongest and if you just bring a little nub and chew as much as you can every time you feel nauseous, the instant effects are truly amazing. This also stops airplane stomach on the spot so after trying various kind of remedies I am very excited about this one.
Organic TEA BAGS
I bring organic tea flavors on the plane since hot water is always available & every airline seems to constitute their idea of "tea" as black lipton (cue eye roll) the key flavors are ginger for stomach, peppermint for stomach and nausea, & lavender if you want to sleep on your leg, also some black or green if you want to wakeup for a new time zone to reduce jet lag. So small to bring 2-4 bags its totally worth it to have a little treat!
TIME ZONE JETLAG best way for this, and I have tried the jet lag pills, sleeping whnever I want to sleep, and all sorts of weird gimmicks, but actually just staying up the first day for over 24 hours and then going to bed to ensure your circadian rhythm wont wake you up at 2 am, is the best luck I have had at making jet lag go away in fewer days. For example if you land in a 9 hour different zone at 3pm and are already past your bedtime by nine hours, stay awake until midnight, this is harder than it sounds but totally worth a go, especially if your trip is short and you don't have nine days ( they say it takes one day per hour difference!) to recover;)
The smell of the jetful (especially if your in the back of the plane) or someone opening up their tuna sandwich when your already on the verge of nausea can get the flight off to wrong foot. Put a little peppermint essential oil under your nose or on your neck or wrists as an instant relief! Also smells delicious so it is a mood booster for sure:) One time I forgot my peppermint oil and ended up on the backend of a turbulent flight, I was looking pretty ill so the passenger next to me asked me if he could get me anything to help, I told him I had forgot my peppermint oil for my motion sickness and it turned out he was a military sergeant on the way to bring his military wife her belongings including an essential oil basket! He couldn’t believe how I came back to life when I had just a little peppermint and laughed about how he wondered why his wife wanted her oils at the base camp.
Also doubles as emergency deodorant if your traveling to a hot destination.
ROSEMARY CRACKERS Salt & SEA-SICKNESS
For me as a sensitive traveler my appetite changes on the plane and there are few things I actually end up eating. After much experimenting and many snacks wasting precious space in my bag the jury is out that Rosemary is very very calming and natures path organic rosemary flaxseed crackers are my go to.
Anything sea-salty: another sickness cure I discovered in Trieste, Italy when a sailboat captain gave me a pile of sea salt straight from the edge of the sea after a "wavy" sailboat float, I was literally on my back to stop the world from turning but the little taste of sea salt helped!
TRAVEL BACKPACK with separate iPad compartment and suitcase trolly strap. I have literally tried every carryon bag, baggalini crossover, a big ol' Kate Spade tote, you name it, and circled back around to the backpack with trolly strap. Tumi and Samsonite to name a few have this option. For me flying across the terminal for connecting flights, jumping on a train, using airport subways, or cruising on and off all transportation on international travel having both hands free to run or jump is paramount. Spring for something with the trolly strap so that when you get your big luggage back you can attach them both and take a break from the weight on your back. I used to struggle overtime when we got on an escalator, trying to tie my top bag to my giant luggage handle underneath…my boyfriend standing there wondering why I went for cuteness over function.
For me I want to do my workouts on vacation and since you can never rely on internet connection when traveling to exotic places, I pre upload my iPad and iPhone with yoga and workout videos this way I know even if I only have 15 min I can pop it up and do a quick workout for the day. Also with all the walking we all do in travel, stretching is key!
DRIED SOUP! Sprouts market has dried miso soup packets omg! Again there is never ending hot water on the plane so I use this to my advantage, and having a calming salty soup is quite a treat.
YOUR SOAP! A tiny piece of a bar or a little container of liquid of your favorite, the soaps used in airports and travel bathrooms are super harsh and after one day my hands are cracking and smell like dollar store over-perfumed baby wipes- grooosss! A tiny bit of soap in your bag for the whole trip is a total luxury. Try something you love too like lavender-rosemary or lemon verbena. I like a little Dr. Bronners and you can get it everywhere now.
SHEA CREAM a teeny tiny container of thick hand creme for the dry dry atmosphere and over washing of hands, for under your eyes before you arrive, and anywhere else. If its organic (heres my homemade version I make) then you can use it even for lip balm too, saving tons of room.
Melt in a pot over very very low:
4 spoons of shea butter
Beeswax, shave about 1-2 spoons 1-2 spoons of almond, sesame, coconut, or any other good organic oil
Favorite essential oil like lavender or orange and vanilla.
TIP: Get your organic oils i the cooking section when you grocery shop- the unrefined organic food grade versions are perfect and cost less, only put ON what you put IN, right?:)
NASAL SPRAY if you are prone to migraines allergies or anything with the sinus then I am happy to tell you I have found a solution, after I got off a flight I had an uncharacteristic 3 day sinus migraine from how dry it was, so I did some searching. There is a bunch of moisturizing nasal sprays, and I like this one with Grapefruit seed extract they sell at sprouts and other health food stores so it doubles as immune protection. Use it before, during and after the flight and it works great! Just look for any moisturizing natural sinus spray.
HOMEOPATHIC MOTION PILLS these are great if your really feeling sick & have no side effects.
Add Yoga pants and a breathable Patagonia sweater and I am ready to travel for at least 24 hours!
I fit all of this in a pretty small sized backpack, Happy Travels & Bon Viaggo!