Staying Healthy as a Long-Term Traveler

Strong Mental Health

  1. Talkspace. Talkspace is an online therapy company, where anyone can get therapy, where ever they are for significantly less money than traditional United States therapy. Talkspace has created a marketplace for licensed therapists and patients, and communication happens via their mobile app. I have been using Talkspace since September 2017 and I cannot say enough good things about the experience I’ve had. My therapist is amazing. I enjoy being able to check-in asynchronously anytime, no matter my timezone, and I find it to be an effective way to stay accountable to my goals. If you want to give it a try, use this referral link for $50 off your first month.
  2. Retreats. I am grateful to be able to unplug for a handful of days each year and focus entirely on my mental health while on retreat. Many people I know don’t have this luxury. Retreats are wonderful places for me to take in new information, reset my routine, and have space to reflect on what I value most. As of January 2019, I have been on six retreats — from Peru to Portugal to southern Utah. My most recent retreat with US-based meditation teacher Tara Brach was a top favorite. It was a 5-day silent meditation retreat over New Year’s, and I grew tremendously in my inner-peace and understanding of compassion. One way to keep momentum going post-retreat is to get my next retreat on my calendar before I allow other things in my life to take priority.
  3. Daily Practice. In order to stay on track toward having strong mental health, I identified mental health micro-actions to practice daily. Less of a to-do list and more of a map, my micro-actions help me to remember the actions I want to take to live my best life. In addition to mental health focused micro-actions, I set small — yet profoundly cumulative — micro-actions around my career, my physical health, and my curiosity. My mental health focused micro-actions include 20 minutes of meditation, morning journaling with a gratitude list, evening journaling with a reflection of what went right during the day, and doing a short loving-kindness meditation directed toward someone I interacted with that day. I use the 5-minute journal for my daily journaling. I write more about how I identify micro-actions to guide my life in my book, Travel Isn’t the Answer.

Keeping Up an Active Lifestyle

  1. Localfit. Think of Localfit as your sole gym membership, even if you are traveling across many cities in the United States. With a $14.95/month membership, you’ll have access to 5,000+ gyms and studios as you travel. The team at Localfit reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in trying out their service while I was visiting New York City. Currently, the vast majority of their gym and studio partnerships are on the East Coast, so my trip was a perfect opportunity to try out their service. If you nomad around the United States, and enjoy trying out different gyms and studios in new neighborhoods, Localfit is a great option.
  2. Trials. I have been surprised by the number of number of gyms and studios around the world who offer free trial periods to new customers. To be fair, if I am in a location for more than two weeks, this isn’t always the best way to keep up a fitness routine. But, if I’m in a location for 1 or 2 weeks, I found this is an interesting option to explore. Some gyms will work with me if I am in a city for a short period of time, offering me an affordable month-to-month option.

Getting Outside My Comfort Zone

Eating a Healthy Diet

  1. A Plan Around Eating. I was raised vegetarian (my parents are vegetarian) and in recent years I have moved slowly toward eating more and more vegan. I feel better when I eat a vegan diet, I pay attention to what is on a restaurant’s menu, and I enjoy seeking out innovative vegan chefs in a new city. I think having any kind of guideline around what we eat most of the time — whether that be eating paleo, plant-based, limited added sugar, or counting calories — brings more mindfulness around our diet.
  2. Being Mindful of Dining-Out. It can be easy to eat out often when constantly visiting new locations. I have started to make finding a healthy grocery store or street market nearby a top priority. It’s now one of the first things I do after my bag is unpacked. If I can get this right early on into my stay, it’s easier to eat in more often. It turns out, if I wait to pick up that first run of groceries, it becomes harder to break my notorious dining-out habit — even weeks or months into my stay.

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Jacqueline

Jacqueline

Jacqueline Jensen is a COO, former venture-backed startup founder, TEDx speaker, author, and Royal Society of Arts Fellow.