Travel for business and work is about staying alert, fighting fit and on your toes all the time. When you are away from home and out in the open, seeking new opportunities, you open up to new possibilities. Seeking the desired in all possibilities brings our lives on the borders of uncertainty. Kill the uncertainty in travel and you kill the fun of it. The flier miles done, the emails exchanged, the calls attended and deals closed matter, but to get to the goal of doing business, one must learn to enjoy travel, relish the possibilities that the road throws at us and experience uncertainty as a new normal.
The rush hour traffic that leaves no time for breakfast, the last minute sprint to the airport, the incessant traffic jam on the roads leading to the nearest tube rail station, the impromptu meeting with a client at short notice and the late evening email from the boss asking for a report on the day’s activity come together to disrupt set routines, affect personal equations with family, disturb sleep and cumulatively, affect mental and physical health of the person. Given that uncertainty is the new normal in corporate philosophy, one must make dedicated efforts to maintain one’s efficiency and be as close as possible to his daily routine to stay stress free, joyful and physically fit during travel.
1. Stretch it out!
Travelling for long hours can take its toll on your joints and muscles. Sitting idle in the same posture on a flight or in the car for long hours renders your back, waist and legs stiff. Take short breaks if travelling by car. Get down, walk a few paces and stretch your hands and legs a bit. If on a flight, get up a few times and walk a few steps. This ensures that blood circulation in your body parts continues to have a smooth flow and reduces the simmering stress inside your muscles and joints.
2. Follow your Exercise Routine
When travelling, many people tend to ignore their exercise routine. The effects are visible in a short span of one day or at the end of the tour. If you are a fitness freak and happen to work out every day, follow your exercise routine while travelling as well. If your hostel has a gymnasium, hit the floor in the evening after a day of back breaking work. Sweat it out on the floor instead of taking to the couch. Release calories and toxins from the body like every other day. If you are into mild exercises only, then repeat the same exercises. Scout for a hostel or hotel that has free space inside. Push up, do abdominal crunches and sit up for a fair set of repetitions and keep your body light and fast.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Next on the altar of sacrifice is water. While travelling, we do more miles and spend more energy than we do while staying at home. Ignoring the body’s water requirements brings along the issue of dehydration and leads to loss of energy, stomach problems and urinary issues. Drink more water than usual while travelling. Carry at least two bottles of drinking water all the time. If reliable drinking water is unavailable in the vicinity, look for options like fruit juice and stay hydrated all the time.
4. Time for a Digital Detox
In the same way as the wrong food, water shortage and insufficient sleep increase the level of toxins in the human body, a flurry of emails, messages and calls on the smart phone adds to the levels of mental stress. Very often, an email mandates not just a response mail but serious work. Work you must, but not at the cost of food, sleep and exercise. Allowing a digital overload only pushes down productivity, adds to the stress level and disturbs sleep. Switch off the smart phone, the laptop and the tablet one hour before sleep. Do not surf on social media till late night and instead use the time to get some extra sleep.
5. Plan Active Things to Do While Travelling
While travelling, do not kill the fun element. Staying away from home is in itself, a challenge for the body and mind. Pamper yourself with some fun activities such as swimming. If your hotel has a swimming pool, you can dive into the waters straight away. If not, look for other options. Explore the local scene on the pavements of the city, scout for a happening joint of social activity and look out for fun at beaches and seaside getaways, if the city has any. Click a few amazing photographs at sunset, listen to the local musicians as they play their instruments or play a game of beach volleyball.
6. Dig into Local History and Folklore
It is common place for travellers and tourists to complain of their host city being alien to them. The “out and away from home” syndrome adds to the discomfort at work. Be proactive and plan a rendezvous with the city. Step out and say hello to the people, the buildings, the local monuments and the markets. Know your host city. Discover its history, its legends and folktales. Chat with a local vendor on the streets and participate in a small conversation over a cup of tea to understand the people, their food habits, the work calendar and their value system. You never know, you might end up learning a few tricks for your next meeting.
7. Eat for Your Health Not Taste
While travelling the temptation to bite into the dough nut, a cheese topped pizza or an extra pitcher of beer is always there. Do not give into these temptations, thinking that your wife shall not know about it. When you are back to home with a bulging belly, a few extra pounds of fat or a stomach upset, you know that all hell will break loss. Stay safe and eat for health. Go for green veggies and high fibre content food items.
8. Make Time for Calls to the Family
When out of town for work, it is only palpable that you are busy for a sincere cause. Everybody understands that you are doing your bit for the welfare of your family and appreciates your enterprise, but you must know that they miss you. Your family would love to hear your voice on the phone at least once before they retire for the night. Make a call to your child. Ask him about his day at school and the food that his mom cooked for him. As for the mom of your kid, let her know that she is being missed. She may pretend to ignore, but will have a wide smile on her face.
9. Blog about Your Travel
While travelling, it may not always possible to talk to your family and friends. As such, blogging about your travel to share your experience and inviting the opinions of others to help improve travel experience can be a great idea to unwind and learn from peers and seniors. Maintain a digital travel diary blog and showcase your travel experience to the world.
Remember that travel is always about exploring new experiences, seeking new opportunities and learning new things. While dealing with the uncertainties of new dimensions of work and life, maintain your composure and calmness to make travel and work more enjoyable and productive. The more you enjoy, the more productive you become.