How To Feel Human While Traveling

For the most part traveling is a grand old time, full of instagram opportunities and frolicking through foreign streets, but it can also be very draining. Every now and then you start to feel as though you can't remember what it's like to be able to communicate properly with the general public, sleep in your own bed or eat anything other than pasta al pomodoro, and it is on these occasions that you need to take a step back and try to make yourself feel slightly more human again. Luckily for you, I have spent my fair share of time doing just that, so I have a few handy hints to spare.

You would be surprised how drastically your mood can be improved by taking a shower. Wash your hair, brush your teeth, put on something that has been washed in living memory. Being clean and getting into fresh clothes acts like a bit of a reset and makes you feel more human, especially if you've had a long day or are somewhere like Italy in the middle of summer and feel like you've become a puddle of your former self. Once you've had a shower you can try and make yourself look presentable again, or put on some clean pyjamas and get into bed.

Proper Pyjamas
Following on from the last point, having actual pajamas (I don't know which way I want to spell that word and it haunts me) to wear instead of just normal clothes that you sometimes sleep in can make a BIG difference. I don't know why, but on nights when I'm just a bit over not being in my own space I feel instantly better once I put on proper PJs (an elegant solution to the pyjama/pajama dilemma). It's like a subconscious signal that it's time to relax and switch off. Anything that makes you feel more at home when you're traveling is a plus.

Pamper Yourself
Face masks. Baths. Paint your nails. If it makes you feel better at home it'll make you feel better when you're traveling. You can do this to wind down at night, or put some extra effort into how you look before you go out for dinner and take some bangin' selfies.

Go To The Supermarket
One of the first things I do when I know I'm going to be staying somewhere for more than a few days is find a supermarket and stock up on snacks and alternatives to whatever I tend to gravitate towards at restaurants. I love Italian food more than maybe anything else, but I wouldn't make it through multiple weeks in Rome without a ridiculous amount of cherries, pineapple and salad components to break up the carby goodness. Even small things like having a diet coke in the fridge or being able to make yourself a chicken and avocado roll can make a difference.

Find A Chill Spot
It's great to use your time well and try to see as much of a city as you can, but sometimes you just need to find a cafe or a park and spend some time not doing anything. It's nice to be able to relax, have a coffee and read a book without feeling like you're missing out on everything by sitting inside.

Take Your iPad/Laptop
Obviously if you're backpacking and staying in dodgy hostels it's probably best to leave the macbook at home, but if - like me - you tend to gravitate towards slightly more secure accomodation, it's always nice to be able to watch a movie or TV show at the end of the day and wind down. 

Monitor Your Interaction
Some people recharge by interacting with other people and some people feel drained if they're not spending enough time alone, so try and strike a good balance between the two. If you're traveling alone it's always good to find a cafe with some chatty staff or somewhere else you can just be around people without having to commit to new friendships (unless you're into that, in which case congrats on being more social than me). If you're with friends, try and find a way to spend some time by yourself while they're off doing something else so you can decompress and have a bit of space. Sometimes if I'm feeling really drained I'll sit out half a day and just stay at the hotel in the morning and do my own thing, and go out again with everyone else in the afternoon or vice versa. Obviously this doesn't mean to spend the whole trip barricaded in your room, but if you feel like you need time alone, take it.

Listen To Your Own Music
90% of the time if I'm in an unidentifiable bad mood it's because I haven't been listening to my own music. That is not an exaggeration. I remember one day I was in London with my ex boyfriend and I was in the WORST mood for absolutely no apparent reason, and as soon as I put on some 1D I was genuinely bouncing down the street. Instant turnaround. Not everyone is as violently susceptible to music-induced mood swings as I am, but having control over little things like what you're listening to is always helpful.

Drink Water
I'm not joking when I say 'hydration' is going to be a tip on almost any list I make, but that's because it is IMPORTANT, YALL. There's nothing fun about being dehydrated, and feeling shitty with a constant headache isn't exactly going to make you feel like the happiest camper. So just drink water.

Keep On Top Of Social Media
This really depends on what kind of person you are, but for me I always feel a bit weird if I'm too disconnected from what's going on. Having time away from technology is important and can be really therapeutic, but if you're someone who enjoys updating the good people of twitter every now and then... you gotta do what you gotta do. After all, what's a trip without some solid instagram opportunities? A waste. That's what. Don't spend the entire time on your phone, but being able to check in at least once a day should stop you from feeling too out of the loop.

Go To Sleep Early
I am struck by the irony of me typing this at 4am, but I'm at home so it doesn't count. Seriously though, if you've only got a certain amount of time to experience a place you're going to want to be waking up early, and if you're waking up early you'll want to be going to sleep early. I hate the feeling of wasting a day, especially when I'm traveling, and being sleep deprived (as I will attest to tomorrow) is no fun. No fun at all. And sleeping is amazing. Everything is better when you're well-rested, and traveling is no exception. So don't be an idiot, go to bed-iot.