Traveling with Love


My top tips for staying healthy on the road

By Ellen Livingston

Summertime is often travel-time, and for those who put effort into keeping a healthy home kitchen and a self-care routine, being away for any length of time presents a real challenge. The keys to keeping it healthy on the road are commitment and preparedness. Building these two muscles has helped me stick to my raw vegan path over the last 20+ years, even when I travel. No matter the form of travel or the length of the journey, with the tips I am about to give you, you can fully enjoy your travel experience without sabotaging your health or well-being.

Let’s talk about commitment first since it’s probably the most important muscle to build for any important endeavor in life. To what, and to whom, are you committed? This is a question I ask myself often. I want to be very honest and stay true to myself, and I want to know if my commitments may have shifted. It’s okay with me when this happens (no shame!) – I just want to be conscious about any shifts. Sometimes, it may seem like important commitments are in conflict with each other.

An example of this would be thinking that joining in the fun with others would prevent you from sticking to your own health plan and or wanting to give to someone else while needing to take good care of yourself. I can offer a fresh perspective.

What if it’s not either/or…but instead, you can have both/and? Could you get inspired by that? Inspiration is really important because it will powerfully pull you along and naturally encourage you to make wise, integrated choices. Motivation is not quite the same thing…it requires more effort, and it doesn’t carry the same high-vibration magnetism. Inspiration and commitment go hand in hand in a powerful way, and it is simply a learned and practiced skill to set and renew them both daily. I set myself up to be inspired by the very idea of mastering this skill. And then, I show up giving my best and let the natural laws around positive energy, love, and intention work their magic.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, a chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness…The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” -Goethe

Boldness is inspired action. I inspire myself and prepare for action by listening inwardly and feeling my heart. This requires being quiet, by myself, and getting grounded. I do a self-inquiry: what am I feeling? What do I want to feel? What do I really want? How could I welcome that into my reality? Who/how do I need to be? What does Love want for me?

Let’s apply this to travel. How do I want to feel on my travels? What structures, plans, and actions feel energetically aligned with this? What feels most important on this trip? How could I design this travel journey so that I can have the personal boundaries I prefer for lovingly keeping myself in balance while maximizing my enjoyment of sightseeing, activities, and time with other people? What boundaries do I want? How could I gracefully ask for these? What is my happiest mode of travel? How much downtime do I need? Time in nature? My own experiences have shown me that it is far easier to set the stage ahead of time as much as possible than to scramble to meet my needs in unnecessarily challenging situations on the fly.

Once I have completed the self-inquiry to determine what feels like it will work best for me, I can confidently make plans and commitments accordingly. Here is a fun twist on the familiar ‘ready, aim, fire’ phrase: what if you rearrange the words into ‘Ready….FIRE!….Aim.’ This empowers you to get started with consciously grounded action steps, knowing that you will be allowed some wiggle room to make adjustments along the way. Even though there will always be surprises and things beyond your control, you will be claiming the driver’s seat of your own vessel, and this will make all the difference in your travel resilience.

Now that you are inspired about a travel journey in which you get to have fun while being grounded and resilient and committed to the boundaries that will support you in bringing your best self along, what preparation details do you need to attend to? For me, traveling raw-vegan-style generally means that I need to bring a lot of my own fruit and snacks, as well as basic kitchen supplies, if I will not be staying in well-equipped places. For car travel, I bring a flexible plastic cutting board cut to fit into a gallon zip-loc bag, with a couple of differently sized knives with protective sheaths on their blades. I pack nesting metal bowls with lids, bags or a bucket for compost, and my own silverware. I bring paper towels, dish towels, or natural baby wipes for cleaning fruit-prep stickiness. I bring a veggie peeler and a mini spiralizer, and I might bring a blender. I always have a simple backpack for carrying my supplies or groceries and some kind of picnic blanket.

I have happily prepared many meals in my car, at rest areas and gas station parking lots, and in hotel rooms. And on trails or in parks. I have a wonderful memory of sharing a majestic durian fruit with friends on a humble gas station patch of grass on one long road trip.

I will often bring a yoga mat, some resistance bands, a foam roller, and an exercise ball if space permits. If I need to travel extra lightly, then just use resistance bands. I also bring an eye cover, a miniature white-noise gadget for sleep protection, and earbuds or sound-canceling headphones so I can relax privately, tune in and wind down from all the travel activities with soothing music or guided meditations. I have learned to take care of my needs without worrying about what other people will think. I definitely get some fun comments and curious questions when I am stretching or moving my body in rest areas or enjoying my attractive spread of colorful fruit anywhere.

I will scout out healthy restaurant and grocery-store options ahead of time and suggest these to my travel companions. If I am the only raw vegan in the group, it’s easier for the others to accommodate my needs in this arena (since they can always find something on any menu) than for me to navigate a restaurant with few to no raw vegan options. And if it does happen that the group’s restaurant choice is challenging for me, I eat from my stash of fruit before I go out and then cheerfully join for the social fun. I can nearly always find at least a small house salad so that I can eat something with the group. I remind myself that I am there to connect with the people, not necessarily to have my preferred food (which is always easier for me to provide at home!).

It really doesn’t take much time to tune in to your heart’s wisdom, discover what will serve you best, and plan accordingly. The benefits are profound, and there is honestly no downside. There is no good reason to sabotage your health or well-being in your travels, and every good reason to inspire yourself with the potential you have to create travel experiences that can enhance your health and build your self-mastery muscles for life.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here