The world nearly stopped in March 2020, and we nearly stopped with it.

Now that the world is moving again, we’re moving with it. Though as we say ‘yes’ to more adventures, let’s be much more conscious about how and why we travel.

As a dreamer and joy-enthusiast, I love to travel! It’s an opportunity to fall in love with kindred spirits, landscapes, cultures, foods, and ourselves in an expanded heart space. Though just as it has the potential to widen our eyes, it also has the potential to disturb our senses – and the environment.

In Ayurvedic medicine, travelling can disrupt our energies (doshas). Travel is directly linked to vata, the combination of air + space elements. All of that air makes us feel, well, airy!

An increase in vata is associated with anxiety, body aches + stiffness, and nervous sleep. On the other hand, vata promotes mental expansion, excitement of the senses, and a natural energy high-on-life.

The key is balance. In the air and on the ground, here are some ways to stay balanced as a ‘Botanical Traveller.’

 

Intention + Sustainability 

Before we consider how traveling the Earth affects us, let’s consider how we affect the Earth. 

According to the BBC, “Around 2.4% of global CO2 emissions come from aviation. Together with other gasses and the water vapour trails produced by aircraft, the industry is responsible for around 5% of global warming.

Now that’s just aviation! We haven’t even covered train, bus, and car travel. 

But we can’t get around by international bicycle now, can we? And if you aren’t willing to give up jet-setting entirely, here are some ways to reduce your impact and feel good about your choices: 

 

Raise Your Aw-AIR-ness

Grounding begins with awareness of our choices. Consider tracking your airplane mileage and the impact of that weekend get-away or business trip. The International Civil Aviation Organization has developed an emissions calculator and many environmental guidelines to help us fly smarter.

But if this is still over your head (honestly, it’s over mine) then consider this: a flight from New York to Paris spans 5571.5 km and costs roughly 46 trees to offset the whole tonne of carbon emissions. “Ouch!” says Mama Earth. 

 

Offset Your Emissions

Now, I’m not suggesting we plant 46 bark buddies every time we fly (although no one here is stopping you!). But there are some ways to fly with the Earth and Air in mind.

Donate: The simplest way by far is to donate! Forty-six trees are about a $12.06 donation to your favourite tree-planting organisation. We personally love One Tree Planted, which rehabilitates global forests, including Australian forests (which make up 3% of the world’s forests!) 

Plant Your Heart Out: You can also get in there and plant some trees! There are many farms, nature reserves, and eco-tourism resorts looking for traveling volunteers. You don’t have to join the Peace Corps to give back to your host environment. Platforms like WorkAway, WWOOF, and Go Overseas are always looking for volunteers in exchange for food and board. 

Whether you have a few hours or a few weeks to give, eco-volunteering exposes you to wonderful people, amazing animals, new lands, and rich cultures – hands-on and hearts-on. 

Best of all, planting trees and contributing to the land is extremely, well, grounding!

 

Plant Support

So, now that you’ve landed in your new destination with a plan to support plant life, let plant life support you. Plants are the Botanical Traveler’s BFFs when it comes to self-care in the air…and on the ground. 

We’ve got you covered with our Kits + Travel. And with some inspiring ways to make the most out of them! 

 

Aromatherapie  

The sense organ associated with the Root Chakra (Muladhara) is the nose. So, our sense of smell stimulates our sense of security. 

You might spray some Aromatherapy Body Mist on your clothes, roll your Root Chakra Pulse Point Roller onto your wrists, or put a drop of lavender into your face mask before heading onto your flight. Bush-flower essences and essential oils of earthy fragrances like vetiver, sage, and rosemary are especially calming.

Let this be your little travel ritual that keeps you connected to your sense of self. 

 

Grounding Teas 

Your reusable thermos and a baggie of your favourite herbs weigh almost nothing to pack. But they make all the difference. Both for digestion and for the soul. 

The uprooting nature of travel has the potential to disturb the digestive tract. Constipation is a tell-tale sign of increased vata. To get things moving, consider black and green teas that include:

  • Senna
  • Peppermint
  • Ginger
  • Dandelion 

In the evenings, skip the caffeine and go for soothing teas that include:

  • Chamomile
  • Ashwagandha
  • Fennel seed
  • Any bark or root, like cinnamon and turmeric 

Staying hydrated with water is essential. And the ritual of brewing tea and the effects of the herbs themselves brings us down to Earth and into the present moment

 

All About the Feet 

You’ve smelled and sipped your plants, now give them the power of touch. 

Apply body lotion, such as our woodsy Natural Organic Body Lotion with cedarwood and lavender, lovingly onto your skin. Or self-massage with an herbal oil, preferably with a sesame or almond base as these are more warming (coconut = cooling). 

If anything, keep your mind toward your feet. They ground us for many reasons! We walk on them. The pedal pores are the largest on the body. And they carry portals to our life-force energy. 

According to Chinese medicine, the kidney meridian emerges at the “Bubbling Spring” point at the sole of the foot. The kidneys hold our essential Qi (Jing) and are responsible for nervous system regulation. 

the kidney meridian emerges at the “Bubbling Spring” point at the sole of the foot.

To nurture and ground the feet try:

  • Walking barefoot on natural ground. Read our earthing article.
  • Give yourself a warm foot bath with essential oils
  • Apply a drop of a soothing essential oil to the Bubbling Spring point

Get your feet in touch with plants that will support your Qi! 

 

Mind-Body Practices

Yoga Asana 

Do you ever get off an airplane and feel as stiff as the seat you just spent hours in? Well, it’s not just because of the discomfort of that seat. It’s, yup you guessed it, vata. The increased air element dries up lubrication and leaves us feeling tight. 

In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, yogic stretching brings life back to our joints and tissues. 

Some vata-reducing and especially grounding poses are:

vata-reducing and especially grounding poses are:

 

The great thing about these poses is that you don’t need a mat. Just a clean floor and maybe a towel! Try these out as stand-alone poses or as a sequence.  

When we feel more relaxed in our bodies, our minds are bound to follow suit. 


Meditation

So maybe the goal here isn’t to reach enlightenment, but rather to stay calm and adjust to a new environment. Good enough for me! 

Whatever activities your trip has in store for you, take the time to pause and return to your inner world. ​​Rather than your itinerary, let the breath be what moves you into trust and flow. We suggest that even just 20 minutes every day is enough. 

For our full guide to breath and meditation, check out Meditations by The OM Collective

 

Journaling 

Post-meditation is the best space from which to journal. Putting paper to pen is a lovely way to release any anxieties and come back to gratitude. 

I love revisiting the travel journals that I’ve kept over the years. It’s like looking at mental photographs of all of the places I’ve been, both out there in the world and right here in my heart. 

Uplevel your journaling experience with our luxe linen journals here

 

Circadian Rhythm 

Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. It’s wound up naturally by our internal organs’ responses to the motions of the Sun. 

This can be totally thrown off by artificial light, artificial substances, and jet lag. Jet lag is more than just flight fatigue – it occurs when your body clock doesn’t match your current time zone. 

The general rule of thumb is that it takes 1-2 days to recover for each time zone you’ve crossed. So a trip from Sydney to Tuscany can take a whole week to bounce back!

Try to adapt to the time zone you’re in. If you must nap, do so for no more than 15 minutes. Any longer and your circadian alarm may not go off. 

For more supportive body-clock routines, stay tuned for our next articles on Your Marvelous Morning and Your Essential Evening! 

 

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And for now, let these holistic self-care tips help you jump through the time-space continuum with consciousness and grace. 

As a Botanical Traveler, always trust your heart to keep you safe and guide your way. Know that no matter where you are, you’re always at home in your own mind~body~spirit. 

Reach out and share your favourite holistic travel tips with us! And feel free to let us know how our suggestions work for you. 

 

Fly free, 

Botanical Trader

 

WRITTEN BY ELIZABETH GOODMAN 
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