Embracing our Travel Rituals

When we travel, we open our minds to new surroundings and a new perspective. Though, being creatures of habit, I suspect we all have a little list of travel rituals to which we stick by.

Why do we have our travel rituals? Is it because we still like to maintain a sense of routine before jumping into the unknown? Is it because we may have a phobia or illness that we need to keep in check? Or, are we merely making unconscious decisions and our rituals have just set themselves in stone upon each journey?

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I’ve learned to embrace my travel rituals over the years. Travel rituals are my way to get into a travel mindset and the chance to truly switch off from the everyday routine. It’s during my travel rituals when I can feel the excitement pumping through my veins for the next trip into the unknown.

Packing luggage at the last minute
I’ve never really become accustomed to packing in advance. I remember packing a few weeks before my three-month adventure to the U.S and Canada and I ended up packing way too much and not using everything I packed. I have a ritual of packing as close to the last-minute as possible, either the night before if I’m on an early flight or on the day when my fly-out time is later. I find I’m more ruthless in what I take, I get into a “zone” and very rarely forget anything. Whatever I do forget, I buy on arrival at my destination.

Chewing on chewing gum during take-off and landing
As much as I love travel, I don’t like the ear pain I endure during take-off and landing. I’ve always battled this pain; for as long as I can remember and the intensity of the pain varies depending on the cabin’s pressure level. I remember one harrowing flight from Melbourne to Tasmania once, one of the shortest flights I’ve taken. The ear pain was so bad that I ended up suffering a panic attack mid-flight. I’ve learned to substantially minimise the pain by chewing on gum that’s infused with a strong peppermint or eucalypt flavour. The strong flavour keeps my sinuses clear and the chewing action pops any pressure in my ears.

Dressing during transit in layers
I’ve always felt the cold, even at the slightest temperature change. I find that by dressing in layers I can better regulate my body temperature and not feel too cold or too hot. I always wear a scarf that can double up as a wrap-around for whenever I need an unexpected extra layer.

Sleeping and eating at routine times during long haul flights
If I’m on a long-haul flight, I try to stick to the time back home as much as I can. This means sticking to the daily routine too, like eating meals approximately when I would normally and trying to sleep when I would normally. I find this helps a lot when I arrive at my destination and I’m not riddled too much with jet-lag. This goes for alcohol as well – I don’t drink on flights. I keep myself hydrated with water and limit my tea intake.

Wandering through new surroundings when I arrive at my destination
I find a brisk wander around my surroundings when I arrive at my destination gets me in a good frame of mind for the journey ahead. I buy supplies like water and snacks and I start to get into the rhythm of the community I’m travelling through. Plus, I’m curious to see what daily life is like around me. It’s a great feeling to start exploring right away.

Do you have a set of travel rituals you stick to? Tell me about your travel rituals and how they assist you during your travels.