Mindful Travel | Getaway Staples
This year, I chose to go about Thanksgiving a little differently to support what I felt I needed most, especially during a time where stress and the mentality of "doing" seems to peak. Rather than spending time with my family (whom I love dearly) and overindulging in traditional staples and sides, I chose to go off on my own for some necessary solitude and respite in the woods. Personally, the past few months have been difficult and there has been so much to process and work through, that personal space has been challenging to find. A sensitive creature like me needs that downtime, and it's essential that I have it as a part of my self-care routine.
For a solid handful of hours, Getaway House was my private home base, which happens to be just a couple hours north of Richmond (and equally as accessible from D.C.). I felt safe, warm, comfortable and well equipped, making more productive and creative use of the tiny space than I typically would otherwise. I was able to maintain daily, simple practices including yoga, meditation and whole body nourishment without feeling that my privacy was invaded or that my lifestyle & wellness routine was compromised. In fact, using the six pillows available in the cabin allowed for a nurturing and self-guided restorative practice that lulled me right to sleep (next to a floor-to-ceiling window with an open view to see the sky lit up with stars). Yes, I stayed connected to social media and held minimal text conversations, however I was more mindful of how I spent my time, which was mostly fixated on reading, practicing yoga by candlelight, and cooking the recipes that I set out to make. Charlottesville was the perfect touchpoint going up and coming back, stopping to visit a mindful local bakery for freshly made sprouted buckwheat sourdough and a walking trail that was on my hit list.
Any time that I travel, no matter how far or where to, I always hand-select a few staples to take along with me so that my daily wellness habits remain intact. In this case, I kept it light. I'm trying not to bombard my body with too many things by practicing simplicity, especially through the winter season while my body continues to process and heal on both a physical and emotional level.
APOTHECARY & WELLNESS
Flower Remedies | These potent tinctures have been a staple for my emotional wellbeing, especially through recent lifestyle shifts that demand extra attention and support, which this plant medicine truly delivers on. Whether it be bouts of anxiety, impatience, creative blocks or hormonal fluctuations, each formula is specifically chosen to pinpoint our unique symptoms.
Plant Collagen | This herbal blend has been a staple in my routine, and best enjoyed in nourishing winter soups and mushy foods, such as Ayurvedic kitchari, or in hot water with raw honey as a nighttime tea. Supports skin, bones and hormones, and because I set out to batch Kitchari during this solo trip, I decided to bring it along.
CBD | The holy grail for supporting anxiety and restful sleep, CBD stays with me through these anxiety-driven times. I take a full dropper morning and night, and began noticing shifts within a few days. Even during solitude in the woods, my body could still use the support (and a good night's sleep)
Triphala | This Ayurvedic blend is called a colon cleanser for a reason, and I find that it helps in keeping me regular since my body and digestive system is so sensitive to environmental changes when I travel. Nightly as a tea before bed does the trick, and sometimes the next morning with piping hot water, although I will be honest in saying that the flavor takes some getting used to (or not).
BODY & SKIN
Daily Facial Cleansing Oil | I'm hooked on RAPHA and pretty much everything from H's line, and whether I wear makeup from one day to the next, this oil cleanser ensures that I get any residue and debris off of my face before I submerge myself under extra blankets and covers all night.
Nighttime Facial Oil Serum | I take a vial of this serum with me always, to nourish, hydrate and soothe my skin overnight. When I go without it, I notice increased dryness, so this has essentially become my skin's daily supplement (post oil cleansing).
Eye Gels | I snatched a pack of these from Boketto Wellness before I left town, knowing that it was the perfect opportunity to show my under eyes some love while still feeling like I could indulge in simple acts of self-care, even in a tiny getaway space. Apply at bedtime and they absorb overnight, waking up to cool, depuffed eyes.
And last but not least, a simple, ethical, cotton bra. I've banned the underwire bra almost completely and hardly ever do wear a bra (unless it's a sweatproof bra for practicing yoga in), but the ladies of NaNin sold me on this one...to which I cooked and practiced candlelight yoga in.
MOVEMENT + REST
As far as movement, I practice anywhere between fifteen to seventy-five minutes of self-guided asana that's based purely on intuitive movement and what I feel that my body needs most. Typically it's slow, fluid movement with pauses in specific postures to open the hips and heart and then stretch out my limbs after long drives or flights. Even when I travel, I don't believe in skimping out on final savasana, as that's the most important experience and reward of any physical practice to allow for the head to be on the same playing field as the heart.
Rest, imperative. I'm a creature of feel-good habits, and love nothing more than relishing underneath layers of sheets to be in a horizontal state, whether be it alone or in the company of another. A self-led restorative practice was my way to mindfully indulge in active rest during this trip, building multiple pillow forts to mimic bolsters and blocks while using blankets to support bound angle hip-opening postures or to simply keep me warm. I played sultry and grounding background sounds on bluetooth with the lights completely out and a single candle lit. Yes, it was as lovely as it sounds.
And finally, I have to mention this podcast episode featuring Lacy Phillips of Free + Native, who is quickly becoming a woman that inspires and feeds me through her writings, recommendations and techniques. Most of my drive home was dedicated to listening to this episode and for someone who is typically music ADD, her words held my attention to the point that I finished the final half hour sitting in the driveway listening alone (which in my opinion, contain some of the best bits on relationships, money and hormones).
Now I know why Bon Iver went to the woods for months at a time to write his music. This trip was basically the visual soundtrack to that, with notes of kitchari and squash toast and slightly softer sounds of my own heart beat woven in.