A travel checklist for the highly sensitive

I'm just returning from steeping long and deep in woods and water.

My body is greening with life.

Rivers and creeks flow through my veins.

In the center of my heart I sense a small still lake, deep and blue, all but hidden by nodding ferns.


 

This sweet warm season in the North invites us to explore the wide expanses of Earth.


We go to reconnect with the Planet on which we live, to remember her curves, to discover her nooks and crannies...

...the roots of that cedar on the edge of the lake, the dragonfly that sparkles just so in the sun, the breeze that carries just a touch of something alluring, fresh, and sweet...

...the connection that stirs something in our hearts, that reminds us of the wonder, the beauty, the infinite medicine of our One Home.
 


As we journey, we find landmarks, touchstones and reminders that we are a part of a place both familiar and beyond.

We venture out so that we can return with new pathways in our hearts and minds, new knowing, and renewed belonging to our own lives.  
 

The venturing out is, at its essence, a practice in resilience.

 
Whether near or far, it’s about expansion, adventure, discovery.
 
And so it is also, necessarily, uncomfortable.
 
New places and spaces require us to maneuver, respond, adapt and recover.
 
So as you go on your way, whatever your journeys look like this season, here are some things to tuck away in your pocket and softly rub between finger and thumb, to remind you to come back, to hone your strength and flexibility for meeting the world, for showing up in this wild life.
 

 
(Freedom of movement is a natural part of being human and animal, yet of course it is a right that is taken from many and not possible or feasible for others.
 
If you are able to travel, may you be filled with gratitude and wonder.
 
If you aren’t able, or choose not to venture far from home, let these ideas support you on adventures of your own design--a walk to a new park or a new experience in your own home or community.)

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A travel checklist for the highly sensitive:


All the cozy things. (Plus ear plugs.)


Give yourself permission to pack the sweetest things for your sensitive body.

In the past I used to pride myself on how spartan I could be: tiniest pack, tiniest tent, etc.

Now if I have room, I pack not one but four or five hoodies and cozy sweaters. A hot water bottle so I can have something warm and comforting even when camping. I even bring my favorite mug for tea. Ear plugs have also ensured a good night's sleep in unpredictable situations.

What would feel so so good to have with you? Bring it.


Intentions. Options. Spaciousness.


Plan for your most energized self AND your most tired self.

Dream big dreams and devise escape plans.

Consider what went well and what was challenging the last time around (I often need help with this part) when setting intentions for how far you’ll go and how much you’ll do. Plan in multiple options and lots of breathing room.

This makes for a beautifully spacious summer.
 


Flow. Intuitive choices.


Open to the beauty before you. Remember that you get to change your mind.

Even given the time and energy you put into your plans and intentions, be willing to abandon it all to go with the impulse of the moment.

This is where the magic happens.

Especially if you feel the urge to take time for yourself to rest instead of explore, or explore instead of rest.

Maybe you sense that you need to sit and stare at the lake instead of go on that hike or visit that town.

Maybe you feel the urge to split from the pack and wade to that rock in the middle of the river when the evening light is just so.

This is a beautiful opportunity to follow and receive the gifts the Universe offers you with an open hand.

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Do things that you wouldn’t normally do.


For me, this means drinking Scotch with my 97-year-old grandmother as we breathe in the Canadian air.

It’s staying up later that late around the campfire with my nieces as they giggle and tell me stories because this won’t happen again anytime soon.

It’s waking up earlier than early to take in the fresh breath of morning, the stillness of everything except loon song echoing across the bay.
 

Also, DO the things that you normally do.


Especially when it comes to tending to your body.

My sweets and I have made a fun game out of figuring out how to plan the most simple meals that feel amazing for our bodies.

We travel with lemon juice for our morning water. We fill our cooler with baby peppers, cucumbers and carrot sticks cut in mason jars. We have string cheese, almonds and avocados at the ready, and easy meals to warm up in a tiny cabin kitchen or camp stove.

Nothing makes the challenges of travel more pronounced than low blood sugar, or the wrong food for my body. (We’ve become much more vigilant about sticking to regular meals so I don’t become a tired hungry crabby pants :)

 

Tend to transitions.


It’s probably going to take longer to get there than you thought :)

You might very well be setting up a tent in the dark of night.

Anticipate that there will be challenges and set your intention now for how you will respond, maybe differently than the past.

Do you have a few extra laughs ready in your back pocket for those moments when you know you have a tendency to snap or collapse?

Prepare by gathering in armloads of gentleness and patience for yourself and loved ones. Then dispense generously.

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Know your allies.


Draw your sweet ones close. Love them hard.

This is resilience training, so your stuff is absolutely going to come up.

Who are your biggest allies and your best companions? Who is your safest harbor? Who will be your clearest mirror? (Human or otherwise, with you physically, or available by phone, etc.) Be purposeful about who you ask for help.

Let your loved one know what you need. Check in with them early and often.

You're in this together, and they're also likely out of their element, so what can you do to reassure them that you have their backs too?
 

How about you?


What's helped you circle back to yourself and cultivate resilience in the midst of your adventures and travels?

I'd love to hear.

Or, if you experiment with something above, I'd love to hear how it goes.


Loon calls and heart songs,
xo Liv

P.S. Yearning for a retreat this summer but not sure if you can get away, or that you're going to get what you need from that vacation? I created this just for you. xo