5 Tips for being your 'Best Self' on Vacation
It’s 4:17 AM here in Europe and I’m currently 39,857 feet in the air at the moment flying over the Irish coast on my way to Frankfurt, where I’ll connect at 6:55 AM on my way to Rome.
Figured I’d set the scene for you a bit there…..Truthfully told, it’s been a wild couple of weeks (months really) while seemingly working two jobs. One being my day job at Inphantry - an awesome place and agency to work in Boston, the other being our focused efforts on crafting this, ‘CrossFit Vacation’ company called, VoyEdge RX.
It’s a blended mix of our team’s passions and backgrounds. A group of friends who do CrossFit, love traveling and want to bring people together for epic 'vacations' across the globe. By traveling to places we know (and have lived) and dropping into boxes while mixing in a plethora of adventure travel activities, we think we've got the perfect idea for a company. Something people need and a culmination of our abilities to put it all together.
And quite frankly, VoyEdge RX is something I come home at the end of the day feeling energized about. For me personally, I’ve always wanted to be in the business of changing lives for the better. It’s something I’ve always taken pride in, being able to enhance a person’s shared experience on something. I love being a part of it, I love showing people new things, and especially love being there for when people check things off their bucket lists…
Now, back to this whole ‘Fitness Vacation Company.’ It’s a no brainer, really. I mean, who wouldn’t want to stay fit, go hiking, do the BEST touristy stuff without wasting time, not have to worry about transportation, accommodations, most meals and have the ability to drop-in to some of the best boxes the world has to offer. Not to mention travel with likeminded people looking and searching for the same things in life you are. THAT’S the goal of VoyEdge RX and it’s been a welcome year so far of getting closer and closer to identifying our mission and purpose and spreading that goal across the land.
Now, like I said, it’s 4:22 AM, and I’ve been traveling for a few hours now to start having some concrete thoughts about the ‘Vacation’ part of our company….
So, naturally (or BuzzFeed-style) I’ll say, I wanted to jot them down and post about a few of them to start a larger conversation. Without further a due, here are my five tips on how to take the best vacation and be at your best.
5) TRAVEL IN STYLE, LITERALLY
I read a Facebook post a while back from a CEO, who always encouraged his employees to dress to the 9’s when they traveled. Even if it was just a one hour flight, or if they were headed out on a full vacation, he mentioned it’s about the way you carry yourself. The way you present yourself to the world. Not like an egotistical thing, but his post more centered on, ‘Being the best you.’ And ever since then, I’ve decided to dress up when I fly. The post really made sense to me.
Whether it’s wearing dress pants, nice shoes, a dress shirt, tie, or even a blazer on top, I always dress up to go to the airport. And you know what? I feel better for longer. That, and people treat you much differently than if you weren’t dressed nice. I know, I know, never judge a book by it’s cover, but look….here’s the deal, don’t dress up for other people, dress up for yourself. Present your best self to the world and even better, prepare your best self to go on vacation.
Do yourself a favor and just try it once. Whether you do this already or not, dressing formally encourages you to relax, yet carry yourself in a professional manner. It’s kind of interesting when you realize everyone in first class is always dressed formally too. Haven’t you always noticed the most calm, casual individuals in the airport are always some of the best dressed? Try it out, trust me, you’ll make it a habit.
Now, if you’re a college kid and would prefer just to rock sweats, that’s totally fine. Or if you’re going to Hawaii for a week, you should probably leave that three piece suit in the closet. But for everything in-between, try dressing up a bit more casual next time you fly. I swear it makes all the difference.
(Cue the head nod from multiple similarly-dressed gentlemen)
4) REMIND YOURSELF IT’S A VACATION
How many times have you gone on a vacation only to feel like you were just getting in the swing of things towards the end of it? It’s tough, I know. Happens to me every time and I struggle with letting go of the things back home (my dog, finances, emails, projects, girlfriend, workouts, dieting etc.) and it’s easy to let those things take you out of the fact that you’re on vacation. Don't forget to live in the moment, put the phone down! Enjoy the fresh air, try drawing or sketching something while you’re there. Do something you wouldn’t normally do. Sign up for one of those goofy tour buses that see everything in one day, get a caricature of yourself…go shopping at a fancy store and treat yourself.
It's super important to unwind, and if you're physically on vacation, while having your mind be somewhere else, you're doing yourself a a huge disservice.
Some people hold onto their lives back home so tightly when they travel that they never really buy-in to the fact they’re on vacation! Let your guard down, don’t hold things to the same standard as when you’re back home and don’t forget to BREATHE!
Traveling allows us to hone in who we are and what makes us US! You need to find the beauty in life, the important things and you’ve got to constantly remind yourself you’re on vacation until your body, your muscles, your heart believe it and begin to soak in the memories. Start recording with your mind, eyes and hear, not your phone.
Talk to strangers, ask questions, be impulsive and take the road less traveled...it's ok to get lost, it's ok to not be in control. Breathe, live in the moment, this is your vacation, and as far as you're concerned, you've got all the time in the world.
3) DON’T FORGET TO SWEAT
This is probably important information for VoyEdge RX, but every vacation I’ve ever gone on, I’ve made it my mission to workout everyday. Whether it was 300 push-ups in my hotel room, handstand push-ups in a motel, plank holds, air squats, or a five mile run, I’m constantly finding ways to exercise. It’s super important to me - and my body. If I don’t workout, I get super antsy and moody. I’m pretty sure it’s now a disease, but let's skip over to the meat and bones of this.
Sweating releases endorphins. Endorphins make us feel happy and satiated - and if you're the fitness type, you know exactly what I mean. After a workout, you feel good. That's kind of the point right? Humans weren't built to be sedentary, so get up and move.
Whether it's a box, hotel room, gym, hike or more, I make it a personal mission to sweat each and everyday. It improves my mood, relaxes me for the rest of the day and puts my body on track for eating the right foods during my time wherever I am. (With maybe a cheat meal or two included in there).
It's ok to veer off your diet for a week or two, but stay in shape, even the small workouts count towards your goals. Find a way to make them happen each and everyday.
2) DO IT FOR YOURSELF
Again, one of the most important things you can do here. You booked this vacation for you, right? So, why would you ever do anything to endanger it? You wouldn't - and that's the point. But, sometimes we all need an extra bit of motivation to get off the couch, get out of bed and put the phone down. Be present in the moment. You weren't born to stare at computer screens and 3x6 displays your whole life.
Smell the fresh air, get your feet wet and sandy and scream at the top of your lungs. We all need to blow off some steam and when you're on vacation, no one can judge you.
Also - UNPLUG! Leave the phone in your hotel room, take a polaroid camera and live in the moment. Most Americans don't even use all their vacation days, so when you do go on vacation, why wouldn't you use 100% of your time to make sure you are in the moment for every single minute?
Vacations aren't cheap, in fact they can be very expensive, time consuming and stressful. That's why so many people turn to group tours so they CAN relax and not have to worry about where they are going, what they're doing and what each day looks like. And that's a huge plus for most people, so even if you're a solo traveler, it might be something worthy to consider. Plus, you'll meet some interesting people from all walks of life.
Do it for you. You deserve it more than anything. Unwind. Unplug and live in the moment every minute of your precious time off.
1) LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND
When you travel, leave it all behind. Yourself, your worries, your finances, and everything else that creeps into your life on a daily basis and may cause you stress or grief. The importance of a vacation is not to be misunderstood. You owe yourself that much to just ‘relax.’ And trust me, if you’ve emailed me, you probably know how crazy busy I am and how often I’m writing you back at 2,3,4 in the morning. I never shut down, unplug or turn off and while that can be a good thing (for entrepreneurs) when YOU are on vacation, you must shut it down. Seriously. Relax, enjoy yourself, do things you’d never do, because at the end of the day, it’s going to be the things you decided to do that leave the biggest impact on you for the rest of your life.
There's this Mark Twain quote about, '20 years from now, you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than the ones you did,' and I personally think that's for suckers. 20 years from now, you'll still be doing kickass things and living the life of an adventurer.
Regrets plain old suck. Just don't have them and remember life and time only move in one direction, forward. So look ahead in life, push for one more rep, do as much as you can do and I guarantee you won't have those regrets.
Speaking of regrets, I wonder Mark Twain regrets that quote yet...
Anyways...just don’t forget to work hard and play harder when it comes to it. And don't forget to travel, make friends, explore the world and crush WOD's.
Hope to see you on a trip soon.
:) The photo below is Positano - on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. I hope I can bring you there personally someday.
If you have any questions, shoot me an email. And don't forget to check out our brand new Rome + Amalfi Coast trip we just launched.
See ya out there...
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