Life

Lessons from Travel

Hi friends.
Miss me? Maybe so, maybe no, but it’s been a while!
Why? Well. I graduated from my masters program in medical anthropology (like public health but it looks at the intersections between health, culture, biology, and power), moved (briefly) to San Diego, went on a 3 week trip to Europe, a wedding back in Denver, and am now home again in San Diego.
I am exhausted and my body is finally fighting back with a sore throat. I get it. It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been about a month and a half now that I’ve been living out of a suitcase, and drinking too much wine.  I’m afraid the suitcase living isn’t ending anytime soon. At least it will be my life until September, when my housing kicks in up in San Francisco.

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That is right, just a backpack and a carryon.
I traveled with my boyfriend and then one week with his family as well. First we went to Porto, Portugal. Then Madrid, Spain (where we relived our study abroad experiences from our junior year of college, back when we were just friends). Then we flew to Paris where we drove around to various cities/areas in France with his family– Amboise, Normandy (saw Omaha beach), Chablis (wine area), Mount St. Michel… then he and I flew over to Budapest, Hungary. Then back to Denver to head to Fort Collins (wedding). And now we are back in our respective cities– San Diego and San Francisco.
Traveling always gets me thinking. Maybe it’s the scenic views, stressful encounters, confusing language / cultural barriers, or long plane rides. But I thought I would share with you some thoughts that came about while traveling.
Things traveling has reinforced/reminded me:
  1. People are people— we are all trying to live lives and reach goals all over the world. Nothing is better than sharing a laugh with someone you can’t speak to in verbal language.
  2. Platform shoes are very “in” in Spain. Seriously. Everywhere. Watch out US.
  3. Resting your body is important (with sleep, from the gym). Working out much less (maybe a mini workout once a week?) and focusing on walking actually helped me feel and understand a pulled muscle that I’ve had for a while…. and ignored despite my better judgement. It’s led me to respect my injury and not push that muscle, so it can HEAL. 🤦🏼‍♀️
  4. Body language is important. You can overcome so many language barriers with how your present yourself! But also, always learn how to say thank you in the language of whatever country you are in.
  5. There really is a worldwide movement towards organics, less processed foods, gluten free menus, paleo foods, and healthy movement! I saw so many more organic shops, yoga studios, gyms, gluten free menus, and paleo foods in europe than I’ve ever seen! It was incredible… and made me feel extra excited to check out local spots.

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  6. Walking is great exercise. (oh my did my feet swell! haha!)
  7. If you are not* celiac, some bread once in a while* will not kill you. I decided to have a french baguette while picnic-ing by the river in Paris. And I didn’t die. Also, since it was in Paris, it is held to a higher 3-ingredient standard than the 15 ingredient breads you find in the USA! IMG_7039
  8. BUDAPEST HAS 22 WINE REGIONS AND MAKES THE DRIEST WHITE WINE… and I miss it. Let me know if you know where I can find this in the US. And apparently I like white wine now? (must be super dry of course).IMG_7230
  9. Switching up your diet is really important. Also ditching foods that you know mess with your body for MORE than a few days is really important. And you can tell by the lack of bloat in your body.
  10. Sugar definitelyyyy makes me break out. My face does not like that stuff.
  11. Your body needs sleep. And again, rest is important.
  12. Nothing is wrong with packing a few snacks… and taking an apple from the hotel breakfast in your bag!
  13. Traveling and not being able to stick to a schedule of eating or exercise actually decreases my anxiety…. after it makes it spike. At first, my body rejects the change, my mind gets anxious about the lack of strength or cardio exercises and not having spinach near by (stupid, I know). But then after a few days my body accepts the new normal and it’s actually EASIER to listen to my body. Why? It’s rested. It’s walking. It’s going to have the cheese and chocolate and potatoes it’s reallly feeling today. And then maybe some lettuce later. Or tomorrow. And it’s going with the flow and uncertainty of travel, available food, and time constraints. And it’s great for me. It’s a reminder that when you can’t control a situation, life goes on. And hellloooo you can’t control everything! You can do your best. But life is life, and you better learn to roll with the punches. That doesn’t mean I didn’t worry after a few days about trying to stay active and healthy, it just means that it was in a less stressed way. And honestly, stress is just as bad for you as any bad food or inactive day. Maybe worse. And THAT is the part of wellness and self care that I need to work on the most. LOVE YA SELF, MAN. Anyone else? Just me? Either way, I’m inching towards it. It may be slow, but I’m moving in the right direction.
  14. I love cooking and I cannot wait to get back into the kitchen when I get home!
  15. My boyfriend rocks (unrelated to the general theme of this, but it still stands).
Some more foods:
Some more pictures for you:

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Now I’m back in San Diego. For a hot second. I am going on a family vacation to Cabo (I’ve never been— nor did I ever go on one of those spring break trips in college), and THEN making the move up to San Francisco while I continue to apply for jobs. That also means I am just about two weeks away from being DONE with having a long distance relationship. It will have been almost two years that my boyfriend lived in San Francisco while I lived in Denver. We did it! Not that I was nervous about it… I have a HUGE crush on this dude…
It’s a new life chapter— no longer a student, or grad student. No longer living in Colorado, or alone in a studio. On to roommates, San Francisco, a boyfriend NEAR ME, a (hopefully soon) full time job, and other good things. And more personal growth, as I am always hoping for — and will continue working towards.
Well, let me know if you liked this post, and thanks for reading!
Best,
     Alexis
PS. Travel Tip!
     I always ask for my dressing on the side (and see if they have olive oil) and get my eggs poached (or hard boiled). That way I can avoid unnecessary run ins with bad, rancid oils and stomach pains!
Oh. And I am so fortunate to be able to travel and have the chance to reflect during traveling. I know that it isn’t always available to everyone, so I am very thankful.

2 thoughts on “Lessons from Travel”

  1. Loved your posts and the update. What a thrill and honor it’s been to see you grow into the beautiful woman you’v e become. Remembering how you and Taylor leaned on each other at about 3 months in the Xmas photo, all the dress up parties and limo rides. What memories and may they continue. Love, Irene

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