5 Healthy Habit Upgrades I Embraced While Backpacking Through Spain
By Lindsay Sibson
I’m a serious book worm. I love to read, learn and put into practice the new skills and knowledge I acquire from each book. One look at my bookshelf and it is obvious I am passionate about health, wellness, self-help, business and travel. I place so much value on books that when I moved cross country (twice), I donated clothes, shoes, and purses to make room in my car for my book collection.
Now that I have been backpacking throughout Europe for the past eight months, I have little space in my bag for books (I still manage to squeeze one in here and there of course). So what is a girl to do?
I like to view the world as an open book. The places I visit, the people I meet, the foods I taste, the beautiful sights I see, are all pages of a beautiful story. Instead of diving into a book, I look up and out at the environment around me and do my best to observe as much as I can.
Here are 5 simple health tips I embraced while traveling throughout Spain:
1. The SIESTA –I absolutely fell in love with the Spanish siesta! It went against my belief that I SHOULD be consistently being productive throughout the day. But after experiencing this wonderful post lunch rest time, I entered into my afternoon refreshed and re-energized! Many shops and restaurants shut down for a few hours after lunch allowing the workers to SIESTA. It’s a great time to take a “break” from your busy day and relax. Take a nap, meditate, read a book and feed your brain, or simply just lie down and “be” – it does wonders for your overall well-being.
TIP: Take at least 20 minutes each afternoon to unplug (no cell phone, computer, TV etc.) and RELAX. Lay down on a couch. Sit on a park bench in the sun. It might feel weird at first to be doing “nothing” but once it becomes a habit this “me time” becomes sacred.
2. TAPAS – Portion control at its finest. No better way to go out and enjoy some delicious food then to head to a tapas bar. You can sample a variety of cuisine by choosing different “small plates”. Gone are the days of getting a colossal meal placed in front of you that tempts you to overeat. Tapas are typically cheap, delicious, and the perfect amount to give you some fuel to keep ya going.
TIP: Order the appetizer instead of the huge meal. Get a few different ones and share with friends. If opting for a full size meal, ask for a small plate to serve your meal to avoid over-eating (portion control).
3. Meals are an Event – While staying in Seville with a host family, I thoroughly enjoyed the meals we shared together. Lunch was their main meal of the day. During meal-time, we all sat around and enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal, while talking and sharing stories. It wasn’t rushed or served out of a box, which was great. There was a mindfulness given to enjoying the meal and spending this time together, which I really enjoyed.
TIP: Usually eat lunch alone? Ask a friend or co-worker to lunch and be present throughout the entire meal (no shoving food in your mouth, checking your cell phone or rushing). Take the time to savor your food and chat with your guest. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn about your friend and likely even notice some new flavors on your palate.
4. An Outdoor Lifestyle – Thanks to the year-round sunshine in many regions of Spain, the residents can soak up the sun and spend a lot of time outdoors. Many cafes, bars and restaurants have patios where you can enjoy your drink, while getting a healthy dose of vitamin D. Some fresh air and sun on your skin does wonders for your spirit, not to mention the energy boost!
TIP: Go for a walk every day. It’s easy. It’s free. It will make your whole body smile ☺
5. Bilingual (Eager to Learn) – I met so many people in Spain that were eager to learn more English! They were very open and willing to listen and practice English vocabulary. Learning a new language is tremendous exercise for your brain and will help keep it in tip top shape.
TIP: Enroll in a language class. A FREE idea is downloading the APP DuoLingo and doing the exercises provided. There are also many YouTube videos available nowadays as well, where you can learn basic foreign language skills, from the comfort of your own home.
Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.
Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_traveloholic_).
Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
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