I was so excited to be on the road exploring Europe – making up each day and route, and seeing places I had longed to see for the first time. My pace was rapid, and I was having a blast!
Then one day I arrive in Milan, and suddenly can’t turn my neck in either direction – oops! There was no physical cause.
What was my neck trying to tell me?
I met my kind Italian host, Anna. I was going to have to take care of myself and hope to visit later with her. A doctor had been recommended by my chiropractor back home. Anna helped me book an early appointment and figure out how to get there.
From Dr. Dan – a happily transplanted Pennsylvanian – I learned that it wasn’t just my neck, but my hips that were out of alignment. As he wisely observed, “When you walk, your body is no longer sure where home is…”
That made sense to me. Before the trip I had massively downsized, sold my car, left my job and home, and since arriving in Europe had been calling a new place “home” every 3 or 4 days. In all the planning of where to travel next, how to get there, and what to see and do, I wasn’t noticing the stress piling up. My neck that would not turn sideways had become the messenger.
Dr. Dan was the best “chiropractor for the day” I could have met. We were two old souls who recognized each other on the road! Not only did he help my body balance out, and offer spiritual support for my journey, he taught me EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and we practiced it together.
I left Dr. Dan’s office after two treatments feeling invigorated, uplifted, and well enough to enjoy a visit to the fabulous Duomo cathedral. From the rooftop I didn’t have to crane my neck, and I saw the sun shining on the distant Alps. And later I had a sweet visit with my wonderful Milan host.
On another occasion, I was in Tampere, Finland, and Markus, my host there (like everyone in this health-oriented country) had a sauna. I arrived with a cold – could it be from traveling to Trondheim, Uppsala, Stockholm, Turku and Tampere all in 5 days? And can I take a physical hint that is right in front of me and detox in the sauna? You bet!!
Over time I have developed my own “Tao” for long term travel that helps me balance self-care with my desire for exploration and experience. In part 2, read my 10 strategies on staying balanced during long-term travel.