Are you in your mid-60s? Do you have a few chronic diseases?
This combination changes the travel equation.
Why not look at how you like to spend your days at home and apply this to travel? At my home, in small town Manitoba, Canada, I let the days unfold. I don’t make big plans. I walk or cross-country ski close to home every day. I do this because I like it, but also because the research says this is good for me.
Do you know that a few minutes outside will flip your mindset from negative to positive? Yes, just those few minutes in an urban park can spark up your energy and self-esteem. No meditation, no naps, and no cost.
Add to this the work of 60-something social psychologist Ellen Langer, PhD. She makes it simple for us: notice new things.
Why not go outside often and notice new things at home and when you travel?
There are names for this now: Slow travel. Gentle adventure. Green travel. And I find that being in green spaces and noticing new things also does the trick.
Do you feel you need to see everything when you travel? We have devoted six weeks for our trip, dividing our time like this: one week with my boys in London where they now live, and 5 weeks in Portugal.
We have no strict itinerary. We have a general idea of the areas in this small country that we wish to visit. We plan to go for long walks near trees wherever we stay. There is nothing we must see. The challenge here is resist the need to see everything.
Would you consider using the support of walking poles? I travelled with poles for the first time with trepidation. I showed up at the airport security gate with my walking poles in tow. No one said a thing.
They assumed I needed them to help me walk. And they do help me. The major benefit of walking poles, for anyone, is that they lift the pressure off the knees and hip joints. The trick here is to have a business professional backpack so your hands are free for the poles.
I know I need a lot of rest, so I want flexible travel dates. I want to take things day by day. The challenge with this approach is not booking places to stay in too far in advance. That is to say, the challenge is keeping time open. The trick is to be a week or so ahead of your travel plans to get good deals.
From Lisbon, we searched out our next week’s stay. We put the cost filter for $30 a night, each, on Airbnb and Booking.com. We read the rental descriptions for any sign of green space or walking opportunities and looked at Google Maps for street views of green space.
Do you try to find city parks or botanical gardens in the cities you visit? In our week in Lisbon, we walked in the early mornings up and down the twisted alley ways to the mountain tree tops.
There we sat and breathed in the tree aerosols and the local culture. We rested in comfort with the people who live in Lisbon. It felt good.
In the tree tops of Lisbon, we met good runners with airy dresses. And I used my poles for climbing the cobblestone streets.
When you have low energy, do you decide against travel? I considered not going on this trip. My energy levels were low, and my recent bloodwork showed that my systemic lupus is very active. When I am home, though, I am scheduled for more extensive tests.
So far, two weeks into the six-week time in Europe, I am glad I am here. My outside mindset came along.
My walking poles help my lupus-related rheumatoid arthritis. I have no pain. I can find trees within a 15-minute walk anywhere in Lisbon. It did not make the green city list, but the green respite areas are here.
Noticing new things on our walks is a constant. This is easy. I have new energy: it’s the deep energy of Lisbon’s ancient green spaces.
How often do you consider visiting the outside green spaces when you travel? Do you have an outside mindset for travel? Please share travel style in the comments below.