Highway to zen: Road trip revelations


The sun is shining, the weather’s warm and road trip season is here. As someone who just finished a whirlwind, two-week, road trip, I know the importance of self care. Here are few things I learned on my recent 6,000-mile highway to zen.

Remember your sunscreen. Seriously. Having bi-colored arms is not nearly as sexy as that brunette in the passing lane. Being burned takes away any chance of enjoying a day at the water park or an unexpected night of dancing. If you’re wanting to look spa worthy, grab a packet of sugar and a packet of honey at any snack stop, mix them together, rub gently on your face, rinse and be ready to glow like the road goddess you are.

Feed your body; feed your soul. It can be difficult to get tasty, healthy, fun food while on the road. Consider taking a cooler packed with your favorite healthy snacks and drinks. Before I left town, I hit Trader Joe’s and stocked up on edamame, not-quite-sushi, salads, wraps, pretzels, sparkling water and juice boxes. It was great for a while, but I wish I had picked up a little more as it was difficult being a vegetarian on the road in the Midwest. Fried bean burritos can only take you so far. Today, I found a protein shake encrusted with Pop Rocks and dog hair. Yes, I drank it. No, I don’t want to ever do that again.

When your body is screaming for rest, listen. With a few tools in your tool box, you can get some serious rest even in the car. Trust me when I say that 15 minutes of mid-trip, afternoon sleep can make all the difference between joyful driving and crabby, unsafe swerving about. I recommend keeping a set of earplugs, a good pillow and a white noise or meditation app handy. However, if you’re settling in for a longer sleep, be sure to stay safe, lock your doors and take care of you.

Consider reaching out to people you haven’t seen or heard from for a while, even if you need something. You might be surprised who would love to see you, keep up with your adventure or help you along on your way. I was able to score a gorgeous hotel room in St. Louis at an unbelievable price and catch up with a college friend I hadn’t seen for 20 years with a quick message on Facebook. I had dinner with my best friend in Albuquerque and attended an interesting business meeting in Las Vegas, along with all the planned fun with family.

Consciously spend your time as you see fit. Listen to the universe and be on the lookout for serendipity. Week before last I ran into an old friend and co-worker whom I hadn’t seen in over five years. She was 1,000 miles from home and I was 2,000 miles from home when we just bumped into each other. We hugged, visited, walked and caught up. Did I have other plans? Sure. In fact, I was on a photo shoot. Did I make it all work? Absolutely. Life is about priorities. Make sure you’re living yours.

You’re on the road. Feel free to try on some interesting personas. Throw on some boots and cutoffs and let your inner cowgirl out to play. Pick up a stick-on mustache from a quarter machine or do like I did and grab a fun mustache straw and use it in all your road drinks in and out of the car. Whatever you do, wherever you go, be safe and have fun! Safe travels, friend.

Have a tip? I’d love to hear.

Miki Markovich is a seeker of beauty and truth, traveler of interesting roads, saver of furry souls, typer of words, iPhone lover and mac head. You can find her on Twitter at @mikimarkovich and @fiveminutezen. If you’re looking to go from pissed to blissed in five minutes flat, find balance or improve the quality of your life through self care, check out her website at fiveminutezen.com.

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