Wherever I Lay my Mat is my Home

People constantly ask me if I feel unsettled with so much travel. And yes, I do. But I feel best, and least unsettled (most settled? nah) when I follow the same routine wherever I am. For me, a place where I follow my routine is a place that feels like home. Here’s what my morning looks like:

1. Get up, brush my teeth and put in my contacts. It takes a LOT to keep me from doing these things within about a minute of waking up.
2. Have a snack and a cup of coffee, and drink as much water as I can stand. I always wake up thirsty, and I try to chug at least a liter before I work out.
3. While eating and drinking, I fire up my laptop for a little email/ news and blog reading/ writing. I’ve heard all the wisdom about not checking email first thing, but I feel like just reassuring myself that there are no client fires (or knowing that there are and coming up with a plan of attack) lets me let go for the next 90 minutes or so.
4. Yoga. I feel about 3 inches shorter than usual when I wake up, and a 10-minute yoga practice makes me feel a million times less crunchy. I make sure to always do hip openers, which are very grounding, and a handstand to see things from a different perspective.
5. Workout! I feel best when I work out HARD for 40-60 minutes 5-6 mornings a week. What I do depends on where I am and what I have with me: some combination of running, videos, TRX, and bodyweight exercises (Right now I’m doing the hundred pushups training program, among other things). I promise to write more about my nomad fitness routine soon.
6. Meditate. This is a new habit. I’ve found that if I meditate AFTER I’ve gotten a hard workout in, it’s much easier to sit still for 10 minutes.
7. Shower (which usually involves washing my workout clothes), eat breakfast (which is super enjoyable after I’ve worked out and meditated), THEN get on with my day.

My Buenos Aires morning is the same as my Ann Arbor morning is the same as my Chiang Mai morning. I try to give myself 2 hours from when I wake up until I have to be anywhere or do anything for anyone else. If I get those 2 hours to myself in the morning (I can condense it to an hour if I REALLY have to), I’m good. I feel caught up rather than behind, in control rather than pushed around, healthy, strong, centered, calm. If I can start my day feeling all those good things, I can handle anything, no matter where I am: work, long bus rides, epic walks, demanding clients…I don’t feel (as) bad about eating pizza and empanadas for lunch and dinner, I’m more able to focus on work, and I’m just more pleasant to be around!

When I skip the morning routine, that’s when I start to feel unsettled, unhappy, and homeless.


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