By Shannon Wianecki
I love traveling, but I also love maintaining a balanced, sattvic routine. Over time, I’ve developed a packing list that makes hopping a plane, train, ship or subway a nourishing, rather than depleting, experience.
Commitment to continuing my meditation and asana practice on the road. I learned to connect to my innermost self (and calm vata dosha) by establishing a routine: waking at the same time each morning, meditating for a set time, practicing asana and starting my day with a strong spiritual foundation. I do an abbreviated version of this while traveling.
Neti pot, salt and nasya oil. Cleaning my sinuses keeps my immunity strong while on the road. And nothing beats a few drops of nasya oil on a long, dry airplane ride!
Tea. It’s amazing how a cup of tea can comfort me and restore my sense of calm. I pack rooibos chai and dashmoola (bags or loose tea with a stainless steel infuser) and brew up cups on the plane, train or in the hotel. Tea weighs almost nothing and it’s nice to have a little luxury to share with travel companions.
Water canteen. Staying hydrated on the go is much easier when I have my own bottle.
Essential oils. A dab of vetiver or rose and sandalwood oil immediately boosts my mood. A small spritzer of tea tree and lavender oil freshens up my wardrobe.
Coconut oil. I use coconut oil as a moisturizer and hair styling product. I fill a small glass jar, or buy single-use packets.
Suitcase with 4-way wheels. My current model is a Rimowa knock-off that I got at a discount store. It’s a dream. It fits in the overhead compartment and the 4-way wheels enable me to slide it alongside me as I walk, rather than dragging the whole weight behind me. It’s so much kinder on the wrists and arms!
Kitchadi-to-go. Travel for me got dramatically better when I found a stainless steel rice cooker compact enough to fit in a carry-on. Now I never have to worry if there will be healthy food at my destination. Wherever I land, I can cook plain rice, kunyi, or kitchadi in 20 minutes—all I need is an electric outlet and water. While veggies are easy to find upon arrival, spices might be scarce. Here’s what I bring:
Faith. This is the most important thing on my list! Many people are hurried, irritable or even grieving while en route from one place to the next. Before I embark each leg of my journey, I chuck my sense of entitlement and impatience. I try to smile often and move with intention. I remember that no matter what my ticket says, my real destination is always the same: a rendezvous with the Lord of Love who dwells within.