6 Ways to stay healthy on a long trip

6 Ways to stay healthy on a long trip

6 Ways to stay healthy on a long trip

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When you’re going on a short holiday you probably completely indulge in the local cuisine, without a care in the world that it might be unhealthy. You can go back to veggies and fruits when you’re back home. But if you’re a slow traveller, digital nomad, or going on a world trip, you might start to worry about your health a little more. Because how do you make sure you don’t gain 10 kg after a month of pizza and gelato in Italy? It’s easy to lose track of your healthy eating habits when you’re exposed to so much delicious temptation. So I will share 6 tips to stay healthy on a longer trip.

Skip public transport as much as possible

I always stick with the rule that if I can walk to where I’m going in a maximum of 30 minutes, I’ll walk. And on my days off I might walk for hours, just going from place to place and taking my time for it. I also check the time it would take me to get somewhere by public transport. Let’s say it’s a 40-minute walk and 25 minutes by tram or metro, but the tram only goes once every 15 minutes and you’ll either arrive 10 minutes before your meeting time or 5 minutes after. If you care for being on time, you’ll choose to wait those 10 minutes, right? Add those 10 minutes to your travel time, making it 35 minutes. Why not leave 5 minutes early and walk for 40? You will notice that the more you do this and just count on the walking time, the easier it gets to walk long distances. I sometimes spend my whole day walking from place to place and then realize I was on my feet for 5 hours without a problem.

Have at least 1 healthy meal a day

It’s so easy to just eat out all the time when you’re exploring a new place. You don’t want to miss out on all the good food places and people are always asking you to tag along. Try to stick with one healthy meal a day. Whether that’s one homemade meal or a salad for lunch, doesn’t really matter. Just make sure that you don’t get dragged into those days where breakfast leads to coffee and cake, which leads to lunch and then leads to dinner and drinks, and you saying “I’ll try again tomorrow”. Either make it a structured thing to start with a healthy breakfast, or force yourself to choose the healthy option over the unhealthy. Even if it means salad for dinner out, while that pizza just looks so good.

Snacks should be treats

Do you eat cake or dessert or ice cream on a daily basis when you’re not travelling? No? Then don’t do it while travelling. Again, if you’d be on a short holiday for a week, there’s no harm in eating whatever you want. But if you’re staying for a longer period, there’s no need to get a snack on a daily basis. We easily adjust to eating habits and before you know it, it became a routine to always have a sugary dessert after eating out. And you might even be buying desserts for after your home meals. Try to keep snacks as treats, when you really crave some. Snacks are way better when you really want them anyway.

Don’t overeat

Compare restaurant meals with what you would eat, if you’d make it for yourself. Even though something like avocado toast or a smoothie bowl is super healthy, it’s often a lot. If you would only make yourself one slice of toast for breakfast, 2 slices in a restaurant are basically a double meal. Do this 3 times a day, and you’re practically eating for 2. You can go crazy every once in a while. But doing this 4 days a week will get you in trouble. Finding places where the portion sizes are better suited for you or where you can choose sides separately, will help you reduce your portion sizes while eating out. Or only get a quick smoothie or street food snack for lunch, instead of a whole new meal after you had a big breakfast.

Bring sport bands

Of course, you can always look into a gym membership. Plenty of gyms offer one-month options, so if you stay in one place for longer than a month, this might be the best solution. However, they are often expensive or there isn’t one close by or it’s just hard to fit in a good workout a few days a week. Then those sports bands are an absolute lifesaver! They are small, so they easily fit into any suitcase or backpack. They come in different strengths so you can pick the one that fits your personal strength. It’s so easy to just squeeze in a 30-minute workout during the day or in the evening, just to tighten the muscles a bit. Either set up your own workout plan or find your favourite YouTube workout videos.

Rest, rest, rest

I understand you want to see everything and do as much as possible. But sleep is very important. If we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies tend to crave unhealthy food. So not getting enough sleep, will risk you grabbing a bag of chips instead of some fruit or yogurt as a snack. And I don’t think many people will be able to push themselves to a work-out or a long walk instead of taking public transport, after a lack of sleep. So make sure you get enough rest, to be able to follow up on the above-mentioned tips.

5 Tips for the perfect photo moment

5 Tips for the perfect photo moment

5 Tips for the perfect photo moment

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When you travel, you want to see and do as much as possible and you probably want to take pictures of it. Sometimes it’s difficult to plan this in such a way that you don’t have masses of people in your photos and you have the right light. Especially if you are somewhere for a short period of time and fill your whole day with fun activities. Try to put some structure in place and think about what you would really like to photographs. This way you can plan around it and make sure you create that perfect moment for these specific places.

1. Get up early

Best when: you want to take photos without other people, especially ideal for portraits and generally crowded locations.

If you are not a morning person, this is quite a task, but it is really worth it. Most people don’t go out at 7 am if they don’t have a reason to, so this is the ideal time to see your favourite spots empty. You may have to deal with a few other photographers, but they are usually friendly and everyone gives each other space to take a picture of an empty spot. It is often actually quite sociable! Make sure you are there around sunrise for beautiful soft colours in your photos. It is advisable to arrive half an hour before sunrise so that you have time to find your perfect spot and then the colours are often already very nice.

2. Sunset colour spectacle

Best option when: you want to take pictures of nature or in remote places where there are few people or lots of space. For example, a beach or in the mountains.

Sunsets can be a beautiful spectacle, and there are perfect spots to enjoy them everywhere. The disadvantage is that many people know these spots, so it’s often very crowded. Do you want a photo without people? Then you will have to be creative or lucky. Sometimes a beautiful portrait is not possible without people standing next to it. Beautiful pictures of the surroundings are often easier at sunset. You can arrive early and grab the best spot, or find a new spot that is less popular. Often if you walk a little further you will have the same view but without the people.

How do you know if the sunset will be beautiful? Unfortunately, you don’t. Usually, a sunset is unlikely when it was cloudy all day. But if the sky closes in on sunset and rain is expected for the evening, it can be a beautiful sight. A clear blue sky ends up in a layered sunset, while clouds can make the colours visible throughout the sky. But when it will turn orange or pink, and whether there will be many colours at all, is not really predictable.

3. Golden hour

Best option when: you like warm colours, but not necessarily the bright sunrise or sunset colours. Especially nice for portraits.

During the golden hour a beautiful golden glow falls over the world. On clear days, this gives a beautiful effect and automatically makes your photos warmer. Ideal in warm locations and especially nice for portraits. Because it gives the skin a nice natural tint. Golden hour is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunrise. See below photo to see what beautiful effects you can create with this light.

4. Blue hour

Best option when: you want to take pictures of cities, for example beautiful streets, illuminated buildings such as the Eiffel Tower or for astrological pictures.

The counterpart of the golden hour is the blue hour. This is the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset. In these hours, the light is often a bright blue colour, in contrast to the dark colour of the night. It is really a transitional phase between day and night and gives a nicer colour play in your photos than taking photos at night. Again, after sunset, it is likely to be busy. So if you want to photograph quiet streets, you will have to get up early again.

5. Mystical fog

Best option when: you want to take mysterious photos, for example in the woods, by a river or in the mountains.

Fog is a fantastic natural phenomenon that can really add something extra to your photos. When it is very foggy, it can be a thick white wall. But when it breaks open a little and the sun shines through it, it can be magical. It is also a beautiful sight from the top of a mountain. If you are above the clouds, it hangs in the valley like a soft blanket. How do you know if it will be foggy? When the humidity is higher than 90% and the dew point is (almost) the same as the temperature, the chance of fog is very high. Of course, as with a beautiful coloured sunset, for example, there is never any guarantee. But you can keep track of whether it is worth trying. Usually, fog occurs mainly in the morning, so there is a good chance that you will have to get out of bed in time for it.

When will the sun set?

Do you find it hard to remember all this and have no idea when sunrise or sunset is? Fortunately, you can do a lot of Googling. There are schedules per location, where you can find all times for the whole year. The closer you are to the equator, the more regular these times are. Are you further north or south? Then part of the year it is light as early as 6 am and sometimes as late as 9 am. The later, the later you need to get out of bed. There are also apps that provide this information. The app golden hour (android) provides a detailed display of the day’s light. You can see, up to the minute, what time it is in the golden hour or the sunrise.

For the fog data I use WeatherBug (Android / Apple). Here you can see the dew point, temperature and humidity hour by hour. It does not always indicate when it will be foggy, but with that data, you can see for yourself.

What if you can only photograph at daytime?

Are you going on a day trip and it is not possible to photograph around sunrise or sunset? Then you are dependent on the light that you have. This certainly makes it more difficult, but there is not much you can do about it. You just have to hope for some clouds, so that the sun is not too strong. The use of lens filters can help in such a case, as they provide better light and colour balance. You can also use the weather conditions in your photos. Be creative with shadows or turn a rainy day into something dark. Unfortunately, we have no control over the weather and sometimes you have to make do with what you have. Be aware of the influence of the week, such as harsh shadows, and try to take your photos from the right angle to turn this to your advantage.

Good luck and have fun on your next photo trip!