Resilient Travel Tips from the Ancients...What we can learn from the Spartans

In ancient times, our ancestors had a difficult time traveling.  By horseback, by foot, cold or hot exposed to the elements, hungry, tired;  has our traveling really changed that much?  The stresses of traveling have changed, but we purport that they have gotten worse.  

Stress in the form of constant airplane noise, schedules that change, deadlines to meet, the phone that rings right before they close the airplane door...These are the stresses that we were not designed to endure.  These are the stresses, that is left unchecked, will destroy you and your happiness.  

There are many articles pertaining to tips while traveling and what to do, but learning from history may be the most important thing that we do, especially when we talk about stress and resilience. 

Today's travel is nothing like that of the past. From cars, buses, planes, and boats-all of which have little to do with the body being the required power source. 

Here are ten tips for the modern day traveler, keeping the ancient Spartans in mind as an example: 

1: Positions of Resilience.

We must keep in mind at all times during travels that the body craves a position of resilience; a finely tuned instrument that can be as sharp as a razor or soft as jello, usually depending on what and how we treat it.  So we must think about positions of resilience.  This sets us up for all the following tips.  A position of resilience means that you are ready for action and treat your mind and your body like a finely tuned instrument, ready for combat at any moment.  Think about it; the Spartans likely did the same.  

2. Plan ahead.

Think of trip as a mission. Proper reconnaissance using the number one source the Internet can help create the perfect operating plan and gather all necessary assets such as nearby gyms, hotel facilities, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. Utilize resources to your advantage. Along with planning, we need to examine time management.

3. Proper Time Management. 

Time management and being organized will give you the mental resilience necessary to be more creative and enjoy your life, instead of using your brain as a storage device.  Time management will also help you with number 4.  

4. Manage Your Stress.

"Don't sweat the small stuff."  Have patience.  If something is not going as planned; adjust accordingly in a positive manner. Do not let it stress you, which will only bring about negative thoughts and a drop in motivation. View stress as a challenge and listen to your body.  Remember that Spartans trained daily in warfare and were razor sharp when it came to understanding themselves and their enemy.  Your enemy is stress.  

5. Be meticulous! 

We all have choices, especially when it comes to fueling our body. Think of healthy, small travel foods, limiting the chain stops, and eat out to your standards. Most restaurants will bring the food just as you ask. Grilled, sauces on the side, smaller portion etc; all you have to do is ask.

6. Move.  

Try to take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Take every chance to encourage yourself to take the harder road physically.  So remember to move, a lot.  Especially if you are going to be sitting for long periods of time, which is what humans do when they travel.  That means getting up on a plane (when they turn off the seat belt light of course), stopping more frequently when you are driving and doing some walking lunges and push ups, etc.  Get creative.  Remember to move, period.  

7 and 8 Creativity and Take 15.

We can always spare fifteen minutes to do something of choice, which should entail movement. Taking 15 minutes to get creative with moving around to generate a spike in homeostasis energizes and arouses mobility. Many body movements can be performed to get a sweat on for a short 15-minute bout requiring no equipment other than space. This generates the stimulation needed to maintain current fitness levels and continue with forward progression during time away from the place of comfort. Traveling can be taxing on the body and the mind.

9 Sleep.

Sleep is the most important activity that you will do while you travel.  We don't know for sure, but we suspect that ancient people slept longer than we do because of the lack of electricity and constant stimulation by iPhones or computer of choice.  The brain requires 6-10 hours of sleep for optimal functioning levels and cognitive functioning.  

10 Hydrate.

Yes, it sounds very simple. The Spartan would have to carry his water and hope not to run out.  Proper hydration is day in and day out and is critical for optimal levels of body functions and performance.  Keep H2O on hand and take a shot or two every 15 minutes thirsty or not.  So, to review the 10 tips of Spartan travels:

  1. Be Resilient
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Time management
  4. Stress Management
  5. Be meticulous
  6. Movement
  7. Creativity
  8. "Take 15"
  9. Sleep
  10. Hydrate

Travis Williams is a physical resilience consultant for Human Performance Consulting LLC.  Always consult a physician before engaging in any kind of physical activity.