Updated: Oct 28
In a span of 10 days, I drove 3,551 miles with everything I owned and my giant dog in the car. It was a challenge to take care of both of us and I did get sick by the end. With so much of my storage-capacity dedicated to my stuff, having enough food was the hardest part. That said, we did a few things that helped our bodies not only get through the trip but enjoy it as well.
First, let's look at some stats:
10 days and 9 nights on the road, 4 of which were spent in hotels
448 miles was the most miles traveled in a day
8 hours was the longest day on the road, which usually began around 11am and ending at 6 or 7 depending on the time zone
There were many things I learned and would do differently but these were the top 5 practices that I will certainly do again and highly recommend for others:
Break often: up until this point, I've been a "drive straight through" kind of traveler and would stop only for gas. But my furry companion kept me honest to breaks every 1.5-2 hours. Sometimes these breaks would involve a gas station but most of the time it was a rest stop and we'd both relieve ourselves. (This also encourages adequate hydration; if you know you'll break, you're more likely to drink water!)
Plan a longer mid-way break: before I left, I identified a dog-park between my departure and arrival and then scouted a restaurant, a gas station, and any potential site-seeing nearby. Doing this made my longest day much more manageable.
Eat before you're hungry: I quickly learned that if I waited until I was hungry to eat, I would skip my subtle hunger cues and wouldn't notice my hunger until it came in the form of a headache, low energy, and feeling annoyed or impatient. This meant eating at timed intervals and also getting food when I wasn't hungry, either to eat in that moment or later.
Use massage tools: I had 2 lacross balls, a thera-cane, and a roller; all of which are light-weight and easy enough to transport. Using these every night to help my shoulders or back were life savers. I finished 10 days on the road with zero body aches.
Audio book for entertainment: keeping my mind engaged was just helpful for sustaining my alertness on the road. Podcasts can be great, and music is helpful to sing along, but audio books that kept me curious helped me pass the time. Huge shout out to Libro.fm for providing a great selection of audio books and contributing a portion of my membership fee to the locally-owned bookstore of my choosing!
There you have it! My top 5 tips for supporting yourself on the road so the journey is enjoyable. If you're feeling a little lost or overwhelmed with your self-care, I would love to hear from you. I'm currently licensed in Washington and Oregon, with plans to obtain licensure in Vermont. Outside of those states? No problem, I can support you as your coach.