We all know how amazing travel can be — but it can also be a source of stress. Between flight delays, cramped quarters, and unfamiliar territories, sometimes the road (er, flight trajectory) to vacation can feel like anything but. That’s why it’s important to infuse some normalcy into our on-the-go routines, even when we activate our “Out of Office” auto-replies.
To help make our travels and our busy lifestyles a little more grounded and sane, we tapped one of Instagram’s most prominent travelers, Raya Encheva, during an extended stay in Los Angeles for advice. Despite living a quite literal nomadic lifestyle (that’s right — "home" is wherever her travels take her that week), the travel and lifestyle vlogger and woman behind the popular @RayaWasHere account radiates happiness and wellness in every single one of her photos.
To learn more about how Encheva balances her wanderlust with wellness and self-care practices — even when you don’t call just one place home — we partnered with Starbucks, debuting their new Teavana® Shaken Iced Tea Infusions, to share the daily routine that keeps her grounded. Here are seven things Encheva incorporates into her days that even the busiest people can adopt to feel good all day.
1. Start The Day Without Social Media
Since Encheva spends a lot of her time in front of the cameras and sharing her life on social media, she makes sure to spend the first 30 minutes of her day offline. Research shows that everyone can benefit from a little social media detox once in awhile, and Encheva uses this time to rid herself from the distractions of technology, clear her head, and listen to her body.
“I get away from my phone and laptop and just spend the first 30 minutes in the morning without social media,” she explains. “I take a long shower, put on my makeup and feel grateful — all of these things are like a little meditation for me.”
Everyone can benefit from a little social media detox once in awhile.
2. Stick To A Skincare Routine
No matter where she is, Encheva spends much of her days outdoors exploring, whether she's participating in an adventurous activity like kayaking, or walking around downtown Hollywood. To stay fresh-faced and keep her skin safe from the sun, she takes her morning skincare routine seriously.
“My skin gets quite dry from all the flying I do, so I love applying a facial oil about 30 minutes before I apply my makeup to let it sink in. I also always put on sunscreen, especially because most of my days are spent outside.”
3. Keep A Gratitude Journal
As part of her morning routine, Encheva logs her thoughts in a gratitude journal — a ritual we should perhaps all consider. Research shows that feeling grateful in general can help people feel better physically, sleep better, and have a higher self-esteem.
“When you’re constantly on-the-go, it’s so easy to get lost and not feel grounded,” she explains. “I write in my gratitude journal for just five minutes every morning. Taking that time in the morning to ground myself and feel human is so important.”
4. Sweat A Little
To keep wellness top-of-mind when traveling, Encheva makes sure to incorporate exercise into her morning routine. But since she's constantly on-the-go, she isn't concerned so much with specific workouts as she is about getting the energy boost, endorphin rush, and renewed mindset that comes from a little physical activity.
“It may not be realistic to expect to go to the gym for an hour every day, but if I can go, spinning is my favorite,” Encheva says. “If I can’t get to the gym, I fit in other activities throughout the day — like walking, biking, skateboarding, or another activity like kayaking or rock climbing.”
5. Get Work Done Early
In order to free up the bulk of her day for exploring, Encheva makes sure to tackle her most pressing and timely work commitments in the morning — after her social media break, that is. Taking care of work right away allows for a more stress-free day ahead.
“I try to fit in 30 minutes to an hour of work before heading out every day,” Encheva says. “Usually that means editing my Instagram for that day.”
6. Get Chores Out Of The Way
If she’s traveling soon — which she often is — Encheva uses the mornings to pack her belongings for her next trip. Getting chores and tasks out of the way first thing leaves extra time for exploring and feel-good activities later in the day.
7. Sip Some Tea
As someone who practices mindful eating, Encheva is super conscious of everything she consumes, and has found that iced tea is the perfect, calming pick-me-up. She’s not immune to the afternoon slump that hits later in the day — which is when she’ll drop by a Starbucks.
"I love that the new Teavana® Shaken Iced Tea Infusions are free from artificial flavors and sweeteners because they're a great, guilt-free treat and pick-me-up during my day," Encheva says.
This post is sponsored by Starbucks. Celebrate your summer with three new bold flavors of Teavana® Shaken Iced Tea Infusions — Iced Pineapple Black Tea, Iced Strawberry Green Tea, and Iced Peach Citrus White Tea — now available at participating Starbucks® Stores. These refreshing, hand shaken teas with fruit and botanical blends are free of artificial flavors or sweeteners, making them the perfect feel-good staple for your summer.
Learn more about what good feels like in the video below.
Photos: Douglas Sonders/ 8112 Studios; Art Direction: Amanda Depresz; Hair: Amy Gimble; Makeup: Elsie Simone.