Every Tuesday from 1:00 – 1:30 ET we join an international group of globe trotters who gather on Twitter to discuss various topics related to travel. Last Tuesday, or as we endearingly call it “#TravelTuesday”, we were discussing how to stay “relaxed and in balance” during your travels; as part of “The Road Less Traveled” (#TRLT) weekly discussion. These weekly chats have inspired us to start a new weekly feature on our blog. Each Tuesday we’ll be diving in a little deeper into the themes discussed the previous Tuesday in either the #TRLT discussion or another one of our favorites Travel Talk on Twitter #TTOT.

This week we are looking at Relaxation and Balance and what that means to us while traveling. For us it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in work and forget to take time to see the sites and enjoy the journey. Seriously, after 26 years of nonstop travel you do begin to take it for granted. Everything becomes routine. We have learned to make a conscientious effort to appreciate the opportunities that fulltime travel gives us, because we never know exactly where we are going to be or what life is going to throw our way. So here are some things we have learned to do while on the road.

Number one on our list, when it comes to relaxation and balance, is some sort of exercise routine. For Dennis this means Tai Chi, Kung Fu and a dash of yoga. Kimberly prefers ashtanga yoga which is a dedicated practice that involves getting on the mat 6 times a week. We each prefer to exercise at different times of the day. Just because we travel together don’t get the impression we do everything together. For Kimberly, the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning. But living in an RV provides a whole set of unique complications, chief of which is lack of space. For several years we had YMCA membership that allowed us to visit almost any Y anywhere in the country, which worked well 10-12 years ago. But a couple of years ago we canceled our membership when we found we were hardly using it. Y’s were closing and/or there were none where we were. We still drop in and use them every so often now. We just found it more economical to pay as we go instead of having a membership. So we have learned to put a little extra effort into finding parking locations that provide a bit of workout space and privacy in the morning. Typically Kimberly can be found on her yoga mat at 6:30 a.m. in a parking lot between the hedges and the RV. And Dennis will be out shadow boxing at twilight. You learn to not really care what those passing by might be thinking. Our hope is that they are thinking, “huh, that’s cool, guess I’ll go exercise too.”

In addition to various forms of exercise, we both enjoy reading to relax and recharge our batteries. And we are grateful for our library cards that allow us to check out audio books on Overdrive. Dennis has also managed to squirrel away a collection of books, that being a writer, he can’t do without.

We also have unconventional ways we like to relax on our journeys. Kimberly is learning to slackline, and is on the constant look out for two trees to tie her slackline to. Dennis strums his ukulele, composes music and writes poetry.

But truthfully it’s not easy to maintain a balance between your own needs and external pressures like family and job when you travel. For us maintaining any type of routine or daily schedule just isn’t feasible. No two days are ever the same. Some days we have several shows to perform, other days we have hundreds of miles to cover, or we may have tons of time to kill, or we may be stuck at the mechanic’s waiting on an unexpected repair. Bottom line is if we don’t work, we don’t travel. The two just go together. Running your own business requires massive amounts of self-discipline. It’s not easy cracking the whip and getting the work done when you happen to be parked next to a great hiking trail beckoning you. Honestly though can you relax when the job isn’t done? It will nag at you and demand your attention. So we each have tasks that need to be done in order to make the bookings happen so the paychecks can come in. First things first. As soon as they day gets started and we’ve gone through our morning routine, the work happens. At least the important must-dos get done before the play time begins. However being self-employed you are never a “done” are you?

“Since travel is my “work” there’s no need to balance that. And time with family is always welcome. A little solitude and a lot of outdoor fun = balance and happiness for me. “

~ Julie McCool @FuninFairfax
Skydiving – both exhilarating and relaxing

We were asked. “Do you travel in search of balance & relaxation?” And honestly the opposite is true. We travel for the sake of stirring up the routine of day to day life and in doing so the balance finds us.

And oh yes, we recommend naps – preferably in a hammock by the water. Any stream, waterfall or ocean will do.

On that note we’ll sign off with a few photos from our travels highlighting some of our favorite places that inspire us to relax.

We’d be thrilled if you would join us @activatedAdven1 and our Twitter Tribe every Tuesday for #TRLT at 1:00 pm ET and #TTOT at 4:30 pm ET on Twitter. Find The Road Less Traveled on Facebook for a sneak peek at upcoming themes and questions. The group Travel Talk on Twitter also posts themes and questions ahead of time Facebook. You are welcome to chime in with your suggested questions in either group.