Our recent family vacation was so needed and really was almost like a retreat for us. We ate healthy foods, SLEPT!, had oodles of family time, spent most of our time outside in nature, walked a lot, and had lots of opportunity for spontaneous “natural movement.” After moving so many times in the recent years, plus new (3rd) baby, and a new job for my husband, life has been moving a little too fast; it was nice to slow down and be together doing what we love to do. Something I like to do, indulgently, is people watch and just observe whatever is going on around me (or within me). Here are a few of my observations from our vacation:
- I can’t imagine not being a minimalist family. I recall standing in line for airport security. We had 1 family backpack (with mostly diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes in case of emergency), and the kids each had a small backpack full of fun stuff to occupy them on the plane. The only other carry-on we had was my Ergo. We checked carseats and 2 suitcases. That was it…for a family of 5 for 10 days. Many other families in line were bogged down by all the “stuff” they needed to take care of their children. Traveling with children is hard enough, I can’t imagine having to also drag around large amounts of extra items.
- Everyone sits around waiting to sit again on the plane. I encourage my children to walk, jump, crawl, just MOVE, in anyway before getting on the plane. I spend some time stretching my whole upper body, especially my shoulders, as I know I am about to hold a squirmy toddler for hours in the relatively same position. I don’t mind people staring at me wondering what I am doing because I know that my arms at least won’t go numb or achy on the plane. However, I am not brave enough to…
- Not sit as expected in my airplane seat. A while ago Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement posted a photo of her squatting in her airplane seat and I really wanted to do it but…I am too afraid of “authority” to actually do it. I’ve been given the stink eye enough times just for having a sling on the airplane that I didn’t want to deal with explaining squatting on my airplane seat. 😉 But this is an excellent point demonstrating how our environment and societal expectations effect our movement and overall behavior.
- Sitting for hours at a time isn’t fun. I rarely sit more than 15-20 minutes at a time so sitting through a whole plane trip is tiring and made me quite achy.
- Children like to be helpful and probably are stronger than you think. Our children love to pull our suitcases and even the toddler was very excited to help share the load by wearing her own backpack.
- Mental acclimation to temperature is a real thing. We traveled from Minnesota to Florida and were quite warm when it was 60 * F out, but the native Floridians were shivering and piling on the layers.
- People still smoke?!!?
- People still tan?!?!? Like until their skin is a deep brown and not because they are trying to maximize their vitamin D levels??
- Apparently you need furniture even at the beach. A lady at the condo resort at which we were staying couldn’t fathom how we could go to the beach without also taking beach chairs with us. And often we were the only ones we could see on the whole beach that had no furniture for enjoying the beach.
- Also, most people seemingly need shoes to walk on the beach. Interestingly, those walking barefoot seemed to be among the healthiest we saw…especially among the retirees. Obviously, not a random-controlled trial; however, even my husband noticed the pattern.
- Texture matters! Meaning the texture of the terrain you walk on. We walk barefoot or wear minimalist shoes year-round and try to get off flat, level, concrete, and so have pretty “healthy” feet…but we still don’t walk on sand that often. This became evident when my middle child suffered a minor extensor strain after two days of hours spent running around on the beach. We took a day to slow down our movement and he was back at it the next day.
- One’s environment affects one’s movement. I had been working out hard and moving lots before this trip…but because of the different setting and pattern of our days…I was sore! In a good way! All the different natural movement I was enjoying, was challenging to my body.
Well. That’s enough for now I think. Have you ever had any similar observations while traveling ?