Sensory Overload: Too much new!!!
One of the reasons I LOVE to travel is that I love to live outside my comfort zone. A mundane task such as walking makes me feel like a baby - everything is so exciting - new sights, sounds, smells, visuals! I love watching all the bikers go by. It's the best! But I always forget how mentally stressful it is to be in that place.
For example, last week I went to a pilates class here in Amsterdam. It was a really different experience from the pilates classes I'm used to in the U.S. First, it was a very big community class - the instructor knew everyone in the class (they were clearly regulars) and even knew their personal life details. The venue was set up in a very intimate way - there were candles and slow / relaxing music and I was offered tea when I got there! The exercises were different too - most were done on a foam roller. The class ended in a very beautiful guided meditation.
The whole experience (yes, it was not just a class, but an experience!) was amazing and I definitely want to go back, but having it be different than what I'm used to was a bit stressful just in general. I had the mental overload of having to think about how to act, meet new people, not knowing exactly how to do the exercising, and being different vs just following along with the instructions as I usually do in my regular classes.
Previously, when I traveled for vacation, since vacation was the only thing I was doing on the trip, I had the mental capacity to fully handle new adventures each day. But continuous experiences like the pilates one above on top of moving, starting a new job, changing timezones and daily schedule, and being in a completely new city pushed me a bit beyond my learning zone and into my panic zone last week.
This is a good reminder that self care is extra important when traveling is your lifestyle! And even though I want to see and try everything new, I need to be extra careful in pacing myself sustainably when doing so.
So I'm taking this weekend to reset, get groceries, I already have another workout studio I tried last week that I'm comfortable with going back to next week (I know exactly what to expect there!). Tomorrow my plan is to stay in and minimize anything new to recover and get back into the mental zone of being able to handle the new stuff a few times during the week (but not too much!). In addition, having a week behind me where I got to adjust so things aren't as new is going to help a lot!