Confessions of a Type-A Traveler [And how I learned to STOP packing my own sweet potatoes]

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.


Sweet potatoes? Check.


Canned tuna? Check.


Map of all the gym in a 3-mile radius? Check.


A detailed itinerary for myself of what every day should look like? Check.


Traveling used to be a HUGE to-do for myself.


A type-A personality by nature, combined with an eating disorder, was a dangerous combination.


Essentially, I could not go ANYWHERE unless it had been scripted and I knew I was “safe” with all my “safe” foods and “safe” schedule and “safe” gym options.



Thinking back to those days when travel nearly shell-shocked me, I rarely, if ever, went anywhere—even a day trip, or vacationed or simply changed things up out of my usual daily routine.


In fact, my routine kept me STUCK.



Breakfast, lunch and dinner, I always ate the same thing. I always worked out at the same time, same place with the same training plan. My day to day schedule looked the exact same. And, if anything got in the way…I went into ‘fight or flight’ mode.


Vacation, or travel, impeded with this.


My travels this past week have been anything, but…planned, or scheduled, or “safe” and yet, today, more than anything, I am able to be present, look forward to adventure (instead of panic) and ultimately, have a blast!


First stop: Home to visit Arkansas: the fam and my old stomping grounds. I spent about a week at the lake with some of the coolest people—my mom and dad, younger brother, sister and brother in-law, and got back to my “roots” (like my country music and sitting on the back porch overlooking the lake).



Go with the flow moment(s): No pre-planned grocery list for my mom to buy before my arrival. No pre-week gym schedule and planning. No daily agenda for myself to “accomplish.”


Oddly free.


Next stop: Five days later, I was on a plane, headed to Los Angeles, Calif. for the 2015 CrossFit Games. As a writer and reporter (my “hobby job”) to several health and wellness publications, I’ve been traveling to the Games on assignments every year for the past four years. This year, I was on the fence as to whether I really had the energy to travel or not—having just been on my trip to visit the fam. That quiet little type-A voice whispered: “More lack of routine to come.”


However…a little reality check-in with myself, I decided: “Heck yes. I don’t want to miss it!” And so, more lack of routine ensued:


  • No pre-packed groceries
  • No real idea where I was staying (my first airbnb experience)
  • No workout schedule pre-planned
  • Last minute ticket, rental car and agenda
  • One goal: Be present


The result?


A blast!


Front row and center


Watching and cheering on some of the elite of the sport. Catching up with old friends. Trying new foods. Meeting an awesome host (the sweet girl of my air bnb). Hopping in to a couple random workouts with some cool people at a local box in town. Sleeping in a little more than usual. And…leaving with no regrets.


When it comes to vacation and travel, rigidity is the enemy.


It’s one thing to plan and be prepared for the potential of rainy weather or lack of clean water in Mexico, but another thing to have a ball and chain to the only foods you eat, and times and schedules you swear by.


While the majority of the population may not have a ‘problem’ with getting out of routine on vacation (that’s what they are for right?!), for those type-A’s of us…It may take some mental effort.


In spite of reservation or hesitation you may have about “going with the flow”, give it a whirl.


Life is NOT a spectator sport.


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