May 01, 2012
If you're like me (Robert here), the idea of a big family vacation sounds great in theory, but it usually falls short of the ideal in practice. Now don't get me wrong, I love my family unconditionally. But getting together in a new place once a year can strain even the best relationships.
There's the stress of multi-modal travel. The imperative to extract every iota of potential fun from a pricey experience. And the inevitable clash of personalities that is a natural by-product of putting grown people who spend 99% of their time apart together under the same rented roof. Bunkbeds anyone?
This year, my family gathered for a little late spring skiing in Utah. We're mostly new to snow sports, and this was only our second time to visit the fabulous Wasatch range, where it snows late and deep, making it a reliable place to find some fresh powder even in March. The powder was scarce this trip, but we happily buckled up our boots, charged up our lift tickets, and hit the crusty slopes anyway.
By day two, this much was clear. Of all the things I packed for a week in the mountains, I couldn't have made it through without three: Peak Power (our energy and altitude formula), Back in Action (our aches and pains formula), and Decompress (for stress and tension). In fact, I'm convinced no one should face a family holiday without them. And here's why.
Somewhere out there is the mythical vacationer. The one who spends long, languorous hours on a white sand beach sipping cocktails out of coconut goblets in between naps, or sessions steeping in teaky vats of coffee-colored, volcanic mud, or bouts of bracing bodywork complete with hot stones and a salty-toffee foot massage. I've never met this lucky creature in person.
Our family vacations are less idyllic. They involve lots of packing, hauling, lifting, and lugging. (We travel heavy.) Then there's equipment rental. Skis, poles, boots, helmets. And grocery shopping. The list goes on. To top it all off, a mountain vacation — at least for those of us who spend most of our flatlander lives barely above sea level — means doing all of the above at 8,000 feet with half the oxygen we're accustomed to.
Enter Peak Power, Herbalogic's energy and performance formula. I learned my lesson the year before, when I spent the first few days in the mountains trying to catch my breath and nursing a splitting headache. This year, I began taking Peak Power a couple of days before the trip, and the difference was remarkable. No headaches. No gulping for air after a run or two on the slopes. And much more energy to do the things I wanted to do — or that needed doing. Which leads to another reason to bring our herbal survival kit on vacation.
The pressure to squeeze all the fun we can into our vacations makes many of us attempt things we would never try at home. Cliff diving and bungee-jumping come to mind. But overdoing it doesn't mean you have to leap from high places. It can happen whenever you do what you love, but just keep doing it longer or with more intensity than you're accustomed to. I'm not sure what the statistics are (or even whether they're tracked) for vacation injuries. But anecdotally, almost everyone I know has a story about someone getting hurt or doing too much physically on their vacation.
Case in point: one of our party went overboard on the first day of skiing and found herself down in the back and barely able to move the next day. She also happens to be allergic to NSAIDs and immune to Tylenol, so she had little choice but to grit her teeth and wait it out. Fortunately, remembering my own sore muscles after skiing the year before, I'd packed a bottle of Back in Action with me this trip. And I'm glad I did. Because while the formula isn't a quick fix that deadens pain, it does have natural anti-inflammatories among the formula's 23 herbs. These were able to ease her discomfort while the other ingredients helped her recover more quickly and get on with the snowy fun. But even without incurring a physical injury, vacations can be a pain in other ways.
Sure, we go on vacation to get away from the rat race. But we also put ourselves in unfamiliar territory, and adjusting to the newness can be difficult. Think about it. How many times have you heard someone say, "I need a vacation from my vacation?" Chances are, a lot. That's because the pressure to make the vacation perfect, combined with the stress of travel, lost luggage, driving a strange car in a strange place, and even sleeping in an unfamiliar bed can build up incrementally until suddenly your temples begin to pound and your cork is ready to pop.
And that's where the third but possibly most important of the formulas I brought on vacation comes in: Decompress. This stress and tension formula is quite simply a must-have whenever you find yourself getting uptight, aggravated, annoyed, or short-tempered. Within minutes of taking a dose under the tongue, the unclenching begins. And it's perfect for those people — and we all know one or two — who wake up with sore jaws because they grit and grind their teeth when they sleep. After all, isn't the point of a vacation to come back feeling rested and refreshed? My equation to achieve just that: Decompress + hot tub (feel free to substitute a hammock for the hot tub).
With May already here, we're just days away from Memorial Day, Independence Day, and endless summer vacations. Make the most of them by packing light and bringing along some Peak Power, Back in Action, and Decompress. Your family will thank you for it.
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