Time to Take Care of Yourself


George at Schwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar

For nearly seven years, I worked on a cruise ship. Everyone thinks it is such an easy job but we did work every day! All jobs have stresses and everyone needs to take care of him or herself. My friend, Nancy, and I even used to offer to be the tester in the Spa for new employees. We would let the manager know if they gave a good massage.

Recently I read in Psychology Today, “A strong work ethic is great—until it backfires. If vacationing seems too “lazy,” think of it as a needed strategy to stave off depression and disease.” Lately, I have heard so many people tell me, “I cannot take a vacation.” As a near perpetual traveler, I am not always sure how to respond. But I think I have the answer from my co-worker at Princess Cruises, Nancy, who is now back in England and mother of three. She told me she had a great massage in London. With the pressure to succeed and the uncertain job market, it may be true that some people cannot take time off to go far from home and really recharge. Whatever you do, you need to take care of yourself. If you can find an hour or two for yourself, that may be enough to regain perspective, recharge and move forward to the live the life you have always wanted.

Learning Thai Massage in Chiang Mai, Thailand

When my husband, George and I were in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2008 we took a five-day massage class. I could not believe how hard it was! We worked from 9am to noon and from 2pm to 5pm. Of course, half of the time you were giving a massage and the rest receiving. I had no idea that giving a true Thai massage was such a workout. It feels a bit like passive yoga. I loved being in the class and thought when we returned to regular life that we would make an appointment to give and receive Thai massages. Sadly, that did not happen. When we went back to work, we just felt too tired to spend one hour and a half giving the other a massage. We did keep other commitments we made to our relationship but we still have not practiced what we learned in class.

Now back on the road for another year as a true vagabond, I am grateful for having my dreams come true. George and I spent 27 days in Burma in October for my 45th birthday. There were moments when I felt tortured by the 40degree heat and my series of five broken bicycles. I wished for an ice bath and a UK Spa Break, but overall it was an incredible inspiring trip. Every day on the road or on vacation is not postcard perfect but I hope we can inspire you to take a step to making your personal dreams come true. Each one of us needs to be pampered and remember our goals.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

3 responses to “Time to Take Care of Yourself

  1. I’m quite disappointed that someone as well traveled as you two would lie down in a revered temple (Shwedagon) in front of a Buddha statue. Not only is this incredibly rude to the local people and Buddhists, your foot is pointing toward the Buddha AND a nun.

    Would you pose like a statue of Jesus in a cathedral? Or like a Hindu god in a Hindu temple?

    1. Anne, Hello! Thank you for your comment. I can understand your feelings. Since I was not sure it would be appropriate, we did speak to a monk on site. He gave us his permission to take the photo and in fact, told us he liked it. I think I will work on a piece about reverence and respect. Thanks for the idea! Lisa

  2. If you were given permission to do so I would presume they don’t see it as a disrespectful act. Thanks for sharing, it was enjoyable to read.

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