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, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip. http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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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