My recent trips have included visiting London, Paris, and Lyon on my quest to catch the Women’s World Cup.   From Lyon I have more travels ahead with two more stops in big cities, Lisbon and Vienna. When planning city trips I get so excited as I scroll through Instagram and see similar images to the one above. I see romanticized versions of the cities or beautiful pictures of some big landmark and not a person in sight. Instagram vs. reality is the image below. In reality you get to a city filled with hustle and bustle, lots of heat, and lots of people. You quickly realize it’s boarder line impossible to get a photo of a landmark without anyone in sight…

So here are my tips for staying Zen when you are exploring a big city. Firstly I take great pleasure in trying out and finding cute quiet coffee shops. This takes a little bit of work and research but it can be done. Find a nice quaint place to enjoy that vacation cappuccino and catch up on your emails or Instagram. I love to use TripAdvisor or different travel blogs to find these spots. If you are feeling adventurous head out and explore on your own wandering the streets. My second tip to staying Zen is finding yourself a yoga studio. It’s a great way to live like a local, get that “me” Zen moment before you hit the streets and explore. My last tip, is of course, to take a nap. You are on vacation after all! While the cities have so many fun and exciting things to do and see, if you are too tired and jet lagged it starts to feel like a chore. If you are tired take a quick siesta before getting back out there.

All in all enjoy the culture, the city, the bustle and take it all in. Make sure you take a quick “me moment” here or there to center yourself so you can take in all the sights! Happy vacationing everyone!