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 science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 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. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's 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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