Some like to arrive on the eve of the workshop, but I like to give it an extra day. It gives me time to get settled in my new “home”. I can find the grocery store, scout out a massage therapist and a yoga studio, test out my route to the location, and get unpacked. It also gives me time to plan a few meals. Good nutrition is of utmost importance during these intensive activities, so planning meals is another way to reduce your stress during the workshop.
An extra day gives you time to recover from travel, too. I find travel of all kinds to be a bit discombobulating. Taking the time to have a good walk and a good rest in my new digs helps me start the workshop fresh and on the right foot. Other necessities are getting rehydrated, especially after air travel, Something else to consider is jet lag. First strategy is to move your alarm by 20 minutes each day until you are waking up at the right time in your new time zone. The workshop hours for this summer in Edmonton are 9 am to 9 pm, so figure out what your morning routine will look like and, if you have the luxury of changing your sleep/wake cycle ahead of time, do it. Other recovery strategies including eating extra protein, and shining light on the back of your knees during daylight hours. I have no idea why that last one works — something about how your body sets its internal clock, I’m sure — but it does.
Think about the climate and how it’s different from home. Let’s assume you’re going to the Paddy Crean this winter. Banff is at an extremely high altitude, and is technically a desert. There are numerous considerations for altitude (that’s for another post). As for the dryness, as soon as you arrive, get a humidifier… or two. After you bathe, leave the water in the bathtub to increase the humidity of your room. And drink lots and lots of water. Oh, there’s so much more that could be said, however the point is that Edmonton isn’t as strikingly dry, but you’ll still need to rehydrate.
Take the time to get settled in before the event or rehearsal begins so that you are able to start on the right foot. No use being run down before you even begin! If you can make little changes now, two weeks before the event, you’ll ease the transition between your home and the new location.