Resolve to Travel Well: 5 Musts on our 2015 Travel To-Do List
The start of the New Year brings transformation, renewal, and many resolutions. Often resolutions are short-lived because they are weighted with unsustainable changes or are derived to ‘fix’ areas of our lives that we are unhappy with. This year, get excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for 2015 and set some wellness resolutions that you can actually looking forward to crossing off your bucket list. Here are a few topping my list this year:
Hit the Bathhouse
Taking the waters is an ancient wellness ritual that has roots going back thousands of years. From religious purification rituals to health remedies, warm water and steam is a cleansing technique that still works today. In recent years bathhouses with varying degrees of warm and cool pools, steam rooms and saunas, as well as massage and spa treatments have been popping up all over the US. Just search Korean Day Spa, Hammam, Russian Bathhouse, or Japanese Onsen to have your pick of fabulous options close to you or use it as an excuse to enjoy a weekend away.
Take a Cooking Class on Your Next Holiday
Want to intimately know a culture? Look no further than their food history. Spend some time in a local market, take in the flora and fauna, get a feel for the trade history and you can trace any country’s cultural evolution through their food. As the spice routes began to weave their way through Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, food and flavors started to change and progress in different ways. Sign up for a cooking class complete with market tour and learn from the locals how their culture adapted and changed throughout the ages based on the environment, the politics, and the taste for traditional cuisine.
Gift Yourself a Week of Transformation at a Wellness Resort
When was the last time you were able to sit back and let someone else take care of you? Being sick doesn’t count! Relinquishing all decision-making is a great way to create mental clarity and release stress and tension held in our body. Take a time out this year and give back to yourself. There are fantastic wellness resorts and destination spas around the world that can offer you a complete reprieve. If you want to jump start a weight-loss program, learn how to improve your sleep, get off the grid for a digital detox, create better internal health using Ayurveda, or spend hours enjoying spa treatments, there is a solution for everyone. Pre-planning is key to these weeks so before you go, make sure you’ve worked with the resort of your choice to create a program that will address your needs. Follow all the pre-arrival steps to set up your body and mind for full enjoyment. Then arrive, drop your bags, and leave the hard work to someone else while you recharge.
Discover Your True Self on a Solo Vacation
As a solo women traveler, there are a few simple rules I live by: research my destination thoroughly, arrive during day light hours, makes friends with the hotel front desk staff, and make sure my family knows where I am. From there it’s all about me. I’ve learned how to make new friends in a place where I knew no one, discovered that eating dinner alone can be a great way to observe local culture, enjoyed a day of complete silence, which stilled my mind, and pushed myself to overcome physical challenges when it would have been easy to quit. Mostly I’ve been able to see myself in a new light through the eyes of the places I visit. I’ve become a better person through solo travel and learned just how kind people can be. Some destinations that top my list for best solo travel and self-discovery are: Australia, Bali, India, Nicaragua, and Vietnam. From outdoor adventure to spirituality to pampering, you can find all these options and as a solo traveler you don’t have to ask anyone permission on how to spend your day.
Ultimate Splurge: Create a Personal Memory
Putting down the smart phone and stepping away from the computer takes resolve these days. Posting photos of the far off places you visit or unique experiences you have in your own backyard dot the social media landscape and provide memories for a later time, but this year consider putting down the camera. Learn to create a personal memory that includes all of your senses. Be in the moment. Free yourself and your travel companions to create an authentic experience instead of being worried how everything and everyone looks on film. Look at it as a secret experience that you’ll be able to reminisce about for years to come. It is a bond that only you and your travel companions can share.
What are some of the resolutions on your travel to-do list this year? Share them with us in the comments!