World travel opens your eyes to beautiful sights and serious issues, and most travel to find themselves. Travel is the ultimate wellness ritual if you cultivate it as a lifestyle.
Walking to try a new coffee shop in the neighborhood expands your comfort zone and presents a new opportunity try a new flavor of coffee. Climbing a remote mountain in India takes your eyes to new heights to survey the surrounding world, while the woman waiting at the top will engage your senses of smell and taste in new ways as she teaches traditional recipes.
Home and comfort can be anywhere the heart goes, and in your heart, you are an explorer. Stagnation does not suit you. Humans are made for wanderlust, and roaming the world played a major part in survival. It still does, especially for your inner life as the ultimate wellness routine for mind and body. Here’s what travel can do for you and how to cultivate it as an active wellness ritual.
People are good at practicing small types of self-care. You brush your teeth, shower and let yourself sleep in occasionally. On bad days, you treat yourself to dessert or get that extra shot of espresso to endure the drawn-out morning meeting at work. When you have downtime, you take a long bath or color in your adult coloring book.
These small acts of self-care are sometimes confused with coping mechanisms. They help you get by, but travel gives you a better sense of what self-care should look like. Simple self-care falls away too easily at home, but when traveling, you make yourself the priority.
Get out there and care for yourself through a change of scene. While on vacation and at home prioritize yourself and ask what your mind and body need now. Dare to do it and keep it up, whether that’s being lazy on the beach or reading a book in a new bookstore in Prague.
More travelers look for adventure experiences over lazing around on the beach or collecting more items for the home. Activities are the third largest market of tourism, challenging vacationers to participate actively in local lifestyle practices, traditions and physical activities. At a small island hotel, you may learn how to harvest local crops and prepare a meal as it’s cooked in front of you, or hike to camp in a tent hanging off the side of a cliff in a remote country.
Challenge your fears and perceived limitations. Learn to overcome obstacles and enjoy the world around you as an active participant, while reducing health risk factors. Book local adventure tours and look for hotels that actively engage visitors instead of passively attending to their basic needs. Wake up early at an ashram in India to conduct your service duties and meditate.
A change of scene is just what your mind needs to revitalize, get creative and break out of its comfort zone. If Ernest Hemingway took inspiration from his time in France and Spain, why can’t you get out of dodge and provide your muse with fresh views and experiences for the creative taking?
Creativity is linked with neuroplasticity, and while traveling, new neural pathways form when synapses fire as a response to deep sensory stimulation, such as cultural exchanges through sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. You can do this even by taking a bus or train to a new neighborhood, but the key is interaction and not surface observation. Learning a new language also opens new neural pathways and ways of thinking empathically and innovatively — hello, less brain fog.
A spring break trip to Cancun won’t do it. Bring along your sketchbook and sit down with a stranger. Sketch them and ask about their lives. Think about how this exchange impacts yours.
You were not made for sitting in a desk chair your whole life. Small acts of self-care help you cope with daily life, but adventures await you locally and abroad.
Travel to a new neighborhood or the remote mountains of another country opens opportunities to revolutionary acts of self-care, improvement of physical health and revitalization of the mind and creativity. Let your wanderlust free to spirit you away to discover the ultimate wellness ritual — travel.