As summer wraps up, many of us, I’m sure, are wondering, “Where did it go?” I know I am. If you’re like me, your time is probably spent chasing deadlines and trying to keep ahead of hectic schedules that distract us from taking care of ourselves or from pursuing personal interests.
Remember when Sundays were a mandated day of rest? The internet didn’t exist and nothing was open. So, regardless of our faith, we were literally forced to spend one day a week relaxing on our own or with friends or loved ones. We even planned for it! Today, our “day of rest” is just another day of the week. When did doing nothing guilt-free become a luxury? When was the last time you planned a restful day?
This frenzied approach to life only serves to disconnect us from nature and who we truly are. Eventually, we lose sight of our passions and what brings us joy, which, for some, may open the door to health issues, frustrations, disappointment, unhappiness, depression and a slew of other overwhelming emotions. And, that is why it is so important to unplug from the everyday world we live in and take a break. If everyone took time off to just be, I believe the world in general would be a much calmer, happier place.
Relaxation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to travel far and wide or spend a lot of money to escape the pressures of everyday life. We know energy begets energy, so some form of regular exercise keeps bodies in shape and minds alert. A simple walk in nature does wonders for a busy mind and a starving soul on any given day. Listen to classical or soft music or turn up the volume and dance or sing along to your favourite tunes. Allow yourself to daydream or spend a few minutes a day in meditation. Abandon routine and plan a monthly social outing with friends to laugh and experience something new every time.
Then, when you’re ready to travel, you’ll be in a much better frame of mind to embrace all of the challenges and rewards that come with the experience.
There’s no doubt that travel teaches us valuable life skills, which may explain why so many of us are eager to learn something new while we’re away or participate in a volunteer program or a cultural exchange. In the coming years, many will continue to push the extreme limits of where travel can take us. In fact, based on an online survey of 21,500 respondents worldwide, as many as 40 per cent of travellers confirmed they are open to considering space tourism.
As we increasingly seek new and authentic experiences, safety is a primary concern, regardless of our gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. As a result, conscious travellers are choosing their preferred destination(s) based on how tourism may negatively impact the people who live there as well as the environment.
There’s been plenty of hype around artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and speech recognition, and ease will likely determine which tech travel innovations will be successful. This is all fine and good, but sometimes winging it and “going with the flow” produces the best results and most enduring memories. Whatever you decide to do or wherever you choose to go, be sure to allow some breathing time in your vacation plans and invite serendipity to play a role. These moments may end up being your most treasured memories.