What is Wellness?
Health and Wellness travel means many things to many people, but for me every trip invites the possibility to infuse wellness no matter where you are.
It is easy to seize wellness moments at retreats but with a few easy tricks, you can turn every adventure into a wellness moment.
Because honestly, wellness travels happens when we allow ourselves to be mindful and aware and when we are open to endless possibilities– whether we are on a solo trip, traveling for work, or enjoying a family vacation.
Six ways to find wellness no matter where you are.
Your health and wellness plan:
Make time for meditation
Whether you are a regular meditator or not, finding ten minutes each morning to be aware is a great way to appreciate the wash of new sensations from your adventures. No idea where to start?
Try the Headspace app which offers ten introductory meditation lessons for free to help beginners understand the power of awareness and breathing. Despite a chaotic but invigorating period of travel, it only takes a few minutes to reset my brain before starting a new day.
Go for a run or walk early in the morning
An early morning run or walk offers more than just a way to sweat off dessert from last night’s dinner. Exploring streets and trails on foot provides an insider perspective on daily life before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
One of my favorite traveling runs was in Istanbul where the smell of fresh baked treats filled empty streets like a temptress.
In contrast to the traffic filled streets that are the norm later in the day, the residential streets of the Besiktas neighborhood were filled with cats, men and women leaving for work and cafes opening their doors for business.
Find a local park
Parks are a haven for enjoying the outdoors and people watching. Sitting on a park bench is like inserting yourself into a painting offering a chance to observe the comings and goings of those around you. Yes, mental wellness.
The quiet time promotes the chance to reflect on your trip so far and offers the chance to take a few deep breaths during a busy itinerary.
I could have spent hours or days even in Philadelphia’s Fitler Square – a quiet residential park not far from the Rittenhouse district. Kids playing, students in study groups and old friends going on about their grandchildren set the stage for a blissful repose.
Having a healthy and delicious picnic at the park is great too!
Make a cup of your favorite herbal tea
No matter where I am or what I am doing, a cup of my favorite herbal tea soothes fatigue and reinvigorates my senses.
Although I like to sample new or local teas while traveling, I always carry a bag full of my favorite herbal teas as one of my travel essentials.
Packets of Yogi Peppermint, Ginger or Green tea are tucked into pockets or purses and bags so that no matter what – I can retreat with a few wellness sips.
Take a yoga class or squeeze in a short workout
Whether you are a veteran yogini or a beginner, the booming trend of yoga makes it easy for find a class no matter where you are.
Often hotels or resorts offer yoga (or other fitness classes) especially if you are staying at a health and wellness focused property hotel. If not, ask a concierge or use sites like Classpass.com that allow you to visit studios in large cities around the United States while traveling. Not a fan of yoga?
Even when you are short on time, it is easy to sneak in a few minutes of detoxifying sweat with state of the art fitness centers.
Some of my favorite wellness focused hotels are yoga in the stable at Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, in-room yoga equipment at Kimpton Hotel properties and a lending gear partnership with New Balance and wellness center with beach views at the Westin Jekyll Island in Jekyll Island, Georgia.
Eat an early dinner (and walk back to your hotel)
Traditionally I was a fan of late dinners to make the most of exploration during daylight hours while traveling. And while it is true that a late night meal might give you extra time visit or explore, eating right before going to bed always made my stomach feel bloated and uncomfortable.
My solution is to schedule an earlier dinner in a neighborhood not yet explored and plan to walk around afterwards to assist in both digestion and my thirst to uncover the nooks and crannies of a destination.
Elena Sonnino spent twelve years teaching children to chase their dreams before finally taking her own advice. Elena writes about finding everyday wellness in far-flung lands and your own backyard at LiveDoGrow.com and split moments big and small on Instagram.