Don’t go where everyone else goes on holiday and plan a break to nourish your soul and all your senses.Mindfulness can be practised across all aspects of life, from work and studying to parenting and keeping fit. Mindful travel is fast becoming one of the most popular holiday trends as we realise that our mental and physical wellbeing can improve drastically by travelling consciously.
Travel experts have noticed an increase in specific trends revolving around mindfulness including:
- Getting close to nature: Big city breaks are exciting and fun – museums, great dining, nightlife and popular tourist spots. But, is it relaxing? Many of us spend far too much time indoors and already live in big cities so a holiday to reconnect to nature is the best option.
- Action is fun: While you’re planning your mindful nature-inspired holiday, add some fitness to the equation. It doesn’t have to be anything too demanding like a marathon or climbing a mountain, but there are plenty of doable options like cycling through ancient temples or hikes requiring average fitness.
- Digital detox: Cutting screen time is a crucial aspect of mindful travel. Let everyone know you’re away and won’t be constantly checking text and emails. And, refrain from accessing social media – you don’t need to know what your friends are up to constantly!
- Visit eco-friendly destinations: Being eco anything these days is a bit of a marketing ploy. Reduce your carbon footprint by visiting a local eco-friendly spot and stay in a sustainable resort/hotel offering mindful activities, e.g. turtle or wildlife sanctuaries.
For your next holiday, try a mindful destination and see how physically and mentally refreshed you feel when you return to your daily routine.
BaliYoga retreats, a thriving vegan food scene, opportunities to trek up volcanos and cycle through rice fields, meditation amongst incredible nature – this Indonesian island has it all. While it may also have a hectic party scene, it’s becoming more known for its wellness and spiritual side.
ThailandStill keeping with the mindful island vibe, Thai islands offer authentic retreats combining meditation, yoga, Buddhist philosophy, health remedies and their famed spa and massage therapies. Most mindful retreats are located in Koh Samui, Phuket and Chiangmai.
IndiaA country steeped in spirituality, history and culture, India offers much for the mindful traveller. Obviously, meditation and yoga getaways are the norm, and mindfulness and Ayurveda retreats are also very popular. Head to Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world, and experience an ashram, practise yoga where it all started and explore a holy city filled with temples, pilgrims and exotic beauty.
BhutanThis mountain kingdom takes its Gross Happiness Index very seriously, consistently ranks amongst the happiest countries in the world and where mindfulness seems to be part of the national equation. Visitors often return with a changed perspective and in awe of the country’s natural beauty and unique culture. The ideal digital detox destination!
The land of volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs is also the ideal mindful destination due to its immense natural beauty. It’s easy to avoid the crowds and there are regular wellness and yoga retreats organised in beautiful surrounds. For more action, trail running camps are popular and allows you to experience the many natural wonders up close.