Restorative travel is ideal for anyone who leads a sedentary office-bound lifestyle and wants to get energised on holiday without getting exhausted.
So what is the perfect holiday?
Building memories, relaxing and exploring new locations are an essential, part of a vacation. A restorative holiday can enhance all these fundamental elements by taking travellers to the next level of physical, mental and emotional well being.
For many of us, annual leave offers a rare opportunity to do something different with our lives. Thrashing about on a mountain in the winter or taking to the sea for a bit of surfing or windsurfing are fantastic adrenaline fuelled holidays. But if you need a holiday to recover from your last holiday, aren’t you doing something wrong?
Give a little back
Ethical tourism or voluntourism has become more and more popular in recent years. Social enterprises like People and Places endeavour to match volunteer skills to project needs and offer travellers unique experiences. Putting your talents as a business manager, healthcare professional or educator to good use in deprived areas can be mutually beneficial to yourself and the community you work alongside. With over fifty-six projects currently listed, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to ‘give back’ while on holiday. Helping wildlife conservation in the Amazon, sharing your skills in the Gambia or supporting female entrepreneurs in Kathmandu are just some of the restorative experiences on offer.
Feed your soul
You don’t need to be religious to appreciate some of the famous routes the pilgrims have followed for generations. It’s a great way to explore a country and immerse yourself in its culture while mentally unwinding. The most popular of all these routes is the beautiful Frances Camino walk which begins with a challenging trek over the towering Pyrenees from St Jean Pied de Port to the famous Santiago Compostella. However, it’s busy and if contemplation rather than companionship is what you are seeking, quieter pilgrim routes also exist throughout Spain, Portugal, Italy and Japan.
Revitalise your health
The social emphasis on eating healthily and exercise regularly has brought with it an explosion in restorative lifestyle retreats in the past few years. Seen as a perfect way to reset your system in a short space of time, health retreats are an excellent opportunity to focus your intentions on leading a healthier way of life in the future. So if it’s internal cleansing you seek, then a specialised retreat could be your answer. The benefits of rejuvenating your gut bacteria, accompanied by yoga workouts and plenty of sleep could not only improve your physical health but if the scientific theories are correct, your emotional and mental well being too.
Learn Something New
Occupying your mind through the act of making is a sure-fire way of switching off from the usual pressures of life. If you have ever wanted to learn a new hobby, then why not do it on holiday with like-minded people? A vast range of holidays awaits hobbyists wishing to get creative in pottery classes, knitting circles and printmaking studios. Painting holidays still top the chart for specialist restorative holidays. For beginners and intermediates, Sketch Trips run residential courses in oils, acrylics or ‘Plein Air sketching’ in a variety of amazing destinations within the UK and Europe. While traditional Schools of Art such as Newlyn and St Ives offer specialist courses for more advanced painters. All are not too strenuous, great fun and offer the opportunity to relax in some very inspiring locations.