Five easy ways to boost the joy and pleasure of every trip you take
Ever feel yourself stuck in a vacationing rut?
Maybe you try out different places, but they all kind of seem the same.
Maybe you find the planning exhausting.
Maybe you stress out over small things so that your energy gets sapped.
Maybe you cram too many things into too little time, and you come back more tired than when you left.
Maybe you bring work with you, even when you say you’re not going to, so that you wind up giving away precious vacationing hours to your job.
I’m going to be bold and say: This is not what a vacation should feel like.
Here are 5 secrets to becoming a Zen master of vacationing. Trust me — you’ll never regret taking these on.
- Move a little bit every day you’re on holiday, especially
if your job is the kind that has you sitting at a desk all day long. This isn’t about working out; it’s just about
doing what your body and brain want you to do, which is move around a little.
Lounging is great — there should definitely be time for lounging — but only
lounging for days on end has an ironic de-energizing effect on the body. (It’s
part of why desk work can be insanely exhausting, even though you technically
didn’t do anything physical all day
long.) Whatever your level of mobility or fitness, pick something to do every
day that gives you a burst of activity: walking, swimming in the ocean, a bike
ride, playing with your kids, morning yoga or stretching. If you have some
physical limitations, plan ahead and find walker- or wheelchair-friendly spaces
to explore, even if it’s just for 20 minutes each day. Your body and your brain
will thank you. Activity actually helps boost your body’s ability to
fully relax and soak up the restorative purpose of vacationing.
- Get present to real, peaceful, natural beauty. You might not be the
camping type. Or the sporty type. Or the outdoorsy type. That’s 100% okay! You
don’t have to hike the Grand Canyon to sit in total awe of it. Even the
biggest, loudest city has peaceful places to just be in the presence of natural
beauty. If the weather’s nice and you have the option, sit outside for your
meal or pack a picnic. Just soak in your surroundings and the view; pay
attention to light, sounds, sensations, and smells.
Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser and business author, recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review about a CEO friend of his who swore by intentional time in nature to up his business game: “Before retiring from the CEO role, John would try to take these breaks just before his global partners’ meetings because he found that his ideas, initiatives, and even speeches would become much more focused, rich, clear and powerful as a result—even though he didn’t spend any time actively working on them!” We can’t underestimate the power that being in nature has for bringing out the best in our thinking and seeing.
- Cultivate your appetite for “different.” This one can be
challenging — but it pays huge dividends when it comes to creating
vacations that are full, satisfying, and memorable. This is less about booking
some extreme trip and more about being willing to approach every trip as a
learning experience, to being open to the possibility that every vacation can
actually make you a better person. Seek out conversations with interesting
strangers. Learn some phrases in a new language and practice them and see what
happens. Try new foods. Take in a performance that features local music or
dance. Take the risk of not knowing and being willing to ask. As
Fernández-Aráoz observes, “The world’s most productive people are deeply
curious and collaborative and constantly seek out new acquaintances and allies
— even when they’re on vacation.”
- Put your money into experiences, not things. Again, this one can be
challenging. We’re taught in our culture that having more stuff will make us
happier, even though research has proven (link name to this ==> https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-02-28/why-you-should-buy-experiences-not-things)
and over again to not be true. Vacations in and of themselves are
experiences — so that’s one step in the best direction — and getting a few
small things to remember your trip is certainly not a bad thing. But keep an
eye out for ways to maximize your experience of each moment within your
holiday. When the moment comes to decide if you want to blow a ton of cash at
the duty free shop or a souvenir shop — ask yourself what kinds of experiences
you could buy that will be with you forever and that will continue to bring you
happiness long after they’re over.
- Treat your vacation like a vocation. Notice there’s only one letter that separates the time you spend relaxing, re-energizing, and reconnecting and the thing you were born to do. The word “vacation” comes from the Latin vacare, which means “freedom from obligation and duty, release, to be free and at leisure.” The word “vocation” comes from the Latin vocare, which means “to call” — as in, your personal calling, your purpose, the things that bring you deep joy and bring out the best in you and everyone around you. Think of the joyful energy you would put into your calling — the intention, the planning, the attention to detail, the gratitude. Consider the other word we frequently use for vacation — “holiday” — and note that it means “holy day.” It’s okay to approach your upcoming trip as something that can hold a bit of magic, because it just might. As Fernández-Aráoz writes, your vacation can be the thing that actually brings you back better than you were before — better for yourself, your family and friends, your work, your life.
If you’re looking for ways to maximize your traveling experiences, but you’re not quite sure how to get there, I’d love to help! If planning stresses you out, I can be your best ally. I love this work and can help connect you with the places and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. Let’s talk today http://www.BeaconTravelLLC.com