As one year draws to a close and a brand new one dawns on the horizon, it’s not uncommon for people to make bold plans and set goals, all part of ensuring the new year is a little better than the one that went before it. Whether you’re looking at fine-tuning or big adjustments, this is the perfect time to take stock and settle on your new year’s resolutions. Better known ones sound a little like:
- Lose weight
- Exercise more
- Commit to a path of education
- Make more money
- Deepen your friendships
- Find love
- Leave love
There’s no end to what’s on people’s wish lists, yet so many of the same resolutions crop up year after year, merely variations on similar themes.
So for 2017, how about taking the self-improvement bull by the horns and really committing to the new year new you by getting away from ‘real life’ for a week or two and truly immersing yourself in change.
The Health Farm
Who hasn’t imagined how much easier it would be to get into tiptop shape if all temptations were removed? Like going to rehab to help you kick that cake habit. Whether you seek to lose weight, detox or attend a live-in cross-fit camp, you will find tens of thousands of options all over the world; some travel agents even specialise in these sorts of getaways. With fitness classes and spa treatments on tap, meals are all served in small but nutritionally sound portions and there’s no access to the fridge or dessert buffet. For some people, the best way to break habits and make new ones is to spend a week removed from real life making this a real game changer and because there are usually behavioral modification sessions available, you might even get to the root of your ‘bad habits’.
Ashrams are traditionally Hindu monasteries found in India, far from the bustle of big towns the focus is usually on yoga and meditation. With ashramites living in to deepen their practice, their days will also include service either in the gardens, kitchens or cleaning, plus they also learn to eat in silence using only their hands for utensils. Admittedly this sort of adventure isn’t for the faint hearted but, if you’ve an adventurous spirit and have a working knowledge of yoga and meditation, this is a trip that could really transform your life and shift some deep seated thinking habits. If time isn’t on your side, you’ll want to find your Ashram before setting off, either by talking to friends, exploring the internet or asking your own yoga teacher for advice. Ideally though, if you’ve a few months up your sleeve to look around, head to an area that’s popular with seekers, like Rishikesh (made famous by The Beatles) or Goa and find an ashram that feels right for you because what suits one yogi might not please another.
The Wellness Cruise
It’s common knowledge that most people who embark on cruise ship vacations tend to return home significantly heavier. This is partly due to the enormous amount of food that’s served as well as the beer, wine and soft drinks that are often included in passenger packages. The good intentions you had about exercising while on holiday drop out the window and from the moment you wake up, till the time you stagger to bed, you find yourself stuffing things in your mouth. Of course, you probably checked out the ship’s gym online before actually setting off, only you find that it’s hard to get motivated when you’re actually on board.
But these days, there are a number of oceanic excursions devoted to good health. From holistic holidays featuring vegan foods, health lectures and gurus to running holidays where passengers can run as much as a marathon most days, and in luscious locations like Alaska, the South of France or the Caribbean. Golf cruises are also popular, as are cycling cruises and there are even cruises for cruisers who like to dance. Some of the bigger vessels even have facilities for surfing, kayaking, ice-skating and roller-blading on board. Again the trusty old Internet is bursting with information to help you find the right cruise.
But wait there’s more
If my selection of feel good getaways doesn’t float your boat, how about heading to Byron Bay or Bali to stay at one of the many resorts that combine yoga and surfing? Nepal is home to more silent retreats than you can shake a stick at. Boot Camp hotels are springing up all over Florida and Mexico and in Thailand you can go to hotels that are specifically designed to offer colonic irrigation which means there really is something for every predilection, provided you look around.
And most importantly of all, don’t forget to play it safe while you’re away because, in the spirit of making a healthier happier life for yourself, you don’t want it spoilt. And as much as you’ll take every possible precaution to keep yourself safe, it’s always wise to think about travel insurance in the face of unexpected loss or illness. So be sure to investigate Worldcare’s low-cost, high quality travel insurance options when you go on your next long distance trip.
Travel Writer and Worldcare Blogger
Elisabeth has what is known in the trade as a ‘portfolio career’. Upon discovering that law school wasn’t really her bag, she completed a degree in theatre and film at Victoria University, followed by a diploma in acting from The NZ Drama School: Toi Whaakari. After a couple of years playing Shortland Street’s notorious villain, the evil Nurse Carla, she became a breakfast radio host which required a lot less make up and marginally less bloodshed. From the late 90s wanderlust took over and she spent the subsequent decade travelling the world, taking on all manner of odd jobs during which time she discovered that her vocation was writing. Today Elisabeth writes about travel and leisure, arts and culture; she is also a regular contributor to Radio NZ National and an award-winning playwright.