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How to Make Your Vacation Count

When thinking through the past year of how I’ve spent my time traveling, I feel extremely grateful and most importantly, proud. Proud of myself for being wise in how I chose to allocate my vacation days as opportunities to retreat, explore, expand and finally, respond to those nudges that I was feeling deep inside my bones – my intuition, if you will – to embark on journeys and destinations that serve my higher self. The precious moments and pictures that swarm around in my mind are so vivid and warm, so much so that I can feel this amazing and energetic aura encompassing my body. I feel the oceanic breezes sweep across my skin, the smell of salt in the air, the movement and the breath through yoga that allowed me to release stored emotions that were lurking deep inside, the smiles and laughs shared with strangers who became friends, the local, fresh foods and ingredients that nourished by body and the pure state of bliss that I felt from head to toe soaking the vibrant energy from the environment around me. It’s contagious, and it’s exactly why I continue to keep going, riding this wave that is my inner travel bug. It’s not quieting down, it’s only getting louder.

There's a movement happening in how and why and where we travel. We're finally starting to witness the importance of being mindful about how we unplug, and doing so in a way that allows us to revive, rethink and grow. Let us be the movers and shakers that are literally shaking up societal norms and redefining how we choose to spend our time away from our daily lives and our home base. Allow this to be your personal invitation to choose wisely how you spend your time off moving forward so that you can unplug, relax, seek out exciting new adventures, reset and focus on the single most important thing: you.

Because you are important and you deserve to go wherever it is that you are being called to go. Travel is nourishment. It’s meant to be purposeful and intentional and contributes to self-development, self-improvement, self-care and self-love. It is anything but selfish to make it a priority to take time off for yourself, allocating your money and energy towards experiences that ignite your inner fire and fill you up from the inside out. It's in your best interest to choose experiences and destinations that tap into your creativity and allow for expansion and rejuvenation. With the surge in the various types of retreats offered around the world, you can fully immerse yourself with wide eyes and a full heart, fanning the flames of what sets your mind, body and soul on fire. You can move, dance, play and namaste. Breathe, cleanse, cook, photograph, hike and even learn how to forage and arrange flowers. Who knew that flower arranging could be so therapeutic? It’s time to retire the days of mundane experiences that drain and deplete you and have you returning home feeling sick and longing for a vacation from your said "vacation."

For some, your intuition may lead you to Bali. For others, you may find peace and renewal in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Do you envision grand hikes and dreamy desert vibes in Joshua Tree? Or perhaps instead, the jungle vibes are calling you to explore beautiful Costa Rica and try your hand at surfing for the first time. There is an abundance of beauty that surrounds us and it is there for us to explore. As creatures of comfort, it’s time to break out of our comfort zones and take the leap that we’ve been longing to take. Jaipur, Johannesburg, The Cliffs of Moher, Santorini, South Africa, Cape Cod, and Crete. They are all there waiting to welcome you with open arms. Where is your intuition calling you to go? Listen deeply and then go, go, go.

Perhaps this is a proper time to meditate and go within in order to unleash your travel bug and find clarity on where your intuition is telling you to go. Find a quiet place and practice this brief meditation below:

Find yourself in a comfortable seated position. Soften your gaze, gently close your eyes, unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders and begin to notice your breath -- lengthening and deepening your inhales and exhales. Continue here with the rise and fall of your breath, clearing and releasing the wandering thoughts in order to find stillness and presence in your body. Tune into your intuition and begin to notice the colors, the imagery and the type of environment that begins to take shape as you think about the words travel and vacation. Are the colors warm or cool? Do you envision adventure or relaxation? Are you alone or with someone else? Are you wrapped in a sense of warmth or is there a steady breeze that fills you up? Continue on this meditative state to see where your journey continues, noticing the words, thoughts, emotions and visuals that come to mind. 

Immediately after, write down everything that came up for you and begin to create a mood board that allows you to clearly see what types of environments you are drawn towards. Explore the types of places that painted those pictures in your mind, and begin to research and invest the time towards making this journey happen. This is an investment for your higher self and given divine timing, you are completely capable of finding a way to make it happen.

Listen, and go. Listen, and go. 

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