6 Tips for Using a Vacation to Reset January 22nd, 2020 • by Katya d'Angelo The internet is awash with articles about vacation days that go unused each year and how work stress and constant connectivity may be detrimental to our mental health. People used to take vacations without checking office email late at night and friends and family had to wait until you returned home to see photos and hear stories. Nowadays, while GPS, translation apps, and computers in our pockets are convenient, it also disrupts our ability to recharge, which is why it’s so important to figure out how to counteract that. It’s tempting to cram in as much as possible when you travel, especially if you think you might never go to that place again. But when you don’t leave any breathing room, three things happen: there is no opportunity for good old serendipity, things can go awry quickly if there’s a delay or cancellation, and you will most likely return home more exhausted than when you left. Stick to one region and plan just 2-3 immersive activities each day—your days will be full, but there’s still time to soak up the experiences and not feel rushed. That’s how we build our itineraries. New phones have such great cameras that many of our guests don’t bring a real one anymore. Snapping photos is one thing, but it’s hard not to see an email notification when it pops up. As hard as it is, resist checking emails, sharing photos, or scrolling through news headlines when you’re out and about. It will distract you from the landscape, the people, and the experiences you are trying to have, and depending on what you see, it may alter your mood entirely. We recommend setting a rule (and sticking to it!) to only check in with “real life” when you are back at the hotel for the evening. Alternatively, go somewhere with limited connectivity like Bhutan, Palau, or Africa! Over the years, there have been many studies touting the benefits of spending time in nature. Nature therapy, outdoor ed programs, and the Japanese phenomena of “forest bathing” have all grown in popularity. Many theories about why nature helps your psyche include the soft shapes, calming colors, fresh air, and soothing sounds. Whatever it is, reconnecting with the natural world is an important part of resetting from the modern, over-built environments we’re usually in. Hand-in-hand—or should we say “foot-in-foot” with the benefits of spending time in nature, are the benefits of being active. The best way to get into the great outdoors is on foot. The noise and smell of vehicles has no business in a forest or on a mountain path, plus, taking it slow and literally having boots on the ground allows you to take in the trailside details—wildflowers, geology, etc. Outside activity doesn’t have to mean trekking in the Himalayas (although we offer that). There is a spectrum ranging from hearty treks, to moderate hiking and walking, to easier cultural touring. The journey is often the most rewarding part. A big pain point for travelers is often stressing over logistics and language barriers. That’s why so many guests end up traveling with us and our amazing local guides after many years of independent travel. At some point, it’s just worth it to trust an expert to make all the arrangements for you, so that you can focus on being in the moment and actually relaxing! Aside from daily details, our local guides are there to teach you cultural etiquette, show you the hidden gems of their home, and provide fascinating insider information and personal anecdotes you just can’t get from a guidebook. Most importantly, to fully recharge while on vacation you need a good night’s sleep. When we choose boutique hotels and locally-owned inns, comfort and service are our top priorities, followed very closely by a good location, regional character, and a tasty breakfast. These all combine so that we are sure to complement each itinerary with memorable accommodations. We know our guests want to sleep well after their daily excursions, so they can be ready for the next day’s adventures! If you’ve enjoyed reading and are inspired to join us or have questions about the adventures featured in this post, please give us a call at 1-800-941-8010 or send us an email at email@example.com.