Back in October I was lucky enough to get to visit the chic and unique city that is Singapore for the second time. During a quiet day lazing by the pool at the apartments where I was staying, I began to consider my love for all things holiday…
From my wistful wonderings beside the pool that day, came an idea for using past travels to create refreshed positivity for the year ahead. Not being one to commit to New Year’s resolutions myself (who likes booze-free skinny girls anyway?!) January seemed like the ultimate time to share this simple idea.
As I sat on the edge of the completely deserted apartment pool in Singapore, my legs dangling in the refreshingly cool water, I began to wonder what exactly it is that makes me so passionate about being able to get away on holidays.
I could feel the intense heat of the sun on my shoulders and I noticed the familiar, slightly tightening feeling on my skin. All I could hear was the continuous pounding of five waterfall jets as the water fell from the rocks into the plunge pool beside me. Occasionally the high-pitched song from a Common Myna Bird pierced the air whilst the inevitable Singapore humdrum of building work rattled on in the distance, blending almost into white noise as you become so accustomed to it here.
My mind went completely blank and I stared almost in wonder at the ripples that the slight breeze was creating on the top of the pool’s surface, the perfectly azure blue ceramic pool tiles gleaming below the moving waterline. It was this moment of not thinking, an instance of almost nothingness that brought my thoughts crashing back into my mind with enlightenment! That was it! That’s what I (and surely many others) love and yearn for so much from a get-away from it all holiday; the rest, relaxation and rejuvenation of course but sometimes the feelings you get can almost be like you’ve enjoyed a lengthened meditation session!
Vacations can have similar effects as meditation enabling you to: live in the moment, notice the preciousness of tiny details like a simple breeze creating beautiful currents on the surface of a swimming pool, hearing (and actually listening to) all of the sounds that surround you, but more than that, actually drinking them in, living them here and now, right in that moment rather than your mind being bothered with other nonsensical thoughts or concerns.
A break from routine and a refocus of daily thought can bring about similar positives to that of meditation – no wonder you come back so refreshed from a vacation! Such a heightened sense of wellbeing can become almost addictive…well that’s my excuse for holiday addiction anyway and I’m sticking to it!
So, since holidays can bring such greatness to our lives and increase our general wellbeing, it seems the perfect pastime to focus on, to bring a little extra positivity to all of our days.
Wellbeing – A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish
So this month’s wellbeing method isn’t about jumping on the next flight outta here (although very tempting!), it’s about focusing on the richness that travel has given to our lives already and looking at ways to ensure that we bring that beauty into our days more often, especially with the blank page ahead of us – the year of 2015!
Let’s get started…
- Grab a notebook or a journal, or purchase a pretty travel themed one specifically for this project.
- Assign a page or two to every year since you were born, or if you feel that tots up to a lot of years and too many pages (I’m with you on that, don’t worry!) then maybe just opt for the last 10 years, and then begin to write down all of the places you visited each year.
- You might need to bring in the help of your partner, your friends and your family to remember when you visited specific places or where you went when you were younger but that’s all part of the fun process. Discuss with your nearest and dearest what you remember about the trip, the highlights and the funny stories.
- If you weren’t vacay-ing in The Hamptons every summer darling, don’t despair! It doesn’t need to have been a trip abroad or even an actual holiday, it could have been a weekend away or a day trip to somewhere special…just write down wherever you can remember visiting on each different year.
- Once complete (this may take some time, there’s no rush), enjoy taking some time to look back over all of the exciting places you have been and be sure to reminisce with the people that you experienced each adventure with – it can be very therapeutic.
- Look at all of the countries, cities and new places that you have managed to visit so far in your lifetime – what an achievement! Doesn’t it make you feel really thankful for having gotten to enjoy these experiences? It also feels pretty great just to have a list written down, in black and white, of all the places you have been to.
- Now begin to think about where you enjoyed the most. Where would you love the opportunity to go back to if you could? Where are you inspired to visit next? Make a list at the back of your journal as a travel ‘wish list’ so that all of these ‘hope to visit’ places are never forgotten. You can of course keep adding to the wish list as new places take your fancy and crossing places off as you manage to visit them!
- Now write 2015 on a new blank page in your journal and in pencil make a list of the places you would like to get to this year. This need not be 12 long haul vacations (although if that’s what you’re hoping to achieve go for it…and can I come too?!), it can simply be revisiting the Lake District, staying over with friends you’ve not seen for a while, camping in Cornwall, a day trip to Bath or a UK city that you’ve never been to before or going to Alton Towers.
- The list may well only be written down in pencil but keep referring to your travel journal and let it inspire you to book things in, get out and about, take a break from the old routine, see and encounter new things and do something different.
Hopefully this project will bring to light all of the benefits that travel and holidays bring to your life and wellbeing, how many amazing travel experiences you have enjoyed thus far, how many magical memories you have built up from trips with loved ones and how rich your life has been, along with inspiring you to plan in more of what you love for the year ahead.
Remember…a goal without a plan is just a wish.
So be sure to make your travel plan for the year ahead and stick to it!