THE MENTAL REFRESH YOU NEED
Carve out TLC this way
“Travel awakens our sensory experiences, spikes our curiosity, and broadens our perspective. It opens us up to new possibilities,” says Kathryn Smerling, Ph.D., a psychotherapist in New York. Of course, it’s also a chance to break free of the narrow confines we’ve been living in for the past year. “We need a change more than ever, and a trip is the perfect way to disrupt all our ruts,” says Alice Boyes, Ph.D., the author of The Healthy
Mind Toolkit. “Even just a day or two away, or a long weekend, can make a huge difference to our happiness.” Here are some ideas for a personal journey that will revitalize you.
FEEL MORE CONNECTED
Immersing yourself in nature and exploring new surroundings gives you a sense of awe. “You feel part of something bigger and more profound,” Boyes says. Places with spectacular scenery, like soaring mountains or dramatic canyons, are especially powerful.
To get your fix: Try a biking trek through a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, or Big Sur with Escape Adventures, which offers road and mountain bike trips complete with stays in cozy inns and healthy meals. (escapeadventures.com, packages for a 5-day Grand Canyon tour start at $1,995 per person, double occupancy)
REDISCOVER THE JOY
“Experiencing new things is the way we flourish and grow,” Smerling says. “During lockdown, when every day is Groundhog Day, we start to feel emotionally numb. Travel breaks us free of that, gives us excitement, and helps us feel pleasure fully again.”
To get your fix: The new Miraval Berkshires in Lenox, Massachusetts, offers transformative activities like beekeeping, equine therapy, medicinal tea making, aerial yoga, sound healing, and chakra reading. For some active Zen, hike through the property’s 380 peaceful acres. (miravalberkshires.com, starting at $669 per person, double occupancy)
PUSH YOUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES
“We act differently in different places,” Smerling says. “On vacation you might be looser and let yourself have more fun. Or maybe it brings out your daring side.” And you can take that newfound sense of adventure home to liven up your day to day, Boyes says. To get your fix: Go zip-lining, paddleboarding, Jet Skiing, biking, and horseback riding, or play tennis or golf, at the 750-acre Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota, where it will feel like summer camp in the best possible way. (grandviewlodge.com, starting at $150 a night)