I belong to a group of women who love to travel. I’m not talking Florida beaches or New York City. I’m talking world travel. Just in the past year, members have visited China, India, Machu Pichu, Croatia, and all points in between. These ladies are serious travelers and they are adventure travelers. I was invited to join the group by my friend who travels constantly. Seriously. Just reading her posts wears me out yet I am still envious of her energy, her endless joy, and her “carpe diem” attitude.
“No one puts ‘websites I want to visit’ on their bucket list.”
I love to travel and explore new places and have many places on my bucket list. I also love, love, love road trips and am down to drive just about anywhere. Summertime is often the time we check off destinations on our wish lists and check into hotels. It’s when most families take a vacation, something recent studies reveal are not only good for making memories but also for improving your health.
A Nielsen study suggests that Americans who take regular vacations are happier, healthier, and more satisfied with their jobs and relationships than those who don’t, and The Framingham Heart Study determined that men at risk for cardiovascular disease and who don’t take vacations are 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who do take time off. Wow. Who knew?
Think about though. As you lie on a beach or gaze at a purple mountain majesty, don’t you breathe easier and just feel good? Yes I know air travel is one big hassle and I know many of you travel for business so doing so for leisure is the last thing you want to do, but maybe you should think about your health and your loved ones. I know money doesn’t grow on trees and that not everyone can afford to travel, but this life isn’t a dress rehearsal people, it’s our only shot. Grab it and go. Book it. Go there. Just do it.
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
I agree and think that escaping your comfort zone and “bubble” makes you both humble and grateful. Irreplaceable memories are made when you travel with friends and family. Some good and some not so good, but memories nonetheless. A family I know travels across the country every summer visiting national parks, state capitals, and various stadiums and their pictures speak a thousand words. They may not stay at the plushest hotels or eat at five star restaurants, but the memories their two kids will cherish for a lifetime are worth more than anything money can buy. As the ad says, priceless.
I miss our family vacations and I’m not alone. A “Redbook” magazine survey revealed that the number one thing women are envious of is more vacation time! In fact, women desire vacations more than high-end cars and designer clothing….combined!
I remember my family driving up to Denver for summer vacations. We’d stay at a place called The Continental Denver and nothing was finer than the hotel swimming pool. Nothing fancy, nothing special. Only special memories. Now I’m an empty nester with a husband who does not want to travel, so what’s a woman to do? Join a travel group and take a fabulous girls’ trip once a year, that’s what!
I’m still blessed though and very grateful for the places I have traveled to. Just in the last year I’ve visited Rome, Capri, and Panama, thanks to Kristen studying abroad in Spain and her Spring Break lining up with mine for the first time this year. But, such fabulous trips are a rarity for me and sadly I’m not so lucky this summer as I’m not going anywhere. I will instead live through my memories and the wonderful time we shared.
How fun does this look?!
It’s also about reducing stress, which any physician will tell you is a must. That same doctor will tell you that stress causes your body to release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which make your blood pressure rise and wreak havoc on your heart. Stress is also a common cause of anxiety and depression.
Hotels are on board, with many chains now providing amenities to business travelers to help them relax and disconnect. Westin started it all by partnering with meditation guru Andy Puddicombe and now many of their competitors are doing the same. Things like meditation videos, relaxing music, and yoga sessions are becoming more and more common, with even La Quintas offering soothing music on their televisions.
There are so many places I’d like to visit. At the top of my list are probably Bermuda and an Alaskan cruise. I also long to see Jackson Hole and The Grand Tetons. I’d love to stay at the Biltmore and walk around Ashville, North Carolina. I’ve yet to see the Pacific Northwest or Newport, Rhode Island. I’ve been many places in Europe but one place I haven’t and that I’d love to see is Ireland. Who knows if I’ll ever get to any of them, but a girl can dream, right? This girl better win the lottery too!
How about you? Where are you off to on your next vacation and where is your dream destination?
Happy travels everyone!