“I need a vacation from my vacation” the familiar line goes – and those who use it aren’t really joking. Seems some 50% of Americans polled admit to being more exhausted after their vacation than before it started! In these days of wi-fi, smartphones, Facebook, plane travel as hostage crisis and ever-lengthening lines at popular attractions, “vacation stress” is a reality…
So much preparation–packing, planning, and tying up all the loose ends at work and home–goes into any vacation, that once you get “there” you need and deserve to relax, rest, and enjoy yourself.
The popularity of vacation spots is undergoing a transformation from highly stimulating destinations like Disneyland and Las Vegas to retreat centers and spa resorts. With our busy and over-demanding lifestyles, the value of escape (and I mean away from cell phones, negative newscasts, and overwhelming email boxes), continues to grow, replacing the old vacation priority of distraction and entertainment, which we get plenty of just sitting in front of our computers. A recent study showed how email is killing us!
Vacations can be structured to be less stressful and more fun–to help you cultivate a new perspective, leaving you refreshed and recharged instead of exhausted when you return. Choosing a retreat can support your need to unwind, unplug, and reconnect with yourself.
While you can create an independent getaway structured as a retreat, I can tell you from experience you will be much more likely to get there if you go with an organized group and have all the details and logistics taken care of for you. The non-refundable deposits will also help you to keep your retreat commitment.
Retreats vary as widely as the people who go on them. Sites for a retreat include spas, mountain cabins, monastery guest houses, jungle resorts, ashrams, and bed and breakfasts. Focuses can be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or any combination.
Before sending in your deposit, here are five questions to ask about your retreat:
- What is the overall theme of the retreat? How structured are my days? What are the activities and they optional, or is every moment filled?
- What is the demographic of the group? Ages, couples vs singles, experience level (in yoga, meditation, self-realization, etc)
- What are the accommodations? Shared housing? Air conditioning? Is bedding provided?
- What are the meals? Are there options for special dietary needs? Is alcohol allowed or prohibited?
- Who is facilitating the retreat and what is their experience? If you do not know the facilitator, I encourage you to speak to him/her and to previous attendees personally.
Once you have all the information and it feels like a good fit for you, book it! Don’t wait for a better time when you can afford it or for things to slow down, because those conditions will never come. You are reading this article for a reason today, and now is the perfect time to book your transformation!
“Costa Rica was the ultimate de-stress vacation. I was able to nurture myself physically, spiritually and nutritionally in paradise amongst a supportive group of people who became friends. It was an awesome way to de-stress, recharge and live my life more fully (and my yoga skills improved also!). I’m so glad I decided that I deserved this retreat!”