When is the last time you wrote a letter or a postcard to someone while you were traveling? The art of writing may seem passé in our age of Instagram, but this simple act can save your friendships and boost your wellness. Researchers at Kent State University found that writing to maintain social connections three times a month increases happiness and overall life satisfaction. Now you can hunt for the perfect postcard, the most unique international stamp, or wait until you return home and turn your favorite photograph from the trip into a one-of-a-kind card.
Riding through Paris on a motorcycle. Hitchhiking the German Autobahn unsuccessfully then pitching a tent as the sun lowered across the horizon. Watching Yugoslavia’s summer rays beat down over the glimmering, cliff-side sea.
I first heard of these adventures as a teenager and promptly made my father pull out the slides for proof that he was talking about the same people who raised me. Sure, I’d witnessed remote tribal villages through the pages of National Geographic as a kid – I knew there was more to the world than my small suburban existence. Yet imagining people so close to me exploring the other side of the world simply blew my mind.
At 10-years-old, my uncle gave us a globe. I spent countless hours studying it, wondering what it would be like to live in the Soviet Union, East Germany or any number of places that no longer exist within the borders of an old map. I never imagined a life dedicated to travel, but hoped to explore as many of those places as possible one day.
At sixteen I won a spot to compete in a volleyball tournament in Canberra, Australia. 4 flights and 30 hours later I was on my first international trip with a group of girls I’d never met. We lost the first day of competition, but it didn’t matter because I had made it to the other side of the world.
I still remember five girls huddled for warmth in sleeping bags, waking up to snowfall during what was summer back home; running along the Australian Parliament House’s rooftop garden; coming face-to-face with a guy who had puzzle pieces tattooed all over his face in Sydney’s red light district; feeding eucalyptus to a koala bear in my arms; and exchanging addresses to keep in touch with new friends.
Without social media to fall back on, I remember certain aspects of that trip so clearly because I was present for each moment. Traveling halfway around the world with no connection to home, experiencing new landscapes, animals, and people, and capturing them all with my father’s loaned camera (diligently loaded with film rolls and kept out of sunlight, of course).
Australia lit a fire in me and I vowed then and there that many far-flung adventures were to come. Returning home, it didn’t matter that only one of those film rolls actually produced any photos, because I had discovered it’s the journey that makes the lasting impression. I had discovered, for the first time of many, the feeling of being changed by travel. - Linden Schaffer
As wellness travel curators, we're always exploring the world and letting it change us- body, mind and spirit- to create trips that also inspire a transformation in you. No two journeys are the same though and the beauty is you can never predict what will transpire upon returning home.
What have you learned on your own travels? What trip shifted you most? We want to hear it all!
HOW TO WIN:
What: #ChangedbyTravel photo contest
When: May 12-18, 2015
- Follow @Pravassa and all our co-hosts to get each day's inspiration: @PacificandPark, @BlissOutWellness, @Kasia_Dietz, @AnneDimon, @theWorldWanderer + @Kristen4Pilates. *must follow all hosts to qualify
- Share a travel photo on Instagram in response to each day's reflection prompt. You must use the #ChangedbyTravel hashtag and @Pravassa in your photo description so we don't miss it! *photo must be your own
- 7 winners will be announced on Instagram on May 19, 2015 and given $100 travel vouchers to use toward your own Pravassa experience.
*vouchers valid for one year, cannot be combined with other offers, only good toward the full purchase of a wellness vacation. must be 18 or older to qualify for travel voucher.
We've finally kicked winter good-bye for another year. Flowers are starting to bloom and many of us are inspired with a sense of renewal, which means fresh starts and new projects. This year, instead of just cleaning your closet spring clean your soul. When something is bothering you and constantly weighing on your mind it becomes a distraction and pulls focus from what really matters. Clinical hypnotherapist, Patrick Wanis, warns that when we don't take the time to clear out our past, we take it with us into our future relationships, which means we are not just affecting ourselves, but those around us too. Clear out the mental, emotional and social clutter from your life by letting the negativity and stress go. Turn to exercise, meditation, or even book a vacation to physically get into a new space. We've done it and know that soon you'll start to feel the sunshine from within.
As with everything in Singapore, you'll find this yoga studio on the 5th floor of a high-rise building in Marine Parade. But don't let that or the low ceiling, windowless room mess with the mojo that you'll create in this Anti-Aging yoga session. Give your mind, body, and soul over to talent teachers at Platinum Yoga and you get a fun refreshing experience.
The drop-in class we attended started off in the Kundalini tradition - almost 30 minutes of pranayama (breathing) exercises, where all the lung expansion left us and feeling a bit more relaxed if not a little high. A few simple sun salutations later and it was finally time to move to rope wall and loosen our shoulders. Once we felt comfortable with the ropes it was time to climb up the wall like Spider-man and flip upside down. Let the anti-aging begin!
From headstand to handstand we reversed the flow of our internal body and felt exhilarated. Once you let go of your fears and allow the ropes to support you, you truly began to feel the anti-aging affects, which is actually a great travel cure for jet-lag and water retention.
Cost:$35 SDG (contact to confirm) Length: 1 hour
Until you have packed your suitcase and set off for parts unknown - alone - it's hard to explain the mystical, magical, things that will unfold on a solo adventure. Solo travel gives you complete and utter freedom. You are in charge of what you see, when you see it, what you eat, when you sleep, the list goes on! Solo travel is the best way to get out of a funk, grow as a person, step outside your comfort zone, and best of all learn how self-reliant and strong you really are.
If you've ever been to Bali then you immediately know why it's one of our favorite places on earth. You also know that as the world becomes more global and the population ages, it is going to be hard to hold onto the magic that Bali offers forever. This little Hindu island set amongst the 17,000 other Muslim nations of Indonesia is a wonder. From lush rice fields to black sand beaches to ancient temples to cultural celebrations, there is no other place in the world like it. Check out the gallery of our favorite wellness travel finds.
Interested in joining our next small group tour to Bali? Click here.
Gut health has evolved from hush-hush to hot topic and it’s no secret that elimination is one of the most important movements our body makes– it amps up our immunity, metabolism and moods.
We all know by now that a diet rich in whole grains, fibers, fresh fruits, and vegetables is essential for optimal digestion. But we must also make room for good bacteria in our digestive systems. Probiotic supplements and cultured dairy products like kefir – yogurt’s three times more potent family member – have an abundance of them. Kombucha and fermented veggies should also be on your radar and are a great excuse to rescue your mason jars from the cabinet’s caverns.
Food isn’t the only thing we can ingest in order to digest either; activated charcoal may be the most buzzed about ingredient lately, but we've been telling our clients for years to buy some for its unique ability to magnetize toxins and keep you healthy on the road. - Lindsey Jarrett
Nyepi, Balinese New Year, takes place every Spring, but due to moon cycles, the exact date changes yearly. In 2015 the holiday fell on March 21st and it left us longing to be back in this magical place celebrating with the locals. Enjoy this video we created of our 2012 wellness tour to celebrate Nyepi's Ogoh-Ogoh day where evil spirits are awoken in order to banish them and cleanse the island.
Just back from our latest scouting trip we fell in love with the vibrant artistic nature of Bogota, Colombia. This modern city is spread out but with cheap taxi rides, an incredible bus system, along with walking and bike paths throughout the city, there is no excuse to stay in your hotel room. Like any major metropolitan hub, Bogota welcomes expats from around the world and offers food, hotels, and tours for any budget. Check out the gallery of our latest wellness travel finds.
Interested in booking a #customWELL itinerary to Bogota? Click here.