{We're Obsessed} Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA | PHOTO PRAVASSA©

SRI LANKA | PHOTO PRAVASSA©

A pearl-shaped gem in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka (once known as Ceylon) is a tropical destination that’s still largely untouched by mass tourism. Start exploring high in the tea plantations, head out on a hike to commune with nature in the jungle, then grab a surf board and catch a wave. The island boasts the largest concentration of Buddhist faith, which means there are temples and caves to sit in and meditate along any route you choose. With a long-standing history of holistic living, Sri Lanka will entice even the savviest wellness traveler. 

Pravassa's scouted, vetted and specially curated wellness travel offerings are the hallmark of our company. Ready to fall in love with Sri Lanka? Get started here with a custom trip or join our upcoming small group.

Lena Franklin: Mindfulness Guru & Pravassa Guide

LENA FRANKLIN IN VIETNAM WITH PRAVASSA | PHOTO MADELINE PENFOLD

LENA FRANKLIN IN VIETNAM WITH PRAVASSA | PHOTO MADELINE PENFOLD

We love traveling the world with wellness guru's from all walks of life. Years ago we connected with Lena Franklin via Instagram - proof that technology can be used for good - and we've been following her own transformation ever since. Lena's latest interview in Where Traveler gives you a deeper look into her own journey.

How did you get interested in meditation?

It’s been a journey for sure. I’ve always known I wanted to be a therapist. I’m a psychotherapist by training, and come from a [family of] mental health professionals. My dad is a psychologist, I have two aunts who are social workers, so it was definitely all in the family.

While I was in University my mom suddenly passed away, and she was really the one who taught me meditation and mindfulness. Once I experienced this loss, I really realized there is something more we can utilize for our own healing. Something beyond the traditional therapy hour, and that’s when I really started delving into yoga, finding my meditation practice and then I went on to do different trainings in mindfulness meditation.

It was through my own experience that I felt how powerful it was, because it is really this way to be with all of our emotions, the ebb and flow of life, without breaking. The capacity to be aware, to honor our emotional systems and to be compassionate towards the self, all of those elements fit in, and there’s something really amazing here. I started my psychotherapy practice— a mindfulness-based practice where people come in and I do therapy and meditation instruction. That cascaded into doing retreats and mindfulness trainings and corporate trainings and talking more about mindfulness with companies and different organizations.

For those who haven’t practiced meditation, or perhaps busy travelers on the go, where do recommend they start?

I would say mindful belly breathing. Our belly area is where we feel grounded and where our intuition exists, and the energy there is usually very depleted when we are stressed, anxious or depressed. Most of us are under that category in some way. If we can wake up and do 5-10 minutes of belly breathing using an affirmative mantra—for example, inhaling, ‘I am’ and exhaling ‘at peace’ into the belly—and letting go of the tension there, just a few minutes of that practice can be transformational.

 

Want to join Lena's next trip with Pravassa?
We head to Sri Lanka in October

 

3 Ways to Mindfully Explore Bali

When it comes to travel, the universal thread that connects all our journeys is the desire to get away. Whether that means lying on a beach, heading into the woods surrounded by the quiet force of nature or getting lost in the music of a pulsing nightclub, the goal is to disrupt our daily routine, destress, and feel free. Add Mindfulness to your trip and receive the added bonus of being fully present, multiplying the restorative effects of your vacation. Bali is one of our favorite travel destinations where Mindfulness is effortless. 

WATCH THE SUNSET

IMAGE: PRAVASSA©

IMAGE: PRAVASSA©

We’ve written a lot about how to reduce jet lag when traveling, but watching the sunset does more than just help sync your circadian rhythm. It ties you to the land you are visiting. “In Indonesia the sunsets are magical. Every night you can see a dance of different colors as the sun dips behind the horizon with a view of mountains, palm trees, or beach in front of you,” says our founder and frequent Bali traveler, Linden Schaffer. It can take as few as 5-minutes to watch the sunset, which is a grounding activity and visual meditation of it’s own.  

TRY NEW FOODS

IMAGE: PRAVASSA©

IMAGE: PRAVASSA©

The beauty of visiting a new location is the exposure to people, traditions and foods, which are different than what you’re used to at home. Bali is a haven for gluten-free, vegan travelers as many traditional healing recipes are plant-based. On our most recent Bali trip, lead by Dr. Andrea Paige, she reminded us “Eating something inflammatory can have an effect in your body for up to 5-days. So eating simply is key.” With gorgeous scenery all around and fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance, sitting for a mindful meal in Bali is easy to do.

TAKE COUNCIL FROM A BALIAN

IMAGE: PRAVASSA©

IMAGE: PRAVASSA©

Traditional healers are a way of life in Bali. Locals visit their village Balian or healer for a variety of reasons ranging from medical to mystical advice. According to the Balinese, each healer has been chosen by an otherworldly power to act as a vessel for healing and transformation. Whether you believe in this linage or not, it promises to be “A truly meaningful experience,” said Nikki Sigal of her recent Balian visit during Pravassa a trip.


Want to mindfully explore Bali with Pravassa? Choose how you spend your vacation with us:

OnDemand Itineraries  |  customWELL Travel  |  Small Group Trips

 

Destinations To Watch In 2019

World Travel Magazine just named the top destinations to watch in 2019. Did yours make the cut?

sri lanka

PHOTO: PRAVASSA©

PHOTO: PRAVASSA©

Sri Lanka offers a paradise that surfers talk about as the Bali of thirty years ago, while tea lovers oh and ah about the Ceylon tea and beach bummers, well, bum on the tropical beaches. Sri Lanka offers a cave monastery, the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the old city of Galle comes with a dollop of picturesque colonial charm, and Yala National Park should be on the itinerary for nature lovers because of the many opportunities to spot animals like leopards and elephants. High season is December-March in the western and southern coasts, April-September is best for the eastern and northern part of the country.

Click to request your customWELL Sri Lanka vacation.

Indonesia

PHOTO: PRAVASSA©

PHOTO: PRAVASSA©

Indonesia is made up of islands set against the backdrop of turquoise oceans and full of a long list of underrated natural attractions. Meet the Komodo dragons who inhabit the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar, sip Sumatra coffee in Sumatra, while visiting the orangutans in Bukit Lawang, dive the Coral Triangle, which offers 2,000 species of fish and underwater beauty. Java is the island where visitors will find the world’s largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur and of course Bali is a wellness paradise. Indonesia is an all year-all weather destination and ideal for short breaks to month long retreats.

Click to request your customWELL Indonesia vacation.

colombia

PHOTO: PRAVASSA©

PHOTO: PRAVASSA©

From treasure hunting, to trekking through the rainforest, Colombia offers a lot of exceptional experiences. Nature lovers can bike around the coffee country and stop to drink fresh cups at different coffee farms or choose a hard-core trek to the Lost City in Santa Marta, which goes through the rainforest and takes three to seven days. More of a city person? The walled city centre of Cartagena, with its Spanish Colonial architecture is an excellent place to sit and watch the sunset, while the capital of Botogá, nestled high up in the Andes Mountains, offers old-fashioned, open-air markets and trendy neighborhoods. December to February is warm and dry everywhere, while April-September is best for the eastern and northern part of the country.

Click to request your customWELL Colombia vacation.

Northern Italy

PHOTO: PRAVASSA©

PHOTO: PRAVASSA©

Visiting Tuscany calls for a cooking class where you can make pasta, tomato soup, biscotti and pizza the way it was meant to be. Piedmont is the home of truffles and the slow-food movement where you can sit back and enjoy the fresh ingredients. Old world charm, can be found in Venice along the canals and piazzas, Lake Como, and even a visit to Verona, the famed city of Romeo and Juliet. The best time to visit is April-June and September-October, due to the mild climate.

Click to request your customWELL Northern Italy vacation.

read the full World Travel Magazine article here.

Travel: A portal into presence

PHOTO: SHERI GIBLIN | PRAVASSA©

PHOTO: SHERI GIBLIN | PRAVASSA©

Initially, we travel to escape, but ultimately, travel allows us to re-enter our lives. We travel to widen the lens of our worldview, to gain an embodied experience of how time has impacted the way of life for those outside of the neighborhood in which we live. Time is a curious thing. Moment-to-moment it’s passing, but yet, our hurried lives keep us in constricted mind states outside of the present moment. Personally, travel gets me out of the microcosm of my life – clearing blocked channels clouding my heart and getting beneath the film of stress where compassion flows freely. As I check all of my certainties about life at plane door, what I am sure about is that I’ll return from my journey with a deeper sense of belonging to the world we share. - Lena Franklin

Travel with Lena on one of Pravassa’s upcoming Wellness Vacations

Pravassa's Must Travel 2019

Inspired by Travel & Leisure’s Best Places to Travel in 2019, our own wellness travel team weighs in on what’s not to miss from this list and why we should be booking your wellness vacation here STAT!


Hoi An, Vietnam

IMAGE VIA  LIVING NOMADS

IMAGE VIA LIVING NOMADS

As I plan for my honeymoon this year I have my eye on Hoi An, an atmospheric port city in Vietnam. Home to many incredible boutique hotels, you can can find a blend of old and new whether you choose to stay in town or on the incredible picturesque beaches. - Leah Abrahams, Special Events

South Island, New Zealand

Queens_milfordsound.jpg

Where do I begin with New Zealand? From learning about Maori culture to adrenaline pumping adventure - you can do it all here! My dream trip includes hiking a glacier and flying over the breathtaking Milford Sound. Last, but not least, riding the TranzAlpine train across the plains of Canterbury and horseback riding in Glenorchy where you can take in the stunning scenery from Lord of the Rings. - Katie Jehenson, Wellness Travel Manager

Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica

SURING IN NOSARA | PRAVASSA©

SURING IN NOSARA | PRAVASSA©

“I don’t get an opportunity to vacation often, so when I do, I look for places that have a bit of everything to really maximize my experience. Guanacaste, Costa Rica is on my personal “must-see” list thanks to its perfect balance of relaxation and adventure all wrapped up in a beautiful, biodiverse environment.” - Chrystal Hunsberger, Graphic Designer


Matera, Italy

“A day spent wandering Matera, Italy’s limestone Sassi structures? Yes please, followed up with a food forage in the caves of Murgia National Park. Over my gourmet cave meal, I’ll toast to 2019 with local rosé.” - Ruth Beach, marketing and copywriting

Northern Territory, Australia

IMAGE VIA  BORED PANDA

IMAGE VIA BORED PANDA

“Visiting Ayres Rock or Uluru, a sandstone monolith in the center of the country with ancestral ties to Mother Earth, has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. A visit in 2019 will be extra special as artist Bruce Munro has created an epic light installation that spans seven football fields.” - Linden Schaffer, Founder and CEO

{We're Obsessed}: India

India | Photo Sheri Giblin for Pravassa©

India | Photo Sheri Giblin for Pravassa©

Brightly colored sarees, children on cell-phones in the streets, fresh country air gliding over vibrant landscapes and through cool stone passageways of palace ruins; this is India. Every time we journey here it’s a wellness experience that brings you up close with thousands of years of cultural traditions and people who make this land so unique. Here’s a look at our most recent adventure.

Pravassa's scouted, vetted and specially curated wellness travel offerings are the hallmark of our company. Ready to fall in love with India? Get started here.

Are You on the Brink of Burnout?

IMAGE  VIA

IMAGE VIA

Take a moment for a quick 5-step self-evaluation.

1. Sleep—Would you generally say that you are not getting enough sleep or hours of quality rest?

2. Eating Habits—Do you lose your appetite when you’re busy or reach for the unhealthiest option to cope in what seems like an unmanageable situation?

3. Exercise—You know movement is the way to counteract the ill-effects of our increasing sedentary lifestyle. Do you find yourself overwhelmed with the thought of adding exercise to your schedule?

4. Coping Mechanisms—Do you lash out at others over minor issues? Do you fire off emails that you later regret?

5. Success—Are there never enough hours in your day to complete everything on your list? Do you forget to stop and celebrate the small victories because you bypass them on your way to the next thing?

If you answered yes to more than half of the above questions, congratulations, your fight-or-flight response is in a constant state of readiness. That means, it's time for a VACATION!

Good news, you came to the right place! Join one of our upcoming group trips or get in touch to plan a custom wellness vacation of your choice.

We look forward to reigniting your spark. - Linden Schaffer

 

Want more tips for how to start or maintain a wellness routine at home or when traveling? Pick up Linden Schaffer's best-selling book
Living Well on the Road 

Pravassa Wins Solo Travel Award

SOLO TRAVEL IN CAMBODIA | PRAVASSA©

SOLO TRAVEL IN CAMBODIA | PRAVASSA©

Pravassa wins Specialty Tour Operator in World Nomads Solo Travelers Choice Awards

Since 2009, Solo Traveler’s mission has been to advocate on behalf of solo travelers. The annual Solo Travel Awards, sponsored by World Nomads, showcases companies known to serve solo travelers and excel at serving these travelers by offering tours, cruises, and/or vacation packages with no or very low single supplements. 

We are thrilled to announce that Pravassa has won the 2018 Specialty Tour Operator Award.

For a full list of winners, click here.