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Vacation is a great time to distance yourself from the daily grind, allow your body to rest and heal, and expand your mind with new sights, smells, and experiences. If you're craving some rest and relaxation, choose a destination and hit the road. Summer is calling!
Here are three ways travel can help clear and refresh your mind.
1. Get to Know the Locals
As Life Hack notes, one of the best ways to have a meaningful travel experience is to interact with the locals as much as you can. Instead of staying in all-inclusive resorts where the only residents you will talk to are the ones who work at the hotel and restaurant, get out of your vacation comfort zone and explore the surrounding city and all that it has to offer.
Instead of dining at restaurants right across from your hotel, give a local mom and pop café a try and feast on the local flavors that are popular in the town.
While looking for souvenirs, avoid the hotel gift shop and seek out local craftspeople who create unique works of art.
Instead of working out in your hotel's fitness center, find a local yoga studio and drop in as a guest. Practicing in new environments can enrich your practice and allow you to experience your flow in a whole new light.
By getting out and about and seeing what the town has to offer, you could have a more meaningful vacation experience than if you spent all of your time lounging around the hotel’s pool.
2. Go Off the Grid
Another wonderful way to experience a meaningful vacation is to go off the grid for a few days. Instead of checking your emails every 15 minutes and updating your Facebook status with vacation selfies, slow down and focus on the present moment. This alone will reduce your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Opt for a national park or nature preserve as the perfect setting to balance your mind. The Dig recommends Nahanni National Park Reserve in Northwest Territories, Canada, which is a paradise for people who love being outside and want to get away from it all. Parks like Nahanni, offer hiking, canoeing, camping, and fishing, along with other activities where you can embrace the tranquility and beauty that nature has to offer.
3. Learn Something New
Use your vacation time as an opportunity to learn something new. Consider your hobbies and find a way to enhance your interests or skill level during your free time. If you adore gourmet cooking, for example, sign up for a class at a local resort or restaurant. If your summer vacation takes you to Miami, the Biltmore Hotel offers the Biltmore Culinary Academy which is perfect for aspiring chefs of all skill levels.
Other ideas include attending a chocolate-making workshop, a sommelier and wine-making class at a winery, or gardening classes at local nursery.
USA Today recommends taking a hobby trip, in which your entire trip is themed around the things you love. Take a craft cruise, for example, or sign up for a fly fisherman's dream getaway with one of Squaw Creek's Cast N' Catch classes.
Challenge your mind with something new that relates to your interests and enhance your skill set along the way!