True Nature Travels Blog

Maintain-Gratitude-holidays-4December is a period of tumultuousness, both within nature and within ourselves. The trees are finally submitting to winter as neighborhoods complete the transition between life and death, bright leaves giving way to bare limbs and frosty mornings, and we are assaulted with stress: the stress of hosting dinners, or traveling to visit relatives; the stress of keeping your composure around those family members that seem to thrive on negativity — even the stress of the holidays looming so close around the corner as every store begins to blast themed music.

It can be extremely easy to lose yourself in such a time, embracing your discomfort or dislike rather than the important reminder in the very name of the upcoming holiday: to give thanks. That is precisely why it is more important than ever that you maintain a grateful attitude as it approaches and passes; you’ll find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more satisfied as the snow begins to fall. Whether you’re traveling down the street, across the country, or are hosting the Holiday feast yourself, here are three ways to maintain gratitude.

 

Keep A Gratitude Journal

How often do you consider the beauty of snow rather than how cold it is or the fact that you have a family to celebrate with, no matter how much they may drive you up the wall? Ignoring your own fortune — regardless of how insignificant it may seem in the moment — is the fastest way to misery.

If you find yourself struggling with the mental act of cataloging what you’re thankful for, make it physical instead: purchase a gratitude journal and write in it every day. Remember how lucky you were to see that puppy on your way to work, or how beautiful the clouds looked as the sun set behind them on your way home. Every moment has meaning once you train your mind to understand it, and a gratitude journal is the best way to start.

 

Express Gratitude Through Social Media

Too often has social media been used to tear others down as ungrateful people use the power of language for cruelty and debasement rather than to further positivity and show kindness. The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to put some Good into the world for a change, and even has a contagion-like effect: if you notice a friend or family member posting negative or unhappy things, remind them of a sweet and pleasant memory the two of you shared and encourage them to expound on it. Breaking the habit of ungratefulness takes hard work, but just as misery loves company, so too does positivity.

 

Remember What You Love About Those Negative Family Members

No family is perfect; we all have flaws, from stubbornness to insecurity and everything in between. While the holidays may not be nonstop enjoyable and ideal, they are almost never wholly awful. When dealing with those family members that cause friction, either for the entire group or just for you, try to look beyond their actions and remember the good moments you have shared. Just like the social media expressions of gratitude, try to inspire them to join along in the “remember when” experience; if the issues are long-standing and voicing positive memories seems impossible, just hold them in your mind — maybe even jot them down in your gratitude journal later that evening. Expressing gratitude even for those individuals that cause you pain or discomfort is an excellent way to manage unresolved conflicts.

The best part about practicing gratitude is that, if you work at it enough and are truly committed to bettering your outlook, it has a long-lasting impact on your life. As you grow more appreciative of the little things, those subtle but crucial moments, you’ll become happier. Changing your attitude to see the brighter side of life will make every day — not just the holidays — a day to be grateful for.

 


About the Author

Matt-O'Grady-blogMatt O’Grady has always been interested in what can’t be seen but what can be felt, and experienced. He always knew there was so much more to himself, to life, to being a human on the planet, and he has found that in studying psychology, emotional awareness, consciousness, mysticism, meditation, spirituality and working and playing with his self-development.

Matt studied Psychology in college at Hofstra University and has worked in Marketing for the last 25 years. Starting off at the book publishing company Harcourt, Inc. in his corporate career, then moving into Magazine Publishing he then launched his own magazine and custom publishing company, and now in addition to Matt O’Grady Coaching, owns and operates the Digital Marketing Company, HarmoniaMedia.com. Author of Living Gratitude: A Simple Path to Happiness, which has received rave reviews from its readers. Matt also has his own Matt O’Grady Coaching Podcast, 7 years running with over half a million downloads, where he teaches his audience about meditation, self-awareness, how to be happier, more successful, appreciative of the present moment, and deeply grateful. He lives with his wife and 7-year-old son, Patrick, in Huntington, New York.

 

True Nature Travels Blog

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. “-Gandhi

Karma yoga is the school of yoga that teaches us to be of service to the world without any expectation in return. We are unique souls brought together on this planet and our contribution is needed. We often underestimate that we can make a difference, when in fact we have all the tools to do so. Having the right intention to be of selfless service is at the core of karma yoga.

Here are 5 ways to practice karma yoga during your travels or at home.

Nature clean-ups5-karma-yoga-ideas-nature-clean-up

You don’t need to be part of an environmental organization to contribute to the natural environment we are in. Whether you are traveling to an exotic destination, or hanging out at your local beach, why not do some good while you’re at it. Grab yourself some gloves for hygiene reasons a couple of bags (eco-friendly would be ideal) and start picking up some of the rubbish. Looking after Mother Nature also means creating a more harmonious internal environment for the self.

Give to our furry friends

5-karma-yoga-ideas-nature-clean-up

These days, many animal charities operate like businesses so even volunteers will need to fill out a lot of paper work and the process can sometimes take way too long. If this is the case, seek another way to help the animals. Almost every place in the world will have stray cats or dogs roaming around the place, looking for food and shelter. Take an hour of your day and a few dollars from your pocket and feed the strays. Remember that we are all souls living together on this planet, it doesn’t matter if you are a human or an animal.

Help out a local in need

If you find yourself on an island or in a small village during your travels, you will most likely meet locals who have a small business to make ends met. These people rely on tourists to5-karma-yoga-ideas-help-localmake a living and they put a lot of work to make sure they have enough to provide. Ask how you can help out; maybe you can wash dishes for a day, or help them clean up; you could even find a local who works on a field and give your time by spending the day with them picking fruits or helping them in their agricultural routine. Whatever it is that you can help with, ask and there will always be a way.

Tis’ the season of giving

5-karma-yoga-ideas-giveAs the festive season approaches, there are plenty of ways we can give back to those in need. The truth is we could all do with a little bit more compassion and kindness. Whether you are a wondering soul on the road these holidays, or spending time in your city, allocate some time to bring joy to somebody else’s journey. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or spend your day at an elderly home. Time is the most precious gift we can offer to one another.

 

Share your talents with the world

Karma Yoga

Karma yoga is also about acknowledging your gifts and how you can share these with others. If you’re traveling to a country where they don’t have the resources for learning
English and this is your primary language, why not share your natural ability and help out? For the creatives out there, you can devote your time to your craft and create unique Christmas cards for your loved ones with a message of hope, love or joy. Sometimes even offering a helping hand to a family member or being a good listener is enough to make a difference.

We all have a purpose and many often feel lost not knowing theirs. I have learned that by asking the universe the simple question of “How could I best be of service to the world?” This will bring in new opportunities for you to contribute and make a difference. You attract the energy you put out in the world and when you focus enough on bringing something good for the planet, what you seek will come to you eventually.

 

About the Author

 

Miriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of Self-Elevation.com, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

True Nature Travels Blog

Every November, our culture finds a sudden appreciation for gratitude. We start to hear “what
are you thankful for?” on every corner as people shop for turkey and prepare their
Thanksgiving feasts. While I love this holiday, and the reminder to be grateful it brings, I believe
gratitude is something we should focus on more than just once a season.

It is part of my practice to focus on gratitude on a daily basis. Before sleeping each night, I try to
remember one thing I am grateful for. Somedays, it’s harder than others. Just the other day I had a rough, long work day. I came home feeling exhausted and angry. I didn’t want to be grateful. I wanted to cry and sleep and ignore the world around me. But my practice has taught me that I can cry, sleep, be angry, and still find a way to be grateful. Because there is always something to be grateful for. Are you struggling to find gratitude in your life? Here is a list of questions and activities that allow my to instill more gratitude in my days. I hope it will do the same for you!

1. What is one thing that made you smile today?
2. How does your body serve you on a daily basis?
3. Name three people who love you. What do they love about you?
4. Take a walk around your neighborhood. List all the beautiful things you see, small or large.
5. Breathe in. Breathe out. What does your breath allow you to do?
6. Find three things in your house you use every day. How do they help you?
7. Write down the name of one person that makes your life better. Now list all the ways they do so. This can be a family member, a friend, a pet, a colleague… everyone counts!
8. Look around. What do your eyes allow you to see?
9. Find something that smells nice (essential oils, vanilla extract, a vase of flowers…whatever appeals to you!) and take a big, deep inhale of the scent. Now write down some of your favorite smells. What memories do those scents bring to mind?
10. Listen. Sit for five minutes and write down everything you hear. How do your ears make life easier? What are some of your favorite sounds?
11. What is your favorite food? Treat yourself to this tonight. But take your time. Take small bites and really savor the taste. Write down some things you notice as you taste. What makes this meal so delicious? Why is it your favorite?
12. Collect three things from around your home that have different textures. Sit with each one. Rub them between your fingers and write down everything you observe about the different textures. As you walk around today, pay extra close attention to the texture of everything you touch.
13. Find a place in nature (local parks work too!) and take a seat. Look at clouds and the sun. Smell the trees. Dig your fingers into the dirt. Listen to the birds in the trees. Write down all the ways nature serves you.

 

About the Author

 

Sarah DittmoreSarah Dittmore, the Director of Operations at True Nature Travels, is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.

True Nature Travels Blog

Fall is here and Autumn foliage is upon us! In the coming weeks, millions of leaves will be turning an array of different colors. As leaves stop producing chlorophyll, the deeper green leaves start to change and reveal their true colors– a process called senescence. Autumn is a reminder that change is in the air and is a great excuse to embrace these transitions and learn about the trees that grow around us.

Fall is the perfect excuse to get lost, so put on your boots and layer up- it’s time to crunch in the leaves and feel the cool air on your skin! One of the perks of hiking in the fall is that there are less crowds and less traveled trails. It’s also the perfect opportunity to collect leaf specimens to bring home, press, and identify. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about pressing leaves for your own collection and tips that will help you to identify them.

  1. Start a field journal. Use a small notebook to help you take notes about when and where you find a leaf, and any other observations that might help with identification. Your notebook can also be a vessel to hold each leaf in place and keep its shape. 
  2. Choose leaves when they are young and have recently fallen from its tree. If you wait till a leaf is too mature and dry, it may be more prone to fading. Take a good look at each leaf and make sure there is no evidence of insects that may have feasted on it.

  1. Enjoy picking leaves that you find beautiful! With so many leaves out there, choose as freely as you wish. This is the best part!
  1. To prep for pressing, lay leaves separately on newspaper. Take a dry paintbrush and lightly clean the leaf, blotting off any moisture and sweeping any loose soil.

  1. Once they are completely dry, arrange leaves in layers of tissue paper, wax paper or newspaper before pressing. Be sure to tag each leaf with a scrap of paper next to it with brief notes for identifying.
  1. If you have a plant press, lay each leaf in a layer of the cardboard and gently screw the wood in place.
  1. For those that don’t have a plant press, gather two sheets of cardboard (size can be dependent on leaf haul) or two spare ceramic tiles covered in newspaper. Layer leaves between and use rubber bands or straps to secure together. You can also use an old heavy book as a press. Make sure that you don’t mind it getting a bit wrinkled or stained; the moisture from the leaves could damage the pages slightly. Thicker books are best, but any book will do as long as you add weight on top of it. Weight can be distributed in the form of a pile of books; these will not get damaged so it’s okay to use books you want to keep.

  1. Check the leaves every two or three days, and replace damp papers with dry ones. It will take 2-4 weeks before the leaves are dry.
  1. After your leaves dry, use your imagination! Create a leaf identification journal and identify your findings or create some art by placing the leaves in frames. Decorate for fall or place your leaves in a memory box to share throughout the rest of the seasons. You can visit https://www.arborday.org/trees/whattree/ to help you identify your collection.

 

About the Author:

Charlotte Gottenkieny, Digital Media and Outreach Development Manager at True Nature Travels, lives to create and travel. With an extensive background in art and design, she is always submersed in a project or three. Whether it is making sculpture, taking photos, formulating a new recipe, or running her design agency, she is always using her hands to create in some way. Charlotte loves the adrenaline rush of adventure. From scuba diving to trekking in high altitudes, she strives to discover new landscapes at every opportunity. Working with True Nature gives her inspiration to be able to share stories and connections made through seeing the world.

True Nature Travels Blog

This Labor Day, We Celebrate YOU!

 

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we are celebrating all of our national and international partners. Without the hard work of each and every one of you, there would be no True Nature to speak of. So thank you; thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do to make the True Nature Travel’s experience truly one-of-a-kind.

 

To all the retreat leaders who have led a True Nature Travels retreat:

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we celebrate you. You are the lifeblood of our retreats. Your dedicated practice and fearless leadership allow us to offer thousands of individuals transformative adventures around the world. Your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual guidance has served so many and it is a tremendous privilege to work with you.

 

To the staff and team members at True Nature Travels: 

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we celebrate you. The amount of work you put in day-in and day-out is inspiring. Your consistent dedication to making every True Nature retreat special is the reason we are able to give so many travelers an unforgettable journey. Thank you for your endless efforts to keep this company running and hand-craft each unique retreat experience.

 

To all the retreat center owners who have hosted a True Nature retreat: 

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we celebrate you. Our retreats would be nothing without the amazing retreat centers we have the honor to partner with. Thank you for opening your arms with such joy and welcoming and making all of our participants feel they have found their home away from home.

 

 

To all the tour providers who have offered excursions and activities on our retreats:

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we celebrate you. Your guidance, knowledge, and care shines like a bright light on every retreat we host. Thank you for helping us dive into the local experience and see the hidden wonders of each country we travel to.

 

To all the chefs who have cooked meals for our retreats:

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we celebrate you. The delicious, local, and healthy cuisine at our retreats is a huge part of the experience. The heart you put into our food makes every meal part of the journey.

 

To all the drivers who have transported participants on our retreats:

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we celebrate you. Thank you for safely transporting our retreat participants around the world. Without you, no one would ever get to begin their transformative travels!

 

 

To all the housekeepers who have kept the rooms spotless during our retreats:

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we celebrate you. Thank you for keeping our rooms comfortable and clean and for making our retreat centers feel like a true paradise!

 

 

To all the individuals, near and far, who have worked hard to make the True Nature experience one of a kind:

 

labor-day-celebrate-you

This Labor Day, we celebrate all of you. Without you, there would be no True Nature. We celebrate the work you do and the love you bring to the True Nature experience. Thank you for all your hard work and the amazing energy you have poured into our retreats!

 

 

About the Author

Sarah Dittmore, the Director of Operations at True NatureSarah Dittmore Travels, is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.

True Nature Travels Blog

Labor Day.

What meaning do you find in those two words? For myself, I must admit
that the meaning seems to be lacking. Yet I have always enjoyed this
particular holiday, as it is one of the few that remains noncontroversial,
without any associated traditions or religious origins and connotations. It is
truly a unifying holiday, as every adult understands what it is to labor and
enjoy his or her prized days off. Rather than honoring something or
someone else, Labor Day celebrates you and all of your hard work for the
entire year. The holiday was literally founded on the need to have a “you”
day!


As I am sure many of you can relate, I cannot name a single tradition that I
hold for this day. I have memories of enjoying barbecue and sunshine, but
nothing that I would consider an annual tradition. So this year, I encourage
you to create meaning, to discover your own traditions that celebrate you,
and only you.


Whether you are with friends, family or on your own, soak up all that is you
this Labor Day. Although we should strive to cherish the self every day of
the year, on this one particular day let us make it a priority to bask in our
own uniqueness. Give thanks for our strengths and abilities, and even our
flaws, because together these attributes form us. Take these 24 hours to
unplug and appreciate your existence on this beautiful planet. Get out of
the office, away from your computer and social media, and do something
that makes you deeply happy.


Labor Day is quite simply, your day. Make it an annual celebration of
everything that is YOU.

True Nature Travels Blog

When I was a little girl, my dad coached nearly all of my softball teams. As I got older, he continued to coach me beyond little league and onto travel summer ball.  We traveled the state and played tournaments nearly every summer weekend.

I remember one tournament particularly well.

We were in Santa Cruz playing against one of the best teams in the league. We were ahead by four runs and incredibly thrilled. We were heading into the 5th inning and my dad turned to two of the players who had been on the bench all game.

“Carly, I’m putting you in as short stop. Melanie, you take left field.”

I forfeited my spot in left field and my teammate, Alex, gave up her spot as short stop so the other girls could go in. As someone who was never particularly talented at softball, I wasn’t worried about it. I spent a lot of time on the bench and never minded; I was there for the comradery more than the game. Alex wasn’t as used to the bench, but she didn’t seem to mind too much either. Her parents, however, were furious.

Our team took the field and Alex’ dad stormed over to the dugout.

“Why isn’t my daughter in?” He asked. He then continued to berate my dad with questions and fuming statements. Alex hadn’t done anything wrong, he insisted, so why was she being punished with the bench?

After a few tense minutes, my dad asked his co-coach to watch the game and pulled the raging father aside. I could hear my dad’s voice as he explained to the father, “These girls are thirteen. Their families are paying to play in the league and the girls are dedicating their summer to practices and games. As I explained when this team started, it is my personal mission to ensure that every player gets an opportunity to take the field in every tournament we play. Alex did nothing wrong; she’s a great player who played five solid innings and will play more this weekend. But at this age, it’s not about winning or losing. It’s about enjoying the game and working as a team. I would rather these girls learn to be good team players then stop an extra run from getting scored.”

In that moment, I was proud of my dad, but thought little more about it as I was quickly distracted by the play happening on field. But as I’ve gotten older, I find myself thinking about it more and more. Because that moment is how I would define my dad.

He is a team player. He believes in equal treatment and giving everyone an opportunity to shine. And he always values the experiences and lessons that come from our actions far more than whether or not we “succeed”.

It’s been nearly 10 years since I last stepped foot on a softball field. My ability to catch a fly ball is long lost and rarely serves me in my current life. But the lessons I learned from years of watching my dad coach my teams with kindness, integrity, and equanimity have forever shaped the way I choose to carry myself in the world.

So thank you, Dad, for being the best example of composure and compassion a daughter could ask for. I love you and am wishing you a very happy Father’s Day.

True Nature Travels Blog

My dad is my everything. He made me the person I am today and taught me the value of integrity, kindness, and generosity. Which is why, every Father’s Day, I am at a total loss for how on earth to show my appreciation. Now that I’m in my twenties, a hand-painted mug that says “#1 Dad” just doesn’t hold the same weight it did when I was five (though, knowing my dad, he would still be just as grateful). This Father’s Day, I wanted to plan a celebration that would really warm his heart and show how thankful I am for all he’s done for me over the years. Inspired to help sons and daughters facing a similar dilemma, I drafted this list of five ways to celebrate Father’s Day this year.

1. Enjoy the summer sunshine together

For most of us, June is a month filled with sunshine. So, what better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to embrace that sunshine?? Go on a bike ride together, hike your local trails, have a picnic, visit the beach, or simply take a walk through town. Just spending some quality time (and filling up on vitamin D) can be a wonderful way to remind your father how much you love him.

2. Take him to a live show that’s right up his alley

Maybe your dad is the comedic type. Or perhaps he’s more inclined toward drama. Or maybe he likes to jam to live music. Whatever his preference, pick a show that has DAD written all over it. Take him to a local comedy club, buy tickets to a theater performance, or score great tickets to his favorite band. Live performances are always a blast and it’ll be a great opportunity for you and your dad to have fun together.

3. Show him your favorite hangout

When we grow up and move out, our lives split from our parents. More often then not, when we spend time with them it’s in our homes, their homes, or old restaurants that have been family favorites since the beginning. This Father’s Day take your dad to one of your spots. He’ll be thrilled to get a window into your day-to-day life and sharing what you love with your father is the perfect way to show him how much you love him! Make a reservation at your favorite Sunday brunch spot, hit up that awesome craft brewery, or take him to a speak-easy you love to visit on payday.

4. Plan a week away for father bonding time

Most of these options require being locally based, but what about those of us who live hundreds or thousands of miles from our fathers? All hope is not lost. Why not pull out the calendar and pick out a week to dedicate to the two of you? You could go on a vacation together, maybe head camping, go on a fishing trip, or invite him on one of our yoga/wellness/adventure retreats! What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to turn it into Father’s Week?!

5. Make the day all about him

Celebrate Father's Day

At the end of the day, the best way to celebrate Father’s Day is to truly celebrate your father. Whatever you choose to do, make it all about Dad. Eat his favorite foods, do his favorite things, or simply tell him why he is your favorite dad. If you want to make this Father’s Day special for your dad, then remind him why he is special to you. Trust me, that will be more than enough to put a smile on his face.

About the Author

Author_Sarah Dittmore

Sarah Dittmore, the Director of Operations at True Nature Travels, is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.

True Nature Travels Blog

Not unlike most daughters, I often sought my mother’s approval. From the jobs I took to the men I dated; I wanted my mom to be as thrilled about them as I was. But my mom was never the type to approve or disapprove of my choices. She never told me if she thought my job title was impressive or if my salary was substantial; she asked me if my work fulfilled me. She never told me that she did or did not like my boyfriends; she asked if they made me smile and treated me well. Because my mom never cared what I did, so long as it made me happy.

When I started working for True Nature Travels, I was, of course, attracted to the travel aspect. I’m an avid traveler and have been moving around the world since I was 18. But the “true nature” side of things touched a more personal part of my heart. True Nature boasts a wide calendar of events that guide participants through a variety of exercises and life-changing adventures to help them discover their True Nature and learn how to embody it every day of their life.

Upon some reflection, I realized that’s what my mom has been doing for me since I was a little girl. Like the time she rode the Tower of Terror with me, even though everyone insisted it was too scary for someone my age, because she knew I needed to explore the edges of my bravery. Or the time she spent two years taking me to the ranch three times a week because I was convinced I wanted to be a cowgirl. Or flying halfway around the world to visit me in Ethiopia and see what this travel thing was that I had become newly obsessed with. My mom has always been there to support my whims, encourage my curiosity, and help me chase down my True Nature.

This Mother’s Day, I want to say thank you. Thank you, mom, for being my biggest cheerleader. Thank you for not just saying, but truly believing, I could do anything I put my mind to. Thank you for driving me to lacrosse camp for the one week I was certain I was going to be a world-champion lacrosse player. Thank you for being the first person to enroll for that one yoga retreat I led when I was convinced I was going to be a career yoga teacher. Thank you for laughing at my terrible improv performances when I knew I was a natural performer with a long and fruitful career ahead. Thank you for supporting every different path I’ve taken along the winding journey.

Most of all, thank you for always asking, “does it make you happy?” Thank you for always reminding me to step back and analyze why I was doing the things I did. Thank you for guiding me through those miscellaneous offshoots and helping me return, over and over again, to my center. Thank you, Mom, for helping me discover my True Nature.

 

About the Author

Author_Sarah Dittmore

Sarah Dittmore, the Director of Operations at True Nature Travels, is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.

True Nature Travels Blog

It’s that time of the year! Mother’s Day is upon us, which means now is the time to celebrate everything your mother has done for you over the years and make her realize how much you appreciate the role she has served, and continues to serve, in your life. Or, if you’re like me, it’s the time of the year when you stress about what gift to give the woman who has given you everything, even life itself. For some reason, flowers never seem to cut it for me. I mean flowers next to actually birthing and raising me… it just doesn’t quite compare. Which is why I’ve dedicated much of my time to figure out more creative and meaningful way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Read on for five of my favorite creative Mother’s Day gifts.

1. Go tea tasting (yes, that’s a thing!)

mothers-day-tea-tasting

You’ve heard of wine tasting, but… tea tasting? It’s not unlike wine tasting; a tea sommelier will guide you through a menu of teas and offer samples of a range of white, green, red, and black teas. You’ll enjoy some of the best teas in the world while learning about the harvesting, roasting, and brewing process. For all the tea connoisseurs out there—or anyone interested in a unique and delightful Mother’s Day celebration—look for a tea tasting room near you! If you are based in the Bay Area or New York City, we recommend teance or tea drunk respectively.

2. Reconnect to yourselves and to each other

Every time I ask my mom what she wants for Mother’s Day, I get the same response: “Time with you.” It’s sweet but really doesn’t help when I’m weaving through shops trying to nail the perfect gift. But at the end of the day, she’s not wrong; the best gift is always time together. So this mother’s day, give your mom exactly what she wants and take her on a week-long yoga retreat anywhere in the world. It’s not only the gift of epic travel, but it’s the gift of saying, “yes, Mom. I will drop everything to spend a week with you in a foreign country.” Reconnect with your mom and say “thank you” this year by dedicating a whole week to exploring your yoga practices together.

3. Take her for a walk down memory lane

mothers-day-walk

Our childhood is full of memories of our mothers. Collect your memories and offer those as your Mother’s Day gift this year. If your parents no longer live where you grew up, you can do this remotely by collecting photos of memorable moments, cooking foods that your mom used to prepare, and telling her stories of things she once did that meant the world to you. If you are still near your hometown, take your mom for a literal walk down memory lane. Eat lunch at that café where you broke down in tears and she was there for you. Get your nails done at the salon where you got your first ever manicure for your high school prom. Spend this Mother’s Day showing your mom how much her support through the years meant to you (and will always mean to you).

4. Take her on the adventure of a lifetime

mothers-day-climb

Do you and your mom have more of an adventurous side? Then give her an opportunity to get out and explore. Even better? Go with her. Plan some mother-child bonding time by booking you both on an epic adventure. Imagine riding through the Dolomites of Italy, mud splashing on your wheels, then getting back to the hotel and sitting down for a glass of locally made Italian wine. Or scaling epic vertical limestone routes with views of the Aegean Sea during a rock-climbing retreat on the island of Kalymnos, Greece. If this kind of blood-pumping, adrenaline-inducing adventure is up your mom’s alley, then what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than going on an adventure of a lifetime together?

5. Give her the same celebratory treatment she gave you

mothers-day

 

We all have that thing. The thing our mom would do to celebrate special occasions. Maybe it was a trip to the beach, or dinner at your favorite restaurant, or tickets to see that movie you’d been whining about for weeks. For me, it was my favorite breakfast served on our red “You Are Special Plate” in front of my favorite Disney movie (eating in front of the TV was a huge rarity for us and very exciting). Whatever that “thing” is, turn the tables and offer it to your mom this year. Let her feel a little of the joy you felt when you were young.

About the Author

Author_Sarah Dittmore

Sarah Dittmore, the Director of Operations at True Nature Travels, is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.