Why the Gift of Travel is the Ultimate Gift this Holiday Season
The holidays….that time of the year when you are excited, yet feel stressed. “I need to get presents for my loved ones, but what will I buy? What does this person want? What do they need? Will I get the wrong thing? Is buying a ‘thing’ in alignment with how I choose to be on this planet?” There are so many questions that may be going through your mind. But, perhaps the best gift this year is a gift of travel, whether it be a weekend getaway, a weeklong retreat, or a family trip.
But how may travel be the ultimate gift this holiday season, you may ask.
I encourage you to take a moment and think about who you are at your core and what may have influenced your being today. I would bet that most people would answer experiences. Experiences that challenged you, that educated you, that connected you. And very rarely does a material good encourage that growth.
For me, my travels have fostered a sense of resilience, perseverance, appreciation, education, and responsibility. I feel fortunate in that as a child, my mom prioritized travel and experiences over material goods. As a veterinarian, she would educate me about the different wildlife, the ecology, and the various bird songs. It was these experiences outdoors in nature in various ecosystems, learning about the interconnection of all life forms, that gave me the true education and responsibility of doing my part, however small it may be to protect Mother Nature.
While in a research program in college, one summer I lived in a biological research station in Costa Rica, studying ecology and the vocalization patterns of howler monkeys.
It was difficult- 110 degrees, mosquitos everywhere, bats and scorpions that made their way into the screened in, dilapidated cabin I was sleeping in with 10 other students. From this experience, I learned so much about the rainforest, and felt an even deeper commitment to protecting the diverse ecology of this planet. I connected with the women that cooked the meals and set aside time to help them and converse in Spanish. Seeing the way they lived each day gave me an even deeper appreciation for my life. This experience also strengthened my feeling of resilience and independence as I trekked through the rainforest alone collecting data on the howler monkeys. I returned back to the US different, as travel and experiences truly make a lasting impact on one’s personality and being.
This holiday season, I challenge you to think deeply about your loved ones. Have they ever expressed an interest in a certain culture? Do they love the mountains or the ocean? Do they need a reset? Do they love yoga, photography, cooking, or adventure? Whatever it may be, the gift of travel may just be the ultimate gift this holiday season.
We would love for you to join us on one of our many retreats. Please see our calendar here.