When people ask me what my favorite or most necessary self-care practice is, my answer almost immediately is “Traveling”! Simply because, traveling covers all areas of self-care; the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. You truly get the full package when you travel and decide to have a new experience. And let’s be clear, not just any kind of traveling (although all types of adventures are great), but luxury travel! Sounds glamorous right? Well, that’s not always what it translates to. But I will explain a little about both meanings.
While we do have our 5 star resorts and hotels with butler services, and Michelin rated restaurants, and bespoke experiences (which I am all for by the way), Luxury travel has evolved over the years, and it is less about opulence (unless you opt for that), and more of a personalized and unique experience. It means exploring places before they become populated and overrun by tourists who don’t know how to appreciate what that place has to offer. It is learning about and experiencing something that is foreign to how you are raised and have lived thus far. Understanding other ways of life by experiencing what the locals do instead of relying on a monotone tour guide who barely knows it themselves. And yes, that means giving up hostels for goodness sakes! Seriously, you don’t want to do in other places, what you could do at home or down the street. Live a little!
Now there is also the 5 star experience, where I believe every person should splurge and get to experience this at least once in their lifetime. I do occasionally go for the larger brands that guarantee an excellent and personalized experience (often with a luxury car and driver included), such as the St. Regis, Four Seasons, or Mandarin Oriental Hotels, but I have also branched out to the boutique hotel properties. These newer and independent hotels are much more affordable (most of the time), and have standards and offer experiences that often rival those of the larger 5 star corporations. And while Ruth Chris, Flemings, and The Capital Grille are great restaurants with excellent service, for all my real restaurateurs out there (not just the social media foodies who like pretty pictures), we all know the real culinary experiences worth splurging on are in the independent and michelin star restaurants! Let me explain why these types of experiences are held in such high regard and coveted by most who know the difference.
When you visit such properties, their standards and overall goal is to make sure that you have the most relaxing and phenomenal experience there is to be had. Whether you’re staying one night just passing through, a week’s vacation, a romantic or just for fun dining experience, or testing out the spa for a weekend. Their mission is to allow you to feel as though there is nothing in the world to worry about (because they take care of literally everything you can think of), so you can focus solely on enjoying yourself. “Luxury travel means you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience safely in the knowledge that every aspect will surpass expectation.” – Rory Pilkington, Bailey Robinson (luxury travel & concierge magazine). After all, if you are traveling, you have enough to worry about. There is no use paying money to someone you’re going to have to be on top of, or worry about if someone stole something, or what to do, or if you’ll be able to wake up on time or keep track of anything else you have to do. I fully believe in, “you get what you pay for”, as long as you’re not careless about it, and obviously if you have the financial means to do so.
Both types of luxury travel are so essential to my life, and truly the epitome of self-care. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually – you experience something new, which opens up the mind and allows you to see things from a different perspective, and helps you to think differently. They allow you to unwind and break free from the pressures of daily life, not having to worry about anything while you’re there. You see,taste,feel,hear, and speak things that you never have before, at least not in that capacity. You come back feeling as though you are a different person, completely recharged and with a new view on the world and your life. There are so many wonderful and eye-opening experiences to be had, and while we’re alive we should try to experience as many as we can! Vacations are also a form of self-care, and everyone looks forward to them. Why? Because they have the time to relax, recharge, fill their mind,body, and soul with new and positive experiences. In my language, luxury travel = self care. How about you?