Over the past year, I have been hearing over and over and over and over (you get it) in ALL different social circles that people are looking for deeper experiences, ways to show (or just start to find) their true selves. In my conversations, I have called this the "great awakening". Wellness travel, sustainable tourism and healing retreats are not new, but they are now the norm and not the exception.
Here are a few ways that a vacation and retreat differ:
Vacations take more planning and selection. Even when working with a travel agent, you have to select the excursions, accommodation type, meals, etc that you are interested in. There is some hands-on planning to create the perfect package. With a retreat, you simply show up. The logistics and choices are handled for you. Retreats are meant to be low stress even from the selection phase, so the hardest part is simply choosing the right retreat.
A vacation is seen more so as an escape from your problems and you often return to the same issues, only they were put on hold while you were gone. A retreat involves the intent to improve some part of your life, so you can return home in a better situation than when you left. If the retreat is done correctly, you return home feeling more prepared to take on the pressing situations or issues in your life.
Vacations fit into your ‘open’ time. Even if they end up being just for a weekend, we are desperate to make them fit the busy puzzle of life. A retreat is a planned date so you must carve time out and realize that this time must be sacrificed to truly undergo transformation. Three days does not do a retreat justice. A retreat helps instill new habits, beliefs, and values to help participants walk away feeling empowered and prepared. Five to ten days is a sweet spot for retreats.
Here are a few Reasons to Retreat instead of Vacation:
Retreats Have Long-Term Benefits
In addition to offering you an escape from a tiresome routine, retreats set themselves apart from mere vacations due to the specific intent behind them. This intent can be an issue that you wish to focus on but don't get time for, a recent experience that you want to reflect on or talk about with people who understand what you're going through, the quest for some distance from your current situation to think clearly and bring things into perspective, or simply quality time with yourself and nature so you can rejuvenate.
Nature Let's You Unwind
One of the biggest advantages of going on a retreat is that it offers you proximity to nature and its healing touch, which can’t be matched by a simple vacation. Being close to nature has shown to reduce the production of cortisol—our primary stress hormone. Moreover, clean air, calm surroundings, and plants allow you to unwind and be thoroughly rejuvenated so that you can have a fresh start to your life upon return.
You’re Surrounded by Like-Minded Company
Retreats attract people with similar concerns or interests and, hence, offer you the opportunity to spend memorable moments with like-minded people who are looking to achieve the same goals as you. These people act as your support system as you work toward your goal and also act as a mirror to help you identify issues that you couldn't have on your own. Most importantly, they let you realize that you are not alone.
Retreats also provide you the opportunity to make friends that you can remain in touch with even after you return home. This gathering of similar people is not characteristic to regular vacations.
You Have Access to Professional Guidance
Retreats include training, exercises, or sessions by experts who allow you to see your own shortcomings and help you improve your spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. These sessions are in accordance with your needs and enable you to not only improve your well-being while at the retreat, but also equip you with information and techniques that you can use to remain in shape even after the retreat is over.
You Don’t Have to Worry About Planning
One thing that boosts the efficacy of retreats in facilitating rest and relaxation as compared to ordinary vacations is that the retreat team manages them. This means you don't have to worry about things like scheduling, reservations, commutes, waiting in lines, finding locations, etc. Even though you may handle such mundane tasks in your daily life, these tasks become particularly stressful when you are in a new and unfamiliar location. Retreats allow you to focus solely on your own well-being and truly offer you a stress free time-off.
Retreats Can Be More Economical
Retreats can be both expensive as well as economical. However, they are much more economical and cost-effective as opposed to regular vacations. The reason for this is that during regular vacations you make your own spending decisions, which may not be the most cost-effective and can at times result in money leakage. However, retreats are pre-planned and include exclusive features like professional consultation and training in addition to all the facilities of a simple vacation—thus, making them more financially feasible and reliable.
Want to know more about upcoming retreats from clients of Transformational Travels?