Travel is about starting a conversation about places, people and sights. Sometimes that conversation is with companions real time, sometimes it’s a retelling of events with folks back home. Sometimes that conversation is just with yourself. Meditations on freedom and exploration, legacy and majesty, personal growth and the future.
Like many New York City residents, I’m inspired by the built environment and the energies that make big cities famous, but my first love is the natural world. I tend to seek vacation destinations that take my breath away, not necessarily because of the altitude but because of the sheer beauty of the vistas. Oh, one more thing I ask of potential escapes: what is the workout and/or wellness potential?
From a very young age I traveled exclusively for two purposes. The first, and seemingly most obvious, was to visit out-of-state family. The second, competitive sport. Thus, I equate travel with action and always have. I’ve learned though that the action mustn't always be vigorous or purposeful. Action can be restorative and contemplative as in the merging of breath and body. Action can be meditative just as it can be mentally challenging. Action, for me, is most meaningful when harmonizing body with environment be it desert, forest, sea or mountain.
On my travels this year I’ve found that Grenada, West Indies is hilly, quiet and home to a thriving triathlete community. On every occasion that I visit home in Phoenix, Arizona, I’m on the precipice of Camelback Mountain upon hours of landing at Sky Harbor International Airport. A 6.5 hour drive West lands you in Santa Monica, CA. There’s nothing quite like hiking in the mountains for breakfast and catching waves for lunch! The Redwood Forest in Northern California is a meditative must-visit. Feeling completely insignificant while standing beneath giants and yet empowered to share that feeling with everyone that you know or will come to know.
I’m often asked where I’d love to explore next. This past fall I journeyed to Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park as an ambassador for the National Park Foundation. I too dream of Denali, North America’s Tallest Peak in my home state, Alaska and Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. Hiking and trail running settles my soul. Aspire to get to the top and become inspired by the expanse when you get there. The reward is a full body workout and visual appealing journey!
Travel is more than just the temporary suspension of routine. It’s the opportunity for personal growth and enhanced life experience. Whether a staycation, in which you explore regional parks you’ve not yet frequented, or a transatlantic excursion that finds you traversing trails in Mallorca, Spain with Coach Laura. Get out there!
Let us know!
What’s the best active vacation you’ve taken?
With whom did you travel?
What made it most memorable?
If you could travel anywhere where would you go and what would you do?