Thursday, November 11, 2021

How to feel younger on vacation

When you hear the term “adventure vacation,” what comes to mind? Is it bicycling across Spain? Sea kayaking off the coast of Croatia? Hiking up one of the 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet elevation) in Colorado?

I applaud if you can and do take this kind of vacation. Most boomer travelers would probably consider that a little ambitious. But there’s still plenty of adventure to be had without pushing your body to unrealistic limits.

Driving through beautiful scenery is the start of an adventure.

Whenever you spend time experiencing the beauty and inspiration found in nature that’s a win for any age. You expand your world and get connected on a deeper level when exploring places like our national parks. Rivers, mountains, trees, and wild places become your playground—and you’ll start to feel free enough to express new-found joy.

Here’s how an adventure, including soft adventure, vacation can help you fee younger!

Autumn color of trees can awake the senses.

Breathing fresh air: Scents of blooming flowers, falling leaves in autumn, wet earth, hot dust, and cool mountain breezes can bring back memories of climbing trees, romping outdoors, and digging in the dirt—activities you probably did when you were young. After all, the sense of smell is can evoke powerful memories.

Snorkeling is a great way to play in the water. 

Getting wet: Immersing yourself in water is soothing and relaxing. Whether you’re swimming in a lake, tubing down a river, or just pampering your feet by wading in cool water after a hike, water encourages you to mentally go with the flow. You’ll relive memories of the fun you had splashing in a pool or local swimming hole when you were a kid.

Hiking can be dirty work!
Getting dirty: Whether you’ve tried camping, hiking, or something else in nature, you probably got dirt on your hands or sand in your shoes  But who cares? Getting outside allows you to disregard how you look (or smell) while doing your favorite activity. Make it a time for no worries or cares, just as when you were a child.

Eating outside:
That’s the best place for a meal when you are hungry! Cooking a self-caught fish over a campfire or dining from a sack lunch at a roadside park with an amazing view—what could be better? Imagine you’re having a picnic every day.

Preparing a picnic lunch with mountains for background.

Slowing down:  Ditch the alarm clock. Wake up with the sun shine to catch a beautiful sunrise. End your day when the sun goes down and stars start twinkling overhead. Eat when you’re hungry, and explore all the world has to offer during the day. It’s an easy timetable, a schedule without clocks like when you were a child. Stay in the moment, and focus on enjoyment.

Find hiking trails with good paths. 

Moving more:  Being outside and active means your body must move. Muscles get stronger, circulation improves, and mental attitude becomes more positive when you’re busy doing things. Find your happy place, breathe deeply, feel rejuvenated, and keep smiling.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

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