By Richard Levy
Nothing clears your head, wipes out stress, invigorates your senses and transports your body and soul like taking a vacation.
Magically waking up in some exotic, faraway place is exhilarating. Waking up in a place where nothing is familiar. Where you’re a stranger in a strange land. Instantly breaking your regular routine and jumping your escape from reality and your endless day-to-day activities.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking a river cruise on the Mekong River from Cambodia to Vietnam, trekking in Nepal, renting a farm house in Provence, staying at a villa on the French Riviera, cruising the Greek Islands or simply sunbathing on the beach in Miami. You absolutely, unequivocally must take one or more vacations a year. Life is short and you deserve it. After all, nobody on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.” By relentlessly working late hours at the office, managing a hectic household, schlepping the kids to all their afterschool activities and making endless meals, to preserve your sanity (and maybe your marriage) you must get away more often.
Importantly, once a year take a vacation without the children. Go someplace you’ve always dreamed about going, or maybe a place you have on your bucket list.
If you can’t get away right now, even a spontaneous weekend in New York City would be a perfect dose of travel therapy. Just hand off the children and make your way to the city. Stay at a boutique hotel. Catch a Broadway show. Sleep in and order room service for a very romantic start to your day. Take a walk on the High Line or through Central Park. Devour a decadent dinner and linger in an atmospheric restaurant. Then upon arriving back home on Sunday, you’ll feel like a new, invigorated, stress-free person. You’ll be more patient with your children and more productive at work.
Travel therapy is guaranteed to work. When you’re away on vacation you’re transported to a totally new world where the sounds, smells and vibes are foreign and fresh. It’s incredibly empowering. A place where nobody knows your name, surrounded by thousands of strangers, sights you’re never seen and foods you’ve never tasted.
Whether I was losing myself in the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, sipping wine on a terrace in Ravello, Italy high above the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, drifting down the enchanting canals of Venice or deliciously roasting in a rejuvenating thermal bath in Budapest, travel therapy has totally enveloped and captivated me. Travel therapy provides complete indemnity, almost like being in the Witness Protection Program.
Be sure to also plan an adventurous family vacation. Travel therapy works amazingly on kids. It will cost a lot less than endlessly seeing a shrink. Nobody will tell you after 50 minutes “I’m sorry, we have to stop.”
Since you’re probably well-versed about just how effective retail therapy can be, travel therapy is easy. Don’t worry if you don’t have anyone to travel with; traveling solo is just as effective.
Like the sneaker company’s commercial implores, just do it.
Hastings-on-Hudson resident Richard Levy is a former advertising “Mad Man” creative director and now a travel writer. He’s also an inventor of innovative new products and is writing and illustrating a new children’s book. You can contact him at RichardLevyTravelWriter@gmail.com.