Picture it, stepping out onto a beautiful beach with nothing but the azure Mediterranean waters and perfect beach climate as far as the eye can see. You’ve got a drink in your hand, a beautiful woman in a string bikini hugging you from behind, and you’re both laughing and crying at the same time. It’s like perfection.
That, my friend, is how you feel after your first workout on a balmy summer’s day in Italy. Wellness retreats like this one aren’t exactly commonplace, but when they do happen they often end up changing the course of participants’ lives. In the case of the Italian retreat that I described, many participants ended up making a major lifestyle change – they moved to Italy and adopted the health-conscious Mediterranean diet craved by the country. Many other wellness retreats have inspired similar major lifestyle changes, with participants adopting health habits that they continue to benefit from years later.
Wellness retreats aren’t just popular because they allow you take a step back from your busy schedules and reacquaint yourself with your physical self, they’re also popular because they allow you to make a change. The change could be as big or small as you want it to be, but whether it’s becoming more mindful or eating well, there’s something about getting away that reminds you of the things you want to be doing more of.
What is wellness retreats and why are they becoming so popular all over the world? Let’s take a quick look.
The Rise In Wellness Retreats
In recent years, the wellness retreat concept has been around for a while, with Bali becoming a major player and launching many wellness retreats around the world. Stemming from the country’s stunning natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle, Bali has established itself as the ideal place for wellness vacations – the perfect mix of stunning coastline and idyllic islands, coupled with an Asian medicine vibe, make it the perfect place to heal both mind and body.
Wellness retreats aren’t just popular in Bali, they’re also quite popular in Thailand, with the country’s stunning landscape, tasty food, and peaceful lifestyle encouraging participants to take a step back and restore their bodies’ natural rhythms.
Thailand has become such a popular choice for wellness retreats that even New Zealand and Australia have followed suit, opening up their own versions of the place. The wellness retreat concept has also been adopted in other parts of the world, with places like Portugal, Spain, and Italy leading the way.
It’s fair to say that Italy has stolen the show when it comes to establishing beach retreats and putting them on the map. The country is absolutely stunning and has so much to offer – from the mild climate to the food and lifestyle. Plus there’s that unique atmosphere that you just can’t put into words.
If we compare Italy’s coastline to, for example, that of Portugal, Spain, or France, the obvious difference is that the Italian coast is much more densely populated. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Portugal’s or Spain’s coastline is less attractive than that of Italy, but it does mean that more people are vying for space there, resulting in higher hotel demand and more intense tourism.
But while the Italian coastline may be crowded, the country’s interior is relatively unpopulated, offering some peace and privacy to those seeking that as well. What’s more is that you often get that sense of individuality and pride when traveling to other countries, but that feeling is completely crushed when traveling to another continent – you’re just another tourist in the crowd.
What Is Wellness Retreats?
Wellness retreats are all about taking an intensive vacation, far from the stresses of daily life, to rejuvenate your body and mind. During your stay, you will focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and attitude, relaxing and recharging, and feeling your best. Sounds good, right?
Wellness retreats offer a plethora of different experiences, from indulgent spa treatments to exciting hikes and relaxing villa stays. Some wellness retreats even offer massages and body treatments, alongside yoga and other wellness activities. You’ll be treated to gourmet meals and healthy snacks, and indulge in as much coffee, olive oil, and wine as you can handle.
Now is a good time to mention that not all wellness retreats are created equal. Just because a wellness retreat offers a number of different experiences does not mean that all of them are going to be good for you. Some companies may throw in a couple of sham treatments along with the real ones, just to have some fun and make a profit.
How To Have The Best Wellness Retreat
There are several things you can do to ensure that you have the best wellness retreat ever. First of all, pick the right spot. If you want a peaceful vacation, make sure that the place you choose is as quiet as possible. If you want to party, travel to a place where there are more people around. This way you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people and make friends, as well as have some exciting adventures.
Another important factor is the company you choose. There are many scammy wellness retreats out there, so make sure that you’re buying from a trusted company. Do your research and read reviews online before making a decision. If possible, visit the company’s website and read some customer reviews as well.
Another tip is to be open to new experiences. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when traveling, especially if you’re going on a wellness retreat, so try new things and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. That way you’ll have the best possible trip and be able to take away a lot from it.
The Benefits Of Wellness Retreats
Wellness retreats are a ton of fun and can be pretty brilliant for your mental and physical health. The country retreats that I’ve spoken about so far have all offered some pretty amazing health benefits. Below, I’ve compiled a short list of some of the biggest advantages of a wellness retreat.
- Increased Creativity and Productivity
- Positive Mental Attitude
- Reduced Stress Level
- Improved Digestive Health
The first thing you’ll probably notice when you arrive at your wellness retreat is how much more creative you are. Suddenly, ideas that you’d never even considered come to mind, and you find yourself acting on them. Your creative juices will flow, and before you know it you’ll have sketched a masterpiece, designed a brilliant outfit, or written a killer travel guide.
The benefits of this increased creativity and productivity are innumerable, not least because you’ll have all the time in the world to work on whatever art, design, or travel related projects you might have. There’s also the fact that you’ll have a positive mental attitude – even if the trip is hell, you’ll still be able to find the good in it.
Your body’s natural rhythms will be restored during your trip, which will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Along with the food, this is often touted as one of the major benefits of a wellness retreat.
A reduced stress level will enable you to leave your worries behind for a little while, which can only be a good thing – we all need a break from time to time, and a wellness retreat provides just that.
Improved digestion is also commonly attributed to wellness retreats – typically focusing on detoxing the body through plenty of water and dietary changes. Traveling to a different climate or country will help restore your body’s natural rhythms, so it makes sense that your digestion would benefit from a change in surroundings as much as a change in diet. This is why many wellness retreats offer some kind of cleanse or juice fast before the trip begins – starving yourself won’t do any good if your body is still unable to function properly after all that food.
The mental and physical health benefits of wellness retreats are countless, which makes them such a useful tool for anyone, no matter what their goals are.
Where To Next?
Now that you have an idea of what wellness retreats are and why so many people are getting on board, where do you go next? There are several options available to you, from luxurious spa trips, to health-focused retreats in far-flung destinations. Just because you’d like to focus on your health and wellbeing though doesn’t mean that all wellness retreats are created equal – just research the company you’re dealing with and make sure that you’re getting the real deal. Make sure to have the best time of your life!