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Well-Deserved Vacations & How They Can Positively Affect Your Mental Health

    

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A recent survey on how many Americans actually use their paid vacation days shows that only 38 percent use all of those days. In 2018, over 650 million vacation days were unused. Such a huge number is a matter of concern especially that there’s a strong connection between the times you take days off for vacation and the state of your mental health. 

 

It’s easy to understand why a lot of individuals have been skipping out on their paid vacation days. Vacations can be quite expensive and for some, it’s just impractical. Nevertheless, experts say that people should take time off from their daily stressors at work. It is essential when it comes to one’s mental health.

 

 

When you take a break from your work, it is important that you maintain your overall well-being. If you are constantly exposed to the stress of work, it is unavoidable that you will suffer negative consequences both on your body and mind. 

 

Taking a vacation will help your body in lowering cortisol levels. When this happens, then stress is reduced and your mental health improves. Vacations also help in replenishing your ability to have creative thoughts. You can daydream all you want and just think of anything that you want to think about. 

 

Another valuable thing that you’ll get during vacation is sleep. Ample sleep is valuable to your mental health. If you sleep well, you will also feel more energized. It means that you will have both the time and the energy for exercise and other physical activities that you may not have tried before. 

Statistics show that on average, Americans take 2 “mental health days” annually. But a couple of days away from stressors may not be sufficient for most individuals to be able to fully recharge. This is especially true when the vacation time is spent on accommodating other stressors such as chores and other responsibilities at home or with family. 

 

Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you need to stay somewhere luxurious or spend money you don’t have for a two-week vacation. A good kind of break is something that just takes you away from your usual routine. It doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of domestic destinations you can go to that can help your mind and body relax. 

Staycations are also a thing these days. You can simply stay at home, sleep, read, or watch movies. It’s not necessary to have a change of scenery. All you need is to be able to disconnect from your daily routine. Taking several days to relax will be helpful for everyone. However, you should remind yourself that you should relax and not take on other stressors during that time. 

 

When you decide to stay at home for your paid vacation days, do not get stressed over the chores or errands. If you like to garden or do some DIY projects, that’s fine. But don’t stress over it. Once any activity becomes too demanding, remind yourself why you’re on vacation leave. Take the time to relax so your body and especially your mind can relax. 


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Destinations

Traveling Across All 7 Continents in a Wheelchair

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For many, traveling across all 7 continents is an ultimate goal. For Cory Lee who is also a traveler, however, it’s his most fervent wish. So, he found a way to reach his dream destinations.

A Traveler with Skeletal Muscle Atrophy

Lee has been using a wheelchair ever since he was 4 years old. Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that causes weakness and skeletal muscle atrophy, Lee was raised by his single mother who was a teacher. He says that he developed his love for traveling because of the numerous road trips they did together across the US.

Visiting Antarctica before Covid Travel Restrictions

Right before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee and his mother were able to visit the last continent on his list, Antarctica.

In his interview with “Good Morning America,” Lee shares that the trip “was surreal. There were icebergs, mountains of ice, penguins. It was everything you would imagine and more. I was moved to tears.”

Advice on Travel Essentials

When asked about how he got to execute those trips despite being in a wheelchair, Lee shares that traveling in a wheelchair requires systematic and extensive planning. He adds that his recent Antarctica trip was already booked 2 years prior. He said that each trip needed in-depth research of what various tour companies had to offer including the possible destinations he and his mother could go to and the transportation required to those places.

To help other travelers who may want to visit those destinations, Lee began writing a travel blog, “Curb Free by Cory Lee,” enlisting all the travel essentials based on his travel experiences.

He shares that, out of the 37 nations he visited, Morocco and Antarctica are his best choices. Lee mentions that he did not really have “high expectations of Morocco but the alleyways of Marrakesh, the snake charmers, it blew me away.”

Traveling on a Wheelchair

Lee insists that traveling while using a wheelchair is entirely possible. Doing in-depth research helps people discover the multitudinous conveniences that travel companies have to offer. To further encourage younger travelers to start their own dream destinations list, Lee launches his new children’s book entitled “Let’s Explore with Cor Cor.”

The book narrates the story of a young boy who travels the world using his power wheelchair. Lee asserts that children must not only learn about the different travel destinations but also about those who may be entirely different from them.

Lee’s book was released on 26 July which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) which was successfully passed after he was born.

Limitless Possibilities

In closing, Lee shares that “traveling to all seven continents wasn’t something I was sure was going to be possible, but if you stay determined and keep a positive attitude, the opportunities are limitless.” Indeed, having a disability does not prevent anyone from reaching their goals. Travel restrictions are not solely based on the present quarantine measures practiced all around the world. They can include personal issues that may prevent easy mobility, as well. Nonetheless, Lee serves as a credible inspiration for everyone as he points out that nothing can really stop us if we persevere and continue to reach for our dreams—and our desired destinations.

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Destinations

Get Paid To Visit The U. S. Virgin Islands In 2017

The U. S. Virgin Islands are a tropical paradise. A place to lounge on the beach with a tropical drink, the wind blowing through your hair. You wouldn’t think they would have to pay people to take a vacation there. Not for a lack of…

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The U. S. Virgin Islands are a tropical paradise. A place to lounge on the beach with a tropical drink, the wind blowing through your hair. You wouldn’t think they would have to pay people to take a vacation there. Not for a lack of tourists, but to honor the 100th anniversary of becoming a U. S. Territory, the islands are offering visitors $300 to spend exploring. Money you can use to go hiking, kayaking, swimming and eating your way through the Virgin Islands. Those visiting in the month of March, the month of the Centennial, will receive a commemorative souvenir. 

How do you get the $300? All you have to do is go to  VisitUSVI.com and book a three-night minimum stay at one of the participating hotels on St. John, St. Croix or St. Thomas. The Department of Tourism will then send you $300 in credits that you can use like cash at any of the participating locations. There are many participating locations including museums, food tours and eco-tours where you can use the credits like cash on anything you buy, up to and including the full retail prices. The idea is to get you to explore, and learn about this piece of the West Indies. The Department of Tourism has all sorts of events planned to commemorate the centennial, and with the added incentive of $300 to spend while you are there, 2017 is the year to visit the U. S. Virgin Islands.

 

 

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Destinations

2017’s Newest Travel Trends Revealed

How exciting, a new year and 12 whole months of travel possibilities, I’m ready for the new travel trends. Where are we going to go and what the heck are we going to don once we get there?   We can say goodbye to eco-tourism as…

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How exciting, a new year and 12 whole months of travel possibilities, I’m ready for the new travel trends. Where are we going to go and what the heck are we going to don once we get there?   We can say goodbye to eco-tourism as the hottest trend on the travel block, 2017 has some interesting stuff in store for us.

 pantelleria

European Islands

It’s nice that the exotic, far-flung islands had their pinnacle in 2016, because those well-known hot spots are now over with. They aren’t over and done, they just aren’t the hottest spots anymore. If you want to go to Turks and Caicos, I won’t stop you, but you won’t be considered elite anymore. If you want that true baller experience in 2017, you will have to go to one of the small, unknown European islands, like Pantelleria or Naxos. Naxos is a Greek island, not Santorini or Mykonos, so its lesser known. Check it out if you are interested in divine local cuisine and a fresh take on island life. 

Meanwhile, also in the Mediterranean Sea, Pantelleria is in Italy, between Sicily and Tunisia. Made famous by Giorgio Armani who has a home there, this unknown island is going to be real hot this year. These future hot spots are favorable because of their anonymity and prestige.

 

bellmont farms 

Food Resorts

The clear-cut winner for travel trends this year is Food Resorts focusing on farm-to-table and ocean-to-plate menus. These resorts are hiring the best chefs, sourcing from the most local and fresh producers and satiating all their guests’ wildest cuisine dreams. This trend is following food trends all over the globe, where diners want the freshest and healthiest foods prepared by world-class chefs.

Check out Kittitian Hills in St. Kitts, for some top notch locally sourced cuisine. They have their own organic gardens, livestock and even use goats to cut their grass, talk about grass roots.

Another real winner at food resorts is Bellevue Hotel in Croatia, where the entire flat roof has been turned into a usable garden.

 sailing

I’m on a Boat

The comedy group Lonely Island said it best, “I’m on a boat, Bitch!” Everyone wants to go sailing or party on a yacht, but until now that kind of lifestyle has been unaffordable. Thanks to an adventure-travel company, Intrepid Travel, being on a boat is everyone’s business. They are offering affordable sailing adventures to amazing destinations for a fraction of the former price.   Live like the one percent with their weeklong sailing tours, through remote destinations like the Zanzibar archipelago.   Snorkel in exotic locals, sip champagne on yachts and ball out like Lebron James on your budget.  These trends are getting exciting and making me want to travel now.

 

finemerch 

Resorts simplified

Resorts are stripping down to the bare essentials and focusing more on relaxation and pampering instead of opulence and luxury. Gone are the clunky cluttered hotel rooms and instead rooms are adorned with just a huge comfortable bed. Expect restaurants to simplify their menus and only offer eth freshest and most delectable items. These new luxury standards should catch on and help with the enormous waste that these resorts create.

 

glacier 

Polar Excursions

People are tiring of the same old beach resort or mountain cabin; instead travelers in this New Year are opting for more extreme locals. Welcome the new polar adventures, where vacationers will face the harsher climates for a more rewarding excursion. Glaciers are a huge destination in 2017, as people realize that with global warming, many of these destinations won’t be around for long. Get those snow mobiles warmed up and make sure you have warm clothing, because 2017 just got interesting. Cruises are now setting course for the Arctic Circle, as adventurers want that polar ice cap experience.  Polar travel will include penguins, polar bears and the exquisite Northern Lights.

 

2017 is starting off with a bang, so set your travel destinations and make travel happen.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of bellemontfarms, wikiwand, intrepidTravel, finemerch, MontanaVacationBlog, starchop

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