Okay, Real Talk…
As millennials take over the workforce, we are bombarded with to-do lists, self-care goals, job applications and workout regimes – all in the hopes of satisfying our number one goal: happiness. Now more than ever, there seems to be this pressure on young adults to ‘pursue your passion’ all whilst fulfilling your overall mental and physical ‘wellness,’ which sounds great initially, but often leaves us feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed when we don’t reach our goals right away. Instead of feeling excited about our future, we are left worrying about why we’re not there yet, why everyone else seems to be getting there so much faster, or if we’re good enough to get there at all.
Therefore, we need to focus on what makes us truly happy – body, mind and soul. It’s time to make that decision, take the trip and do something for you this year. Not only do you want to travel the world, but you want to feel good while you do it. Why not go somewhere to satisfy your mind and your body simultaneously? Yes, there are ways to do this – you don’t have to sacrifice one thing for the other as the modern world would make you believe. And there’s one place to make it all happen – Portugal.
Clear Your Mind
Travel is a great way for you to leave behind the regular stressors – like work, chores, perhaps even friends and family – and escape for one, two, fifty-two weeks. Clear your mind with new experiences, as you sightsee, explore destinations and try new things. When you’ve got something brand new right in front of you, it’s easy to let the old slip away while the new fills your mind. If you’re looking to really zen out, find a local yoga class, or try meditating on top of a mountain.
Perhaps walking is your way of clearing your head. Lisbon happens to be known for its city walks, as it is built on many hills with exquisite views, leaving you breathless in more ways than one. Street by street, you will be greeted by friendly faces, stunning landscapes and street art around every corner. Natural wonders like dramatic cliffs and protected coastlines make this country a wonder of its own.
Broaden Your Palate
Try the local food; no, try ALL the local food. One of the best parts of travelling is the amazing cuisine prepared by the locals. Sure, you have to be careful where you choose to eat from, but that is true of any country – including your own. New fruits and veggies, different meat, unique beers – don’t get stuck eating just what you know; your tastebuds will thank you for it. Trying new foods will help broaden your mind and push you out of your comfort zone, both things that are oh-so-good for the soul.
The Portuguese believe in slow, mindful, family-style dining. Here, you’ll enjoy brand new dishes and spices to delight the senses, in a much slower environment with your new-found friends. Savour each bite to truly enjoy the flavours of the region. Portugal is home to ‘pastel de nata,’ delicious, flaky custard tarts and crispy fried croquettes that will melt in your mouth. As these may not be your healthiest choice, they may be your most delicious alongside the freshest seafood. Plus, the vegan and veggie scene here is bursting, so try out your favourite dishes with a new flair.
Take Care of Your Body
In recent years, ‘wellness’ has come to focus on both physical and mental health. While both are extremely important, they also often come as a package deal. By taking care of your body, your mind will often follow suit and say ‘hey this is fun, I feel good when I’m moving.’ When you’re exploring that new country, get as much physical activity as you can. Swim in the ocean, explore the town, kayak across the bay – do whatever you can to challenge your body while also expanding your horizons and letting your mind wander away from the usual.
Are you a surfing junkie, or perhaps a surfer wannabe? Portugal is home to some of the best surfing in the entire world; In 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garett McNamara caught the biggest wave (30m / 90ft) ever surfed to date at Praia do Norte. But don’t worry, there are small waves for you newbies too. Not a swimmer? Stand-up paddleboarding has become a major trend across the world, but particularly in Portugal. Rent one of these boards to sit, kneel or stand as you paddle along to experience more of the world by water.
Well, are you ready to experience Portugal to meet this year’s wellness goal? All of these experiences and more are found in Contiki’s new Portugal tour. Ready to serve your body and mind once and for all? Let’s shock 2020 with a brand new experience right off the bat.
Book your next Contiki tour here.