Today, around 4.4 billion people live in cities. That’s more than half the world’s population, set to increase to almost 70% by 2050. While urban environments bring with them myriad benefits, from economic advantages to entertainment, they also often come with a lack of connection to nature — and it shows. Travel destinations, hotels and wellness centres around the world are catching on, offering a variety of outdoor therapies that promise to help visitors with their physical and mental wellbeing.
Dr Andrew Cuthbert is the clinical director of Michigan-based mental healthcare practice Timber Creek Counseling. Dr Cuthbert deeply believes in the power of spending time outdoors in nature as being integral in helping to improve people’s mental health, and there’s a wealth of research to back him up. He notes that studies have shown the benefits of time spent outdoors include reduced risk of psychiatric disorders, improved working memory, cognitive performance, emotional wellbeing and cooperative behaviour. “Funnily enough, as I sat down to refresh myself on this very topic, my brain felt jumbled from stressors, a long to-do list and general problems in my life,” he says. “After a walk in the woods, with leaves falling around me and the wind hitting my face, I returned with a clear mind.”
As part of his practice, Dr Cuthbert combines the “typical setup of getaway retreats with weekly therapy”, as he puts it, incorporating ‘walk and talk’ therapy into sessions and encouraging patients to spend time in nature as a complement to formal sessions. “We hold couples retreats away from the city in beautiful areas where we elevate the importance of being outside,” he explains. “Couples are encouraged to connect with their partner through play in the great outdoors and have difficult conversations surrounded by nature, noting the impact the environment has on the conversation.”
As more and more people recognise the importance of spending time outdoors, destinations are rising to the challenge, creating an amazing breadth of wellness-promoting programmes that take place in beautiful natural areas, from forests and mountains to beaches and ranches. Activities such as equine therapy, float therapy, labyrinth walking, fly-fishing, surf therapy, flower therapy, outdoor sound healing and many more are popping up, developed by both mental health professionals and experts within each specific field. Dr Cuthbert loves the idea of them as a fun and creative way to support people’s mental health. “It’s encouraging to hear that more people are starting to explore these avenues for healing,” he concludes.
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In the heart of the Himalayas lies a kingdom veiled in tradition and adorned with breathtaking landscapes of mountains and valleys. This is the Kingdom of Bhutan, often referred to as the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Nestled between India and China, this small yet extraordinary country captivates the hearts of travelers with its untouched beauty, vibrant culture, and deeply-rooted traditions. But perhaps what truly sets Bhutan apart are its festivals, where the country comes alive in a kaleidoscope of colors, dances, and ancient rituals.
Travelers from around the world have long been fascinated by South Korea's outsized pop culture influence, paradisiacal islands, and stylish, high-tech metropolises. Now, in a K-fan dream come true, international remote workers can live and work in the East Asian hub for up to two years thanks to a new digital nomad visa.
Millions of people around the world, Irish or not, celebrate St Patrick's Day on March 17. Major cities from Chicago to Buenos Aires and Sydney to Vancouver, especially those with large Irish communities, host vibrant festivities open to everyone.
This year more folks are prioritizing travel and newfangled experiences. We’re inspired by beloved television shows à la Emily in Paris to reexamine cities we’ve previously visited. Scoring tickets to see our favorite musical artists, like Taylor Swift, fortuitously opens up the prospect of flying to a different country. A rising wellness and longevity movement encourages travelers to seek alcohol-free vacations. Slower and more intentional travel—quality over quantity—is important and sustainability and eco-minded experiences are at the forefront.
Chicago, voted number one ‘Big City in the US’ by Conde Nast Traveler and third ‘top city outside of Europe’ by Which!, offers the world’s top-rated hotels and the best B&Bs, high-end spas, world-class cuisine, swanky bars, architecture, art, music, and of course shopping.
As incredible as viewing a total solar eclipse from Earth is, imagine seeing it from the sky. Well, Delta Air Lines is giving a set of lucky customers the chance to do just that on April 8, 2024, when the next solar eclipse will stretch across North America.
Unlike many in the hospitality and tourism space, who spend their career working solely in one particular facet of the business, I have been fortunate and have been able to change verticals several times. At ICON Park, it was attractions and restaurants; at Universal Parks, it was resort hotels and theme parks; as a board member at the Grand Canyon Resort, I helped promote an area of extreme natural wonder.
With all the charm of a European city but a proud history that’s firmly French-Canadian, Québec City is a perfect place to travel with kids – and fortunately for North Americans, it’s much closer than Europe.
Melodic mantras and warm oil repeatedly poured across the lower back are parts of Kati Vasti, an Ayurvedic therapy that Karina Steward, founder and chief wellness officer of Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary in Koh Samui, Thailand, swears would put anyone in a pleasure coma. “It's like when you rub oil on the back of a baby and they just pass out,” she explains. But for women experiencing menopause, who are subject to nervous system overload, adrenal burnout, and sleeplessness, such treatments can feel especially powerful, Steward notes. It's one of many tools in Kamalaya's new Radiant Bliss program, a combination of Eastern and Western therapies. Stewart designed it to address women's health concerns at all points in the biological cycle, but the program particularly helps those enduring the mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, and insomnia that are part of what was once referred to as “the change.”
The remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard has long captivated adventurers and nature enthusiasts with its pristine landscapes, unique wildlife, history of polar exploration, and the allure of endless summer days and total darkness in the winter.
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