As restrictions continue to ease across the world, travellers are ready to roam once again. But with such life-changing years behind us, travel is no longer just about getting away and having fun. According to the Global Wellness Institute, “intention is the future of travel”.
But what does it mean to travel with intention? Travelling with intention can offer a deeper, more transformative experience, allowing us to connect with ourselves, our families and wider communities. Ask yourself: What am I looking for from my travel experience? Is there some aspect of my life that could benefit from travelling to a new place? And what benefits can I expect?
Listed below are some growing travel trends that may inspire your next trip.
There is no doubt that travelling with family and/or friends helps to foster strong relationships. Positive memories are built around shared experiences. In fact, there’s research to show that positive family interactions have health benefits for both old and young, the former offering new perspectives and vitality, and the latter sharing wisdom and experience.
Travelling to destinations that offer intergenerational activities can strengthen the bonds between all family members, which in turn will promote the mental, emotional and social wellbeing of a family. At Chiva-Som, we recognise the importance of family bonding, and have incorporated it into the Zulal Wellness Resort offering in Qatar, with family-specific spaces, facilities and experiences that enhance wellness at all ages.
The last two years have been challenging and have left many questioning their goals, priorities and what brings meaning to life. Enforced lockdowns and accompanying soul searching have ignited the urge to travel and seek purpose through new experiences.
The wellness industry has embraced this intention by offering various retreats that guide guests through a constructive process of redefining and rebuilding. Meditation, quiet contemplation, and time to plan can reorient your life around the things that give it meaning, whether spending more time on your health, your family or your interests outside of work.
You’ve likely heard of ‘ecotourism’ – an effort to conserve the environment and prevent any detrimental impact to destination hotspots. The latest trend in travel has shifted to regenerative tourism, wherein travellers not only do no harm but leave a positive impact on the environment and community that they’ve visited. In Hua Hin, Chiva-Som leads a mangrove restoration project which can be visited by tourists and community members. Mangroves provide natural protection against flooding, while acting as a sheltered breeding ground for marine life. Visitors can also join group clearing and plantation sessions, actively participating in the restoration of the environment.
If the past two years have taught us anything, it is the importance of our health, both physical and mental. Nature continues to be one of the most powerful influences on wellbeing. For example, forest walks have been shown to lower inflammation and reduce blood pressure. The microbiome of soil impacts our own internal microbial ecosystem and can promote healthy immune function. Sunlight exposure supports vitamin D production, enhances mood and helps regulate the sleep cycle.
When you do travel again, don’t forget to:
- Adjust your body clock: Your body takes a while to get accustomed to new changes. Speed up the process by exposing yourself to sunlight, thereby boosting your melatonin to help you sleep.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Hydration is essential for detoxification, as well as the many vital systems and functions that keep us healthy.
- Boost your immunity: Increase your intake of vitamin-rich foods to replenish your system after a long flight.
- Exercise: Even small amounts of exercise promote the endorphins that boost mood and wellbeing.
- Reduce your caffeine intake: As tempting as it is, especially when you are jetlagged, caffeine disrupts the sleep cycle.
Dr. Jason Culp - Research & Development Director, Chiva-Som
For the past decade, Dr. Culp has held the position of senior naturopathic physician at Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, where he conducts natural wellness consultations with guests. In addition to his role as naturopath, he is the founder and director of the Research & Development department, with the primary objective of evaluating and exploring the use of evidence-based natural therapies in a holistic wellness setting.
Dr. Culp lectures internationally on the topic of wellness. His philosophy is that in order to create sustainable health, guests must fully engage and play an active participatory role in their own wellness process. The empowerment of the individual and the guest’s authentic understanding of their wellness goals, intentions and motivations take precedence in health and healing. In this way, each guest leaves with the feeling that they are the most powerful advocate in their own wellness journey.
Dr. Rubia Afza Shariff - Health & Wellness Advisor, Zulal Wellness Resort By Chiva-Som
Dr. Shariff is a certified naturopath with a passion for wellness and healing. She holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences with postgraduate specialisations in psychology, counselling and family wellness. With over a decade of experience working in India and the Middle East, Dr. Shariff approaches wellness from a holistic perspective, incorporating diet, yogic sciences and Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine into the guest journey.