Wellness travel has become increasingly popular, as black women are now trying to preserve their mental health and sanity, while juggling the obligations that come with living in our society. That means taking time off to reflect, to challenge yourself to try new things, to visit new places and to come back a better version of you. It’s a proven fact that time spent taking care of yourself can benefit the mind, body and spirit. Self-care translates to increased happiness, more vitality, increased productivity and lowered stress. And who wouldn’t want each of these things?
The numbers in fact, don’t lie. It’s not only Black women who are taking advantage of this new way to travel. International and domestic wellness tourism accounted for $563 billion in 2015, according to the Global Wellness Institute (a nonprofit devoted to health and wellness education), and is expected to account for as much as $808 billion by 2020.
Here are a few places where you can step away from routine commitments and reboot.
Arizona in itself is beautiful, but Sedona is something else. Known as one of Arizona’s treasured spots, this destination offers activities for both the adventure and leisure traveler, and features breathtaking scenery suitable for a wellness vacation. Many who embark upon Sedona are interested in mind, body and spiritual experiences that connect them to the land, culture, and people of a destination. If self care is on your mind, you’ll find everything from yoga instructors, reiki practitioners, psychics, and healers of every stripe in Sedona who will open you with welcome arms to a holistic approach of living. Not to mention, the sublime beauty of Sedona’s Boynton Canyon is certainly part of the region’s appeal, so you’ll want to snap up a few pictures for the ‘gram.
Thailand may be halfway around the world, but if you are truly looking to unplug, this it will offer a whole other level of the term “wellness vacation.” The country, which has a rich tradition of meditation, makes it an ideal place to rejuvenate your body while refreshing your mind. Unlike anywhere else you may travel to in the world, you can expect to experience Thailand’s beautiful temples which are stretched throughout every city, golden beaches such as Phi Phi Island and James Bond Island and delicious Thai cuisine. Each city — from Bangkok, to Chiang Mai, to Phuket — offers something different. Experience outdoor activities such as kayaking and river rafting to spotting (and petting) wild animals on a tropical trek. Or make it a true wellness vacation by indulging in some of Thailand’s unique spa treatments, which can cost you between $5-10 for a one hour massage. After visiting here, you may never want to leave!
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs has always been a go-to paradise escape for celebrities – but you don’t have to have to be ballin’ like Jim Jones to enjoy its benefits. Offering tons of great food options and an abundance of spas, it’s not hard to see why it’s the perfect wellness destination to kick back and relax. While Coachella may be fun and all, plan a trip here out of season and you can expect healing dry heat, mineral hot springs, unlimited spas, stylish hotels, amazing mid-century architecture and of course, the lush palm trees and incredible views. If all of these won’t make you happy, we don’t know what will! Did we mention that the destination receives more than 350 days of sunshine per year? So no matter when you visit, you’re sure to be kissed by the sun.
Palm Springs, California
For too often we get caught up in wanting to go abroad to see Earth’s natural beauty, that we forget about what’s right here in our own backyard. A trip to the Grand Canyon can be the experience of a lifetime, with its vast and stunningly beautiful land, which stretches over 277 miles. Easily one of Arizona’s most famous landmarks you’ll feel at peace, and almost mesmerized by taking it all in. And don’t stop at just the Grand Canyon’s North or South Rim during your visit. Your wellness getaway can also include some of the surrounding red rock canyons, luxurious spas, and healthy (yet, delicious) food options, and adventure experiences that will bring out the Lara Croft in you.
Costa Rica is synonymous with the word “wellness.” A perfect year-round destination, the country hosts a number of retreats throughout the year from world-class holistic health and wellness practitioners that feature world-class yoga, spas and surfing set against a natural landscape of lush rainforests and beautiful beaches. What also attracts so many tourists (whether for wellness, or simply those who want to experience the charm of Costa Rica) is the country’s warm water beaches, unique hot springs and volcanoes. Ever been suspended in a jungle canopy? You can do that here too. Regardless of the specific reason, there a reason why the locals live by the phrase 'Pura Vida' (the good life). When you come to Costa Rica, you’ll be awakened to immersing yourself in nature, and living your best (well) life.
Wondering where heaven on Earth is? If you’ve ever been to Bali, then you already know. The country’s blissful environment and lush tropical landscape offers wellness travelers endless opportunity to rejuvenate, both physically and spiritually. In fact, the entire culture centered around spirituality, prayer, community and of course, wellness. The ‘island of the gods’ also offers a diverse landscape of beach, mountains, jungle, rice fields, and urban life – all of which provide a sublime backdrop to beautiful spas, retreats and wellness experiences. Of course, to add a bit of excitement to your visit, you’ll also want to make sure to visit the Bali Swing.
You may not have known, but cruise lines are taking the wellness trend by storm with circuit training, yoga, healthy food choices and more active shore excursions. So you don’t have to feel like you’re over indulgent or off-track with your goals once you step on board. Celebrity Cruises even recently revealed their Edge to create a closer connection between you, the sea and the breathtaking world beyond. The Spa’s design rivals any of the best spas in the world and its nature-inspired approach to wellness includes an array of spa, beauty and fitness experiences never before offered at sea.