I’ve found that there is no greater treat than travel. It exposes you to completely new cultures and experiences. There is no other way that I feel more alive. I have foregone birthday presents for plane tickets and best friends’ weddings for a taste of the Balinese sun.
But I’d be lying if I said that just changing one’s scenery was enough to soothe the soul enough for an Eat, Pray, Love style enlightenment.
Travelling is hard. Your body will ache; you will feel overwhelmed. You could get annoyed with your travel companions. You might just have a bad time when the holiday doesn’t go quite to plan.
And if you’re like me, you will guilt yourself into trying to maximise every single opportunity. To see that extra sight, visit that other museum, go on free walking tour, meet that person.
In the madness and stress of travelling, it is easy to fall into the same traps that consume us back home. We forget amidst the excitement of being in a different place that our mind and body still need a little TLC.
Remember – It’s never a bad time to treat yourself.
Chances are you will be more active while travelling than in your usual routine at home. From the very act of hoisting your luggage up and down an airport and hotel can be enough to wear out a body used to sitting at an office desk all day.
One of my favourite treats is a good massage. My trip, and even my life, was transformed after a massage in Hanoi. After a day of wandering the city and sweating in the Vietnamese humidity, I barely made it across the road to the massage parlour. It was there I came to understand what it meant to have knots in your muscles and to have them untangled.
Afterwards, I sat in the reception, watching the bikes and people zoom past on the streets of the Old Quarter. It felt like hours had passed, but it had only been fifteen minutes. I emerged with a new lease to tackle the day, the trip and then another.
Takeaway: treat your body. You’re putting it through its paces.
Feeling hungry? Undeniably, food is an integral part to any experience. From trying the local cuisines to sharing a meal with new-found friends, times spent while grabbing a bite are often the best. If you’re going to be eating anyways, might as well eat well. Don’t be afraid to try the local street food vendor or splash out for a nice meal with a view overlooking the city.
This was how I ended up uncovering this spectacular view of Chicago. Sipping on champagne and indulging in a red velvet cake at the Signature Room in Hancock Tower will beat a smashed avocado any day.
Takeaway: treat your stomach.
I have this thing about a good sunset. It’s naturally occurring and happens every day. So, why not make it spectacular?
It was how I came to be in the Fisherman’s Bastian in Budapest at just the right time. I had already gotten lost four times, wrestled my way through the crowds as the sun began to fall.
One of the best pieces of travel advice I ever received was to put your phone away for five minutes at every spot and just enjoy the view. And I would still encourage that. But photos help to capture more than just a sunset; they also capture the memories of that special moment.
Takeaway: It’s just as important to treat yourself, within your treat. More than often, these are the moments that uncover the best memories.
By: Tiff Ng
I’m a crazy combination of cliches - from basic bitch to wanderluster to digital nomad. I recently quit my job in social media marketing to travel through Southeast Asia studying, blogging and trying new experiences every day. I might not have a ticket home to Australia, but I do have a blog, Twitter and Instagram so you can see what I get up to.
I love travel (surprised?), a good boogie and my dog - I mean, family (I really mean dog).