Travel Is My Favorite Form of Self-Care By Samantha Brown

Host of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love”
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Travel allows me easy access to my favorite forms of self-care. I love a quiet morning cup of tea while soaking up my surroundings—the more beautiful, the better! There’s nothing that relaxes me as much as a walk through a new town, a hike in the fresh mountain air, or hitting a winding trail on my bike. And is there anything lovelier than a slow dinner overlooking the water with a glass of wine?

These days, I’d have to lock myself in the bathroom for a moment of peace and quiet. Walks around the neighborhood are great, but everything still feels so weird. And if I have to defrost one more mystery meal from the bottom of my freezer, I’m going to lose it. Life is stressful right now—precisely why we need travel more than ever!

COVID has me rethinking why I travel. I do it because I love meeting new people, experiencing local culture—through art, history, food, drinks and music. I love how it gets me out of my comfort zone and makes me more present. When I travel, I am in the moment. Sometimes I will go hours without looking at my phone (okay, fine, 20 minutes). I feel at my best when I’m traveling. When I consider my whys, none of them require anything grandiose. I don’t need to fly half-way around the world to meet new people or try new food. I can do that anywhere.

Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in these big, grandiose adventures that it keeps us from thinking that less fabulous (aka more convenient) locales don’t even count. But there are so many wonderful places that are a quick flight or even driving distance of wherever we call home.

Here’s an exercise: Write down the three best trips you’ve ever taken. What made them so special? Was it the people? The activities? The solitude? The views? The weather? Now look at your list and think of ways you can integrate those things in a less far-flung destination. This is just one good reason why working with a travel advisor pays off. They know all sorts of domestic (and even local-ish) places that wow. They can help you find a cozy lodge with a fireplace and maybe even a hot tub. They can point you to a quaint small town known for scenic hikes and great breweries. They can even score you a deal at a luxurious hotel downtown, complete with soaking tub and access to all those shows you can’t binge when the kids are around (and if there’s contactless room service, I may never leave). Even small trips offer big rewards, and this year, I’ve really learned to appreciate the little things.

What’s more: if you take a smaller trip this year, it means you can save up for something extra fabulous in 2021. Did you know bookings for next year are through the roof? Especially when it comes to trips like Alaskan cruises, European river cruises, and luxe rail journeys. Did you know it’s scientifically proven than just planning a trip brings you happiness? Now if that’s not selfcare, I don’t know what is.

Ever wanted to travel with Samantha Brown?
Now is your chance! There are two opportunities to travel with her in 2021. Join Samantha Brown in May for on an awe-inspiring rail experience onboard Rocky Mountaineer through the Canadian Rockies. Or sail away in August onboard AmaWaterways for the ultimate French experience as she discovers the Bordeaux region in France.

Learn More AAA.com/SamanthaBrown 

Samantha Brown's Places to Love on PBS takes viewers on a discovery of the emotional heart of travel by highlighting the people who are changing, challenging and strengthening a destination to deliver a decidedly refreshing and enriching travel experience.