August 28, 2012

Need a Vacation from Your Vacation? ~ Diane Sieg

Sometimes You Need to Get Away to Come Back Home

“I need a vacation from my vacation,” the familiar line goes and those who use it aren’t really joking. It seems some 50 percent of Americans polled admit to being more exhausted after their vacation than before it started! In these days of Wi-Fi, smartphones, Facebook, plane travel as hostage crisis and ever-lengthening lines at popular attractions, “vacation stress” is a reality.

There’s so much preparation that goes into a vacation–packing, planning, and tying up all the loose ends at work and home–that once you get “there” you need and deserve to relax, rest and enjoy yourself.

The popularity of vacation spots is undergoing a transformation from highly stimulating destinations like Disneyland and Las Vegas to retreat centers and spa resorts. With our busy and overly demanding lifestyles, the value of escape (and I mean away from cell phones, negative newscasts, and overwhelming email boxes), continues to grow, replacing the old vacation priority of distraction and entertainment, which we get plenty of just sitting in front of our computers. A recent study showed email is killing us!

Vacations can be structured to be less stressful and more fun to help you cultivate a new perspective, leaving you refreshed and recharged instead of exhausted when you return. Choosing a retreat can support your need to unwind, unplug and reconnect with yourself.

While you can create an independent getaway structured as a retreat,  I can tell you from experience that you will be much more likely to get there if you go with an organized group and have all the details and logistics taken care of for you. The non–refundable deposits will also help you to keep your retreat commitment.

Retreats vary as widely as the people who go on them. Sites for a retreat include spas, mountain cabins, monastery guest houses, jungle resorts, ashrams, and bed and breakfasts. The focus can be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or any such combination.

Before sending in your deposit, here are five questions to ask about your retreat:

  1.  What is the overall theme of the retreat? How structured are my days? What are the activities and are they optional, or is every moment filled?
  2.  What is the demographic of the group? Ages, couples versus singles, experience level (in yoga, meditation, self-realization, etc).
  3.  What are the accommodations? Shared housing? Air conditioning? Is bedding provided?
  4.  What are the meals? Are there options for special dietary needs? Is alcohol allowed or prohibited?
  5. Who is facilitating the retreat and what is their experience? If you do not know the facilitator, I encourage you to speak to him/her and to previous attendees personally.

Once you have all the information and it feels like a good fit for you, book it! Don’t wait for a better time when you can afford it or for things to slow down, because those conditions will never come. You are reading this article for a reason today, and now is the perfect time to book your transformation!


Diane Sieg. With a career that has taken her from the chaos of the emergency room to the calm of her yoga mat, Diane Sieg RN, CYT, CSP has been facilitating retreats for over 16 years. Her next Costa Rica Retreat, Make Space for Your BIG Beautiful Life is January 26 – February 2, 2013.




Editor: Edith Lazenby

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