On day 65 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I spent the afternoon with my husband exploring new places.
I love traveling, especially to places I’ve never visited before. I enjoy it so much that I rarely return to the same destination twice. It’s as if my soul craves new images, new information and new routines.
I especially like to meander into the lesser traveled areas of a place, talking with locals and learning what makes the area unique. Unlike many tourists, who prefer structured excursions, I can’t stand feeling like a hostage to an itinerary. Being a spontaneous explorer invites lingering and exploration when something draws you in.
We set out one morning to explore the northern shore of Maui, far from the bustle of tourists and hotels. Several times we pulled off the road to gaze at the landscape and breathe in the salty air.
The single lane roads, which wind back and forth along the coastline, offered amazing views of the ocean. Inland, we passed a few small farms that were home to lazy, grazing animals, but very few homes were visible from the road. Around one turn, we came upon a small stand that sold dried mangoes and other local fruits. The tropical flavors mirrored the stunning views that surrounded us.
And then, as with all great trips, there’s that moment when you hear yourself saying out loud: I think I could live here. And you try to process all of the scenarios by which you could make that a reality. But at some point, you realize that living in a beautiful place might mean that over time you come to appreciate it less. (I know because I grew up just minutes from the beach and rarely visited it.)
Exploring new places, even if just a few miles from home, allows us to disconnect from our worries and responsibilities long enough to restore our spirit and filter out what we no longer need. That is self-care.