Hello everyone! By the time this post goes out, I’ll be away on our minimoon in the Cotswolds and (eek!) married!! See you all when I’m back!
You might have already figured out that I love travelling – I spend half my time writing about it, the other half dreaming about it or doing it. While Disney and North America have always been top of my priority travel lists, I also love to look further afield as well as closer to home. Last year, for example, I took one of my favourite trips I’ve ever done: to a SUP Yoga retreat only an hour away from home. And I totally fell in love with the idea of wellness holidays. I’m obsessed with researching them right now.
This year’s annual leave days are all very booked up for me already – I would say “sadly”, but they’re used up on getting married, a minimoon to the Cotswolds immediately afterwards, and our almost month-long honeymoon to Florida and Upstate New York in September. But it means I’m now ready to start planning my 2019 holidays. And top of that list is Aruba.
I feel that after the crazy year that’s 2018 for us, we’re going to need some downtime in early 2019. I’m thinking a holiday in the sun that needs little effort, but isn’t just the standard all-inclusive trip – there’s nothing wrong with these at all, and we loved this style of trip as a younger couple (and I think they’re ideal for young families too), but right now, I want to branch out, widen our horizons, and take trips to places we’ve never been before but have fallen in love with.
Aruba is known as
“One Happy Island”
And for many good reasons! You can read more about the island and what it has to offer here, but to get you intrigued, I’ll list 5 reasons here why Aruba is THE destination for relaxation, wellness and unwinding and why it’s top of my travel list for 2019:
1. SUP Yoga
You’ve probably realised by now that I fell head over heels in love with yoga a couple of years ago (quite literally!). I’ll jump into a yoga pose at any given opportunity; I use breathing techniques from yoga to keep calm when anxiety is knocking at the door; and I even had a yoga themed hen party!
Last year, I got to experience Stand Up Paddleboarding Yoga for the first time and, despite a few initial nerves, it made me fall even more deeply in love with yoga. Yoga for me is about taking time out for yourself; spending time on your physical and mental health in a way that you enjoy; being more grounded. The weird thing about SUP yoga is that you’re not quite as grounded – it’s definitely a shaky start that takes some getting used to, but it strengthened both my core and my passion for yoga by bringing my focus in even closer.
So far, I’ve only experienced SUP yoga in a pond in North Yorkshire which doesn’t sound anywhere near as wonderful as SUP yoga in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean ocean. No wetsuits needed here! My hen weekend yoga took place in the sunshine on the lawn of the beautiful cottage my friends had booked for us, and that was stunning. I can only imagine how much more amazing and how rejuvenating it would be to do zen out during meditation under the Caribbean sun in the sea air with the waves rocking gently below you. *Sigh*
2. Sun, sun, sun
Did you know that Aruba has year round sun and temperatures averaging 82F? In addition to that, it has low humidity and a cooling east trade wind. Personally, I never feel more myself and more healthy than when I’m getting a bit (or a lot!) of Vitamin D. It tends to give me so much more energy, and after a week or two in warmer weather, I leave feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Thanks to the glorious sunshine combined with cool winds, Aruba is the perfect destination for outdoor activities. You’ll very rarely find your plans rained off, and any fitness activities outdoors, whether kayaking in the turquoise waters or working out in the sunshine, won’t leave you feeling overheated thanks to the low humidity and cool breezes that the island enjoys. They were right when they called it a happy island!
3. Spa hotels
Is there anything more satisfying than a spa day in paradise? In Aruba, there are certainly no shortages of spa hotels to while away the sunny days, whether you’re looking for a full spa retreat, complete with nourishing menus, classes, massages and relaxation time in peaceful waters, or simply a special treatment package.
This June, Aruba will be celebrating Global Wellness Day – with the motto “one day can change your whole life” with Aloe Wellness Month. Aruba has a far-reaching history of traditional alternative medicines and methods of healing using natural herb and plant life from around the island. One of the most important pieces of this culture is Aruba’s Aloe Vera. In the western world, we know this plant well as a gel to help soothe sunburn, but Aruba is positively brimming with the stuff – in fact, it was known as the “Island of Aloe” from the mid-1800s thanks to it. Locals use it as a cure for asthma and to cleanse their home by burning the leaves, similar to the way incense is used in yoga.
As a result of this, many of the spa hotels will be offering special packages throughout June – for example, the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino has a full wellness retreat package including private cooking class, yoga on the beach and ocean view accommodation.
If you want to experience Aruba’s wonderful accommodation yourself, you might just be lucky enough to do so! They’re currently running a giveaway to win a stay at the Bucuti & Tara Beach resort, with flights, airport hotel, parking and lounge access all included. Make sure to enter here for your chance to win!
4. Sandy beaches
Aruba is home to one of the top 10 beaches in the world, and its other beaches certainly put those I’ve visited around the world to shame. They’re honestly a picture perfect paradise, and totally Instagrammable! These make for the ideal sunbathing spot with a group of friends, a romantic place to watch the sun rise or set with a significant other, or somewhere to enjoy the activities Aruba has to offer.
Wellness for me isn’t just about spending time on yoga, relaxation, health and fitness. No, it’s also about broadening my horizons and getting to know and love something entirely to different to my usual surroundings. I spend my days in an office, my nights in front of a computer screen. I like to take the time to digitally detox whenever I go away, and a trip like this gives me the ideal situation to do so. To explore new cultures, uncover new landscapes, and just take in new surroundings.
The new word on the block is friluftsliv. I’m thinking nature inspired activities like kayaking in the rock pools and hiking in Aruba’s Arikok National Park. I love to spend time reconnecting with the outdoors, and having natural splendour around you makes this all the more easy to do so.
And if I haven’t convinced you enough (I’ve convinced myself even more writing this!), check out this video with a local’s guide to Aruba:
If I could just describe this island in 3 words, it would be: tranquility, rejuvenation, and wonder. Now let me get out my diary to book my 2019 trip – it’s not too early yet, is it?!
Images licensed by the Aruba Tourism Authority, aruba.com
This is a collaborative post.