I recently once again experienced the calming effects of connecting to nature while traveling. After leaving the crazy bustle of Los Angeles behind, I spent the past five weeks visiting Mexico and Australia. I chose to focus on a more relaxing calming trip rather than the usual active trips I go on. I found nature inspired me to slow down, rest, reflect and be in the moment.

I’ve always been a fan of spending more time in one place rather than rushing around trying to see everything when visiting a country or region. Often people go on holidays then need a holiday to recover when they get back (that happened to me the first time I visited Egypt 9 years ago). After spending 2 weeks in Sayulita, Mexico and 3 weeks in Australia in Sydney and South East Queensland, the nature inspired benefits I received included:

  • Connecting to mother earth more
  • Becoming more present
  • Showing gratitude for simple things such as good weather, beautiful beaches
  • Learning more about animals and wildlife
  • Switching off and only focusing on the moment
  • Walking more

Here are some nature inspired ideas from my recent trip, that you can include in your next holiday, that will leave you refreshed and reconnected.

1. Meditate by the beach

During my 2 weeks in a cute little surf/yoga town called Sayulita, near Puerto Vallarta, I took my usual morning meditation practice outside on the beach. I followed this with some gentle yoga to stretch and wake up the body. While at Bondi Beach and the Gold Coast in Australia, I also did around 30 mins of meditation at the beach followed by gentle yoga. As well as the usual benefits you get from meditation the fresh ocean air, gentle sunshine and power of the waves made me feel so relaxed and ready to take on my day. The effects also lasted throughout the day. I really believe It’s one of the best ways to start the day. Add in a green smoothie afterwards for even greater benefits.

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2. Talk to the animals

Listen to the birds singing, watch the butterflies flying and speak to the wild animals you see. In Mexico while on a boat trip I saw around 20 dolphins and 5 humpback whales, I said hello to acknowledge they were there. While in Australia I was fortunate to see Koalas on a daily basis at my parents house and also said hello to them and the kangaroos. Say hi to the birds and any wild animals you encounter. By acknowledging they are there it forms a connection between you and them regardless of whether they understand you or not. It also makes you more present in the moment.

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3. Walk through the jungle

While in Sayulita I chose to walk through a jungle, down a beach then through another jungle to get to the next beach San Pancho (San Francisco) rather than get a bus. After identifying it was a safe route it was so beautiful to be in nature and get some exercise at the same time. It’s also a good opportunity to get to know new friends you meet traveling. I went with another fellow yogini and had an amazing connection along the way. Find tree lined routes to walk to waterfalls, beaches and mountains to get in some fresh air and meet some new friends and wildlife.

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3. Run and walk barefoot

A great way to connect with mother earth is by walking and running barefoot. Once our shoes are removed we can really ground ourselves with the earth energy. Walking on the beach is a good option and if your body allows you try running on the beach. After forgetting my running shoes, I went for a barefoot run on the hard sand by the water on Bondi beach and the Gold Coast. It felt nice and natural and the scenery of the water next to me was breathtaking. My feet felt free, not contained in shoes, even though I didn’t run with my usual orthotics.

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4. Watch the stars

Such a simple thing to do yet so many of us don’t do it that often. If you live in a city then often traveling somewhere more remote is your best chance to see more of the stars. I made the most of it while in Sayulita by going up a hill to a lookout and sitting on the beach at night to watch the stars. I also had the privilege of seeing the recent red moon eclipse during my second day in Brisbane. I went to a peninsular lookout area in Brisbane and got a good view of the beautiful red moon while enjoying the fresh air. Don’t forget your jacket though.

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