7 Ways to Be More Present While Traveling Across Asia and the PacificBy James Wong
The privilege of travel helps us switch off from persistent work or home noise and instead connects us with what’s right there in front of us, right now. Living in the moment lets us reconnect on a deeper level with even the simplest things: savoring a taste, being fully engaged in an activity or having a deep connection with another person.
If you’re on a quest to heighten connection, exploration and renewal, here are seven ways to seize the moment.
As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.
For those who neglect their bodies while rushing about back home, it’s time to take care of every cell. Reconnecting with a body scan and some pampering is absolutely the best medicine.
JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa up in the misty clouds of the Himalayas is a healing retreat. Inspired by Uttarakhand’s ancient techniques, the spa’s rejuvenating custom treatments and replenishing beauty services are arguably magical. Try the Detoxifying Balance, a massage inspired by lymphatic-drainage techniques, or the Soothing Provencal Steam Bath in a private chamber with pure essential oils.
Japan is known for Zen practices, and the Nanki-Shirahama Marriott Hotel has all the components to induce calm and tranquillity. Rooms are minimalist chic, and the spa features a Japanese onsen, or hot-spring bath, using water from the famous Shirahama springs.
Escape to a tiny island far from home for a liberating experience. Put phones on airplane mode, leave the laptops behind and basically go off the grid.
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is a far cry from the concrete and 24/7 tech we come into contact with daily. It’s surrounded by infinite blue hues and palm trees, with 70 individual villas floating on a pristine island reef inside the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Baa Atoll. Likewise, the Sheraton Denarau Villas out in Nadi, Fiji, has villas with kitchens, local restaurant delivery, and a poolside restaurant and bar.
Go with the Outdoor Flow
Being present when it comes to activities means being in a state of flow — taking part in them with such focus that you’re completely immersed.
The Marriott Vacation Club at Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia, is the perfect destination to redirect your mental energy. The area is packed with things to see and do, whether your vacation goals include meeting a seal at Sea World Gold Coast Australia, roller-coaster-hopping at Dreamworld or riding waves like an Aussie surfer by the beach. Additional resort experiences at your fingertips include bike tours, movie nights, tennis and even snorkeling.
Sunrise, Sunset, Beach, Repeat
Did you know the beach can ignite every one of your senses? So try shutting your eyes and connecting with the rest of your senses. Perhaps that’s feeling the warm sun and sand massage your skin, searching for scents in the sea breeze or listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.
If that sounds like bliss, then The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort might be for you. It sits on an exclusive private island and has access to a white coral sand beach that remains cool even under intense heat. The crystal-clear Indian Ocean waters are also rich in marine life, which are a joy to witness either from the shore or via optional scuba, snorkeling or parasailing.
Connect with Friends
Without realizing it, we’re often only half listening to our friends. Sometimes we’re thinking of what to say next, and sometimes our minds are on something else entirely.
Be rid of distractions and visit W Koh Samui with your besties. The Thai resort has 74 luxury villas with private outdoor pools to hang out by and talk — really talk. When you’re all caught up and ready to mingle, get dressed up and make a toast at SIP Bar, try a cooking class at Japanese restaurant Namu, or dance the night away at the WOOBAR. The whole experience will be unforgettable.
Make Family Fun a Priority
Sharing quality time and being fully present with the people we love plays a big part in our overall happiness. A vacation full of discovery and fun for the whole family should help every member reconnect.
Disneyland is a trusted option, and the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel is just a monorail ride away from both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. It’s also minutes away from Ikspiari, a lively shopping, dining and entertainment area.
If theme parks aren’t your bag, then Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Gardens provides an alternative splash of family fun focused around the tropics and culture. It’s perched steps away from glorious beaches and reefs, golf courses and historic temples.
Treat Yourself Right
How much do you enjoy your own company? Quality alone time prompts us to check in with ourselves and turn inward.
Le Méridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa in Thailand has all the ingredients for a perfect solo trip. The calming white decor, airy villas and swishing Khao Lak waters offer a harmonious space for reflection. Then there’s taking extra care of number one: you.
Make a date of it at the luxury spa, nourish yourself on fresh seafood and coconuts at one of the on-site restaurants, or indulge at the pizzeria and sports bar. Hey, RuPaul might have said it best, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”