Follow in the footsteps of Presidents and bathe in thermal springs in Colorado, undertake the ritualistic saunas of the native Americans, communicate with a horse in Arizona or hike the Appalachian trail. The big spaces, enormous spas and resort options will give you plenty of choice for getting away from your life in North America.
- Horse Whispering, Arizona
The Miraval Resort and Spa is unique amongst those seeking health and wellness vacations. Here the therapists are chestnut in color, although there is a human therapist resident also, the famed Wyatt Webb. The Equine Experience is the most popular program on a list of up to 30 different activities offered each day. The idea is for you to communicate with the horses and understand your own strengths and weaknesses through the way they mirror your skills. The idea is once you understand what’s going on you can improve the way you handle different areas of your life.
- Watsu Water Massage, Hawaii
This is a popular choice around the islands at many resorts. Each Watsu session takes place in chest-high warm water and involves both massage and a series of flowing, dance-like movements. It is said to cause healing shifts on physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
- Hot Springs, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft took water therapy here as did gangster Al Capone and the gunman gambler Doc Holliday. Today the Hot Springs Lodge and Pool still draws visitors from around the world. It boasts the world’s largest outdoor hot springs pool at 405 feet by 100 feet with 122 degree water cooled to about 90 degrees. It is rich in minerals. There is other sport and exercise equipment, massage therapy and other treatments.
- Mud baths, Calistoga, California
Calistoga and mud go way back to the time when Native Americans and early Spanish settlers used the area’s natural hot springs. But since the 1860s spa after spa opened utilizing the hot springs and today mud baths are the thing to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
There’s plenty of options for the Hollywood wannabes in and around Los Angeles or Santa Barbara. Join the pre-Oscars spas with celebrities at the expensive We Care Holistic Spa for all liquid diets and detoxes, go to some of the ranches to get nature-oriented and try yoga or pilates or undertake hikes in the Santa Monaca hills. You’ll soon have a glowing complexion from the low salt/sugar/flour diets and join the ranks of the Hollywood slims.
- Sweat Lodge
These traditional sauna-like environments of the Native Americans differ from the Mexican ones in that they were usually temporary structures and used as a sacred ritual for healing and purification. Meditation was also undertaken in the intense heat.
- Appalachian trail, USA
This continuous marked footpath can give you a real break from the mundane and routine of life. It goes from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia, a distance of about 2160 miles. Bring travel writer Bill Bryson’s book about his trek along for inspiration.
- Alaskan wilderness
Do a Christopher McCandless in Alaska; just make sure you come back. Plenty of opportunities exist here for wilderness trekking, camping and adventure. Bring lots of supplies and take a map.
- Volunteer in the USA
Opportunities exist across North America as volunteers on summer camps, wildlife refuges, nature conservation and native American reserves (to name just a few) and are a great way of rediscovering hidden talents, giving back to needy communities and having a bit of fun.
- Ranching, Wyoming
Do some trail riding, horse wrangling, cattle branding and mustering in the wild west. Get dirty and tired and gain a renewed sense of the necessities of life.