Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recovery vacations are road trips well spent

It is true that sometimes you really do need a vacation to heal from what ails you. Recovery vacations are becoming popular buzz words in the travel industry. Keep in mind that I am not talking about your average road trip or cruise. We are talking about full fledged recovery vacations that help people like you and me deal with grief, depression, addictions or any number of health challenges.

In the olden days, people who had lung problems were frequently told to hit the beach. Doctors thought that the ocean air might speed recovery. Patients were more energetic after returning from vacations and seemed to be in better spirits than before the coastal road trip.

A mountain range in Alaska.
Vacations still have that kind of healing potential. The video "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" tells the story of Jim Cross. He suffered from several illnesses and, after consulting doctors, he decided to take recovery into his own hands.

Jim had been on vacations before but this time was different.  He left his home in Australia and headed for the U.S. A few weeks into his road trip his body began to recover from some diseases and he went on to experience full recovery in most areas. As his health improved so did his mood and vitality. He was a new man when he returned from traveling.

Wilderness expeditions from Outward Bound provide recovery vacations to struggling youth. The experiences gained on these trips help build self-esteem and promote leadership skills. Outward Bound is an adventurous departure from a road trip or theme park. The organization also helps adults and families learn new skills.

Recovery vacations can be a way to deal with abnormal stress. This was true in my own life. In thirteen months, my family dealt with the loss of my mother and mother-in-law, dealt with health challenges and a career change.

Most road trip vacations are planned for weeks. Our wasn't. When a travel opportunity came up we jumped on it. Our daughters had wanted visit Walt Disney World for a long time so, we packed up the car and went. It was as close to the spur of the moment decision that we've ever made. But you know what? That road trip could not have come at a better time.

I could feel the depression lift as we pulled out of the driveway. Our family laughed more on the trip than we had in years. It really started us all on the road to recovery. For the first time in a long time, the grief began to lift. Traveling was just what we needed.

When it comes to vacations, travel agents are always a good source of information. Searching online can yield tons of results. When it comes to recovery in the past or present, a getaway may still be just what the doctor ordered.

Have you ever taken a recovery vacation? Was it time well spent? Leave us a comment to let us know. This article covers some of my favorite destinations. National and state parks; top 4 reasons for visiting