The Savvy Globe Trotter, Tatyana Leonov, promises her husband that she will relax on their honeymoon.
I'm not the most relaxed person. I won't lie, I stress a lot, and often. Sometimes I even like it. If I'm not doing something I need to be planning the next thing. If I'm not working I'm thinking about work, and if I'm not travelling I'm planning the next trip.
I recently got married and my husband made me promise that we would book a relaxing honeymoon. Usually our trips are spent traversing around the globe - hiking one day, visiting all the top restaurants the next, and flying off somewhere else the following day. We decided to do the exact opposite for our honeymoon - a resort stay in Thailand.
We wanted somewhere that had everything - spacious, luxurious rooms with all the amenaties, delicious food and a variety of options, massages, spa treatments, access to the beach, a pool... I figured the best way to unwind would be with a plethora of options... just in case.
Although unnecessary for the two of us, we booked a three-bedroom pool villa at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas. I knew we wouldn't use all the rooms but I've always wanted a rooftop pool. Public pools can be divine places to willow away the hour. But your own pool? Easy to willow away a week. We spent long leisurely days lounging on our own sun beds and taking unhurried dips at the sign of any sweat. I was able to completely unwind changing it up between swims, reading a few pages on my Kindle, and just taking in the panoramic view.
When I thought about emails hubby whisked me away for another swim, and when I mentioned a story I was due to write as soon as we got back I was booked in for a Banyan Tree Spa Phuket treatment.
Laguna Phuket is a massive complex with hotels and villas spanning 1,000 acres of luscious parkland along an 8 kilometre stretch of pristine beach at Bang Tao Bay. We booked our stay here because we liked the idea of travelling between the resorts for activities and the variety of dining options onsite. Because we were on a relaxing mission we didn't really do much, but the five-minute drive (resort-run buses and private vans are free of charge within the resort) to Banyan Tree Spa Phuket was well worth it.
Getting a treatment when on holidays is a completely different experience. At home you have somewhere else to go after the massage. Here - nothing - and that made a a huge difference to my mental approach to the experience. We were welcomed with chilled, refreshing drinks, offered a choice of scrubs and oils best suited to our skin types, and then taken to a private room for our couples treatment. As the two tiny women simultaneously massaged our bodies into states of complete physical relaxation, I also let my mind go.
I stopped thinking work, stopped planning our next amazing dinner in my head, stopped glancing up to see if hubby was relaxing. And here I truly felt relaxed.
Even the longest, most indulgent treatment only lasts so long, but I had a, lets call it a mini epiphany, while having my body scrubed and rubbed by some amazing woman whose name I don't remember. Relaxation is a state of mind, it's something that we can do on every holiday if we try (who knows maybe I'll manage at home one day too).
We spent more time just watching sunsets (as corny as it sounds each one was beautiful), we (I) didn't plan every dinner out and we decided spontaneously where we might dine, and I only answered the most urgent emails.
Our next holiday will look nothing like this one. There will be no long lazy lunches or even longer lavish treatments, no rooftop pools (or daily showers). But I will relax a bit more and make sure I watch those sunsets - even if it will be from a tent wearing trackies.
Savvy Globe Trotter's tips on how to relax on holidays:
- Take your time to savour each moment. Don't just 'look' but 'see'.
- Book in for the ultimate treatment - holidays are for breaking away from the norm.
- Set up an email autoreply and avoid logging in to check work emails.
- Whenever you start thinking about something stressful write it down and then leave it (and the thought of it) until the holiday is over.
- Take everything slower, from eating your breakfast to walking down to the beach. If you've got nowhere to be there's no reason to rush.
About the Savvy Globe Trotter
Tatyana Leonov is a writer, editor, avid traveller and determined dreamer. She's mastered (beginners') yoga in Goa, partied with Russia's elite in a Moscow club, sampled local delicacies all around the world (including a camel burger in Morocco and guinea pig in Peru), trekked to Nepal's Annapurna Base Camp in Havaianas and had a short-lived career as a Bollywood star.