Are you tired of vacations spent peering out of the window of a tour bus, endless shopping, standing in long lines, and eating junk food? Days that are over-organized and almost frantic leave little time for recharging batteries and unraveling cares. An unbelievable number of people are actually glad when their vacations are over. Seniors need vacations too. You may scoff and think that a vacation from retirement is a bit over the top, but a constant round of commitment and activities can be as exhausting as a job.
Have you ever thought of doing something a little more relaxing? An active vacation might sound like just the opposite, but if you think about it, a little physical exhaustion might be good for you. Physical instead of mental fatigue means that you will sleep better, eat better, and actually spend some quality time with your loved ones.
I am not necessarily talking about hiking in Nepal or white water rafting on a raging river, but a quiet get-a-way vacation. No cell phones, no internet, no television and no rush hour traffic. It might take a little getting used to, but physical activity and fresh air might be just what the doctor ordered. A quiet but active vacation is a wonderful way to reconnect with your spouse or extended family members.
The latest edition of Healthy Cooking magazine (August/September 2011) featured an article by Linda Melone called “Riding the Rails.” It actually wasn’t about taking a train trip (which would be nice too) but about bicycle trails. Biking/walking/skating/running trails have become very popular and many paved bike trails are now crisscrossing the country. The best bike trails are the ones that have been developed over old railroad corridors. There are more than 1,600 of them in the United States which means that you shouldn’t have to go very far too fine one near you. The best part of these former railroad bed trails is that they are paved and fairly level, which makes them ideal for regular folks like us. I mean, exercise is great but you don’t want to wake up each morning feeling like you have been run over by a truck.
A hiking/biking vacation is active in that you are doing something more vigorous than shopping or touring museums, but it is relaxing too. You get to breathe fresh air, get some exercise, and enjoy nature at its finest. You aren’t training for a marathon so it is okay to slow down. You don’t want to miss the eagles nests perched high in the trees on the left, or the moose grazing in the wetlands on the right. My first choice is the 72 mile bike trail that stretches through Idaho, but the author suggests going to www.traillink.com to find cycling trails in your area.