Is it possible that when you discover local experiences, you can be more healthy?

close up view of several people at a cooking class, local experience, pouring ingredients into a stainless bowl

One way to live like you’re on vacation every day is to discover local things to do like cooking classes, yoga groups, or learning a new skill

What would it look like if, rather than just flipping the month on the calendar, we stepped into a world where turning the page isn’t just about marking days but unlocking a year filled with vitality, adventure, and flavor?

Usually, we think about traveling to a far-flung destination to get that type of life reboot. But what would you say if I told you that you can discover local experiences and start living like you’re on vacation every day of the year? Right from your own backyard!

As we dive into a new year, you may be focused on a healthier lifestyle. Some of us will try something new, while others will eliminate something that no longer serves us.

You may be like me and enjoy blending your well-being goals with the joys of life, experiencing new things, and eating quality meals. In other words, acting like you would if you were on vacation.

We’ve lived in many locations where others go on vacation, so I’ve felt firsthand the contagious energy of people on vacation. Seeing their enthusiasm about our home-of-the-moment was a constant reminder of the beauty and awesomeness of where we lived. It was never lost on me when I heard them talk about a great hike or meal they just had; somewhere in their enthusiasm, you think, “Wow…and I get to live here all the time! How lucky am I?’

Live Locally Through the Eyes of a Tourist

Everytime we make a move to a new location, we get the opportunity to discover local experiences that the locals had forgotten about. When we lived in Washington state, one of my coworkers told me she looked forward to Mondays because that’s when she would find out what I did over the weekend. She had lived in the area over 20 years and still had not seen and done all the things I was doing every week. She told me she had always wanted to try or do something, but then “life” got in the way.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the “sameness” of everyday routines, a simple little mind shift can help you to move your body intentionally, dive into culinary explorations, and explore more right where you live. As a result, you will discover that maintaining the level of health you want becomes more effortless.

For example, during my solo trip to Greece, I never once counted a calorie. Instead, I fully enjoyed every meal and every sip of wine and other crafted beverages. I also explored as much as I could on foot, naturally exercising and taking in epic views from off-the-beaten-path trails and towns. I had an amazing experience and returned from vacation more fit than when I left.

When I returned home, that energy and intentionality didn’t stop. I treat my current home as if I am on an extended vacation. I try new things, eat new things, find local places to enjoy, and talk to people living in the area. Of course, it helps that I’m a travel writer. However, with all the places we’ve lived, it’s something I’ve always done, and you can too!

Healthy Living in Your Own Backyard

woman doing a yoga pose on a paddleboard

Make a goal this year to try something new every week. It could be as simple as a yoga class or pottery class, or drive to the next town for a new restaurant or farmers market. 

Now, you don’t have to travel to Greece to get that kind of inspiration for healthy living, although I encourage you to take the trip!

When researching potential travel destinations, culinary and wellness travel experiences are always on my mind. I’m confident you can find some great options in your area in a few easy steps.

If the world of food is your playground: growing it, cooking it, or eating it, then experiences are all around you. Local farmer’s markets, farm-to-fork restaurants, and classes on cultivating a backyard garden or embracing healthy cooking present ideal opportunities for exploration in your own community.

If your focus is on building wellness, consider spas and destinations offering classes that encourage gentle movements like yoga, hiking, or biking. These activities remind you of the joy of staying fit and contribute to a holistic sense of well-being. Enhance your health from the inside out by participating in classes that expand your knowledge of herbs and plants, teaching you how to incorporate them into your meals for a nourished body.

Why let tourists have all the fun? Build the spirit of local travel into your life and create your version of healthy living!

How to Find Culinary and Wellness Local Travel Opportunities

close up of two people potting plants at a wooden table

Learn to grow some of the ingredients used when you cook at home. An herb garden can be nurtured in a small space and add just a little spice to your everyday life!

Finding culinary and wellness experiences starts with research, followed by a system to remember what event or opportunity you’re interested in.

I do a ton of research daily and have tried several fancy systems to keep track of everything. But really, keep it simple because when it’s simple, you’re more likely to do it!

Start with a simple search for food and wellness events in your area. It could be:

  • Wellness retreats near me
  • Farmers markets near me
  • U-pick farms near me
  • Yoga classes
  • Culinary classes
  • Healthy cooking classes
  • Gardening clubs/classes
  • Herb gardening
  • Medicinal herb classes
  • Hiking trails/groups
  • Biking trails/groups
  • Running trails/groups
  • Holistic health classes
  • Etc…

Add the event or class information on a simple digital calendar when you find something interesting. I have a separate calendar labeled “EVENTS” where I put all the information. Add the dates, times, and website links for the info. This helps you keep a running list of anything that piqued your interest, all in one place.

Then, periodically look at your calendar and decide if there is anything you would like to do that week or month. Buy the ticket, make the reservation, make your plans, and make it happen!

Other places to watch for local culinary and wellness events of interest are:

  • Your city and county websites
  • Newsletters from organizations near you
  • Groups you follow on social media

Every time you see something of interest to you, add it to your EVENTS calendar. That way, you have local travel inspiration at your fingertips!

Also, bookmark the Events page on this site, where we update Culinary and Wellness events we find throughout the year. I can’t promise we’ll get all of them; however, we strive to curate some of the best.

Plus, when you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll receive monthly emails with things to do around Florida and things to do nationally and internationall, including some local travel ideas.

It’s easy for you to achieve your healthy goals when you make it fun by building the habit of local travel, even when you have a traditional job or other responsibilities. Imagine what your wellness journey can look like when you live as if you are always on vacation!

If you have a tip about how you incorporate fun and joy into your healthy lifestyle, we’d love to hear about it. How can we make this year our healthiest and most amazing year yet?
Let’s do this!