Adventure therapy: 6 escapes to combat all your work problems

By Anna Brech

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Anyone who’s become seriously stressed at work will recognise the instinct to put in more hours. Rather than take time out, you cut back on holidays and personal time, and convince yourself that going into overdrive will somehow help you. Of course, it never does – because the stress cycle only breaks once you allow yourself a little time and perspective.

Unsurprisingly, research shows that holidays are a powerful source of rest and recuperation. They promote subjective wellbeing, improve relationships and broaden horizons. Holidays are therapy; and adventures all the more so. They capture the happiness of experience, and present challenges that fire us up in a life-affirming way. So, whether you’re feeling bored, frustrated or bogged down in tasks, check out these six adventures to lighten the load.

If you’re feeling overloaded

Black Friday: Finland

The remedy: Finland

“If work has taken over and become the most important thing in your life, it could be time to reverse this completely and make time for you for a while,” says hypnotherapist and anxiety expert Chloe Brotheridge. Where better to do this, and  re-charge your batteries, than with a winter wonderland break in Finland? Our adventure here takes in everything from private island glamping and twilight snowmobile safaris to husky sleigh rides and the chance to see the Northern Lights.

When you’re surrounded by a frozen wilderness, life suddenly becomes much simpler. You can reap the happiness benefits of being in nature, grab a digital detox and have space to let your mind wander once again. At the same time, a series of exhilarating experiences mean that you won’t overthink, or stew over work issues: you’ll be snapped right back to the present. Win.

If you’re lacking in creativity

The remedy: Bali

Running dry on ideas is no fun whatsoever – and the harder you try, the more elusive those brainwaves become. Escape the pressure entirely, with a break to brilliant Bali. At once upbeat and soothing, Bali brims with creative energy. The diversity of the country alone provides bags of stimulation, whether you’re hanging out in the eclectic bars of Legian Beach, or wandering around the super-chilled Gili Air island.

Of particular note is Ubud, Bali’s cultural heartland tucked away high in the forest hills. Here, you’ll find a vibrant community of artists and artisans who draw from the lush valley scenery all around. Take part in a private meditation session, try hanging yoga or take a sunset e-bike ride amongst the rice terraces, to let your mind unwind, and get those creative juices flowing.

If you’ve got desk fatigue


The remedy: South Africa

There’s nothing worse than falling hostage to your desk, right? You mean to get out and about but somehow you end up sitting there for 7 hours a day or more, in a toxic habit that can end up killing you (yes, really). So, if you’re suffering from cabin fever, get booking on our South Africa getaway. From abseiling down Table Mountain to going on safari and searching for octopi in the Cape Peninsula kelp forest, this intoxicating adventure is just the tonic when it comes to waking you up. Get set to be propelled off your chair, and right out of your comfort zone.

And fear not: you do get to rest a *little* bit, thanks to the Garden Route’s incredible vineyards that stretch all around Cape Town. Toast your courage with a chilled glass of Chenin Blanc and leave your desk a distant memory….

If you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’

A woman kayaking on a river in Costa Rica

The remedy: Costa Rica

We’ve all felt a lingering sense of apathy at work at one point or another, and it can be a real problem. A low-level sense of boredom has a tendency to build on itself; the more trapped you feel, the less able you are to act – and so your frustration becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If this sounds familiar, look to our Costa Rica trip for solace.

One of the happiest nations on earth has a very simple philosophy on life: it’s all about Pura Vida, or “pure life”. It means appreciating the little things, such as hanging out with people you like, or wallowing in a hammock on a sunny afternoon. Surrounded by the dense tropical beauty and vibrant wildlife of this Central American haven, it’s easy to conjure up your own sense of exuberance over simple pleasures. Like a growing number of people before you, you’ll start to realise that meaningful work is more important than anything else; an understanding that could spark big changes in your professional life.

If you need a confidence boost

travel anxiety

The remedy: Peru

Whether you’re being micromanaged by an over-zealous boss, or have missed out on a promotion, there are a million and one reasons why your confidence can take a knock in the workplace. It’s all too easy to feel like you’re not valued. Remind yourself of the many skills in your arsenal by coming on-board for our Peru expedition. This dazzling journey is overflowing with hefty challenges, from mountain biking in the highlands of the Sacred Valley, to canoeing through the Amazonian jungle by night. Re-tap your hidden reserves of willpower and stamina, and remind yourself of why you’re great all over again.

If you’re considering a change

Sun rises over the city of Amman, Jordan

The remedy: Jordan

Making a big decision about your career can be agony. Do you stay? Do you go? How can you tell whether the gamble will be worth it? Turning over such important questions when you’re immersed in everyday life is a tough call. No wonder so many of us find it monumentally hard to go ahead and act on a choice. You need a clear head, which the daily chaos most of us are clouded in (commutes, emails, meetings, deadlines) rarely allows.

Why not up sticks to Jordan instead? Our adventure to this Middle Eastern country is awash with dazzling experiences. From the moment you arrive in the capital, Amman, you’ll be hit by the sheer pace of life here – played out against an ancient, Lawrence of Arabia-style landscape. Float in the Dead Sea, go canyoning through the Wadi Mujib and soak in the incredible starscape of Feynan ecolodge. This rich plethora of activities will distract your whirring mind, and also provide a backdrop against which your decision can float around and percolate. Eventually, you’ll stumble upon the answer without even trying.

Photos: Flash Pack and Shutterstock



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