Planning your holiday can be exciting. It can also be stressful as you arrange transportation and lodging, look up dining spots, and order tickets to various attractions. Let’s start with lodging – which has a better atmosphere, hotels or B&Bs?
Starting with the rooms, let’s compare hotels and B&Bs. Quite often, hotels have a cold, clinical feel, while the B&B often has a reputation as being frilly and covered with knick-knacks. However, the stereotype of B&Bs is not exactly fair, considering the growing number of these businesses in the UK.
The Bed and Breakfast has come a long way from the over-the-top pseudo-Victorian. Without losing any of the ambiance, B&Bs have become modern and spacious. Land owners who convert their building, manors, and farmhouses to B&Bs are savy about the desires of modern travelers, and now install bathrooms for each room, rather than the hackneyed “bathroom down the hall”.
The rooms themselves are far from the clinical feel of hotels. Antique furnishings are sturdy – or they wouldn’t have become antiques – and they add a warmth and welcome that you seldom find in a hotel room. Antique headboards and footboards are retro-fitted with new, modern mattresses, creating a bedroom that is both comfortable and beautiful.
The weary traveller is often relieved to find his chain hotel right off the roadway. You can see the sign from a distance, and know exactly where you should go. Hotels located in town are often in the newer parts of development, with valet parking.
However, there are some benefits to hunting out the B&Bs. Those located in the city are usually right in the heart of historic districts. Mature landscaping creates an oasis around private patios that offer views of well-tended rose gardens. The advantage here is that many of the activities that attracted you to the city in the first place are within walking distance. That’s right, these older, modernized houses are often right down the street from some of the most beautiful sights and activities that drew you to the city in the first place.
Accommodation in Somerset or anywhere in the countryside have their own draw, with ready access to hiking, fishing, bird watching, and many other activities. The B&B you choose may be near the beach, where you can step onto the veranda and dig your toes into the sand. This is the best of rural holidays, with few people around.
Did you know that most B&Bs serve lunch? They will often pack a picnic lunch for you to enjoy. This is especially true in the rural settings. They also often have arrangements with restaurants, cafes, and diners in nearby villages to give their guests discounts on dining. In the city B&Bs, you may well be right across the street from some of the best restaurants in the area.
So, on your next holiday, check out some B&Bs. You may discover that the space, ambiance, and convenience easily trumps that of hotels.
When a person is dealing with stress, he or she usually looks for ways to get away from life and take a break. However, there are actually ways to cope with the demands of life and still be part of a thriving social community. The amazing thing is, when you participate in social calming activities, you find a whole new world of support and strength that you otherwise would have never found.
Social activities are great for bringing you out of your shell, sometimes you just want to be alone, but social activity can help you. It’s not just about going out and meeting people, it’s a joint activity that will help you stay calm by releasing chemicals into the brain through exercise. You don’t need to go to a weight loss bootcamp, there are activities that will help.
Yoga has been a form of exercise and meditation for thousands of years. Over the last several decades, the West has adopted various forms of yoga for those reasons. Yoga as exercise is remarkably strenuous, if you are physically capable of doing so. However, it is also, among exercise regimens, uniquely adaptable to the physical limitations of each individual. The gradual stretching and, later, hyper flexion, creates muscle tone and amps up your metabolism.
The spiritual aspect of yoga also makes a big difference in people’s lives. The meditation and centering that practitioners use create a more balanced emotional and spiritual life. In addition, you have the benefit of being around people who also exercise their spiritual body as well as their physical one. The camaraderie of those participating in the exercises strengthens all involved as much as the exercises do.
It has been referred to as the “Maharishi Effect”, and it happened in 1978. For 3 weeks, over 7000 people joined together in meditation to help their city. It, apparently, worked – in fact, not only did suicide rates and auto accidents decline in their city, they were reported as being reduced all over the world. In addition, there was a huge decrease in terrorist activity while the people were meditating.
In Lebanon, in 1983, when groups participated in meditation assemblies, deaths from acts of war significantly dropped. In Wales four years later, Merseyside was suffering from the third most extreme crime rates of all of the metro areas. After initiating group meditation, the crime rate dropped by 40%.
This is called the “field effect” in physics. Once you get past the technical jargon used to explain field effect, it basically means that groups of people can affect the overall consciousness in their environment through meditation and emanating peace. Several universities are working on this, as a way of reducing violence in schools and prisons, and in any other populations where people are forced to spend a lot of time together.
Yoga, with its spiritual connection, may seem a little “out there” for some people, but they may still be willing to go along with it. Group meditation may seem even stranger, but worth trying if it can create a field effect.
The newest thing, coming from the States, is hugging. The Americans are always pushing the envelope, and now they go beyond psychic energy and have started “cuddle clubs”. Just as it says, groups of people get together to share hugs. Whether this will catch on with Brits is still to be seen.