By Christy Walcott
While we all love vacationing, creating memories and enjoying new experiences, there’s more to travel than meets the eye. Travel can strengthen families, improve your health and even make you more productive at work!
May 5 – 11 is National Travel & Tourism Week and your friends at the Gaylord Area Convention & Tourism Bureau encourage you to get out and explore!
Travel is one of the most effective ways to reconnect with your family. Spending quality time together means leaving behind chores, homework and that ever-growing honey-do list. Take photographs of your loved ones making new memories together and consider stepping out of your comfort zone to experience something new and adventurous!
Gaylord Family Highlights
For the little ones, plan a trip to the Call of the Wild Museum. This quaint wildlife museum tops many lists of “when I was young” memories. If you’re up for more adventure, book a rafting excursion along the Sturgeon River, the fastest flowing in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Sturgeon River Paddlesports and Big Bear Adventures offer excellent outings for groups of all sizes.
Would you believe that travel can actually have health benefits? How much better can it get?! Scratching your travel itch can greatly relieve everyday stress, which can then improve your heart health, lower your blood pressure, help you sleep better and simply create a sense of well-being. Another bonus to travel is that you’ll exercise without even realizing it. Seeking new experiences could mean kayaking, biking or fishing, but even walking downtown to see the sights will give you a much-needed boost!
Being Healthy in Gaylord
The All Outdoors paradise offered in Gaylord and the surrounding area is a healthy haven for visitors! Rent bicycles from White Birch Outfitters right in downtown Gaylord and leisurely cruise along the new southern trail extension of the North Central State Trail. Ride along scenic Otsego Lake and even stop at the Otsego Lake State Park to take a refreshing dip to cool off. For the expert cyclist, head north from downtown and bike as many of the 62-miles stretching to Mackinaw City as your heart desires!
It’s obvious that employers offer vacation time so their employees have the opportunity to recharge. While a staycation may offer you the opportunity to take care of home improvement projects that leave you feeling accomplished, using your time for travel has even greater benefits. Unplugging from having set tasks to complete gives you the chance to truly relax, allowing you to return to work feeling refreshed and ready to take greater initiative.
How to Unplug in Gaylord
Leave your phone and laptop behind and set out to the Pigeon River Country State Forest. Take the kiddos to the Pigeon River Discovery Center for hands-on learning about this pristine reserve of forestland. Adventure awaits every winding dirt road throughout “The Pigeon” and you can look forward to breathtaking turquois sinkhole lakes, endless miles of hiking and biking trails and even catching a glimpse of one of the largest free-roaming elk herds east of the Mississippi.
There’s no denying travel is a favorite hobby among Americans, but maybe it’s time to change our perspective and recognize it as a priority moving forward. Travel not only solidifies the bond between families, reduces stress and helps you improve your workplace performance, but it also supports the residents living in destination communities, helps small business owners thrive and overall has a positive impact on our economy.
And if those aren’t enough good reasons to venture out and travel the world, you have to admit, it’s just good ol’ fashioned FUN.