Cool, slick and cosmopolitan, the intriguing capital of Finland is a Cunard favourite that’s well worth discovering.
In light of the Covid-19 situation, the recommendations and activities mentioned in this article are for the purpose of possible future cruise holidays. Please always refer to local government health advisories for travel.
From trials, such as unemployment, illness and burnout, and challenges, such as social restrictions and financial strains, through to the everyday frustrations of lockdown, pandemic parenting, border closures and working from home, Covid-19 has been hard on the well-being of many Australians. The sheer speed and scale of change to working patterns and daily life has left many longing for a chance to escape, detox and recharge.
With housekeeping, meals and complimentary room service all taken care of, a cruise is a remarkably easy way to travel, and one that suits Australians’ current weary mood. “I think there’s an underlying need for people to simplify their lives now, particularly with the Covid environment, and people are looking for simpler and easier options to relax, rather than having to book and organise different things,” Jarden says. “So cruising is seen as an easier option from that perspective.”
Covering destinations from Alaska to Australia, Cape Town to the Scandinavian fjords, cruising offers the chance to enjoy an array of new sights, unfamiliar cultures and exciting experiences – stimulation that can form an important part of building wellbeing. “One of the personality traits and character strengths we really note as being common to well-being is curiosity,” Jarden says. “If you’re curious, you attain goals more easily, you have higher well-being — people who are curious obviously end up travelling a little more than people who aren’t.”
Besides enabling uncomplicated time with loved ones and contributing to well-being, travel is, quite simply, a pleasurable experience, and Jarden recommends taking joy in it. “One of the skills in my area that’s really under-realised is this idea of savouring, of wringing the pleasure juices out of life,” he says.
Whether it’s a dazzling sunrise, a delicious dish or the first sight of a brand new city, he recommends pausing and taking the time to appreciate and absorb it with all your senses — because, after more than two years of the pandemic, pleasure is something that’s sorely needed.
This article was produced for Cunard by BBC StoryWorks, the commercial content division of BBC Global News.
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