“Be present” is advice I’ve heard a million times before, yet somehow it still remains an elusive concept. What does it mean to actually live in the moment? And more importantly, how do we embrace the here and now?
This is likely why many of us count down until our next vacation, a chance to escape reality and free ourselves from the demands of daily life. Truthfully, sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to reframe your perspective.
And that’s what a recent press trip (the Lexus Experience Amazing New England) did for me.
Disconnecting From Technology
Picture waking up to the Berkshire mountains at sunrise, sipping on a hot cup of coffee at the patio’s edge. In the distance, amongst the sky’s pink-golden hues, you can see a light fog hovering above the trees…and it’s completely silent.
It takes a lot for me to stay still. But this was one of those moments (the first of many on this trip) when I was completely captivated. Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa makes it their mission to help guests relax, and to leave feeling rejuvenated: mind, body, and soul.
This was the first place I’ve stayed where there were official “digital-free” zones. And to further encourage you to unplug, there are mini beds on your nightstand (with a cute sleeping bag for your phone!). Note to self: no nighttime scrolling.
Riding In Luxury And Comfort
When it was time to embark on our first road trip destination, my twin sisters Shannon and Kristin (my plus ones) and I saw the Lexus car for the first time. We drove the LX 500h F Sport Performance, which we soon nicknamed “silver babe.”
If only someone was recording our reactions when we first got inside and started testing out all the features. (So many oohs and ahhs!) The digital rearview mirror and the head-up display on the dashboard in particular elicited a collective “wow.” From an aesthetic standpoint, the red leather interior looked pretty sexy paired with the silver exterior.
On the drive, we were surrounded by fall foliage, and the closer we got to Mount Greylock, the more stunning the scenery became. Also, I’ve never been in a car that drove so smoothly, to the point that it was almost quiet, which added to the peacefulness of the experience.
Standing at 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts—needless to say, hiking to the very top was another mental snapshot moment.
Spending the day surrounded by nature has a way of soothing the soul, with a power that makes connecting to the present basically effortless.
Also, making driving stops along the way was more relaxing than I anticipated. Normally, I’m someone who wants to drive straight through because I want to get to my destination, but each stop helped me reset and actually enjoy the journey.
Soaking In A Healing Experience
We ended the day’s drive at Chatham Bars Inn, an oceanfront resort on Cape Cod. Walking inside the hotel was like stepping back in time, each room with its own nautical, historic charm. The cottage where we stayed for the night was cozy and inviting, the kind of atmosphere where you want to cuddle up with a cup of tea.
The next morning we took a vinyasa yoga class at the Inn, which is my favorite type of yoga to start the day because it’s both energizing and brings the body into balance.
Having a private session took the experience to the next level—our instructor helped us with posture alignment and made physical adjustments that enabled us to go deeper and get the most out of each pose. (At the beginning of the class I felt the familiar whirlwind of racing thoughts, but by the end I was actually able to let go.)
After yoga, I went to the spa for an aromatherapy massage. I picked lavender and eucalyptus, two essential oils that are calming and perfect for pain relief. My muscles were already warmed up, so my masseuse was better able to get rid of any remaining tension and tightness. (Pro tip next time you’re at a spa: Schedule that massage after yoga!)
For lunch, we met up with the rest of the group for a clam bake on the beach. As we sat enjoying our meal, we bonded over some of our favorite memories from the past few days, including our experiences with each of our Lexus vehicles. One thing we all agreed on: returning to real life would be tough.
Finding Zen In A City
As sad as I was to leave beach paradise, I was excited to explore the bustling city of Boston, the final stop on our road trip. We stayed at the XV Beacon Hotel, located near the iconic Beacon Hill. I decided to take advantage of the bath salts and the jacuzzi tub (I shamelessly jumped for joy when I first saw it).
Our group met up for dinner at No.9 Park and our last meal together was filled with a lot of story swapping we most likely wouldn’t have shared on Day 1. Part of what makes travel so essential for personal growth is being exposed to new people, places, and cultures. I love the thrill of the unknown and the excitement of not knowing who you are going to meet and where your next adventure will take you.
Throughout my career, I’ve probably written 100 articles about the importance of being present. But actually embodying that in my own life is another matter entirely. It’s not always easy to just switch off from work mode. But thanks to this trip, I was able to just experience the joy that comes from something as simple as lounging in a bubble bath or sprinting with my sisters to watch the sun rise on the Cape.
I gained a new appreciation of taking time away from doing and simply being, and that was true on the road too. Though the destinations were amazing, the drive was what helped me relax and let go.