Gift buying has evolved in the past decade. Once a time to receive piles of material items, the modern-day has shifted our perspectives, and many of us now value mindful gifts that present us with an opportunity. No longer satisfied with physical objects, we see more and more people wanting experiences that build, grow, excite and most importantly, look great on Instagram. The gift of nature can be interpreted in many ways; there are many wonderful organic products available, or you could follow the growing trend and gift a houseplant, which provides long term joy through nurture and care. Here at Balance Holidays, we wanted to take it one step further. We think that the gift of nature can be an immersive experience, as well as kind to the planet and, in extension, the beautiful nature we celebrate.

yellow flower held in two hands

Why Nature?

We have all heard that we should be spending more time in nature, but why? A report by the BBC states that people who spend time in nature reported feeling happier and healthier. Furthermore, getting out into nature means fresh air and exercise.

A Replenishing Retreat

Why not gift an experience and choose a retreat for your loved ones? At Balance Holidays, all of our retreats are created with nature at heart. The stunning settings of our locations lend themselves perfectly to outside excursions. In addition, we have a rigorous environmental criterion that ensures all of the hotels we choose are doing their utmost to care for the environment. This includes assessing their recycling policy, and how much single-use plastic is used, how they contribute to the local economy and where they source produce. Many of our retreats have their own kitchen gardens where they produce hand grown, organic ingredients to use in their nutritious meals. Discover a deeper connection with nature at our forest bathing treehouse retreat in Paris Region. The hand-crafted programme features morning Vinyasa yoga and exploration of the surrounding ancient woodland. Another of our retreats, held in Switzerland, takes you on guided hikes and E-bike excursions through the dramatic, mountainous Alps. All of our retreats are truly immersive and educational experiences, designed to equip our guests with the mindfulness tools to take home and continue to grow.

[caption id="attachment_3734" align="aligncenter" width="636"]tree house retreat in green trees Forest Bathing Treehouse Retreat, Provence[/caption]

Give Back to Nature

Nature gives us so much, why not take the opportunity to give something back? As a special gift to a nature lover, consider donating money to a nature charity in their name. Many charities perform vital research, protection or conservation for our rapidly changing planet. We’ve listed some of our favourites.

Friends of the Earth

With a focus on protecting the planet, Friends of the Earth works with local groups, experts, business leaders and politicians to push for change. Currently, they are concentrating on supporting alternative energy solutions, protecting our homes and local environments, and promoting healthy food and clean water across the globe.

West Sound Wildlife Shelter

Rescuing and caring for sick and injured wild animals, West Sound Wildlife Shelter provides a valuable service to our local nature. A mixture of staff and volunteers, the organisation also reaches out to the public to educate them on the wellbeing of wildlife, and how they can do their bit.

Rainforest Alliance

Did you know there are over 60,000 different species of tree in the world? Our rainforests support some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, but they are rapidly changing as a direct result of human activity. The Rainforest Alliance helps to support farmers and rainforest communities, as well as help them to protect their surrounding environments.

green and brown rainforest tree

Coral Reef Alliance

Protecting the worlds coral reefs and their inhabitants, The Coral Reef Alliance conserves and funds further research into the importance of the planets reef systems. Coral reefs provide invaluable carbon storage, taking the harmful greenhouse gas out of the environment.

Please feel free to explore our website further for more details on our variety of retreats across Europe and in Morocco. Our journal is full of articles on wellbeing, travel, the environment and sustainability.