With the summer holidays approaching some of us will be jetting off on trips abroad we’ve saved months, even years for. Interestingly though research finds our holiday memories fade after just two weeks! How can we cement those amazing moments and emotions in our minds for years to come? The holiday company TUI (who I’ve collaborated with on this post) investigates…
Why do our memories fade so fast?
The reason is perhaps unsurprising, we’re becoming increasingly reliant on technology to store our memories for us, living life through a lens and snapping things for social media rather than experiencing them with all of our senses.
Smartphones can prevent us from creating fully-fledged memories as capturing a picture only really engages one of the senses – sight. It’s only by really engaging with our experiences on holiday through all of our senses that we can hope to process all the stimulating information to lay down the sorts of memories that will last, and that will be easier to retrieve – Charles Spence.
TUI conducted a survey with Professor Charles Spence, a psychologist and sensory expert who documents his experience at one of TUI’s Sensatori Resorts with two artists that have ‘synaesthesia’.
In basic terms, the condition is where using one sense involuntarily engages another sense in the brain, so for Phillipa (one of the artists) listening, tasting and smelling allows her to see (and therefore paint) colours, textures and shapes.
You can take TUI’s Sensorialists Quiz here to see if you’re highly sensitive – I was intrigued but not surprised to learn that my results were high, perhaps it’s down to my big imagination.
Stimulating your senses creates lasting memories
So how do we engage all of the senses, video? Well, actually no as video typically only uses an extra sense, sound. The actual answer can be something we’ve probably not done much of since childhood – to draw! Yes, picking up a paint brush or pencil engages another sense, touch as well as proprioception (our position sense).
I actually really enjoy art and find it very therapeutic, perhaps this is why, because I’m fully present and tuning in to my senses. Think about it, if you’re on a beach drawing a palm tree you may see how the shadow changes, hear the leaves rustle, feel the breeze touching your skin, smell its tropical fragrance and taste the salty air on your lips.
We are introducing Sketch to Etch kits to our TUI Sensatori resorts this summer because we want our customers to fuel and engage with all of their senses when they are on holiday with us and retain their wow holiday memories for longer – Helen Morgan, Head of Concept for TUI.
What if I don’t like or can’t draw?
Perhaps the more pressing questions from all of this is, what if I don’t like or can’t draw? What if I don’t want to spend hours drawing a palm tree? What if I don’t want to carry around a notepad and pencil?
I think the answer is to be pragmatic, a ten to twenty minute doodle on an old receipt isn’t going to waste your holiday – it’ll mostly likely provide a moment for you to take in and appreciate this amazing destination you’ve saved months or years to be in.
Are there alternative ways to engage my senses?
If drawing really doesn’t appeal to you I’ve thought of some alternative ways you can be creative and stimulate your senses…
- Make a sand sculpture on the beach of your surroundings or an object
- Take a few moments to engage your senses by noting everything you see, hear, taste, touch and smell
- After you’ve taken a photo give yourself a minute to take a mental picture before walking away, study details and allow your eyes to wander
Art Gallery and Shop – Saint-Paul-de-Vence
A lot of this may ring true for those of you who’ve practiced or have knowledge of mindfulness – it does appear that using your senses to be ground yourself in the moment ensures you’ll have the most enjoyable and memorable holiday experience this summer.
Do you feel inspired to pick up a pencil and start sketching? Have you heard of synaesthesia before?
This post was sponsored by TUI Sensatori who provide the ultimate luxury holiday experience. Their five-star resorts are carefully and purposely designed to fuel the senses.