If only for the throngs of from-aways who have long come here in search of it, Maine has always been synonymous with wellness, that nebulous intersection of physical health and spiritual harmony. “To hell with all my worries,” wrote an anonymous poet in a 1934 tourism pamphlet. “They are negligible at best. I leave for Maine tomorrow, where my soul can take a rest.”
Of course, now that wellness is a multi-bazillion- dollar industry, you’d be forgiven for supposing that its trends originate someplace else — someplace with more Lululemon shops, say — only trickling up to Maine years later. But Vacationland in 2019 is surprisingly en vogue when it comes to self-care. In fact, from forest bathing to goat yoga to silence retreats, a lot of what’s hot in wellness right now has a decidedly Maine-y tinge to it. Strolling meditatively through the woods? Hanging out with livestock? Saying disturbingly little to one another in what should be social situations? These are practices Mainers have pioneered.
We dispatched a team of writers to spas, retreats, forest preserves, and more, with a mandate to meliorate their minds, bodies, and souls. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.