Getting out of your daily routine and the demands of the rat race and unplugging for some time, while you reboot, recharge, and reconnect is one of the best ways to reset and find peace.
In these days and times where the average person’s attention span is only 8 seconds and where we are bombarded by advertising, social media, negative news stories, and the stresses of everyday life at every turn, how can we remain feeling truly connected in real life? In a world where we are digitally connected but in real life feel lost, isolated, restless, and alone, how then can you meaningfully connect to your friends, loved ones, and yourself? The answer is travel.
Getting out of your daily routine and the demands of the rat race and unplugging for some time, while you reboot, recharge, and reconnect is one of the best ways to reset and find peace. These four countries offer destinations where you can quiet a restless spirit and where you can connect (or re-connect) to the people and things that matter most.
IMG: Railay beach monochrome. Jaume Escofet Flickr. Creative Commons
A 15-min boat ride from Ao Nang, the tourist center of the Krabi province, brings you to some of the prettiest beaches Thailand has to offer. In addition, there is “real” jungle, and for the rock-climbers out there, Railay offers some of the best limestone formations in the world available for climber exploration. As you climb due to the proximity with the jungle you will be accompanied by monkeys playing alongside you. Railay is more crowded these days than in the past but compared to other more resort-like destinations in Thailand the tourist numbers remain smaller and the further away from the tourist center you will find destinations that offer a much more relaxed/laid back environment where you can truly find yourself and feel connected.
Cape Reinga, New Zealand
IMG: Cape Reinga – Northern most tip of New Zealand. /// MH \\\ Flickr. Creative Commons
Many people don’t realize that New Zealand is actually comprised of two islands. The northernmost tip of the northern island, known as Cape Reinga is also a historic and cultural center of the Maori indigenous groups in New Zealand. Cape Reinga holds significant spiritual importance and power, which is palpable the moment you set foot in this beautiful landscape. You feel like you have reached the end of the earth when you are standing on the mountain top overlooking the vast and beautiful ocean below and the sense of connectedness that you feel to nature, history, other people, and yourself is life changing. You have to go there to experience this magic for yourself and trust me it is worth it.
Easter Island, Chile
IMG: fifteen. At Ahu Tongariki which is the largest ahu (stone platform) in Easter Island (Rapa Nui). The fifteen moai were restored in recent times after they were toppled during the island’s civil wars. Mike. Flickr. Creative Commons.
Easter island also known as Rapa Nui and Isla de Pascua is one of the most interesting and mythical places in the world. With nearly 1000 statues known as moai created by the early Polynesian inhabitants among other curios, Easter Island is not to be missed. In 1995, much of the island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While not the easiest of places to get to, because it is one of the most remote islands in the world, it is a destination that is worth the effort. Once you arrive on Easter Island and after you have settled into your accommodations, head directly to the Rapa Nui national park where you must visit the quarry and the Oronga village. Make sure to leave enough time to explore the rest of the park and to see the Moai! Easter Island is the perfect setting to re-connect with yourself and others since you are literally in one of the furthest places in the world from the stresses and demands of everyday life. Relish it!
Durban, South Africa
IMG: Durban. Terrence Franck. Flickr. Creative Commons.
While Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria typically get more lip service when one thinks about South Africa, Durban is a destination not to be missed. Durban, the 3rd most populous city in South Africa, boasting the country’s largest port is known for it’s gorgeous and vast beaches and temperate sub-tropical climate. Durban is ethnically diverse and boasts a rich panoply of cultures and beliefs. In addition to frequenting the beaches, there is much to do in Durban, from the outstanding and world-class international cuisine, to the nature and wildlife, to modern art and music, Durban has it all and it offers the perfect backdrop for re-connection.
There are so many places you can go to re-connect with yourself in the world, those mentioned here are a few of my favorites. If money or time is an issue, you can always do a staycation where you are fully able to reconnect in your own environment and on your own terms.