There’s something about fall – the crisp weather, the return to work and school routines – that make us want to (re)discover ourselves. Through years of travel, I have learned that getting away from it all and immersing myself in the unfamiliar, the yet to be discovered, has a way of bringing new perspective.
There are so many great places in this world for finding a little space for inner reflection – the beaches of Belize, the bustle of Hong Kong (when it’s possible to be alone and yet surrounded by people), and the cobblestone streets of Portugal. I could write this list for days but instead I’ve settled on these 6 picks for where you can go to get lost (and then found).
Considered one of the most romantic cities in the world, Rome offers so much to tantalize the senses: delicious wine, decadent culinary delights, as well as some of the most amazing architecture in the world. This city is steeped in history and there is something about being surrounded by all of this evidence of innovation and beauty that brings perspective.
The culture of India is spiritually rich, making it the perfect country for self-reflection. The streets are full of people and commerce, but Jaipur offers a little bit of balance: serene landscapes, ancient landmarks as well as marketplaces that allow you to literally lose yourself in the crowd. Beautiful stucco buildings line the streets of Jaipur, often referred to as The Pink City.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
I have written about the Galapagos Islands before. It is truly one of my favourite family vacations. There is nowhere like it in the world: A place so well protected that even the cacti needles are soft (no need to prickle when nothing is trying to hurt you.). And the plants are only the beginning of the magic that abounds. The amazing collections of animals that call the Galapagos Islands home are so impressive they inspired Darwin’s Theory of Evolution! What will it inspire in you.
I’ve yet to get to Iceland but I’m told it is like being at the edge of the world. From the photos it certainly seems that way. A place full of extremes including the chill of winter and the midnight sun of summer. A rather isolated country, Iceland’s culture is unique but we are told the hospitality of the people is warm. A great place to go and escape it all, learn a new way of life and experience a whole other side of nature.
Of course at least one destination in Canada had to be on my list: Canada is a vast and complicated landscape and no two places are alike. The West Coast of Canada is a personal favourite and you just can’t beat that crisp ocean air, and the lush beauty created by the rainforest climate. Tofino’s rugged coast exposes you to nature in all its terrifying beauty. Visit in March when the Pacific Grey Whales are returning and you might just see a majestic beast.
But you also don’t have to go far from home to benefit from the perspective travel can give you. If you are feeling a bit burnt out by the return to school and work, try a weekend escape like a farm experience, beach-front cabin or yoga retreat or a hotel in the city … alone or with your family!
What destination would you add to our list? Where do you go to get centred?