2014-05-03 | 04:17 pm GMT
Why would you go to that remote corner of the earth where the man’s eye, after entangling into the ‘jazz’ of the world could never reach- just like his word ‘familiar?’ Why would you take a break at a place where you can’t find resorts, casinos, high-end shopping scene, clubs/bars, parties, art or fascinating buildings?
Because there, you’ll find yourself. When you find every cell in your body screeching ‘ENOUGH,’ book yourself for a journey to your soul. If you’ve lost yourself somewhere in the enticing materialism or exotic vacations, reconnect to your soul while discovering places where the ‘high-end scene’ means the majestic peaks, ‘parties’ mean the merrily gurgling streams, the art is defined by the intermingling of the blues, greens and browns and the luxury is personified by living within yourself!
Mt. Kailash, Tibet: A Taste of Heaven
If you think you’ve had a heavenly experience, take a trek to Mt Kailash- revered as the meeting place of Heaven and Earth. The place sees thousands as pilgrims making their way through high plateaus and many have found the experience life changing. The edge of the heaven is of course soul-stirring but the way to it is fascinating too, as you discover Buddhist traditions, meditation caves, monasteries, nomads, monks and never-ending grasslands! The journey is magical as the farther you go, you’ll find yourself deeper within.
Mt. Aspiring National Park, New Zealand: The Other-World
Untouched by civilisation, Mt Aspiring National Park is the sculpting studio of Nature. Discover the rocky landscapes, Blue Pools, alpine meadows, mountain peaks and more. The other-worldly scenic beauty of the place is truly striking and will leave you gaping. Guided hikes to glaciers and jet-boat rides take you places deep within the park (and yourself). As you comb through the rain forests blanketed in green moss, the contradiction of it as opposed to living in a concrete one is enlightening.
Bali, Indonesia: A Meditation Retreat
Bali attracts souls looking for solace in great numbers, given is famed image of healing, calming energy. Go on a meditation and yoga retreat to tap into your inner peace, strengthen your mind and balance your emotions. Explore the rice terraces at Tegallalang, Bedugul botanical gardens, Pura Taman Saraswati, temples, traditional healers, enchanting forests, the mountains and more for a complete spiritual package. Eat, Pray and Love Bali!
Koyasan, Japan: Life at a Buddhist Monastery
If you think monks are peace personified, imagine what living like and among them would be! Temple lodge at the Mount Koyasan and explore the corners of your mind and soul that you had never touched before. Rengejoin temple allows you to stay in rooms with thin sliding walls and futon and meditate with the monks. Mount Koyasan is the spiritual heartland of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, a place that helps you discover an all new you.
North Cape, Norway: Wonders of Nature
Meet the edge (literally) of the world- something that a globe on your desk could tell you too. Discovering the spot named “The top of the World,” standing at the edge of North Cape plateau peering over the Arctic Ocean watching the water and sky meet, experiencing summer’s midnight sun and losing yourself to the enchanting northern lights, all comprise the soul stirring experience. The beauty of it all is so eye-opening that you’ll leave feeling raw, renewed and untouched yourself.
Napa Valley, California: Eat, Drink and be Merry
Wine, dine and you’ll leave feeling just fine! Sip on to the place’s famed, extraordinary wines, with more than 400 wineries. Food at this mesmerising and idyllic land is also one of the best experiences, as, from farm to your table, the food transitions with the help of top chefs. This, combined with the art scene, with exhibits and museums, winery art installations, art walks, galleries, open studios, and several live performances, will give you that much required pause. Instead of absolutely cutting off, if a slow down, with a touch of sheer authenticity is what you need to reconnect, Napa Valley is your stop.
Eastern coast of Ireland: The Spiritual Heart
Do it the St Kevin way, who settled himself in Glendalough in the 6th century for some soul-searching. The eastern coast is the Celtic Spiritual home and contains Ireland’s most sacred sites. The gentle lakes, unique bogs, and rolling pastures are a sight and you can explore the Wicklow’s mountains, the Sally Gap with routes winding through coniferous forests and heather-packed mounds and stroll beside Lough Tay. Visit the heart, soul and birth of the Irish Nation and you might end up rediscovering yourself.
Sri Lanka: Soak in Centuries Deep Spirituality
Backed with a strong spiritual history, meditation retreat in Sri Lanka is truly calming. There are beaches and ashrams where you can take a dive within and also visit spiritual places like Sigiriya - the 5th-century Lion Rock fortress, the Temple of the Buddha's Tooth, the Dambulla Rock Caves, the reclining Buddha and temple at Polonnaruwa. Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada (meaning sacred footprint) is famed for a depression in shape of a foot that Hindus believe to be of Shiva, Muslims and Christians believe it to be of Adam but is the most sacred for the Buddhists. A trek that sees all religions coming together in faith and harmony, is sure to harmonise your inner self too!
Santiago de Compostela, Spain: Let the Journey Begin
A trek to the tomb of St James and as they say, directly under the milky way, gives you the time to simply reflect. The Camino as they call it, is a network of hiking routes to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, that has been trotted upon since thousands of years. You’ll pass by picturesque farmland, past quiet monasteries and beautiful villages, exploring the 12th-century Augustinian monastery in Roncesvalles, the gothic cathedral in Pamplona and the magnificent cathedral in León. There are always two parallel journeys that begin with this trek: the outward physical and the inner spiritual one.
Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park: The Healing Powers of Nature
The first sight of Victoria Falls is so striking, everything else might just be wiped off your mind for a few seconds. As you feel the mammoth essence of it all, on realising the volume of water that flows through the planetary vein imparting life across countries until culminating into the grandeur of Victoria Falls, your issues suddenly become small. You can also go back to the basics and lose yourself in the wild of Chobe National Park with the world's largest herds of African elephant, zebras, hippos, impalas, buffalo and several predators.This is a place that methodically vanishes the worldly worries so that you can meet your true self!