Sometimes we need more than a break from routine — we need an entirely new environment to open our mind, body and spirit
With so many social and work-related obligations we deal with on a daily basis, it’s common to simply feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Some of us just feel like running away for a while to avoid all the drama and others prefer meditation to get back in balance with themselves. Well, why not combine these two?
There are so many locations on the planet that offer us a spiritual boost while still getting to see some amazing vistas and learn more about other cultures.
If you are looking for such an adventure where you can expand your mindfulness in resplendent natural beauty, take a look at these 5 global meditation destinations.
Wat Suan Mokkh, Thailand
You usually hear people talking about the gorgeous beaches they visited in Thailand and the amazing food they tried. However, this country has plenty of meditation retreats as well, where you can connect with your inner self. One such center is Wat Suan Mokkh in the Chaiya District which is located about 600km from Bangkok. If you decide to visit this retreat, keep in mind that it is very serious and not for the faint-hearted. On the first of every month, Wat Suan Mokkh organizes a 10-day long silent retreat, which you cannot leave early, consisting of daily meditations, yoga and talks on Buddhism as well as chores. Moreover, be aware of the fact that your bed will be a concrete slab with a wooden pillow and a straw mat and you’ll be required to get up at 4 AM.
Despite how demanding this may feel, it is a truly profound and rewarding experience.
For a physical and spiritual detox, consider visiting the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ – Rishikesh. This Indian city in the foothills of the Himalayas is the birthplace of transcendental meditation and hosts many international yoga festivals. Rishikesh is a great place to practice, celebrate and learn more about yoga, as it is home to numerous yoga centers. Before choosing this as your destination, bear in mind that Rishikesh is a city free of meat and alcohol. However, it is heaven for vegetarians so there are definitely some delicious meals waiting for you. Given the history of this town, you are sure to develop your spiritual practices further and nurture your mind, body and soul.
Niagara Falls, Canada/USA
While visiting these famous waterfalls is part of many people’s bucket lists, few would consider it to be a meditation hotspot. You might have preconceived ideas about Niagara Falls being just another tourist trap (and that reputation has merit), but you might be surprised to discover that there are also many ways to get in touch with yourself here too. Sure, going to theme parks and on boat rides is super fun, but if the sound of the water is not enough to ground you and make you feel calm, you can turn to one of many yoga and meditation retreats which are organized in the vicinity so that you can enjoy the amazing views of the Falls, which are spectacularly dramatic. Especially if you’re traveling with your family, everyone will have something that interests them.
Holy Isle, Scotland
If you’re looking for a place in Europe to focus on mindfulness, your options abound — from Italy and Spain to Iceland, it will be difficult to decide. However, lesser known, you might consider Scotland’s Holy Isle. This is a private island that has a delicate ecosystem and a rugged coastline. While on the south end of the island there are residents that live in isolated silence, the north is dedicated to meditation retreats which vary drastically and offer something for everyone, from those who simply want to learn more about this topic to serious students of Buddhism.
During the summer season, visitors are welcome to walk along the coastline and discover the wildlife as well as take part in meditation and experience tranquility.
Accommodations are monastically equipped and include three daily meals (vegetarian or vegan).
The Buddhist Retreat Centre, South Africa
If your heart is drawing you to Africa, you’ll want to explore the many options available in South Africa. Or particular note is the Buddhist Retreat Centre, which has been declared a Natural Heritage Site by Nelson Mandela due to the indigenous biodiversity of the area. In addition to its outstanding birdlife, the landscape is equally breathtaking.
Moreover, the center offers a library and an art studio, Zen gardens, a labyrinth and a meditation hall. What more could a person need to reflect and contemplate life?
Sometimes we all need to escape our personal world and everyday obligations and devote some time to ourselves — and that may just mean exploring the larger world. Depending on what you like to do to unwind and center yourself, you can recharge your batteries by changing your environment for a while. Any of these five locations will do the trick.
You may also enjoy reading Explore More: Tips To Travel Abroad On A Budget by Paisley Hansen