To find yourself, sometimes you have to get lost first. You have to let go of fear and anxiety and change your surroundings to get new insights and remember what it really feels like to be happy. Of course, one of the best ways to do that is through travelling, and if you’re eager to unwind from stress and break the monotony of your daily life, picking you a suitcase and going away is the best kind of cure. Travel is really a form of self-care and a way for us to nurture our mental health, so if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with everything, now’s your chance to fix it. There are loads of sites and platforms that will help you search for your perfect getaway, but we decided to make things even easier for you and listed out some favourites.
Remote, cold, and yet too beautiful to put into words. Iceland is far from a lonely backwater place with nothing to see—in fact, Reykjavik is a bustling, cheerful place that’s home to spectacular architecture, fun-filled open pools, heated nightlife, and plenty of culture. From Harpa Concert Hall to Einar Jónsson Museum, history buffs will find their place here and enjoy the academic tours that will satisfy their intellectual cravings.
If you don’t like chilly weather you can always visit in summer when the temperatures are nice and mild and you can explore the city on foot, or book a helicopter tour that will give you the bird’s-eye view of everything. There are public parks and gardens for the lovers of nature, there are cafes and fast-paced clubs for those who want to be social, but the biggest reason why you should visit Iceland is to see the Northern Lights. Seeing Aurora Borealis in person is a life-changing experience that will leave you speechless—the breathtaking beauty tends to inspire awe.
Once you set foot in New Zealand, you’ll understand why Peter Jackson choose his home country to film Lord of the Rings. Everywhere you turn around you’ll see green—there is so much untouched nature and wildlife here that it will fill even the most restless of souls with peace. You can go hiking along the Tongariro Crossing, you can swim with the dolphins in The Bay of Islands, or you can visit the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua if you’re in search for some unique experiences. The best way to get around the country is to find a cheap car rental because there’s quite a bit to see, and having a vehicle makes it a lot more practical and faster to get from one place to the next. If you want a bit more social interaction go to Wellington and enjoy its numerous museums, restaurants, and bars. Make sure to check out Weta Cave if you’re a fan of filmography and want to know more about movies made in New Zealand!
Looking for hot weather, beautiful culture, and enough peace to let you rest? Italy should be your go-to, but rather than elbowing your way through tourists in Rome and Milano, it’s better to pick something that’s a little off-the-beaten-path so you could actually spend time on self-reflection. Lenno, for example, is a great choice because it’s quiet, an unassuming little town that’s full of friendly locals, good weather, and cobbled streets where you can stroll all day. The coast of it is lined with small eateries with some excellent Italian pasta, and this is a good place to go when you want to get off the grid and enjoy some rustic charm. Another good option is Favignana, a little island west of Sicily that’s surrounded by azure water. The beaches are wonderful, the wine is delicious, and the afternoons are lazy, pleasant, and restful.
The Camino de Santiago
Our last suggestion is perfect for those who need an active vacation that will shake them out of stupor and make them feel more awake than ever before. The Camino de Santiago is a cluster of pilgrim’s routes that all lead to one little town in Spain—Santiago de Compostela. Also known as The Way of Saint James, it’s a spiritual experience that can take anywhere from a whole month, to a week to finish, depending on which route you take. The French Way is the most popular path that starts in St Jean Pied de Port, and if you want to cross the Camino from there, it’ll take about 30-35 days. If you’re looking for something shorter, you can start at the last stretch of the road, from Sarria.
This is a hiking path that’s ultimately a deeply spiritual experience that will test your physical fitness because it involves walking every day. It’s simple, but since you’ll be going through Spanish towns and villages the entire time, it’s also incredibly beautiful. There’s something very humble about focusing only on putting one foot in front of the other and allowing the rhythmic, meditative motion to soothe away stress from your mind. Choose this destination if you long for a challenge.
There’s nothing like travel to rejuvenate a person’s spirit. Change your surroundings to make it easier to practice mindfulness, and you’ll return home refreshed and eager to find happiness.