Feeling sluggish after festive overindulgence? Put the spring back in your step with a trip to a destination where you can refresh and relax (and make sure you return rejuvenated!)
Indulging in some wellness and detox travel doesn’t just have to mean checking in to a spa. There are many varied paths to reviving your body and mind and different cultures approach the need to re-balance in various ways. From soaking in hot springs to the mind-clearing solitude of the desert, here are some ideas from around the world for your next restorative trip.
Although the Indian Himalayas have always been a favourite with serious trekkers and climbers, they are also home to a flourishing wellness tourism scene. As this area is home to many important Buddhist and Hindu shrines, retreats here draw largely on the spiritual heritage of this exciting region. Many visitors are tempted to explore three important elements of Indian spirituality - mysticism, yoga and meditation. They focus on encouraging and enabling participants to reconnect with their spiritual selves and refocus on what is important in life. Many of the retreats are located among northern India’s soaring mountain scenery and allow time and space to practice meditation in peace and tranquility.
Embrace the ‘Pura Vida’ - pure life - in the earthly paradise of Costa Rica. The Arenal Volcano’s hot springs are a heavenly place to pamper your body with the mineral rich hot water, believed to have healing properties. Pummel your tension away under steamy waterfalls which tumble through luxuriant vegetation and soak in the calming pools of geothermally heated rainwater. The paradise theme is reinforced by the bird life of Costa Rica as jewel coloured hummingbirds sip nectar from the flowers. With these kinds of enchanting sights on offer, Costa Rica is sure to enhance your feeling of well-being.
Time spent in the desert is often meditative. The vastness of the landscape and the lack of human impact is a very real reminder of our place in the universe. This kind of awareness can help banish trivial anxieties and a break from newsfeeds and reliance on tech is a healthy way to reboot your vitality. The Namib desert is a perfect place to suspend normal life and immerse yourself in nature. The rippling sands and rocky horizons are the epitome of peace and seclusion; inspiring and calming at the same time. Peace, nature and just enough solitude are likely to boost your mental wellbeing and refresh world weary bodies.
Rejuvenation comes as standard on a trip to Jordan’s Dead Sea coast. Revered for its health promoting properties since Roman times, the water in the Dead Sea hovers around 33% salinity. This means it is richer in therapeutic minerals than all other seas and that it can rightly claim to detox your body. The high mineral content has a mild diuretic effect which flushes the system of unwanted elements. Other effects attributed to the rich mineral waters and mud banks are improved circulation, reduced pain and inflammation and rejuvenated skin. The climate and altitude are additional factors thought to promote wellbeing. The Dead Sea lies at 410 metres below sea level which increases the oxygenation of the atmosphere and lessens the strength of the sun.
The ancient sacred sites of Peru are perfect for a spiritual inner journey as well as a brilliant travel experience. Traditional spiritual rituals are still performed in Peru today and, against this background of shamanic teachings, restoring your equilibrium comes easily. Feeling connected to ancient peoples through the relics of their lives and communities can be transformative and the surrounding landscape is sure to relax and inspire you. Furthermore, the physical exertion required to reach the sites is invigorating and has a positive effect on energy levels and state of mind.
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