Find your Zen: Travel Destinations that Will Recharge Your Mind, Body and Soul
By TOI Staff December 28, 2023 Update on : December 28, 2023
Travel is good for your health – and we have studies to confirm it. There are plenty of benefits that you get from packing your bags and exploring the world, such as decreasing your risk of heart disease, reducing stress, and even improving sleep. But did you know some destinations are better than others for helping you recharge? That’s right – and they are worth visiting, offering a life-changing experience(literally). Are you ready to explore them? Keep reading!
No one can deny the beauty of Portugal: from its architecture and delicious food to its affordability and glorious landscape, this country has so much to offer. One of the best things about it is its accessibility – it’s easy to get to Portugal, as there are direct flights from different cities. If you’re looking to fly from Manchester, we recommend booking parking manchester airport in advance so that you won’t have to stress about finding a spot when you get there and have a stress-free trip instead.
Portugal has many wellness retreats, making it the ideal spot to find peace and relax. What is a retreat in Portugal like? Well, those who have already lived the experience describe it as magical – the yoga classes and meditation sessions, as well as the healthy foods you eat, allow you to balance your mind, body and soul and teach you how to be more present instead of letting your mind worry about the future. Does it sound appealing? If so, book your Stansted airport parking spot and hop on your plane to Portugal.
Thailand is renowned for its affordable spa treatments and revitalising health techniques, but there is more to this country than the spa experience when it comes to wellness. If you visit Thai, you will find out that healthy food exists in abundance here, and no matter if you eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a street food stall, the meals are made of fresh ingredients. For people in the country, eating is a mindful activity meant to be savoured with others.
Buddhism is more than a religion in Thailand – it’s a way to find peace of mind by practising meditation. Although you can start a meditation session at home alone, it doesn’t compare to a meditation retreat in Thailand – the experience will be unique and help you connect with your inner self. Also, resorts in Thailand provide “forest bathing”, which, as the name suggests, means spending time in the forest. Just try bathing in nature, and you’ll see how your mood improves!
You didn’t imagine Indonesia wouldn’t be on a list of the best wellness destinations, did you? Bali is popular among tourists for a reason, offering an unparalleled sense of tranquillity, harmony and balance. Traditional healing practices and wellness rituals in Bali enable great opportunities for healing and transformation. With an immersive yoga and meditation scene, the Island of the Gods enables anyone looking to enhance their wellness to get the most benefits of their practice. Besides, Bali allows you to connect with nature, which, as you probably know, is one of the best ways to improve both your physical and mental health.
Suppose you choose Bali as a travel destination. In that case, it’s easy to get active, as there are many activities to engage in, whether you want to surf the island’s waves, dive into the underwater marine life, or go on a hike. Bali’s beauty is breathtaking, offering tranquil landscapes and glimmering coastlines – simply put, it’s guaranteed to set you on a healing journey that will give you the resources you need to thrive in your life.
Sri Lanka doesn’t just offer beautiful scenery – it has also become one of the top wellness destinations in the world. With its significant network of wellness sanctuaries, traditional Ayurveda medical resorts and yoga retreats, Sri Lanka can offer you an unforgettable holistic experience that will deepen your mental strength and help you cope better with the stress of modern daily life.
Many Ayurveda spa treatments incorporate spiritual, mental and physical components and will rejuvenate your body, improve your wellbeing and even be a helpful aid in curing diseases. Yoga practices are also an essential part of wellness retreats in Sri Lanka, giving you the physical, spiritual and emotional support you need. There are experienced Yoga teachers who will help you learn more about this practice, and if you participate in a yoga retreat, you will be part of a community of people with open hearts and get the chance to build long-lasting friendships.
When it comes to finding your Zen, Japan is the perfect destination to travel to. In the country, wellness goes beyond a spa break – it is a way of living, as the culture is rooted deeply in spirituality, purpose, and the appreciation of nature. Onsen bathing is very popular in Japan, which refers to bathing in a natural hot spring – a wellness therapy that can be a helpful aid for many conditions, whether skin problems, aching bones, tired muscles, and, of course, stress.
Besides Onsen bathing, another practice is essential in Japan: Zazen meditation, which originates in Zen Buddhism. This form of meditation can calm the body and mind, teaching you to let ideas pass through your mind without dwelling upon them. The idea behind the practice is to disconnect from the material world and reach enlightenment. But that’s not all – scientific reports have shown that a regular practice of zazen meditation provides many health benefits, such as peace and mental clarity, as well as physical ones, including improved cardiac health and better posture. Now, everyone knows that eating well, meditating, and connecting with nature can indeed work wonders for your health. But not so many people are aware of the fact that finding your ikigai can be the key to a happy and fulfilling life. Simply put, ikigai is about having something worth living for, related to anything from your talents and passions to your profession. It’s up to you to find your reason for being and use it as a motivational force to move forward.
The bottom line
Wellness is crucial to reducing stress, managing illness, and thriving in your personal and professional life. Fortunately, with so many destinations where wellness is a lifestyle, it’s easy to get all those benefits – all you have to do is choose a place you want to go and let the experience transform you.