Tag Archives: destinations

Why You Absolutely Need to Take a Meditation Vacation

It’s a common and admirable goal to travel as a means of “finding yourself,” but sometimes the stresses of being in a new place or cramming in sightseeing opportunities can prevent travelers from actually calming down, getting centered, and coming home rejuvenated.

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Enter the meditation retreat—the ultimate antidote to burnout. Practicing mindfulness during vacation has loads of benefits:

1. It lets you slow down. By prioritizing quiet reflection, you’ll have a chance to reconnect with yourself and your own internal rhythms. Drop the distractions, affectations, and stressors, and remember what it means to just be you.

2. It teaches focus. Setting a goal to be mindful and present—in some ways, doing “nothing”—is actually really tough. Meditation forces you to learn how to stay present and committed to a goal.

3. It provides clarity. Practicing mindfulness requires you to confront personal demons and connect to inner feelings and desires, all of which increases self-awareness and empowers you to pursue goals.

4. It cultivates peace of mind. Removing external pressures and settling into a relaxing space can reduce stress, broaden your perspective, and cultivate equanimity, or the ability to calmly accept circumstances as they arise.

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How to Plan A Meditation Retreat

Intrigued? Then it’s time to get planning.

All-inclusive meditation retreats can be found around the globe, as in Nosara, Costa Rica, a favorite destination of international yogis. The Harmony Hotel, Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort, and Costa Rica Yoga Spa all offer remarkable mindfulness retreats.

Some people also choose to go the DIY route and plan their own retreat. Customizing a retreat lets you choose exactly where to be and what to do in addition to meditation. Retreats can include passive activities such as massages, meditation, acupuncture, and spa treatments or more active options like yoga, hiking, dancing, arts and crafts, or gardening—it’s all up to you!

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To plan a retreat, start by selecting a serene location full of natural beauty, whether it’s mountains, rivers, forests, or the ocean. Not sure where to go? Here are a few places that are home to some of the most popular retreat destinations:

After settling on a destination, take the time to figure out where to eat, what activities to participate in, and what you want each day to look like while on retreat—the structure is up to you, but make sure not to cram the schedule too full and to allow room for meditation each day. Do the planning in advance, and you’ll have nothing to do but relax and re-center upon arrival.

Whether you decide to attend an organized retreat or create your own at one of many remarkable destinations, the intention you bring to the experience will determine how you feel at the end of it. May the ommms be ever in your favor.

Why Now Is The Time To Visit These Landscapes Affected By Climate Change

Climate change is real, and it’s having a significant impact on some of the world’s most stunning, unique, and precious landscapes. Rising global temperatures, along with industrialization, are causing many of these landscapes to disappear right before our very eyes. Check out our list below for four landscapes that are being directly affected by climate change and how best to visit them before it’s too late!

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1.) Greenland

When activists speak about disappearing landscapes, Greenland is almost always used as a prime example. This massive island of ice is located in the middle of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans and has been a test bed for climate theory for years. Recently, NASA has been tracking the movement of water underneath the ice sheet that covers 80% of the island. What they’ve found is nothing short of terrifying–the moving water is causing large chunks of the ice sheet to melt into the ocean. This means that not only will Greenland’s iconic icy landscape all but disappear within the century, but that the water from this melting will cause sea level rise across the globe, resulting in devastating flooding for coastal communities. Travelers can visit this beautiful icy paradise by traveling first to Reykjavik, and then doing a day trip to Greenland.

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2.) The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem

Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in the Southeastern United States will be familiar with the longleaf pine tree, a stately tree common to the South. In the late 18th century, forests of longleaf pines dominated the southern landscape, filling an estimated area of 90 million acres that stretched from Virginia to Texas. Flash forward to the modern day and you’ll find that these 90 million acres have been reduced to a mere 2 million, a 97% decline. Logging and hyper land development have left the longleaf pine ecosystem utterly ravaged. And it’s not just the trees that have suffered—this ecosystem is home to a rich diversity of plants and animals, all of which are now endangered. To catch a glimpse of these regal trees, pay a visit to Houston, Suffolk, or Tallahassee.

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3.) The Himalayas

For centuries, this chain of mountains has mystified and compelled adventurers, scientists, artists and the common layperson. We are all familiar with the mythos of Mt. Everest and even those of us who have never traveled to this part of the world know what it looks like. Climate Change, though, is quickly working to warp and alter this fabled landscape. Not only have rising global temperatures caused many Himalayan glaciers to melt, but they have also caused bizarre, unseasonal shifts in weather, which have resulted in flooding and human fatality. Not unlike the Greenland ice sheet, the melting of the ice caps in the Himalayas are predicted to increase in speed over the course of the 21st century. To visit the Himalayas, first book travel to Kathmandu and then book a local sherpa guide to help you navigate your journey.

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4.) The Amazon

Arguably one of the most well-known and easily recognizable ecosystems in the world, the Amazon, is rapidly disappearing. Climate scientists often describe the Amazon as the world’s most important hydrological engine because the waters released by Amazonian plants into the atmosphere, as well as by its rivers into the Atlantic Ocean, help to sustain a livable world climate. However, this engine is beginning to fail as a direct result of logging and deforestation. As the vibrant and diverse Amazon ecosystem disappears, so too does one of the world’s most important resources for combatting climate change. Predicted increases in temperatures, and decreases in rainfall, will continue to affect flora growth into the 21st century and will morph this once lush and beautiful forest into a dry savannah. To pay homage to this sweeping landscape before it totally disappears, first book a flight to Rio de Janeiro and then either travel by bus or air to Manaus, a popular entry point to the Amazon.