Guest post contributed by Rebecca Brown
We can all feel like we’ve had enough sometimes – the daily grind simply gets to you, and you would rather be anywhere else than in your own skin. No need to fret – this is all completely normal. The modern lifestyle sometimes does all it can to get you down, and the office, the plumber failing to fix your dripping tap, the rain and the fact that you have no idea what to do with yourself on a Saturday night can all conspire to have you feeling like you are about to burst.
This might sound like the perfect time to take a vacation. Actually, any time is the best time to take a vacation, if it truly means letting go of your daily life and focus on yourself for a change. I don’t mean you should just go on a trip with your girlfriends or a weekend getaway with your significant other. You by no means need to travel alone, but make sure your travel companion knows that the sole purpose of your trip is to unwind, relax, and get back in touch with yourself, and your undisclosed desires.
Kielder Forest, the UK
If you are looking to spend some quality time in nature, and reconnect with Mother Earth, paying a visit to the Kielder Forest can be a rejuvenating experience. This is the quietest place in the UK in case you were wondering, so there is no better place to gather your thoughts and pick your next direction in life. You can choose to go hiking, mountain biking, sailing on the lake, or simply find an undisturbed spot and do nothing but meditate. At night, you can marvel at the countless stars rising above your head – this is also one of the darkest places in the UK just so you know. You are not likely to find a more undisturbed spot.
The Camino de Santiago, Spain, France, Portugal
If you are in the mood for getting lost and finding yourself again, there is no holiday like the Camino de Santiago. The Camino is a collection of pilgrim routes, running across Portugal, France, and England, to name but a few countries, and wounding down in Spain, in the town of Santiago de Compostela. While the Camino involves walking, walking and more walking, it is an amazing experience to have. As your body moves, your mind will slowly shake off the rut it is stuck in, and you will feel reborn. You will also most likely feel tired, but there is nothing like conquering another stretch of road and arriving at an inn where a bunch of other travelers are gathering to share their stories about life. The Camino is also an amazing chance to get to know what you are made of, and how much you can take.
Even though this is my hometown, and I don’t live there anymore, I still find Dublin to be one of the most relaxing places in the world. If you are looking for more of a city break, this might be the perfect choice for you. The Liffey itself can have you daydreaming day in and day out, but what sets Dublin apart is its people. You will rarely find a friendlier bunch anywhere, ready to share a meal, a pint, or show you where the locals go to grab a bite and unwind. Of course, Dublin is also home to some of the best beer in the world, the food scene is getting better every year, so there is no better place to indulge all your senses than this Irish gem.
New York, New York
Well, there might be one place that is better for indulging in anything and everything. I know you are probably thinking that New York is the last place in the world where you would like to unwind and relax, but hear me out. New York is a city that never sleeps, and if you want to take yourself out of your own life, and live differently for a week, a month, or a year, New York is the place to be. Yes, it never stops, and yes, people actually leave the city because the stress is too much, but that’s not saying that you can’t go there to enjoy the food, the conversation, the crazy and the culture. Spending a limited amount of time in the Big Apple will have you returning to your life a changed person, trust me.
There you have it – a rather unconventional piece about relaxing and unwinding, but depending on what you are looking to achieve, these four destinations can help you gain a new perspective on your life, and start fresh, if need be.