If you’ve ever read Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling novel, Eat, Pray, Love we’d say you’re more than deserving of your own transformational trip. Gilbert took an entire year to explore Italy, India, and Indonesia but if you don’t have time on your side, consider a short break or even a weekend getaway.
We’ve rounded up 7 other countries that are sure to give you that mind-body-spirit balance you so crave.
If this travel writer’s story is any indication, Morocco might just be calling your name. The country as a whole has a lot to offer—from camel rides through the desert, rejuvenating hammams, and a town entirely decked out in blue paint. Marrakech is a good starting point, as you can rest and relax in a traditional riad turned boutique hotel, sip mint tea while reading a good book and explore the bustling souks selling spices and souvenirs.
While geographically small, Guatemala is packed with history, culture, and personality. Lake Atitlán, in particular, is the perfect place to appreciate a slower pace of life. There are 11 towns around the lake, all reachable by little boats, and our favorite is San Marcos. Coined by some as the ‘hippie’ town, there are all sorts of therapeutic remedies, from traditional massages to lesser known practices like emotional liberation and animal spirit readings.
There are more than 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand and about 33,000 are currently in use. Visiting them all is quite a feat but spending a few days in Chiang Mai will give you a head start. The traveler-friendly city features temples, night markets, delicious cuisine, and friendly people. If you’re coming from the US, it’s quite affordable to get around. Attend a Buddhist retreat or simply settle for a Thai massage at your hotel.
Any trip to Spain is sure to be transformative but if we had to pick one area to de-stress, it would be Andalucía. Located in Southern Spain and covering cities like Sevilla, Grenada, and Cordoba, Andalucía is most famous of flamenco music, bullfighting, warm weather, tapas, and art of any kind. Things move slower here, which you’ll quickly learn to appreciate, and there’s always something new on the menu.
In the words of Bob Marley, “don’t worry, be happy.” From towering mountains to rainforests to reef-lined beaches, Jamaica’s sheer beauty is enough of a draw. Add amazing food (jerk chicken is a must), sunny skies and laid-back locals, and you’re officially set up for success. Surf at Boston Beach, swim in the Blue Lagoon or hike the Blue Mountains National Park.
Animal lovers will find solace in Costa Rica. The country is home to more than half a million species including the very cute-looking sloth. Manuel Antonio is a great starting place, if you’re looking for guided rainforest tours, animals peeping outside your room in the morning and monkey sightings. Alternatively, stay within an hour of the San Jose Airport and you’ll find The Retreat and a coffee plantation called Finca Rosa Blanca.
City slickers craving peace and quiet will be overjoyed in Namibia. There’s a lot to see and do here, including an excursion to Sossusvlei & Deadvlei, where you’ll see the famous dead trees set against orange/red sand dunes. Then there’s the safari approach. If you’re seeking more of a solo adventure, opt for a self-drive safari in Visit Etosha National Park. A more luxe trip will allow you to indulge in the country’s local delicacies.