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Where did you go, or would go, for renewing your spirit?

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Showing 1-25 of 41 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 7, 2011 3:51:06 PM PST
George says:
I wonder where you might suggest as a good place to go when life seems to becoming too lousy and depressing? My guess is that many of us have traveled someplace in order to get away and maybe find out what's the problem and how to get back on track. I know that I have, more than once too. Most seemed to work well, although some not so good. One of the best was to cruise on a small ship from Seattle to Alaska with stops along the way and then take a small group tour of Denali Park. The places we visited seemed to help restore peacefulness in my life. Those areas can do that for me. Other trips were not good for this purpose - too long, too much interactions with people, too lonely, scary, expensive, whatever. Can you suggest short or long trips you have taken or would take to become a little happier, grounded, spirited or ....?
I would love the read your response and guess others will too. Thanks.

Posted on Nov 13, 2011 2:42:56 PM PST
Italy. Without a doubt. Any part, any time, any season--although one should beware of tourists! lol. Even the popular places like Rome and Florence are full of out-of-the-way nooks and sheltered areas that provide renewal. The place is loud, noisy, smelly, delicious, and full of some of the most hospitable, clear-eyed, toughest people in the world. Everyone should go, if even for three days.

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 2:09:32 PM PST
Do the Camino de Santiago

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 9:01:40 AM PST
Margit says:
Volunteer for a week or more at Tassajara - its the first Buddhist monastery outside of Asia
and has managed to reconcile contemplative atmosphere with quite fun - hot springs at night, flower walks during the day, a dip in the pool in the summer. If you have a lot of money you can go as a guest, too, but volunteering plus fun is best for the situation you describe.

PS: I like Rosemarie's comment - it may be along the same line. I can't imagine going to a busy place!

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 12:22:07 PM PST
Hello George,
I agree with Rosemarie: a journey on the Camino de Santiago in Spain could perhaps restore your spirit, and soothe your soul. The journey requires walking everyday in nature, either in solitude, or with the new friends you'll meet (and yes, it's easy to meet others on the Camino--from students to seniors!). It's also not as expensive as being a tourist in Spain, since there are many places to stay that cost about ten to fifteen Euros a night; sometimes even less. The landscapes are extraordinary, the local people are warm and welcoming, the food is fantastic, and there's just something about walking day after day after day...eventually the mind settles down, and new ideas or new dreams start to appear. Lives have changed on the Camino. It's a great way to refresh one's soul, and to get physically fit while doing so.

I've added a few book links below, if you'd like to learn more. Forgive my shameless self-promotion, as the book Camino de Santiago:To Walk Far, Carry Less was written by me. But my mission is to help people discover the Camino, and to help them prepare for their journey-so they can walk comfortably day after day.

You mentioned how you loved the landscapes you visited during your Alaskan cruise. Perhaps an immersion in nature would once again help you to find that peacefulness you experienced on the Alaskan cruise.

I'd also recommend seeing the film "The Way", recently released and starring Martin Sheen, to get a sense of what the Camino journey is about.

Best wishes to you George-I hope you find happiness and peace.

A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean * Roncesvalles * Santiago
Seven Tips to Make the Most of the Camino de Santiago
Camino de Santiago: To Walk Far, Carry Less

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2011 8:02:40 AM PST
Eddie Lennon says:
Hi George,

I would go to Cuba. I have been there loads of times and it always puts me in better form. The pace is slow; the people are friendly; there is no hustle-bustle like elsewhere (advertising is banned, so commercialism is kept at a minimum); and life is lived simply and well, and it touch with nature. There are plenty of places to visit, not just Havana itself which is full of atmosphere and spirit.

Forgive the shameless plug, but I was so impressed with the place that, along with a friend who lived there and several others who still do, I wrote an eBook, Wonderful Havana, showing the best aspects of the capital.

Best wishes, wherever you decide to kick back.
Eddie Lennon

Posted on Nov 28, 2011 9:43:09 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 10, 2011 4:00:11 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 12:33:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2011 1:13:44 PM PST
B. Wandert says:
You don't have to go to the far reaches of the world to find rejuvenation. I've found that no matter where you are, even a 1-hour walk in nature can do wonders for your soul and peace of mind. From the lushness of the Columbia River gorge to the vastness of Canyonlands National Park, each locale offers a chance to reflect and recharge. I think the key ingredient is nature, followed closely by the opportunity to leave the crowds behind.

Something I'd like to do someday is a river cruise. The number of passengers is limited, and the focus is on observing the towns slowly float by, with plenty of chances for excursions. I imagine this would be a wonderful way to relax, learn, and recharge.

Releasing the Inner Vagabond: Synopsis of a 5-year cross-country travel adventure

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 5:51:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 6:02:42 PM PST
GardenGal says:
The ultimate in R&R was a trip we took to the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize - this trip followed a really stressful time in our life and couldn't have happened at a better time -- we stayed at an eco style resort in a remote area of the island only accessible by boat - there were all but 8 cabanas and everyone pretty much kept to themselves for their stay. Only solar powered electricity, filtered ocean water, no music, t.v, or phones. Just the tropical sun on our skin, toes in the sand, book in hand, lazing on the beach in the soothing tropical breeze, beautiful palm trees, dipping in the calm waters within the reef for a swim or snorkel, and wonderful 6 course meals made up for the simplicity of the place. Nothing within miles of us except jungle and ocean. It was QUIET. Never had a vacation like that before or since. The resort is now closed, sad to say, but this year we're headed to Vieques - a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Hope it's all that our trip to Belize was, and more.

We returned home and felt totally relaxed for weeks on end - I can't even describe the feeling. Maybe it was the tropical breeze all week? I don't know, but it was WONDERFUL. Funny thing is, the first day I hated it. It was my first experience with an eco resort. By the second day, I was in love with the place and by the end of the week, I didn't want to leave.

Another place I'd like to see, though haven't been, for R&R is Dominica in the caribbean. I read posts on t.a. from guys who were on a far side of the island and spent the week rafting the river and never saw a soul all the way through. I agree - getting back to nature and away from society is the best in terms of R&R.

I wrote more about that trip to Belize in a post in this same forum headed, "Tell me about the places you have traveled"

Posted on Mar 7, 2012 1:01:16 PM PST
Rome, always Rome! For peace, for energy, for delicious pasta and vino, and for the sheer beauty.

Check out "I Blame Italy" the first in a series of travel essays. I have been taking high school school students to Europe for more than 10 years, and there are always hilarious and wonderful moments on every trip, as well as meaningful breakthroughs for the kids--and me too. Now you can laugh at their hijinks and blunders while savoring the flavors of Italy.
I Blame Italy: Episodes in Student Travel

Posted on Mar 7, 2012 7:14:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 8, 2012 4:25:35 PM PST
Prior to chucking it all and moving to Maui we came up with an approach for picking travel destinations that just might suit your purposes. Go to your big box bookstore and find the scuba section of their magazine rack. Then skim through the monthly mags looking for features on exotic dive destinations.

Trust me, that special interest group loves to hang out right on the edge of civilization. Truk Lagoon might sound a bit out there, but twenty years ago we followed the dive crowd to the Turks & Caicos back when the belongers only welcomed 70,000 visitors a year. Even then the accomodations were quite acceptable and the food service went way beyond peas and fish.

Incidentally, those adventures led to a business venture we pursue to this day. Instead of selling engineered systems we now write a series on the Hawaiian dining scene. We've been releasing our work in print since 2002 but are now using eBooks to speed things up. Here are links to our latest releases:

Big Island Of Hawaii Budget Restaurants And Value Dining With Hilo And The Kona Coast (Hawaii Restaurant Guide Series)

Kauai Budget Restaurants And Value Dining With Princeville And Poipu Beach (Hawaii Restaurant Guide Series)

Maui Budget Restaurants And Value Dining With Lanai And Molokai (Hawaii Restaurant Guide Series)

Oahu Budget Restaurants And Value Dining With Honolulu And Waikiki (Hawaii Restaurant Guide Series)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 7:59:31 AM PDT
Keep a weather eye out when doing Ambergris Caye. They seem to get visits from late season hurricanes all together too often. We once had a fall trip booked and got a phone call from American Airlines cancelling the whole affair 36 hours out. They apologized profusely and immediately refunded our money, but I could hardly fault them. I mean really, when was the last time an airline called you and refunded your money? It was nice to discover that somebody in that imperiled industry still does business in a proactive fashion. And yes, the storm did hit Ambergris right in the pocket.

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 4:19:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 19, 2012 4:22:07 PM PDT
Sarah says:
While working in Japan, I visited dozens of historic Buddhist temples, including Kiomizudera, Kokedera, Sanjusangendo, Tenryuji, and Todaiji (home of one of the world's largest Buddha statues). My most memorable experience was writing a sutra, the Hannya Shingyo (Heart Sutra, in Japanese while the monks were chanting along. There's something magical and soothing listening to Japanese Buddhist chants in these ancient buildings, with the incense wafting heavenwards. Afterwards, I spent about an hour walking through the temple's famous moss gardens. Pretty much everywhere in Japan you will find opportunities for quiet reflection at shrines, temples, and in classical Japanese gardens.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 7:08:38 PM PDT
Shang says:
Come to Whidbey Island - just NW of Seattle, WA. Life is slow-paced here. The air is fresh and cool - we have no smog. Yes, we have rain, but we also have sunbreaks and many sunny days, too. It is rarely hot here - and it rarely snows. There are forested areas all over the island. We have deer, possum, squirrels, chippies and sooo many different types of birds. There are many simple places to eat, as well as a few fine-dining restaurants. We have delis, wine tastings, lots of farms and beautiful views north, south, east and west. There are several parks for camping - and lots of bed and breakfasts. Bring your boat, if you have one as there are many boat launch ramps all over the island. We have great salmon fishing - from shore - or from a boat.

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 10:17:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2012 10:18:33 AM PDT
Judith says:
I travel to SE Asia and Europe for renewing my spirit and exploring sacred sites. You can follow my incredible journeys by reading: Spirit Realms of Vietnam Volume II The Diaries (Volume 2), Spirit Realms of Vietnam: Volume I The Context (Volume 1), The Trail Of Gnosis: A Lucid Exploration Of Gnostic Traditions. Enjoy!

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 7:42:38 AM PDT
Freddie says:
Galapagos Islands in Ecuador...nature untouched. Small boats accommodating up to 16 people take you there along with a naturalist. Overseas Adventure Travel can help with arrangements.

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 4:12:19 PM PDT
Carol Ryan says:
Sailing across the Pacific --you can crew on someone else's sailboat-- is THE way to unplug from the man-made world. Right Now Is Perfect: A Romance, an Adventure, the Unexpected Thereafter is my account. What happens when two divorced mid-life people (along with another couple) sail across the Pacific--through the most beautiful and isolated islands in the world. Four people on a 36 foot boat, different ideas about commitment, a lack of food and water: What could possibly go wrong?
Anyway, the book will take you there vicariously.

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 4:13:33 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 6, 2012 4:13:59 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 10:11:25 PM PDT
Gino Litvak says:
Renewing spirit? New Zealand is your best bet. By far.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2012 10:13:54 PM PDT
Gino Litvak says:
hated hawaii. honestly can you compare french polynesia and hawaii. big island. what value can it offer if latest hotel was built in the 70's.

Posted on Apr 12, 2012 9:04:22 AM PDT
Edward Sweet says:
These all sound great to me. However, I love West Cornwall, the Penzance area. It rejuvenates the soul. The cliffs are gorgeous, the hiking on the coastal trail is adventurous, the meadows and fields are peaceful, and the antiquities are incredible. However, if you go there don't expect a guided need to ask the locals for the best places to go. Or you can just relax with Cornish cider, pasties or a crab sandwich, and enjoy the local traditions and food. Check out the virtual tourist website and search for places like Penzance, Sancreed, Sennen, and St. Ives. Lots of locals and travelers giving the lowdown on their favorite spots.

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 8:25:01 AM PDT
2 cents says:
Never tell people where is good to travel unless they're a close friend.

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 9:14:15 AM PDT
Teddy Bear says:
I have two places to recommend. One is where I live, Manzanita, Oregon, a small town on the Pacific Ocean surrounded by state parks and accessible ocean beaches. The other is the Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California. Both provide the serentiy of nature along with enough amenities to keep you comfortable.

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 10:16:53 AM PDT
Beijing. You'll really get to know yourself.

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 5:01:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 27, 2012 5:02:06 AM PDT
I go every year to the Serpent Mound in Locust Grove, OH. This sacred place called to me back in 2000, and I drum there. I would also like to return to my grandmother's ancestral home Cerami in Sicily. Having been there, I understand why mountains also always summon me. Both places figure in my books.

Full Tank & No Damage: Three on a Sicilian Odyssey

Coffee with Thunderbolts
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Discussion in:  Travel forum
Participants:  34
Total posts:  41
Initial post:  Nov 7, 2011
Latest post:  Aug 16, 2013

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