If you’re looking for a soul searching trip, without attending an organized retreat, these rejuvenating destinations may just spark the self-discovery you’re seeking.
What makes a place the ideal spot for a solo self-discovery retreat? Our criteria include small to medium size population, laid back vibe, friendliness, off-the-beaten-track location and natural beauty. Most importantly, there should be enough things to do to keep you inspired and active, but not enough to do that you’re distracted from journaling, reading, meditating or simply doing nothing.
In the heart of Japan’s Izu Peninsula lies Shuzenji, an onsen resort town filled with ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), nature and peaceful vibes. The Izu peninsula has plenty of beaches, waterfalls and other sights to see, however, there’s not too much to do in Shuzenji itself except enjoy hot onsen soaks and delicious multi-course meals at your ryokan. Its perfect mix of culture, wellness, natural beauty and blissful lack of mass tourism, make it the perfect spot for a personal self-discovery retreat.
Related: Discovering Shuzenji: A Hidden Gem on Japan’s Izu Peninsula
Relatively unknown among foreign tourists, Bacalar’s claim to fame is its lagoon. The shallow, clear freshwater beckons with multiple shades of blue while the small town has plenty of restaurants and amenities to keep you happy without the commercialization and crowds of other Yucatan hotspots like Cancun and Tulum.
Photo by fer gomez on Unsplash
This charming town combines European chicness with stunning Mediterranean beaches and an off the beaten track location, making it the ideal place for a solo getaway focused on self-discovery and rejuvenation. The labyrinth of streets, hiking paths and seaside provide fodder for hours of mindful wandering while the upscale boutiques will boost your inspiration and fantastic dining will give you a taste of culture.
Related: Why Cadaqués on Spain’s Costa Brava Should Be Your Next Travel Destination
Sanibel Island, Florida
If beautiful beaches are more your vibe, Sanibel’s quite conducive to serious soul searching (and shell searching…yes it’s a thing). The island’s coastline and nature reserves provide multiple ways to find deep contemplation and connection with nature and yourself without being completely isolated from everyday comforts.
Photo by Christina Lee on Unsplash
Ljubljana’s the capital of Slovenia and a bigger city than any other destination listed here, but it’s still tiny and relatively undiscovered by European standards. You’ll be able to tap into your own self-discovery in Ljubljana by engaging in the city’s creative culture, chatting with friendly locals and journaling in a charming cafe overlooking the fairytale-like streets.
Related: A Guide to Istria: Exploring Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy
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