Ah, October. How quickly it sneaks up every year like a little rattlesnake on a hiking trail. Pretty soon we’ll blink and forget about pumpkin spice lattes and start slugging back spiked eggnog. Poof! Just like that it’s the new year and it’s time to go to the gym for 15 days straight.
It’s also that time of year when we often turn inward for some soul searching and self-reflection. Have we achieved our goals this year? How best can we plan for the year ahead? Set future goals for our careers, relationships, family? How do we stay on track? Are we happy? What does that even mean?
For some of us, this means self-reflecting the next few months from the comfort of our own couches. For others, it means leaving their daily routine behind for a few days to travel somewhere new. With this in mind, we asked the travelers on Trippy to share the best destinations in the world for soul searching. Here are the top five places to clear your head before January. So what are you waiting for?
1. Big Sur, California
“The most soulful, meditative place I’ve ever been is in Big Sur, California. It is a unique vista where sky, mountain and ocean all merge at once. It engages all of your senses and wraps itself around you: the smell of ocean and air, the roar of wind and surf, the tingling feel of ocean spray on the skin, the faint taste of salt air, and the sight of nature’s immense grandeur. One cannot spend a day sitting on the beach or rock and contemplating until the sun descends into the waters, and not come away a different person.”
Recommended by Trippy.com member Leonard Lee; Stillwater (Minnesota), Minnesota
2. Bali, Indonesia
“Bali is like a wonderland for soul searching! Whether it’s healers, meditation, yoga, retreats, cleanses, you name it, you can find it in Bali. One of the most interesting things you can do in Bali is a silent retreat. For the most you’re just completely quiet — no talking to other guests at all. The idea is that you just concentrate on your surroundings (which are basically gorgeous rice fields), read, eat, and practice yoga. If you have a job or a life that requires constant meetings or being on the computer (when you stop talking you also unplug) it’s a great way to just settle your mind.”
Recommended by Trippy.com member Courtney Robinson; Los Angeles, California
“There is no question: India is the most transformative travel destination in the world. Seekers have been going to India since the dawn of time. “All life is there,” as the quote goes. Rishikesh is the best place to start, but there are many places in India ideally suited for soul searching including Mysuru, Jaisalmer, Dharamsala and on and on. The entire country is an ashram, and some have called it the soul of the world.”
Recommended by Trippy.com member Mariellen Ward; Toronto, Canada
“In the bush in Africa–anywhere from Tanzania to Zambia. There’s something about reorienting your life to the natural rhythms of the world around you–wake with the sun, sleep when the afternoon grows too hot, etc.–of remembering your very small place in a very vast and beautiful world, and of stripping life back to its very natural cycles–birth, mating, death–that really helps you to put life into perspective. It also always reawakens my sense of wonder and joy in the world. I never considered myself to be a nature person, but one trip to Tanzania changed all that. And I can’t stop going back.”
Recommended by Trippy.com member Colleen Clark; Brooklyn, New York
5. Ollantaytambo, Peru
“I cannot explain it but one of the most special places I have ever visited where you can spend time is Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley in Peru. It is near to Machu Picchu — which you can visit, but then there are lots of other Incan sites in the valley which are much more low key, and there are great day walks.”
Recommended by Trippy.com member Christine O’Donnell; Auckland, New Zealand
Do you have a favorite destination for self-reflection? Share it with us by answering the question on Trippy: “Where is the best place in the world to do some soul searching?”