Are you at a point where you feel a need to hit the reset button on life? Time to put your priorities in order and do soul searching?
Some people prefer an unfamiliar place to do soul searching, away from their mundane routines. Kate, a Trippy user needed just that, so she posted her question:
Where is the best place in the world to do some soul searching? I’m in need to do a little soul searching and want to go to the see the world. Where is the best destination to escape and reconnect with yourself after having your heart broken?
Ready to embark on an adventure and transform your life gleaning answers from Trippy users, who have been to these places listed below?
Here are the 10 best places in the world to do soul searching:
1. Tanzania and Zambia
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-loving person, but one trip to Tanzania changed all that. And I can’t stop going back.
Africa offers adventure, excitement, and a wealth of wildlife species that you can discover. And if you travel to Tanzania, you can add game parks like Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park, or a climb to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Zambia offers the majestic Victoria Falls and the walking safaris of South Luangwa National Park. Your experiences in Tanzania and Zambia will not only take your mind off the cares of the world; it will make you feel the need to reconnect with nature and care for the endangered animals.
Haroun from Tanzania recommended visiting Serengeti National Park:
Visit the Serengeti National Park, one of the top-rated tourist attractions in the world. Tanzania’s oldest and most famous national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th worldwide wonder; the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: vast herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle. And after all this, you take some time and chill on the white sandy beach of Zanzibar.
Drew from Manhattan Beach wrote:
Ngorongoro Park is a must in Tanzania. I think Zambia and a visit to Victoria Falls is one of the most amazing sights in Africa. If you go to the Vic Falls area, definitely do a canoe safari on the Zambezi river. Something that shouldn’t be missed.
2. Tulum and Oaxaca
I would definitely add Mexico.. either Tulum or Oaxaca. The humble, kindness, and very hospitable feeling of the people are enough to make you feel loved and connected on a deeper level. Tulum and Oaxaca are very spiritual cities as they have spectacular ancient ruins… there are shamans who do help you work on connecting with your soul and healing pain, but they don’t advertise themselves. I wish you the best.
3. Big Sur
The most soulful, meditative place I’ve ever been to 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 from a different person. Good luck to you on your healing journey of mind, body, and spirit.
Better yet, rent a car, preferably a convertible, and drive the 90-mile winding Highway 1 between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur. Soak up the sunshine, feel the wind in your hair, and enjoy the breathtaking coastline. Stay at Esalen and enroll in a soul searching workshop.
4. Ollantaytambo in Peru
Christine from Auckland said:
I cannot explain it, but one of the most unusual 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. The local people do not have much but are beautiful, it is relatively cheap to live, and so you can stay as long as you need, and there are a lot of other people there on spiritual journeys. If you want an extended stay, then you can volunteer there and have a part-time job. Surete (good luck).
Ollantaytambo is a major train stop for tourists taking the train from Cusco to Aguas Caliente, the gateway to Machu Picchu. It’s known for the ruins made up of 15th-century sophisticated irrigation systems, terraces, a fortress, and the Temple of the Sun. You can climb the 200-steps to see the great work of stone masonry by the Incas. Ollantaytambo is the place to contemplate life. Gibbsy from Utah shared his thoughts about it:
The history of why it was built and the magnitude of the stones are incredible. I believe that there is the face of the white-bearded-god that is etched into the stone of the canyon. I wasn’t there at the right time, but apparently, his crown illuminates on the equinox.
Many travelers chose India as one of the top countries for soul searching. Trippy users Cheiro, Mariellen, Pawan, Brianna, Brenda, Arti, and Kristal, recommended India. Mariellen wrote:
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. Travel in India personally changed my life, and I now write a travel blog about India, called Breathedreamgo. In it, you will find lots of advice and articles about staying in yoga ashrams. Rishikesh is the best place to start, but there are many places in India ideally suited for soul searching, including MysuruJaisalmerDharamsala and on and on. The entire country is an ashram, and some have called it the soul of the world. You will confront all life, yourself, the divine, and everything in between.
India is a big country, and big cities can be overwhelming instead of calming. If it’s your first time there, you may want to consider the golden triangle – Agra and Jaipur. Christine also recommended India, and she loved Darjeeling and Sikkim:
I also love India but worry that you might be so busy “dealing with it” that you don’t have time for yourself. If you want a distraction, then it is undoubtedly the option. I loved it in Darjeeling/Sikkim in the highlands; there is something about pushing your body on high altitude mountain walking that clears the mind.
6. Antigua, Guatemala
You need a place where you can take your time, so a cheap destination is excellent. And don’t forget to try and stay active physically if you are down mentally as this has been proven to be good for your mental state, and having been there myself, I totally agree with that. Should I pinpoint one place to go then, it would be Antigua Guatemala where you can quite easily chill for a few weeks without spending a lot of money and be in a very inspiring place at the same time.
The bright-colored and well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, and a central square in the old town are some of the attractions in Antigua. Founded in 1543 by the Spanish, Antigua served as an economic, cultural, and religious center in the region for over 200 years. As Claus said, Antigua has all the trappings of a Spanish town without the high price tag. You can afford to take up Spanish, learn Salsa or just hang out in cafes and while your time away for days or weeks during your soul-searching process.
7. Cape Town
Richard, a Trippy user from Cape Town, recommended his hometown. He said:
My favorite place for soul searching is here in Cape Town and surrounds. The reason is that this part of the world captures all of the elements I mention above. In and around Cape Town, you will find Table Mountain National Park, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Just being near the mountain is a spiritual experience. Or you can walk in the Tokai Forest for peace and serenity. You could meditate in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, or if you feel like some fun and hanging out with people, you could see the beautiful city or drink cocktails in Camps Bay. For a slower pace, you could head to the wine estates around Durbanville, Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Groot Constantia for a relaxing wine tasting, spa treatments, and the like. One of the most amazing things to do is horse riding on Melkbosstrandbeach or the perfect beach at Noordhoek. Up the west coast, you can go camping on the shell beaches of Tietiesbaai Rest Camp or Langebaan. Or you can camp in the fantastic Cederberg Wilderness Area. You will find nature, peace, beautiful people, and a relaxing atmosphere here.
Besides venturing out to the national parks, wineries, and beaches, there are places to find your zen and your inner peace in Cape Town, according to Cape Town official tourism website. Check out:
- The Art of Living
- The OM Revolution
- Yoga Life
Lucy and Courtney chose Bali. Lucy said:
I would say Bali. It’s very, very beautiful and quite cheap once you’re there. You can have daily massages, walk on beautiful beaches, see lots of green rice paddies and eat delicious food. The people are friendly and helpful, and most guesthouses and hotels welcome solo travelers with open arms.
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 exciting 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 endless meetings or being on the computer (when you stop talking, you also unplug), it’s a great way just to settle your mind.
If you’re wondering where to stay besides beach resorts, we recommend Ubud, a cultural center offering villas surrounded by rice fields and coconut trees. There are opportunities to ride on motorbikes, go cycling through rice fields, and hike Mount Batur. Trippy user Vicki said:
Ubud may seem touristy on the outside but look deeper and stay just a little out of the main roads, and it’s a totally different world. I love The Yoga Barn and have stayed at their guest house, which is simple but comfortable and quiet. My friends rave about Tegal Sari Accommodation, also walking distance from the Yoga Barn, but I could never get a reservation as it’s always booked in advance. Depending on your budget, if you want to splurge, stay at Uma by COMO Ubud – it’s lovely and right across local favorite food joint Naughty Nuri’s Warung and Grill. Check out Uma’s website for scheduled retreats. A little farther away is Bambu Indah, founded by jewelry designer John Hardy. The rates for the smaller villas are pretty reasonable; one of the villas is even built above a shrimp pond with a glass floor.
Kristal suggested Croatia:
If you want a different view, there are many places in Europe, I would highly recommend Croatia, there are over 2000 islands off the coast, and any coastal city you go to is absolutely breathtaking. I found it to be much prettier than Italy.
For destinations in Europe that are less crowded and touristy, go to Croatia’s islands suggested by Missy. She wrote:
I would add the island of Mljet to your list, arriving by ferry to the town of Polače. A large part of Mljet is a National Park, including the waters around. And within the National Park are the Malo Jezero, which are Small and Large Lake, which are beautiful. Within the lakes is an old monastery on an island, with little National Park boats that take you to the island to explore. There are many trails through the Park for hiking and bicycling, and bicycles are available to be rented in Polace. Due to the surrounding waters being part of the National Park, large scale fisheries are banned, and so the waters are full of seafood. A favorite restaurant of mine in Polace is Restaurant Ankora, where the Owner makes fresh black squid ink risotto that is excellent. There are other restaurants along the harbor front, where the seafood is kept alive to be the freshest in baskets sunk into the waters under their docks until ordered. And many of the restaurants here offer traditional Peka Cooking with hot wood ash under the Dalmatian Peka Bell.
Kauai is the most soulful place I know.
Known as the Garden Isle, Kauai is the oldest and most lush island in Hawaii. Besides pristine beaches that provide plenty of water activities, Kauai has some of the most breathtaking natural wonders that will require days to explore. Go on trail walks or ATV adventures, or mountain biking and zip-lining.
Nature has a way of replenishing your soul. Interestingly, Kauai is also known for its sacred places like Wailua Complex of Heiaus with ruins of ancient Hawaiian temples located in Wailua. A trip there may change your perspective on life.