The quest for wellness and wellbeing has become a defining characteristic of millennial life. Everything that we do - including the way that we travel, and where we travel to - should incorporate some level of self-care. As we deal increasingly with stress, anxiety and uncertainty, here are the countries to go to if you seek a little nourishment for the soul...
China‘s herbology is one of the best on the globe, with Chinese therapies from acupuncture to aromatherapy practiced world-wide for both physical and mental wellbeing. Not to mention the delicious food, packed with longevity-inducing veggies, China has just about every suggestion possible for those seeking overall wellness.
Many Chinese theories and schools of thought, such as Ying and Yang, also delve deep into the philosophy behind wellbeing. Many visitors come to explore and seek understanding and clarity from such theories as a gateway to spiritual enlightenment. If that’s not enough, the vast and varied natural wonders of China alone feature perfect accommodation, trails and hiking trips for pensive, reflective excursions.
Iceland has been declared one the healthiest countries on the globe, due in part to the few numbers of people actually living there. It’s abundance of hot pools are said to have significant positive impact on both the physical and mental health of its residents – I mean, who doesn’t want a bit of natural pool healing? Said pools are also a hotspot for social interaction, killing two birds (self-care and making new friends) with one stone.
Iceland is a perfect hiking destination, and its breathtaking landscapes are likely to evoke a sense of peace, and inspire creativity. From natural bathing spots to high-quality swimming pools and spas, its pure geothermal waters are a gift from nature, guaranteed to leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
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If you’re looking to ditch the concrete jungle for…well, the actual jungle – Costa Rica should be next on your travel list. The local motto of “Pura Vida” (the good life) permeates through the country’s culture, in which healthy living is a top priority – both mentally and physically. Green juices and raw cuisine are never too far away in this lush eco-paradise.
The biodiversity in Costa-Rica is unrivalled: here is a country that takes sustainability to new heights. One can find roughly 5% of the world’s biodiversity, despite the country only covering 0.03% of the earth’s land mass. From picturesque beaches, to opulent rainforests, Costa Rica is the perfect environment to re-charge and detox your soul.
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Greece has the perfect balance of super healthy Mediterranean cuisine and an enviable climate – two ideal components for spiritual revitalisation. In addition to engaging in laughter-as-therapy with the kind-natured locals, many of Greece’s hot springs and native plants contain therapeutic properties that date back to antiquity. Spa’s and wellness retreats have also become part of the Greek landscape – most of which use local ingredients and resources in their rituals.
Much of the country has remained largely unchanged in thousands of years, and it’s easy to feel like you’ve gone back in time amongst the crystal blue seas, abundant olive trees and stunning architecture. Greece truly is the perfect place to engage in some well deserved self-care, far away from the chaos of modern life.
Japan has paid sharp attention to wellbeing, which includes the well-known ceremonial making of green tea – locally said to make you live to 100 years old (!). Meditation and regular bath taking are also frequent aspects of Japanese life, with plentiful ancient temples – many of which offer accommodation and temple-style food to visitors.
Japan has all the answers when it comes to stress management, such as the practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or ‘forest bathing’, in which you abandon your phone and take a leisurely pause in a local forest or park.
Globally hailed as the wellness destination, Bali has seen health, fitness and lifestyle bloggers flock – all for a slice of its unparalleled beauty. As the epicentre of spiritual health, visitors in Bali can find all their wellness bases covered – from açai bowls to group yoga.
But there’s more to Bali than raw vegan food; with its stunning ancient temples and rich cultural traditions, Bali’s recipe for wellness features a juxtaposition of spiritual enlightenment and immersion in nature. Beaches, meditation spots and likeminded wellness-seekers make Bali a must-visit destination if you’re looking to re-charge your batteries.
If you’re familiar with the scene in eat pray love where Liz goes to Italy to re-discover her appetite for life, you’ll know why Italy is on this list. Eating well is synonymous with self-care: good food can inspire, revitalise and awaken even the coldest of souls. Fresh ingredients and even fresher cocktails will surely put your senses into a frenzy.
Italy also has a booming yoga scene, and countless wellness retreats to go with it. From the colourful vibrancy of the cities, to the stunning serenity of the countryside, you’ll rediscover yourself and fall in love with the Italian atmosphere all at once!
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A sensory delight where self-care rituals are embedded in the local culture, Morocco makes a solid case to be one of the top destinations for those seeking wellness. Here, ancient rituals meet modern wellness trends to create a mysterious array of traditional spa experiences: think argan oil, stunning baths and irresistible hammams. On top of that – eating (and smelling) the drool-worthy local cuisine will be a spiritual experience in itself.
If you want to fall back in love with travelling, Morocco will not disappoint. Wherever you turn, you’ll be well looked after; a trip to this awe-inspiring country is like chicken soup for the soul.
Much like Iceland, part of New Zealand’s charm revolves around its small population – making it ideal for those who desire life in the slow lane for a change. The warm and friendly culture paired with the stunning rural Lord of the Rings inspired landscapes equals a peaceful, serene trip – guaranteed to give you a new outlook on life.
If you want alone time without isolation, or to get back in touch with nature without having to go all out on the camping – New Zealand is the place for you. You’ll find exquisite food, pristine lakes and a real community spirit, without feeling too disconnected from modern life. It’s no wonder the country is becoming a wellness hotspot.
India has prioritised wellness and holistic health for thousands of years, and it’s wellbeing practices have much become part of its cultural fabric. This has resulted in huge numbers of people world wide making the pilgrimage to india every year, to partake in it’s wisdom, and achieve some level of spiritual growth. As the birthplace of yoga, arguably the most influential wellness practice, it’s easy to understand why.
One of India’s most popular philosophies is ayurveda – which is based on the belief that physical and mental wellbeing is derived from the mind, body, and spirit being interconnected. It’s everything from a specific kind of diet to breathing techniques, and many claim it changes lives. So, what are you waiting for?