Travel ideas for your own Elizabeth Gilbert moment
We can all agree that sometimes our daily routines can be a little too much to handle. Whether it be the stress from work or pressures from your relationships, a little ‘me time’ is something all of us need, yet often push back. This Valentine’s, why not gift yourself the love and pampering that you actually need and jet off to someplace new? Exercise #SelfLove and take the opportunity to learn more about yourself through travel.
Check out our top picks to consider for an Eat Pray Love experience.
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Laying low behind the limelight of culinary front-runners Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan is the pulsating city of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Though it isn’t a first choice for many, this humble city and its eccentric gastronomic scene craves for attention – and attention it should be given, or at least considered.
A typical scene in Ho Chi Minh City goes as pictured: motorcycle-dominated streets bordered by street food vendors selling their own rendition of Pho – and no matter which store you decide to take a seat in will serve you a bowl like no other. Order up a set of Spring Rolls and maybe a Banh Mi and you’ll notice your palette searching for the same taste in the days to follow.
Most would be surprised to know that the pho-lined streets are known for much else – but as you walk past the food stalls and tiny dining sets, the smell of coffee will overtake your senses and notice the abundance of coffee shops that surround the area. From chain cafes to third wave shops, the unassuming Ho Chi Minh delights locals and tourists alike with a variety of coffee options for those with caffeine running through their veins. Drop by the iconic Cafe Apartment and wander around the cafe-filled condominium for your perfect cup.
Why Ho Chi Minh City? Take this time to fall deep in love with a city through its food – with no preconceived notions and no prior recommendations, but purely based on your own personal journey of discovery.
If anything, Bologna, Italy proves that the Italian cuisine is often replicated, but never duplicated. Tourists typically flock to the streets of Rome and Florence in search for the perfect plate of freshly made pasta, or the creamiest gelato – when it is in fact in Bologna, no bias whatsoever.
As it is officially stamped as the food capital of Italy, Bologna takes huge pride in their food – especially given Italy’s notorious standards. Specifically, it is known for prosciutto di parma, parmigiano-reggiano, mortadella, lasagna – the list can go on and on! Bottom line is, if food sits at the top of your itinerary, the only right choice would be Bologna, Italy.
However, Bologna doesn’t just get bragging rights for its gastronomic experiences. This city’s architecture and art scene is one to beat with landscapes that rival those of Florence. If you venture around town, you’ll be exposed to age-old cathedrals attended by Michaelangelo, hidden canals that echoes the city’s past, and as well as the oldest university in the world – just to get your ‘must visit’ list started.
Why Bologna, Italy? Simply because you get the quintessential Italian experience with a heightened focus on the country’s exemplary cuisine. Though we’ve been selling the culinary scene as the highlight of the city, we can’t deny that its under-the-radar status allows for a more pleasureable solo experience.
Many travellers are first intimidated by the idea of visiting India on their own, but if you are able to get past this fear, you’ll come to realize that Mumbai, India is a colorful mishmash of culture, food, fashion, and religion that all blend together beautifully. Filled with an abundance of cultural experience awaiting you in Mumbai, you can expect to be pleasantly overwhelmed.
If you’ve come to India for spiritual healing, Mumbai is a melting pot of various faiths, religions, traditions, rituals and culture. It remains unmatched for its decadence in religious sanctuaries and landmarks – all catered to those who seek a renewed faith and sense of healing.
Why Mumbai, India? In the midst of the chaotic streets, pollution, and its ferocious energy lies a sanctuary for those who seek to grow in their spirituality. This excessively vibrant city aims to exceed all expectations – from food to art, from film to fashion, and so it does in all aspects including religion and spirituality.
Tourists from all over the world have unofficially declared Bali, Indonesia as the honeymoon capital of Asia – but we’d have to disagree. Sure, it’s a great place for couples, but even more so for solo travellers.
Bali is home to more than just your next island getaway. In addition to the generous number of beaches, you’ll find sanctuaries, temples, and meditation centres scattered throughout the city – perfect for the spiritual journey that you’re to embark on.
Balinese culture is heavily rooted in spirituality. A couple hours in, you’ll quickly notice sounds of prayers and devotions and sights of shrines and temples. In fact, spiritual rituals are a common tourist experience in Bali – a healing ritual, ancient meditation, and a fountain water ritual to name a few.
Why Bali, Indonesia? Immerse yourself in a spiritual experience like no other. Apart from the usual yoga class and frequent meditation, charging yourself with the good Karma that’s radiating throughout this island will surely do you some good.
Yosemite, California, USA
When California is considered for a getaway, the first thing that would often come to mind would be palm trees, beaches, the Hollywood Sign, or the Golden Gate Bridge. Though we love Los Angeles and San Francisco, if it’s rediscovery you’re after, Yosemite National Park is the place.
Take a few days off the grid and venture off into the unknown at one of the world’s most visually stunning locations. With thousands of possible trails, no one visit would be the same – allowing you to discover new sites and landscapes at every turn.
A visit to the Yosemite National Park will guarantee every visitor an awe-inspiring experience – from the granite mountains all the way down to the glistening clear waters. Every scene in sight will render emotions of pure wonder and joy – and who can blame you with views this breathtaking?
Why Yosemite National Park? Sometimes disconnecting from the digital world and tuning into nature is exactly what you need. Nature is something we often take for granted but Yosemite’s magical sights and sounds can evoke childlike emotions, such as wonder and joy, that you’ve probably been searching for for quite some time now.
Queenstown, New Zealand
For anyone looking for an adventure, Queenstown is your guy. The ferocious city is known as the adventure capital of the world – and we can tell you now that their adventures are not for the faint of heart.
Taking the plunge and leaping into the unknown can be a liberating thing – and Queenstown can give you just that. From river rafting to skydiving, all you need to do is choose the activity that’ll make you feel the most adventurous and the city is sure to offer. Queenstown is overflowing with mountain trails, bungy centres and an abundance of sensational landscapes that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Why Queenstown, New Zealand? There’s a saying that goes, ‘If you’re going to do something, do it well’ – and Queenstown, New Zealand does risk taking and adventure best. If it’s new and exciting experiences you’re looking for, there’s no need to keep searching. The abundance of adventures Queenstown can offer will leave you feeling liberated and in control of your happiness.
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