Feeling a bit uninspired by the same old, usual type of trips? Heading off somewhere for a few days (or a week), exploring a bit, eating delicious food, having fun, doing the usual touristy things in that place and then returning home. But part of you wondering if this is the only template available for adventure and discovery when traveling.
Not even close.
I have a handful of alternate ideas to help you break outside the usual box, many of which its likely you've never heard of. Not having heard of many myself until quite recently. Several now added to that never ending life list stored in the back of my heart. (Does anyone else feel like every time one place is checked off, that in the meantime they've managed to add several more? Same with "to read" lists ;-) Never ending, which is fantastic).
Get excited perusing the list, hopefully finding some inspiration and ideas for your next venture. Maybe even snagging a few for your own future travel list ;-)
1. Remember going away to summer camp as a kid? How carefree, laid back and exciting it all felt? The days and nights endless. Chock full of anticipation and possibility. Everything about camp laced with a hint of romance and whimsy. Roaring campfires, new friendships, all sorts of fun astuff to explore, the feeling of opportunity and excitement ever in the air.
Well, you can have all of that again. Or, if it was something you didn't have the chance to experience as a child. Here's your chance, but tailored to adults!
Camp Grounded is just that. Summer camp, but for grown ups. How cool is this?
Named by the NY Times as "a whimsical return to childhood."
By Travel + Leisure as "an experience that brought me back to life."
(Above are actual photos from Camp Grounded)
To me it sounds intriguing, unique, memorable and likely to be pretty fantastic.
Here's the link to Camp Grounded for more details!
2. Soul Camp, which sounds similar to Camp Grounded but with more of a mindfulness, earthy, relaxed approach. Lots of dance classes offered, yoga, massage, cardio classes, beach fire bonding and more. Though it sounds equally as awesome as Camp Grounded, just different in their focus. Maybe a little less rowdy, a little more low key. But with the same potential for life changing awesomeness. This one, though only about 25% of the attendants are men, is attended by a lot of women. Many of whom are solo travelers as well. So, all you independent, brave adventurers in search of a rejuvenating, low key, but fabulous camp experience? This spot is right up your alley.
|Look at that avocado toast. Magnificent ;-)|
Actual photos from Soul Camp above.
And here is the link to Soul Camp for further details.
3. Moab Under Canvas, all about the adventure and adrenaline. A shift from the two above in terms of theme and focus. Yet, another summer camp type of deal for adults. This one, calling all bad-asses though. Moab is all about the white water rafting, mountain biking and rock climbing. Designed to get your hearts pumping along with your excitement and thrill. Boo yeah! Sounds like a rocking good time, especially going with a small group of friends.
Photos from Moab above.
Go here for more information on Moab.
4. Love the pastries and sweets in Paris? Join the club ;-). Those flakey, perfectly buttered croissants, mouthwatering éclairs, and melt-in-your-mouth macaroons. Why not learn how to make them yourself, and in the city where they are made with the ultimate expertise? I did this myself, taking a croissant making class on a birthday of mine recently and absolutely loved it.
For a list of course types and costs (from making your own Parisian breakfast pastries to macaroons), here you go!
5. One of my favorite blogs, Local Milk (check it out. Her writing is awesome. Dreamy, lyrical, insightful and thoughtful. Her photographs, romantic, dark, cozy, inviting and mysterious), has retreats available. I don't know what these cost exactly, but they look incredible. Pretty unique and awesome.
|My own breakfast food photo ;-) somewhat inspired by Local Milk. For the recipe to these blueberry lavender poppyseed pancakes (gluten free, dairy free and sugar free), check out my other blog, Sweet Raw Free.|
Click here to take a look at Local Milk blog.
And here to check out her retreats on offering.
6. White Water Rafting. What has always been a dream of mine, somehow yet to be checked off my list. How freaking awesome and thrilling does this look?? Heart pumping, out amongst nature, with friends, a love, family or people you've just met (your choice). Navigating your way down a windy, choppy, adrenaline inducing river. Camping under the stars by night. Sounds like the romantic thrill of a lifetime. Another trip for the bad-asses out there.
Check out the top 10 white water rafting trips in North America here.
7. Kick your creative muse into action with a writing retreat. In Stephen Kings memoir "On Writing," (which was excellent, by the way) he talks about the possibility of going on a quaint, secluded, cozy, rustic, set-in-the-midst-of-nature retreat. Staying in a cozy log cabin of sorts, eating homey, delicious food. And getting down with/reigniting ones creative side (aka with writing).
I think this sounds terribly romantic. Now on my bucket list, big time.
Check out the top 5 writing retreats (both in the US and internationally).
PS. #1 on the list is hosted by one of my writing inspirations, Natalie Goldberg. She has written several phenomenal books on writing, most of which I have read and loved. I highly recommend them :-) and by default, would jump at the chance for checking out her writing retreat, with zero doubt that it would be AWESOME.
8. Love yoga, relaxation and attempting to harness mindfulness, inner peace and gratitude? This might be a life changing, rejuvenating trip to consider. A yoga retreat. Here are 11 affordable ones, at different locations around the globe. Several in the US (most in New England- good news for me) and a few elsewhere.
9. For a rustic but equal parts romantic getaway, how about checking out the Whiteface Lodge in NY? Stunningly gorgeous, quiet, tucked into the woods, charming, oozing serenity and magic. Imagine walking through the forest here hand in hand. Cozying up by a roaring fire inside, book in hand. With a tea or coffee by your side. Your love or best friend close by doing the same thing along with you. Picnicking outside. Dining on awesome food. All of this = the best.
Having won tons of awards in various travel magazines. This looks like an incredible, memorable spot to steal away for a long weekend. Whisk away a loved one or your BFF here for a few days.
Check out how gorgeous the Whiteface Lodge is here.
10. Ever dreamed of staying in a treehouse? You can, here in Hawaii. Just outside Hawaii Volcanos National Park. A secluded, one bedroom playhouse for grownups nestled high up in the trees. Bring an armload of books, your bathing suit, camera and hiking boots! Good to go. How astonishing and cool is this place though?? Talk about a dream destination. Yes, now dreaming of making it here someday. After a glimpse, I imagine you will be too.
Take a look here. Or in the meantime, see a few photos of it below.
11. Want to feel ten times better, happier, more satisfied and fulfilled upon returning from vacation? Something akin to the when the Grinch's heart grows three sizes when giving the Whos everything back. How about going on a volunteer vacation? Combining doing something for others while also having the chance to explore a new place/culture. I myself would go for the animal ones. Rehabilitating lions, elephants or apes, oh man. Heart already filling just thinking about it. But choose the one that speaks to you from the lists below. Volunteer trips equalling the best of both worlds really (vacation, seeing a new place, and feeling good while doing it). A life changing, awe inspiring experience for sure.
Here are a few websites offering volunteer trip ideas:
This one pertaining to animals.
This one pertaining generally to helping people.
And a final link for volunteer vacations.
12. Flam, Norway. How gorgeous is this place? Like something out of a fairy tale. Imagine walks...picnics...laying down a blanket with books and tea...exploring tiny cafes...going on hikes or jogging...a boat ride down the river, all here. Swooning.
13. The Cinque Terre in Italy. Another jaw dropping destination. Seemingly untouched by time, quiet, with narrow winding roads and pastel colored buildings. Everything old, worn, magical. Laundry flapping in the breeze. The smell of salt and sea tinging the air. Romantic, sun drenched and gorgeous.
14. How about camping by the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia? How stunning is this place? Now added to my bucket list as well. Need. To. See. Visit. Dreaming of wandering these rickety wood planked pathways. Swimming in the jewel toned green blue water. Exploring. Taking pictures. Playing in the water. Looks like something out of "Avatar" and the mystical forest they live in. Jaw dropping.
Here is the link for camping options close by.
15. This looks charming, luxurious and lovely. Hoyt House Bed & Breakfast in Florida. For all you foodies out there. A romantic and mouthwatering weekend under way when staying here for sure. A quaint, charming bed and breakfast combined with relaxing and total deliciousness without question. I have read great things about the food here, as well as heard rumors of cooking classes being available. Awesome.
Check them out here.
16. The Stockholm Archipelago. Part of Sweden. Did you know that Sweden is actually made up of thousands of islands!? 30,000, to be exact. Crazy right? I didn't know that either until visiting last summer. Not only in venturing here would you have Stockholm to explore, which is fantastical, inviting and magical. But you also have the archipelago to explore.
Boating out into the Archipelago was one of the moments I can pinpoint that solidified my decision of moving back to New England. So nostalgia, feeling at home, excited and emotional boating through the waters here in Sweden. Nearly imagining myself back home and forgetting where I was. Its astonishingly beautiful. A must visit place.
See a few of the photos I took below...
For the full set of photos, food, travel stories and more from my experience in Sweden and boating out to the islands (the one I visited is called Sandhamn), here you go. And for part two.
And that's all she wrote!
What are your own dream destinations??
Happy Future Adventuring!!