As of this exact moment of this current day, the world as we know it is stressful. Who’s to say how it got this way, or whether or not it’s always been this way, but chances are high that your own slice of reality is chock-full of events, big and small, that have your cortisol levels skyrocketing. Rush hour traffic, trade wars, thesis papers, tribal thinking on social media, PTA meetings quarreling over what snacks the lunch room serves the kids, your favorite shirt shrinking in the wash right before a big presentation, dinosaurs running rampant in a theme park—there are nearly infinite sources of stress in the world. Additionally, not managing this stress is horrible for your health too (whoops, add that to the stress list).
Luckily, for all the big and small stresses in the world, there are ways to manage it—equally big and small. Little solutions add up: daily exercise, meditation, visualization, fulfilling hobbies and a good night’s sleep can all do wonders for a sunnier outlook on the little things plaguing your day-to-day existence. For the bigger problems outside of your scope of capabilities, often the best solution can be to escape the day-to-day and take a well-deserved vacation. New worlds make for new insights and outlooks, a greater appreciation on the grandness of existence and a temporary escape from what weighs heavy on the mind. For surefire tickets to obtain some inner peace, check out the following activities at ports a world away from your worries.
For the uninitiated American, much of the world post-British empire undertakes in tea time. High Tea or Afternoon Tea (historically different, but now universally interchangeable) is a meal of scrumptious finger foods served well after lunch but well before dinner—a social gathering centered around pampered snacking, if you will. Few meals inspire such a sense of royal prestige as high tea, and few countries and cultures have taken the tradition and run with it like Abu Dhabi. The opulence on display at the capital of the United Arab Emirates is head-spinning and spans the entirety of imagination: towering skyscrapers of the future mixed with palaces and mosques of more traditional, but equally luxe, architecture. You, sitting nestled in the middle of it all, snacking on delectable scones with good company, is a surefire recipe for melting away your everyday concerns.
As the largest city of India, Mumbai has it all. The financial backbone of the country, the home of Bollywood and the largest tropical forest nestled in an urban zone all compose some slice of the city’s vibrant identity. The rest is defined by the sea of markets, temples, bazaars and many millions of people who call it home. While Mumbai’s daily life here is breakneck-paced, points of peace and calm are present. Nearly 70% of the city practices Hinduism, providing the perfect opportunity for a deeper dive into the culture as well as some spiritual refreshment. Regardless of your own religious affiliations, try to start a day in Mumbai with a Hindu Aarti prayer at any of the temples. This morning ritual has many subtle variations depending on the location, though most involve the congregation singing songs of praise, and all entail flame (the power of a deity) being presented towards a person, deity or cause. To be a part of a temple full of worshippers starting the day with a devout prayer for the welfare of the world is an experience that will positively stay with you for the rest of your days—sunrises will be imbued with a whole new definition of magic forevermore.
A tropical island covered in mountains blanketed in rainforests, Phuket has it all. This oasis amongst tropical shores of the Andaman Sea has attracted all walks of life, resulting in a modern metropolis that is multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-faceted. One such shade of existence you’d be wise to seek out amongst the idyllic beaches? Theravãda Buddhism. Not to be confused with Mahayana Buddhism, Theravãda Buddhism is generally more traditional in terms of doctrine and monastic life. As the predominant religion of Thailand, this traditionalism is strikingly easy to tap into. Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri (or “Big Buddha” as it’s affectionately called), is the structure you should beeline to the second you arrive in Phuket. The third tallest statue in Thailand, this 148-foot tall white-marble-clad deity is a beacon of serenity within a national conserved forest—all the perfect ingredients for a place of meditation. Enlightenment and inner peace may be a lifelong pursuit, but a day of quiet contemplation at this site is a substantial head start.
Made up your mind to set out for foreign shores to attain new insights and outlooks for inner peace, but stressing about how to get there? Our travel agents can put your mind to ease. Consider them the conduit between you and the leading names in cruise lines, like Regent Seven Seas Cruises. With one of our specialized travel agents on your side, you can rest assured the stress of vacation planning is a thing of the past.