Seated in the plunge pool outside of my quaint luxury suite in St. Lucia, I found solace in doing nothing without the usual guilt that accompanies it.
New York City has not-so-affectionately dubbed summer 2017 the “summer of hell,” due to a series of horror film-worthy train problems including derailments that forced stranded passengers to walk among rats and roaches through the tunnels of the subway system. And, while I consider myself particularly calm under pressure, even I have found myself triggered by the stresses of my daily commute. Between work, the subways, and a very busy personal life, it’s easy to fold under the weight of it all.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
In weak moments, I tweet about it. But in better moments, I search to find a brief escape.
Why St. Lucia?
The Caribbean is known for its natural beauty. Ocean breezes and greenery offer an almost perfect contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life.
St. Lucia’s appeal in particular is healing and restorative in nature. From natural sulfur springs and mud baths Soufriere, to entire resorts dedicated to health and wellbeing, it’s an island perfect for those seeking to slow down and recharge.
Do nothing … in luxury
In her acclaimed book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about the Italian phrase “Il dolce far niente,” or “the sweetness of doing nothing.”
The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement. You don’t necessarily need to be rich in order to experience this, either.
Boasting personalized butler service, all-inclusive food and beverages, private plunge pools outside each suite, and in-room spa and beauty treatments, Serenity at Coconut Bay is the perfect remedy for the stresses of your day-to-day. It’s an adults-only private resort, with sophisticated, minimalistic design that seems to take into account that many who travel to the island do so to disconnect. The resort offers the luxury of a five-star hotel, with little attentive things like a private hammock, views of the surrounding hills and blue skies, and tons of strategically placed greenery to remind you that you are indeed on an island brimming with natural beauty.
Most importantly, at Serenity and luxury resorts like it, you don’t have to lift a finger unless you really want to. When traveling for self-care in St. Lucia, be sure to choose a place to stay that takes both your comfort and also a bit of what the island has to offer into account.
Yoga and meditation with a view
Whether doing it on your own or with an instructor, St. Lucia’s yoga views are a welcomed change from the towering grey buildings of New York City. You can meditate along a beautiful, white sand beach before dawn, then watch the sun rise over the Piton mountains.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can climb Petit Piton mountain (which I’ve heard is a 2-3 hour trek for inexperienced hikers) and attempt a triangle pose atop the green, green mountain with views of all of St. Lucia and its surrounding islands.
Gros Piton and Petit Piton Mountains
Whether you think so or not, exploring the local culture, tasting the local food, and taking in the local sights is, too, a form of self-care. The Gros Piton and Petit Piton Mountains are St. Lucia’s most well-known and treasured attractions. Ask any local on the island and they’re happy to tell you where to get the best view.
The Pitons are a must-see for anyone who visits the island (and they do not disappoint). I’m told the best view is from the ocean, where many resorts (including Serenity at Coconut Bay) offer sea excursions that allow you to see Gros Piton and Petit Piton together against the blue of both the ocean and the sky.
Special thanks to Serenity at Coconut Bay for an amazing stay.
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