Not only is traveling the best schooling there is, it also helps you get to know yourself better, to listen to yourself and in the end to find yourself. Be it looking out onto the endless green of Bali’s rice terraces or when training to become a ranger in South Africa or on the adventurous ascent of a volcano in Iceland’s deserted outdoors.
Here are the 10 best places to find yourself!
[“Get Lost And Find Yourself!”
It’s time: Get los and find yourself again!
Sometimes it all just is too much. You long for some down time for yourself. Nothing and nobody who demands anything from you, no responsibilities and no plans – just you and yourself.
In this time we take more care of others than we do of ourselves. We forget who we are, what we really wanted from life and what actually makes us happy.
The best way to change that and finally find yourself is traveling! Because traveling means life, it is the unknown and novelty. When traveling you grow beyond yourself, the one second you live pure happiness, the next you are frustrated and helpless just to be incredibly happy after that again. Only when traveling do you really get to know yourself!
When setting out to getting lost and finding yourself you can either travel to very remote places where you will hardly ever see another person, or you travel to places where you meet lots of people that inspire you.
Only you yourself can decide which place is right for you. But i have put together a list of the best places for an instrospective journey so that the search for who you really are does not fail because you can’t figure out where to go!
The 10 best places to get lost and find yourself
1. Inspiring Bali
Bali is a very special place. Almost everyone falls in love with this Indonesian island on sight and ask anyone who has ever been to Bali, people will tell you that this place changed their lives. But Bali has two very different faces. You should for instance avoid Kuta with all the tourists whereas Canggu, a little further away, is all about cool surfers. And in Ubud you are in the spiritual center of the island. Depending on what you are looking for Bali will really help you with your search.
Get yourself a scooter and explore this incredible island on your own terms. The lush green and the rice terraces around Ubud will really inspire you. In the city you find several yoga centers, healers and really good vegetarian restaurants. Canggu on the other hand is super hip and, located right on the sea, you can grab a bottle of beer and in one of the most beautiful sunsets ever walk down to the beach to find yourself.
Every other house on Bali is a temple and the Balinese’ faith is tangible everywhere. These people are unbelievably nice that you cannot help but be happy yourself and you will find yourself walking around with a huge smile in no time. Your home on Bali will most likely be a beautiful villa where everything is open and you look out onto a green field of rice – you will quickly get in touch with your core here!
2. Remote Iceland
Iceland is the perfect island if you are seeking quiet and want to distance yourself from everything. The experience of nature, far away from the stress and routing at home is so beautiful and intense here that it is guaranteed to put you to sleep with a feeling of happiness at night. And you are sure to get that solitude and distance if you rent a little house away from the ring road, on the Snaefellsnes peninsula for instance. Here you have to plan at least half an hour to get to the next supermarket or restaurant. But on the other hand there is nobody who would disturb the peace. Especially in the off-season you will have the island pretty much to yourself.
Long walks by the sea, hikes in the geothermal are Myvatn or relaxing Hot Pots right in nature, this is what your daily routine looks like on Iceland. But you can have it more adventurous if you want to: you can for example hike up a volcano that could erupt any time or go for a day-long ride into the wilderness where no cars or people come on the typical Iceland horses.
3. In South Africa as a ranger
How about a whole new task, a new profession, being a ranger in Africa for example? In South Africa you can train to become a ranger in a few months and then dive into a whole new world: you learn more about Africa’s wildlife, about lions, elephants, rhinos and giraffes. You learn to read their tracks and body language, you learn how to gauge how close you can get to them and when to shut up and not move.
And if you want to really push your own boundaries then train to be a ranger for walking safaris, safaris through the bush on foot. You will not only learn a lot about nature but get a lot of insight into yourself too, you will really get in touch with your core when you are facing a wild bull elephant. In the evening you eat by the fire together with your colleagues, look up into the vast starry sky and talk about the impressions of the day before you go to sleep in your tent in the middle of the bush where you hear the roaring of the lions. You are sure to remember this soul-searching experience and who knows, maybe you won’t return to your old life but have found your new calling?
I’m not sure my friend Gesa from Wonderful Wild wanted to get lost and find herself again when she did a ranger training in the bush but she definitely reinvented herself and it’s amazing to follow her adventures in South Africa.
4. New Zealand, country of adventures
New Zealand is not called the other end of the world for nothing and it probably is the most beautiful one, too! You are physically really far away from home and can simply leave that all behind you. The best way to explore New Zealand’s North and South Island is on a road trip in a campervan for which you should take at least a month’s time because adventure after adventure awaits you here!
Be it a kayak tour through the Marlborough Sounds, a jump from an airplane above the Remarkables or swimming with wild dolphins out in the open sea off of Kaikoura’s coast – you will definitely reach your own limits here and experience pure happiness! Almost no other country offers this much excitement and as full of contrast a landscape as New Zealand. Here you can get all the adrenaline kicks you want or find your center on a hike up Mount Roy. The beauty of nature and the wonderful views that you frequently get to enjoy on your self-finding trip to New Zealand are the perfect backdrop – you are sure to come back more than once!
5. Stress withdrawal in the Alps
Sometimes you don’t even have to get onto a plane because there are absolutely beautiful places right in front of your doorstep. Two weeks in a lonely hut in the Alpine mountains in utter solitude can be enough to get in touch with yourself. And around you is nothing but mountains and nature. If you choose a really remote mountain cabin you will not see a single soul and that precisely is the point. You can go hiking or for nice walks, sit outside for a picnic or wade barefoot through ice cold streams. You will have a lot of time to sleep and read and think, perfect to really find yourself.
Alternatively you can also get busy and work on an Alpine hut. You have no idea how liberating physical work can be, especially if you are used to an office job! And the work outside in nature, work with animals and most likely a stunning view out into the valley will make you forget all about your life at home. The world still is ok up here!
And if you really want to be active and are looking for adventure then you can do a crossing of the Alps, hiking from cabin to cabin or, depending on the weather, sleeping in your tent right out in the wilderness. You might come across another hiker from time to time but most of the trail you will have to do on your own!
6. Nothing but desert in Namibia
This place is almost unreal: the Namib desert in Namibia. Extreme colors ranging from yellow to orange to red, depending on the time of day and the lighting you will see entirely different pictures. And the most insane part: the Namib desert is one of the few in the world that comes all the way up to the sea. This downright paradoxical contrast will make you speechless and open you up to some very new ideas.
The best way to get into the desert is with a four wheel drive, you can then stop wherever you please and at night you simply unfold your rooftop tent. When gazing up at the stars you can either fully relax and empty yourself or you can let your thoughts wander. For an even more intense experience you can go on a several-day desert hike and truly find your inner self. No matter what you do, the unique landscape in the Southwest of Africa will change you and bring you a bit closer to yourself!
7. The pure joy of living in Italy
In Italy it is the joy of the people and their attitude towards life that will give you the strength and courage to pursue your inner self. Be it in Tuscany, Bologna, Piemont or Sicily, ‘la dolce vita’ will let you forget all your worries and problems at home. Take a map and just pick a little town and get comfortable in an apartment or a bed&breakfast. In the morning you head down to the market to load up on local specialties, you grab a good bottle of wine and enjoy life. Ideally you have a nice view of Italy’s beautiful landscape from your own patio.
Strolling through vineyards and olive groves, sitting down in a local cafe for a good coffee, listening to locals as they chat about the weather or letting the sun shine onto your face by the sea – Italy is a great place to find yourself! And you definitely don’t have to worry about getting too lonely or bored out of your mind, it is easy to get in touch with people!
8. Spiritual India
India is the classic among the destinations for soul-searchers – and it is for a reason, here you have the best institutions and courses to do so. Places like Rishikesh or Dharamsalla are great for some introspection.
A yoga ashram is a good intro into the spiritual world. But if you are picturing a wellness retreat with relaxation and a little yoga then you are wrong, because ashram means ‘place of hardship’. The days are strictly planned out with yoga classes, meditation, presentations and more. And you start in the early morning around 5:30.
A Vipasana Meditation Retreat is an extremely challenging way to find yourself. This is all about meditation, every day, up to 11 hours a day. You get up in the middle of the night and start with the first meditation. There is not much food. On top of that you have hours of remaining in the same position until the pain in your limbs is hardly bearable – an incredible challenge! And you are also not allowed to speak for the entire duration of the retreat, you strictly keep to yourself.
A trip to India will help you get to know yourself better and to concentrate on yourself. If you really commit yourself then you will receive answers to your questions and, even better, you will answer them yourself because in the end only you know what really is good for you!
9. Life-altering hike through the U.S.
The Appalachian Trail is a 3500 kilometer hike from Georgia to Maine. On this hike you will encounter many other travelers that all have the same goal: to get in touch with themselves. Hiking this trail you cross 14 states in about six months! In a long stretch of time like this you will definitely experience a metamorphosis of your personality. You set out well-groomed with a full backpack and arrive at the end all tousled and with very little luggage.
Not only on foot but with a tent on your back you make your way through beautiful landscapes: through streams and forests, over mountains and past crystal clear lakes. On this long trail you will encounter bears, elk and other animals. And even if you set out alone, you will get to know other hikers that will journey with you for part of the way and with whom you can talk.
You will find real freedom on this trip because for many months you live only with the bare necessities. You push your body to extreme achievements and more than once you grow beyond yourself. You can really be proud of yourself in the end and your newly acquired fitness will give you a lot of drive for your future! You will have enough time to think without being distracted and you will realize what you really need in life to be happy.
10. Relaxing Nicaragua
Stress is foreign vocabulary in Nicaragua, everything here is a little slower. If something is not taken care of today it will maybe be done tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow – or next week. Getting worked up does nothing for you here. This can be pretty frustrating in the beginning but you will very soon find yourself slowing down, it will show you that many things in life are maybe not as important as you might think.
It is vital to live in the present and to enjoy any given moment. And that is exactly what you can do in Nicaragua, for example on a boat tour on one of the many lakes or when hiking on a volcano or when you have your first big rush of success when you manage to stand on your surfboard for more than a few seconds. Experiences like that and the relaxed attitude towards life of the Nicas will help you find yourself and teach you to concentrate on the essential.
And on top of all that Nicaragua is gorgeous and will for sure take your breath away. Since not many travelers come here you will either spend a lot of time with yourself or you quickly get in touch with the locals – perfect for learning more about yourself and finding your center!
The world is full of great places for some soul searching!
Be it a trip to Bali with its inspiring green rice terraces, lonely Iceland or vivacious Italy, our world offers so many great places that will help you get to know yourself better and make new plans for a happier future. And it doesn’t always have to be a certain place or a set goal, the path to yourself can have so many different faces. Just try it! Our whole life is an adventure, the question is just what you make of it!
Have you ever set out to find yourself? If so, what did you experience on that trip?