After a week of relaxing in Puerto Rico, I’ll admit that going back to work this past Monday was difficult. It’s a busy time to be a teacher, so in a week, I have gone from feeling very relaxed to extremely overwhelmed. While, I’m grateful for the time I spent in Puerto Rico, my mind can’t help but wander to what I consider the best places to relax around the world.
This week’s #FriFotos theme just happened to be relax, and since it was already on my mind, putting together this group of photos was a therapy in itself. What I realized while putting it together was that no matter where I am around the world, the places I feel most relaxed tend to be near water. It doesn’t always have to be beach side, but near any body of water is where I tend to feel happiest and put at ease.
I hope you feel just as relaxed as I do after looking through these photos!
This place may not initially seem relaxing, since bush camping is a requirement, but there was something about being in the middle of nowhere, completely immersed in nature, that put any worries or anxieties at ease. As soon as we sat in the mokoros, the boats we rode in, I immediately felt my body relax as we floated along the river. Far away from every day life and technology, with only a small bag with enough belongings for just two days, life felt simple. I don’t remember a time I have ever felt that happy.
South Beach is not a destination that’s synonymous with relaxation, but the beach cabana I had on my birthday at The James Royal Palm was a little slice of heaven. With drinks and food delivered right to me all day, I was able to soak up the sun, rest in the shade, and enjoy every hour of my birthday. The sounds of the waves crashing on the shore set the perfect soundtrack for the day.
I’ll never forget my first sunset at Eagle Beach in Aruba because it was one of the first views I laid my eyes on while on the tropical island. After a relatively crazy year, my friend, Diana, and I headed there for complete relaxation, and the moment we set foot on the beach and saw this, we completely destressed. For the rest of the week, we enjoyed the beautiful views Aruba has to offer and did absolutely nothing.
Vietnam is a country known for being overwhelming; it’s a circus for the senses. After a few days in Ho Chi Minh City, my friends and I headed north for the city of Nha Trang. Now, Nha Trang isn’t entirely relaxing and has much to see and do, but we spent our days soaking up the sun and relaxing on the beach. It was the perfect contrast to HCMC’s lively atmosphere.
After a long flight from New York to South Africa and another flight to get to Victoria Falls, I was tired and in need of relaxation. I knew my time was limited, so I put down my bags and headed straight for the Falls, with just the hope of seeing the sight I long dreamed of. Yet, just the sound as I neared them immediately relaxed my travel weary body and the first sight took my breath away. I wound up spending hours walking around the park, soaking in the beauty surrounding me. Even though I was alone, it was one of the best moments I’ve ever had while traveling.
My grandfather left Croatia when he was eighteen, but much of his family still lives there. In 2006, I had the opportunity to explore the island he grew up on and stay in the house he was born in. It was one of the greatest travel experiences I have ever had just because of the family history I was able to learn. But, what made it even better was that it was the most relaxing place on earth. There was no technology, a wine truck delivered wine a few days a week, and we were a walk away from the pebble-covered beach. Each morning, we’d wake up early, eat breakfast, and walk to the Adriatic Sea to swim. Then, we’d have lunch at the house, take a long afternoon nap, and spend the evenings exploring the other towns in the area. We ate delicious food, slept perfectly, and felt completely relaxed. When a stress-free place comes to mind, my memories immediately float to Croatia.
These may not be the typical choices for people when they think of the best places to relax, but for me, they did just that. Just put me near the water, and instantly my worries tend to slip away.