Originally published in SerenFlipity on July 25, 2017.
A nutritionist, author and traveler dedicated to merging ancient healing wisdoms with modern western nutritional science, most of the wisdom I’ve learned has been in the field while studying alongside Ayurvedic doctors, Balinese bone healers, Shamans, herbalists and other specialists in from spots that range from South America to Asia. I credit a few special destinations with making a deep impact on my work, each of them perfect for relaxing your body and mind — making it easier to invite more serendipity into your life.
- Ubud, Bali. If you’re on your own personal Eat, Pray, Lovejourney, Ubud is for you! This central Balinese city is a healers paradise, and the place I wrote my first book, Eat Right For Your Mind-Body Type. A typical day in Ubud is full of back-to-back vinyasa and yin yoga classes at the Yoga Barn, a delicious vegan brunch complete with a coconut the size of your head, an afternoon of creative writing, followed by your choice between Vedic astrology or conscious relationships workshops, completed with a night of sweaty ecstatic dance, a grounding sound bath and more fresh vegan cuisine. We call it Ubudtopia for a reason; mind-body healing is your full-time job in this paradise.
- Chiang Mai, Thailand. If ceremony and reflection are what you’re craving, Chiang Mai is your place. You’ll come face to face with an ornate temple dazzled with jewels in honor of the Buddha on each corner you turn. Ceremony is an integral part of everyday life in Chiang Mai, and you’ll definitely walk into one at some point in your stay (especially if you live with a local Thai family like I did). Don’t forget to visit the Sunday market for fresh fruit, elephant and Buddha souvenirs, along with a pair of oh-so-comfy Thai fisher man pants!
- Mykonos, Greece. This refreshing white and blue island feels as crisp as it looks (and it’s the place I’m writing to you from). The deep ocean views stare back at you wherever you are, whether you’re relaxing by the infinity pool, practicing your daily yoga flow, or indulging in an authentic Greek breakfast of fresh yogurt, honey comb, walnuts and figs. Mykonos is the perfect place to pamper yourself and let loose — all while having fun at one of the many beach lounges without the pretentious feel of south of France.
- Formentera, Spain.This off-the-beaten path island is the quiet sister of Ibiza, with private beaches and to-die-for restaurants operated by some of Italy’s best restaurateurs. Fun fact: More people speak Italian here than Spanish. Formentera is referred to as “la isla azul” because you’ll be surrounded by turquoise blue waters that match a Tiffany’s box no matter where you go on this small strip of land. Love a little bit of luxe on a relaxing, serendipitous trip? With it’s harbor full of yachts, Formentera is for you.
- Cusco, Peru. The city closest to the world-famous Macchu Pichu, Cusco is a spiritual mecca for anyone who needs a more grounded and shamanic approach to spirituality — Ayahuasca optional. Cusco’s mountainous climate and ancient Incan ruins are ideal for the more adventurous traveler who loves a bit of historical depth in their journey of self-discovery, and doesn’t mind a bit of altitude acclimation (the city is a jaw-dropping 11,000 feet above sea level). Even more, there are many orphanages in Cusco that are open to receiving help, which will truly complete your experience and remains the highlight of mine.
- San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.Costa Rica is a top travel spot, but far fewer people venture to its neighbor country, Nicaragua. An up and coming hotspot, a trip typically costs a fraction of the price you’ll pay to get to Costa Rica. San Juan del Sur is the most southern tip of Nicaragua and a total oasis in this country, offering rustic architecture, beachside sunsets and delicious Central American cuisine. In addition to lots of opportunities for yogis, there are also amazing ways to practice community service and get involved in town. I’ll always remember the pre-school I helped build during the month I spent here.
- Arambol, Goa, India.Do drum circles, hatha yoga, contact dance, and Tantra festivals call your name? If so, head to Arambol, Goa. This hippie town in the north of Goa (the southern tropical beach city of India) is for the more experienced traveler who seeks authenticity and flavor from their vacation without the frills of a typical yoga getaway; think beach huts with no electricity and ecstatic dance around a banyan tree. An Ayurvedic Practitioner, Arambol is the place I go to unwind and relax after an intense panchakarma experience. I’ve hosted retreats in Arambol and participants tell me they’d never imagined that this side of India even existed.