In this always-connected world, it may seem practically impossible to find a place to unwind from the chaos of everyday life. But, if you’re yearning to rejuvenate your soul and reconnect with nature, there are still plenty of great places in this world where you can leave your daily anxiety (and cell phone) behind and enjoy the peace and quiet your soul craves.
1. The Cotswolds, England
The Cotswolds have been crowned an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,” by the UK government, and it’s easy to see why. As soon as you enter the quaint villages that make up The Cotswolds, you’ll feel as though you’re stepping back in time. Thanks to the rich stone architecture and thatched roofs of the buildings coupled with rolling hills and rural gardens, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief.
2. The Faroe Islands
If Iceland has become too much of a tourist trap for you, the Faroe Islands could be your perfect escape. Situated halfway between Scotland and Iceland, this collection of 18 beautiful islands is full of raw beauty and unspoiled landscapes. It will renew your energy and spirit.
3. Olympic National Park, Washington
If you want to experience the most quiet place in the United States, head to Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park where the only sound you’ll hear is that of the insects buzzing. Pitch a tent anytime year-round, and let the silence lull you to sleep.
4. Koyasan Temple, Japan
If simply disconnecting isn’t enough for you and Zen is what you’re seeking, you’ll want to plan a trip to the 1200-year-old Koyasan Temple in Japan. Visitors can transform their mindset in one of the 52 temples on-site where they’ll enjoy vegan cuisine, sleep on the floor and take part in the monks’ daily rituals.
5. Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Driving through the vast and abundantly green Scottish Highlands can make you feel like the only person left in the world. You could drive for hours and only pass sheep, winding rivers and rugged terrain. It’s an ideal place to clear your head and spend some time alone.
6. Easter Island, Chile
Easter Island is well known for its giant stone heads (known as moai) and its UNESCO-heritage status. Surprisingly, this gorgeous remote island isn’t yet a trendy tourist destination. You can disconnect while soaking up the sun and enjoying the unique monuments. No need to fear small talk with other travelers, it’ll be delightfully empty.
“Solitude is creativity’s best friend, and solitude is refreshment for our souls.” -Naomi Judd
7. Principe, Sao Tome (Africa)
Those who have always dreamed of being marooned on a deserted island will love Principe, a small island located 130 miles off West Africa. It’s home to very few cars, the world’s smallest city, and fantastic hiking trails that take you through waterfalls and colonial ruins. Soak it in, and you just might leave with new clarity.
8. The Galapagos Islands
Travel to The Galapagos Islands to visit the island that time has forgotten. Get up close and personal with huge tortoises, friendly sea lions, and iguanas the size of a small car. This UNESCO World Heritage Site can only be visited with an authorized guide, so you won’t be battling any crowds while you soak up the natural beauty.
9. Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Canada
Wildlife lovers tout the Queen Charlotte Islands off Canada’s west coast as one of the best places in North America to enjoy nature. Raw wilderness and stunning natural topography are enough to convince you. The fact that there are very few visitors makes this area feel like a million miles away from modern civilization.