My Top 5 Eye-Opening Awe-Inspiring Travel Recommendations

I’ve loved to travel my whole life and I think it's one of the most important ways to learn and grow as humans. Which is why I'm so excited to be leading my first retreat.

And I’ve had ALL KINDS of experiences. 

I’ve stayed in 5-Star luxury resorts, and I’ve also slept on bunk-beds in hostels. I’ve traveled via old-fashioned train, moto-bike, tuk-tuk, island-hopper, private yacht, sailboat, horse-back, horse & buggy, ferry, dhow, and rickshaw. I’ve walked through the slums of Nairobi, back-packed through India, and have also just done nothing but lay in a chair, reading for a week, by myself in Haiti.


The range of experiences have been wide, but my intention has always been narrow... 

To open my eyes and inspire my soul.

The world is so full of amazing people to meet and experiences to be had, and every conversation with someone, from a culture I know nothing about, has taught me something about them… and about me.

So when considering where you will go next, I encourage you to think outside the box a bit

Allow yourself to do something unique, to learn something new, to step out of your ordinary life and into an experience that opens your eyes a little wider.


Give yourself a chance to hit the reset button of your life, and think about what’s really important to you.

If you do that, you’ll come back from your vacation with a new kind of energy, inspiration and life inside of you. 

So if you’re up for it, here are a few places I’ve been that I highly recommend.

1. Kenya: Kenya is one of the easier places to visit in Africa (they actually have a direct flight there from NY now) and it has a ton of amazingly diverse experiences. The city of Nairobi is full of life and great food. But you can also go on Safari, drive through the National Park, ANDD (many people don’t know this) you can take a puddle-jumper over to the island of Lamu which has no cars - only donkeys - and is incredibly remote and unique.

2. Croatia: The Croatian Islands might be the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen. The combination of the old buildings and stone streets, smack in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, has something very magical about it. And the seafood was unreal. I think I ate fresh octopus every day. You get the combination of a European cultural infusion with the island vibe. Can’t beat that.


3. Costa Rica: I actually chose Costa Rica as my next Ikigai Retreat location for so many reasons. I first visited there in 2013 because my sister, Jaime, was living and studying there at the University for Peace. First of all, it is a country that always ranks in the top 10 of happiest countries and it's been identify as one of the worlds "blue zones" (where people live the longest). The people are friendly, they respect and appreciate the environment, and they make family a top priority. It’s also extremely diverse in so many ways. It’s a small country and yet you can visit beaches, mountains, farms, jungles, and volcanos all within 6 hours of driving. The wild-life is some of the most abundant and colorful in the world. So if you’re up for a truly unique, awe-inspiring trip, join us on the retreat. It’s all inclusive, so all you need to do is show up. And during the retreat, you’ll learn exactly what contributes to the wellbeing and happiness of the people and society there. Just click here to receive more info about the retreat.

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4. India: They say when you visit India, it’s like an assault to the senses. And after spending a month there, I think that might be the most accurate summary I’ve ever heard. Everything about India will make you come alive - the spices in the food, the smells of street food (and smells on the street), the bright colors, and smiling faces. You can experience everything from the lush jungles of the south - where Ayurveda was born, and the dessert up north where camels and elephants are walking down the street. But, some of it is not for the faint of heart.
5. Vietnam: Vietnam is the lesser known Thailand - although it’s no less beautiful. It’s a long plane ride, and maybe an expensive one, but once you arrive, you can do so much at an unbelievably affordable price. I highly recommend visiting the Sapa mountains in the north. Rent a motorbike for a few days and just explore on your own and see where you end up. My sister and I did this and it is still one of my favorite travel memories of my entire life. You can also find pristine beaches and insanely chaotic, but exciting cities. Also, check out Con Dao Island - a bit of a lesser known gem.


So whether it’s these places, or somewhere else, make it a priority to get as much out of your trip as you can. The world has so much to teach us. And while you might be tempted to do nothing except relax on a beach somewhere, I promise that you’ll feel more rejuvenated if you treat yourself to an experience that invigorates your soul.

If you have any questions about these destinations, just leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer or give you some more tips/ideas on where to go and what to do!

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

Click here to learn more about the next Ikigai Retreat

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