10 Underrated Self-Discovery Trip Ideas

Reflect, recharge and tap into your inner passions on a solo retreat.

By Roger Sands, ContributorJune 15, 2016
By Roger Sands, ContributorJune 15, 2016, at 3:08 p.m.
U.S. News & World Report

10 Underrated Self-Discovery Trip Ideas

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The Lodge at Woodloch.
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(Courtesy of The Lodge at Woodloch)

The Lodge at Woodloch

Hawley, Pennsylvania

The Lodge at Woodloch, a luxurious destination spa tucked away in the pristine Pocono Mountains, offers Hatha yoga and inner-smile meditation classes led by certified on-site instructors. The lodge also offers a Holistic Constitutional Assessment to help guests reconnect with stress-relieving outlets to continue to reap benefits long after their stay. Meanwhile, the lodge's Journaling for Self Discovery class teaches the basics of writing a journal through guided self-exploration using personal observations, thoughts and feelings. Explore new or hidden talents with watercolor painting, cooking classes and wine tastings designed to help you tap into your passions.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.
Credit

(Courtesy of Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa)

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

Paradise Valley, Arizona

This wellness resort offers guests a picturesque escape with sweeping views of the Sonoran Desert. Named for the Japanese word for enlightenment, the retreat provides an array of spa and fitness activities in an inspirational desert setting. The Soul Connect experience allows guests to connect with their higher selves by aligning their physical, emotional and spiritual being. The journey begins by setting intentions with the help of divinity cards, where guests are expertly guided into a meditation that sets the tone to connect with their inner being. Meanwhile, the Satori Adventure program beckons the spa-goer to take on new challenges: mountain biking on the region's trickiest trails and hiking and rock climbing up striking mountains in the Valley of the Sun.
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Tree Pose in Sedona, California
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(Getty Images)

Find self-fulfillment on a getaway focused on wellness or cultural immersion.

Solo self-discovery trips are nothing new. In fact, solo trips have become so popular among baby boomers that millions of dollars are funneled into the travel industry each year as spirituality seekers embark on meditative retreats throughout the world. Oftentimes, such retreats orbit around individuals searching for an enlightened approach to their everyday existence and focus on relaxation, wellness, adventure, stress management or even romance. Resorts now offer a myriad of classes and seminars designed to enhance travelers' sense of self-awareness and inner tranquility. While the approaches may differ, the ultimate goal is the same: Provide participants with the necessary knowledge and tools that will eventually lead to self-fulfillment. So, if you're ready to embark on an inward journey, head to these retreats.
Next:

Find self-fulfillment on a getaway focused on wellness or cultural immersion.

Solo self-discovery trips are nothing new. In fact, solo trips have become so popular among baby boomers that millions of dollars are funneled into the travel industry each year as spirituality seekers embark on meditative retreats throughout the world. Oftentimes, such retreats orbit around individuals searching for an enlightened approach to their everyday existence and focus on relaxation, wellness, adventure, stress management or even romance. Resorts now offer a myriad of classes and seminars designed to enhance travelers' sense of self-awareness and inner tranquility. While the approaches may differ, the ultimate goal is the same: Provide participants with the necessary knowledge and tools that will eventually lead to self-fulfillment. So, if you're ready to embark on an inward journey, head to these retreats.

The Lodge at Woodloch

Hawley, Pennsylvania

The Lodge at Woodloch, a luxurious destination spa tucked away in the pristine Pocono Mountains, offers Hatha yoga and inner-smile meditation classes led by certified on-site instructors. The lodge also offers a Holistic Constitutional Assessment to help guests reconnect with stress-relieving outlets to continue to reap benefits long after their stay. Meanwhile, the lodge's Journaling for Self Discovery class teaches the basics of writing a journal through guided self-exploration using personal observations, thoughts and feelings. Explore new or hidden talents with watercolor painting, cooking classes and wine tastings designed to help you tap into your passions.

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

Paradise Valley, Arizona

This wellness resort offers guests a picturesque escape with sweeping views of the Sonoran Desert. Named for the Japanese word for enlightenment, the retreat provides an array of spa and fitness activities in an inspirational desert setting. The Soul Connect experience allows guests to connect with their higher selves by aligning their physical, emotional and spiritual being. The journey begins by setting intentions with the help of divinity cards, where guests are expertly guided into a meditation that sets the tone to connect with their inner being. Meanwhile, the Satori Adventure program beckons the spa-goer to take on new challenges: mountain biking on the region's trickiest trails and hiking and rock climbing up striking mountains in the Valley of the Sun.

The Mayflower Grace

Washington, Connecticut

The Mayflower Grace is a calming retreat in western Connecticut. The Mayflower's 20,000-square-foot spa offers forest bathing, which promotes health and wellness. Guests can also participate in sound healing, which incorporates the rich, vibrant tone of a Tibetan bowl, eliciting a relaxing as well as rejuvenating state of well-being. The unique experience, which includes meditation and intention setting, can lead the body into homeostasis, an optimum state for self-generative healing.

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Carlsbad, California

Leave stress at the door with a visit to Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, the world headquarters of the Chopra Center, where professional healers help guests gain emotional, spiritual and physical balance. Founded by world-renowned holistic physicians Deepak Chopra and David Simon, the Chopra Center for Wellbeing has served as a nurturing place where people come to heal, empower themselves, find emotional freedom and experience spiritual awakening for more than 20 years. Nestled within Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, an intimate sanctuary filled with inspiring views and lush gardens, the Chopra Center provides the perfect setting for renewal and meditation. The center also offers a wide variety of workshops, retreats, yoga and spa treatments, as well as daily meditation sessions that combine the healing arts of the East with the best in modern Western medicine.

Twin Farms

Barnard, Vermont

At Twin Farms, you'll find plenty of secluded areas for self-reflection along the property's 300 acres. An all-inclusive property, Twin Farms is hosting a mind, body and soul wellness weekend from July 8-10 with skincare expert Tata Harper and artist Kelsey Montague, who recently launched her first adult coloring book. The entire weekend is dedicated to wellness, with nutritious cooking demonstrations, yoga classes and meditation sessions.

Mountain Trek Health and Fitness Retreat

Nelson, British Columbia

Mountain Trek offers guests a dynamic weight loss and fitness-focused vacation in a serene backcountry setting. Guests are treated to a personalized program, where they can spend their vacation time focusing on finding vitality and rediscovering personal health. Activities at the weeklong wellness retreat include hiking among the pristine mountains, restorative yoga, massage therapies, detox treatments and a variety of mindful fitness and nutrition classes. Mountain Trek also offers a range of lectures on stress management, detoxification, goal-setting and personal will power.

Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa

Nicaragua

For a self-discovery experience that goes far beyond traditional spa treatments, make the pilgrimage to Mukul Resort on Nicaragua's scenic Emerald Coast. The inward journey with Mukul's on-site healer includes two-hour sections – Namaste, Spiritual Liberation and Self-Connection – which can be done individually or as a series. Guests complete an Ayurveda questionnaire to start, which helps Yamuna (the on-site energy leader) recommend a specific diet, followed by a combination of massage, reiki, meditation and chakra balancing elements to aid in spiritual healing.

Keystone Lodge & Spa

Keystone, Colorado

While Colorado is known for its iconic winter settings, savvy travelers looking for a digital detox opt for a summertime escape. With meditation at 11,640 feet, Keystone Lodge & Spa is bringing a new level of zen to mountaintop yoga. Take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Dercum Mountain with breathtaking mountain views. At the top of the mountain, the resort's certified yoga instructor leads hourlong classes with the majestic Rockies in the backdrop. This uplifting experience is sure to replenish your sense of physical and mental well-being, but for even more pampering, head to the spa, where you can indulge in soothing facials, massages and body treatments.

Rancho La Puerta

Tecate, Mexico

Rancho La Puerta, a world-renowned fitness resort and spa in Tecate, offers a transformative setting for travelers seeking self-discovery. Guests can immerse themselves in the resort's all-inclusive wellness program to take part in a myriad of fitness classes – think Pilates, tennis and yoga – as well as meditation sessions and mindfulness and reflection classes. Plus, there are organic cuisine choices, morning hikes and art classes, including landscape sketching and jewelry making. And with picturesque natural surroundings, filled with lush gardens and hiking trails, you're sure to find plenty of places for solitude and time to reflect at the resort.

VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

Worldwide

Solo travelers gravitate towards VBT's diverse group tours, which give travelers the chance to enjoy expert-guided expeditions or embark on their own adventure. The company's trip leaders manage all logistics to ensure solo sojourners feel welcome. On the Ireland: Walking the West Country tour, for example, participants explore the Emerald Isle's dramatic cliffs and Atlantic surf on a brisk guided walk filled with historical points of interest before mixing and mingling with local residents at lively local pubs.
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Roger Sands, Contributor

Roger Sands is an experienced travel writer with a passion for destinations that inform and ...  Read more

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