Having mini-computers in our pockets is one of the amazing things about the age in which we live. Information about anything is literally at our fingertips, and it’s never been easier to connect with friends and family. Not to mention, you can plan your travel adventures from wherever you are!
But in this fast-paced world, with constant distraction from devices, it’s important to disconnect every once in a while—to look up from our screens and immerse ourselves in the sounds and sights of nature and cultures. There are plenty of travel apps out there, but none of them can replace the feeling of being in the moment, on the trail, gazing out at a stunning landscape, or interacting with local people.
If this sounds good to you, here are 5 of the best places to decompress by disconnecting!
Although Cuba is not necessarily remote in terms of geography, its digital infrastructure is lacking, so connectivity is limited both in location and reception strength. You can post your photos on social media when you return home, but while on the island, take every opportunity to meet locals, discover waterfalls, sip pina coladas, and sway to Cuban rhythms.
There is much more to Peru than Machu Picchu. While the Inca Trail is the most popular way to the ancient citadel, the Salkantay Trek is a sparsely-traveled, beautiful, and remote alternative with one of the most unique views of the ruins few people see. Trekking through the Andes, you’ll see a much more authentic Peru, away from tourist crowds. You’ll be so blown away by the landscape, and you won’t even remember to check your phone!
There’s no electricity when you’re beach camping on an island in the South Pacific. Plus, it’s risky bringing your devices when there is so much water and sand. So, stow away your phone and embrace the tropical paradise—hop into your kayak to discover hidden coves, pull on your snorkel to observe stunning marine life, and listen to the palms rustle on a white sand beach while you watch the sun dip below the horizon.
You’ve seen wildlife shows on TV and videos of animal encounters online, but trust us, nothing compares to actually being on an African safari. And once you’ve soared over vast swaths of wilderness on a flying safari and observed an elephant grazing 10 feet from your nose, you won’t be able to watch those shows without pining for that wild and free feeling you get from being out in the bush with no civilization or technology for miles.
Being in Bhutan evokes a sense of calm and mindfulness, perhaps because the Buddhist philosophy is so tightly woven into every part of Bhutanese life. Whatever it is, Bhutan is a place to simply “be.” It draws you in, and you may want to leave you’re frenzied, 21st-century life behind you. You’ll be too busy soaking in the rich and well-preserved culture and landscape that you won’t mind waiting to connect until you’re back at the hotel.