Screens. Screens everywhere! They’re the quintessential image of our times and while they most certainly have their uses, they’ve become so ubiquitous that many of us can’t wait for an opportunity to get away from them. Not only has our increasing reliance on mobile devices and digital technology become worrying in the extent of its addiction (to the point that the term screen junkie has become ambivalent or even complimentary), it’s also ruining our health. While urban hiking certainly has its appeal, many of us in the hiking community regard our hobby as an opportunity to get in touch with the wonders of the natural world, and while this is its own reward, it’s also a palate cleansing sorbet for the eyes to see the natural world through your glorious hi-resolution eyes.
If you’re sick of screens, weirded out by wifi, fed up with phones and tired of tablets, here are some great vacation spots from around the world in which you can commune with nature and leave the technological trappings of the world behind. You won’t find a single bar of wifi between these beauty spots…
If you want to broaden your horizons while experiencing a way of life that feels like hopping into a time machine, look no further than the famous Pennsylvania Dutch settlement of Lancaster. While the city of Lancaster has a range of attractions if you get a hankering for the urban life, the nearby Amish settlement offers a welcome reprieve from the bright lights of the big city. Here you can learn about the faith and traditions of the Amish people, visit local Amish attractions and even go on an Amish buggy ride.
Many visitors find that this experience encourages them to rethink their priorities in life and their relationship with the technological world.
Zion National Park
There’s a certain spartan, arid charm to the red, rocky and rugged topography of this celebrated Utah national park. Not only does the rugged terrain offer some unique and wonderful opportunities for hikers, you’ll also find a host of activities designed to relieve you of the stresses of modern living. From walking amidst the surprisingly verdant canyon forests and climbing the impressive sandstone cliffs to a pampering at the Red Mountain Spa, you’ll find a perfect panacea to the technologically obsessed modern world.
The Sanctuary: Koh Phangan
The island of Koh Phangan may not be traditionally regarded as a serene getaway spot. Indeed, to many it’s party town and home to wild raves on the Haad Rin beaches and raucous full moon parties. As with many locations with a rowdy reputation, however, this diminutive isle has a quiet and thoughtful side. Take a 90 minute hike through the lush rainforest, however and you’ll find your reward at The Sanctuary. This hidden beach resort is also a spa and detox center as well as being a general sanctuary for wellness, with delicious vegetarian meals and activities including yoga and other healing therapies. Although the sanctuary has electronic facilities should you need them, they’re seldom used as many people are there for a digital detox as well as a digestive one.