Even in today’s world when we have nearly instant access to anything with the click of a button, travel remains one of few truly transformative experiences. We leave behind the comforts and chaos of our daily lives to discover other cultures, learn more about ourselves and remember just how small we are in the grand scheme of things.
Travel also offers the distinct opportunity to understand just how interconnected we are with our fellow mankind, despite seemingly insurmountable differences in geography, language, history, religion and politics. It lets us see what unites us rather than what divides us. It reminds us of what really matters. It allows us to reset from all the self- and society-imposed expectations, anxieties and exhaustion of the everyday.
That’s exactly what writer Jennifer Blaise Kramer was after when she recently went on a retreat that was probably a bit more woo-woo than she was ready for. But after overcoming her initial resistance, she had a life-shifting experience — mysticism, manifestations, visions and all. It prompted her to ask herself, her fellow wellness aficionados and industry experts why we’re all craving these soul-searching sojourns right now. Get the answer and her full analysis in our feature, “Why We Retreat.”
There’s just something about those collective IRL encounters that can’t be replicated through technology (although I’ll admit I’m as addicted to social media as the next person). More and more these days, I find myself gravitating toward those experiences where I lose total track of time and find myself fully immersed in the conversation, meal or activity at hand. For me, that happens when riding my horse, catching up with a loved one or embarking on an exciting journey into the unknown. I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions since they don’t tend to stick, but I can say I’m ready to dedicate myself to seeking out more of these lost-in-the-moment situations.
Of course, it’s easier said than done to distance ourselves from our daily dilemmas and find these moments of respite, whether that’s getting in the zone or going inward to examine who we really are and what we want to do with our one wild and precious life. But as we’ve been told over and over again, our biggest regrets tend to lie in the not doing, rather than the doing. To that end, I’m advocating for living life to the fullest. Diving into the deep end. Facing your fears. Embracing love and being loved. We deserve that, as do our fellow humans. In 2024, let’s make a collective effort to see beyond ourselves and see each other — it’s what the world needs right now.
Kate Nelson, Editor-in-Chief