Finding a Peaceful Retreat

Tatiana - Centreville, Virginia
Entered on April 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Lifestyles can be hectic and stressful; therefore, I believe that taking a break from a busy lifestyle is necessary in order to keep one’s sanity. I believe that everyone should have at least one place in the world that they can go to, where the peacefulness of their surroundings helps them to truly relax and rejuvenate their souls. Vacations were made for this purpose, but unfortunately, some vacations only add to the stress level, rather than alleviate it. For me, a true vacation means going somewhere peaceful, where my spirituality becomes one with the nature around me.

There are two specific places for my ideal peaceful vacation retreat, Machu Picchu, Peru and Ontario, Canada. I have had the pleasure of visiting Machu Picchu twice in my lifetime; both times, it has blown me away with amazement and pride in my native ancestors and my Hispanic culture. Each time I climb the mountainside and turn to see the historical city of the Incas appear, as if out of nowhere, my breath is taken away by the splendor of the site. As I begin to walk through the city looking at the enormous rocks that were used as walls, I begin to feel cold, wet moisture in the air, only to realize that I am walking through a cloud as a result of the altitude that I am at. When I look all around me, at the amazing beauty of the mountains surrounding me, the clouds floating by me, the ancient structures still intact; I feel tears streaming down my face and ask myself, “Am I in heaven?” After leaving there, I feel rejuvenated, a sense of peace, and spiritually closer to God.

My second favorite vacationing location is at a lake house in Ontario, Canada. At night, when I look up at the sky, the amount and clarity of the stars are breathtaking. In a matter of fifteen minutes, anyone can easily count at least ten different shooting stars that they saw. Animals such as jack rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, wolves, mice, loons, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and small bears peacefully roam the woods all around the lake house, paying no attention to the people that are there, and causing no harm to them either. Although it may seem unrealistic, the animals are so peaceful, that it makes me feel as if I am Snow White and all the animals are my friends. The only thing to do there is relax and get closer to nature.

It is very easy to get caught up in all of the hustle and bustle of the world, but everyone owes it to themselves to have some relaxation time as well. Without vacations, people live more stressful lives, causing potential damage to their health. Although I may not be able to take these special vacations every year, I still believe that having taken them at least once in my life replenishes my soul, and will help me to lead a longer, healthier, and happier life.