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FriFotos: Chill Out and Relax on 5 Continents

Posted on Posted in Australia, Easter Island, Europe, London, Photography, Tucson

Failing miserably at the Indie30 blogging challenge (I’m swamped with two weeks of prompts to work on), it’s very timely that the FriFotos theme is RELAX.  So in the spirit of multi-tasking the two different hashtags #Indie30 and #FriFotos, I’m going to relax a bit but showing photos of places I’ve traveled to around the world that were relaxing for me each in their own way.  I haven’t done much in Asia yet nor have I’ve been to the exlusive Antartica so enjoy the relaxing places on five continents.

North America – USA – Arizona

Visiting Arizona is such a great way to relax for me, gone are the skyscrapers of the city, the all black uniform of the East Coast and the rush to get here, there and everywhere (while being stuck in the dreaded commute each day) with the repetitiveness of eat, sleep, work, gym, rinse, repeat.  As the desert images and color palette wash over me, I quickly erase the buildup of worry and to-do lists in my mind and let out a sigh of relief.  Visiting Scottsdale, Sedona and other parts of Arizona have just had a restorative effect on me – mind, body and spirit.  Visiting Tucson for Miraval Spa , I was able to hike in the desert, climb a rock wall, eat healthy food, sleep well and reflect on life.  I can’t think of a better way to relax in the U.S. than to visit a spa in the desert.

Cactus flowers
Cactus flowers
Miraval Spa
Miraval Spa and Mountains

South America – Easter Island

I’ve written many posts about my time on Easter Island and one (two) of the highlights was to watch the sunrise over the Moai on one side of the island and finish the day watching the sunset on the other side.  It was peaceful to be with a handful of people all quietly watching the early morning ritual of night becoming day when with the sunrise illuminating the Moai. Ending the day in utter surprise at the colors of the sky with the sunset, we sit and watched silently.  With horses freely roaming around us, I had a hard time between burning the image in my memory or on my camera’s memory card. Living in the city, sunrise/sunset are just part of the routine of the day usually stuck in traffic, on Easter Island without distraction I could appreciate the wonders of the world.

Easter Island Ahu Tongariki
Waiting for the sunrise at Ahu Tongariki on Easter Island
Easter Island Sunset
Easter Island Moai Sunset
Easter Island Sunset
The colors of the Easter Island Sunset

Africa – Okavango Delta, Botswana

The quiet stillness of being on the water in the Okavango Delta of Botswana was just an out of body experierence.  I was so far from home and yet had this unbelievable sense of complete relaxation as the wind blew the reeds, my guide steered the mokoro and I just drank in the landscape, the quiet (the hippos would sing later) and was entranced by the African sunset.

Okavango Delta mokoro boat transit
In my own mokoro, my perspective changes as I take photos at the level of the reeds
Okavango Delta Sunset
Sunset on the water from my mokoro in the Okavango Delta

Australia & New Zealand

On visits to Australia and New Zealand, I feel most relaxed with a glass of wine, incredible views of the water and surrounded by the unbelievable beauty of nature.  Ocean views from Rottnest Island and The Great Barrier Reef were unique.  Food with friends in Melbourne & Sydney were nights to remember as were coastline boat rides in Tasmania. In New Zealand, each day was an adventure – Milford & Doubtful Sounds, a glacier hike, flying over the mountains or jet boating – which ended each night with a glass of wine.

Rottnest Island Western Australia ocean view
Rottnest Island view of the yachts and ocean
Doubtful Sound New Zealand
Doubtful Sound – we were the only boat sailing that day

Europe – Take a Cruise

I have so many favorite cities/towns in Europe and despite the usual crowds, I can easily tune out the world even on the morning London Central line tube commute!  To totally disconnect and rediscover, I enjoy cruises in Europe and have been on a few so far – Baltic, the Med and Turkey/Greek Isles.  People often think you are “stuck” on a cruise but I’ve never felt that way despite an inside cabin on Deck 2 (spa time definitely increases that relaxation mode).

Venice Italy
Start a cruise in Venice and enjoy getting lost in the city as I do – one of my favorite cities in Europe
Tower Bridge London
Tower Bridge London – one of my favorite views in the city

For the most part, the most relaxing for me is being near or on the water (bonus if sunset) and reminded of the vastness of nature and my small part in the world. Be able to clear my mind of all the day to day drama when I travel is the best part of the journey – giving my mind the space to add new experiences, feelings and perspectives. Travel is my best way to relax – what’s yours? Check out all the contributors to #FriFotos this week and see how they relax.

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