Once upon a time, holidays were just an opportunity to relax and indulge in the local food and drink, enjoying a couple of weeks of soaking up the sun before returning to the reality of nine to five jobs and cold, wet and rainy weather. In recent years however, there is a new breed of traveler emerging who is seeking out travel destinations with the aim to find spiritual enlightenment rather than just get a tan.
It could be argued that this trend is not a new one –after all people have been traveling to destinations such as India since the 1960s for the purpose of joining ashrams for yoga and meditation practice. But the trend in recent years is towards more of a luxurious experience than a self-sacrificing one which involves 5 star hotels rather than communal accommodation and the clientele are slightly different from those you’ll find on the hippy circuit.
The release of the Eat Pray Love movie based on the book of the same name chronicles the journey of one of these new spiritual travelers as she journeys to Italy, India and Bali in an attempt to recover from a messy divorce and find peace in her life. The real life character at the center of the story is Elizabeth Gilbert – a 30-something writer with a successful career in New York, not a granola-eating yoga obsessive or a spaced out hippy.
The release of the film is likely to encourage more people, particularly women to set off on their own spiritual quest and it is even possible to go on an Eat Pray Love tour in Bali which visits many of the locations mentioned in the book and the movie and allows tour goers to have their own Eat Pray Love experience.
There are many high class yoga and natural health retreats located in several countries across the world and the success of these spiritual vacations is likely only to increase as more people seek a permanent solution to their problems rather than just a two week escape to the sun.
Even though Eat Pray Love did not cover Central America you can still find your spiritual center on a range of Central America vacation packages.