It’s been 10 years since the arrival of the iPhone, paradoxically world-enlarging yet world-shrinking. And it’s a little less than that since Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods warned that children growing up with their eyes glued to a screen and little contact with nature risk becoming a generation plagued by obesity, ADHD and depression. Then Dazeen featured a padded sleep-hood for dozing at our desks. Have we really fallen so far?
All is not lost. With a waiting list of 40,000 to join the Scouts and Shoreditch hipsters taking up crafts such as spoon whittling, many understand the need to step back and go off-grid, readopting a simple, go slow, no-tech approach to feeling good. After all, regularly connecting with nature helps Scandinavia top the World Happiness Report again and again. It’s an ethos that is resonating globally from the yoga festival that took place in the mountains of Saint Anton to callisthenics being rebranded for the Instagram generation as MovNat and champions getting fit by dangling from trees and weightlifting rocks (see our e-course on Re-Wilding Yourself here).
The wild is something that draws us in, fascinates us and calls us. The pleasures and rewards of open space can be profound and over the coming months we’ll be developing a series of journeys to the wild to reconnect with yourself which we’re adding to the live talks, articles and e-courses we already offer. In the meantime here are some of the old-school fixes on offer that have caught our eye.
Next year, deep in Swedish Lapland, the team behind the nearby Treehotel will open a circular floating Arctic Bath which will combine the ultimate thrill of the natural world, with the Northern Lights.
In mountain hot-spring towns such as Hakone, Takaragawa, Shuzenji and Yufuin, it’s still the centuries-old custom to go to a bathhouse in nothing bur your cotton robe and walk through the streets with just a washbag and towel. Delightful.
Comporta lies a drive and a ferry ride away from Lisbon, one that glides alongside dolphins and arrives to a community whose law forbids residents from building within 1km of the shoreline, meaning you have the land all to yourself. The backwaters are a patchwork of shallow pools flecked with shoots of green and the odd stork paddling around. The hotel Sublime Comporta is tucked at the end of a path behind peach-coloured gates and a wall of wildflowers. Perfect for a weekend of checking out from technology and checking into yourself.
Hush-Hush Tuscia, Italy
In the western waters of Lake Bolsena in Italy’s central region of Lazio, there lies an uninhabited island called La Bisentina. It’s home to a Franciscan Monastery, a handful of small churches and temples and gardens long since gone to seed. Said to be one of the most beautiful and singular places in Italy, Tuscia is a region secreted away and one we’re hugely keen to explore.
We’ll be introducing more articles and featured travel journeys and experiences over the coming months. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates.