Anyone else feel like pressing the pause button on 2018 already? Three months have now flashed before our eyes and those ambitious resolutions and enviable travel goals you committed to back in January are now most likely collecting dust.
Do you suffer from fernweh? Google it. A common and relatable affliction among true travel addicts, it literally means “far-sickness” (“fern” meaning “far” and “weh” meaning “pain”). As opposed to homesickness, fernweh is an ache for distant places; an insatiable craving for travel; and a constant yearning to explore faraway lands. If this sounds like your vibe, well … we hear you and The Bateleur blog is aimed entirely at feeding your incurable fernweh.
We all need an escape plan when life gets the best of us. So if you find yourself drowning in to-do lists, raging in morning rush hour, consumed by your cell phone, governed by an overflowing inbox and overwhelmed by life’s everyday demands, well, it’s time for an escape. The kind of escape that forces you to switch off, explore, dream and reconnect. Do this (at least) once a year to feed your fernweh and keep that insatiable travel bug at bay.
Here are 5 places to truly escape reality, each with its own entirely unique landscape and different ways to unwind.
1. Island vibes
When you’re craving a heavy dose of vitamin sea, there’s nothing better than a tropical island escape. Sip from coconuts, snorkel the coral reefs, ride horses on the beach and rock yourself to sleep in a hammock beneath swaying palm trees … there’s no denying that islands do the body a whole lot of good. We have three luxurious tropical islands in our collection (which one is your favourite?) and a growing collection of far-fetched islands within our tour operating portfolio (here are 15 to get you started), so set your clocks to island time and spoil yourself with some guilt-free beach therapy.
2. Desert oasis
There is no escape more peaceful, relaxing and soul-enriching than time spent in the desert. A place where time stands still and silence is golden, the desert boasts magnificent rugged landscapes, unrivalled sunrises and sunsets, a kaleidoscope of ever-changing colours and a blissful stillness you just can’t find anywhere else in the world. From the Namib and the Kalahari, to the Thar and the Atacama, the desert remains a land that time forgot and it really is the ultimate place to disconnect.
3. Jungle fever
Escape the urban jungle and get back to nature. From the lush Amazon rainforest to the tiger reserves of India, where Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book literally comes to life, the dense and mysterious jungles of the world continue to captivate us with their natural beauty and unimaginable flora and fauna. Whether you spot streaks of royal tigers and sloths of foraging bears in Asia, or pods of pink dolphins and prowls of powerful jaguars in South America, the jungle is definitely one for the bucket list.
4. City slicker
Though it might not be relaxing per se, there is something to be said about a city escape. Venturing off to wander anonymously in a faraway town is invigorating and exciting. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the unfamiliar, taste foreign flavours, learn a new language and broaden your horizons. From picturesque Santiago and seductive Buenos Aires, to the colourful chaos of Delhi and every Instagram-worthy view in Cape Town, cities are every bit as vibrant, energetic and alluring as their surrounding natural landscapes.
Once you’ve been to Africa, you’ll soon realise that yes, there are bugs, but the worst one of all is the travel bug and it bites hard. Africa crawls deep into your heart and, be warned, it never leaves. So when the safari ‘bug’ bites you, expect a lifelong urge to set foot on African soil, to smell the land after the rains, to witness wildlife roaming the plains freely and to feel the spirit of an ancient land consume your soul. Enough said.