Weekend Escapes: A Healthy Way to Bring Balance Into Your Life

San Blas Islands, Panama

Traveling for a couple of days is a healthy way to balance a busy urban life with time to relax. Going somewhere paradisiacal for a weekend getaway can be completely different for everyone: be it mountains, camping, the beach, or at a lake, etc. The idea behind these weekend escapades is to connect with nature and with others, and to disconnect from all the “busy-ness” and distractions that surround us in our daily lives.

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After a conference in Panama, I took the weekend and went to the San Blas Islands. The archipelago has over 350 islands and is located in the Caribbean, off the northeastern coast of Panama. Also known as Guna Yala, the local indigenous communities manage the tourism to protect their traditions, culture, and heritage. Although there are many tourists that visit the islands, you won’t see very many during your stay on your small remote island. There are different accommodation options for different budgets: from hanging hammock between palms trees, or rustic cabins with sandy floors to cabins directly on the water. No matter which option you choose, your time here will be simplicity at its best.

 

And this is exactly what attracts people to these remote destinations: the unique, simple way of life where time slows down, where your phone signal probably does not work, and where Wi-Fi and air-conditioning are simply not an option.

So really, there is not much to do here but to get to know the local culture, take boat rides to visit other islands and beaches, snorkel whenever you find a reef, and relax on the beach with a book.

 

My weekend escapade included untouched nature and culture, fine white sandy beaches, and crystal clear, turquoise waters: the San Blas Islands are not to be missed if you are in Panama.

 

The feeling you get after a weekend getaway is probably the most rewarding. It makes you appreciate the small things you perhaps take for granted on a daily basis: a hot shower, air conditioning, the Wi-Fi. Even certain foods you particularly enjoy or the quick access to information, phone calls, messaging etc. Getting away from everything also allows you to come back with ideas, a clear mind, and a heart full of love for the simple things in your life.

 

So, plan ahead of time, and take a weekend escapade to somewhere remote, surrounded by nature and (re) connect.

 

“Travel brings power and love back into your life” Rumi.

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As you boat around from island to island, see natives rowing their rustic wooden sailboats with the day’s catch for sale.

  

Recommendations for your travels to San Blas:

-       I would not recommend only going for a day: the long way by car, the winding roads and boat rides make it quite the journey.

-       Go for one or two nights.

-       If you have the time, consider taking the sailboats that cross from Panama to Cartagena in Colombia: it is an amazing border crossing journey.

-       Bring insect repellent! We did not think we would need any, but it is a must!

-       Bring your own snorkeling gear so you don’t have to rent one and can go at any time

-       Only bring what is necessary (no big suitcases needed here!)