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Serious Getaway Destinations for a Burnout
April 4, 2012 7:24 PM   Subscribe

Life/work-break destinations and activities for a person with a severe case of career burnout? Looking to take 6 weeks off.

I recently reached a critical state of burnout with my career. I figured when you lie awake in bed and can't get to sleep because your work has no meaning anymore but your work is your life so your life has no meaning, it's time to take a serious break.

My career is my dream job, so I don't want to quit and do something else. I'm being as proactive as possible and I have the luxury of being able to take off for 6 weeks starting mid-July. I'm not doing this because I want to, I'm doing this because I have to.

I'm looking for destination suggestions- places where I can get away from my reality, and have the option to either veg out all day or do engaging things like learn to surf or scuba. Yes, it has to be on the water. Swimming in the ocean every day is going to be a big part of the healing process for me. I'm looking at Costa Rica or Belize, but I'd love other suggestions. Full resort accommodations are unnecessary, but I would like AC at night. My budget for the whole trip is about $5k.

I'm also seeking suggestions for activities that are going to refresh and recharge my mind and body.

Just knowing that I'm going to take this trip is a tremendous relief- I've never taken a non-working vacation in my adult life, so I want to do this one right. No work, little contact with life back home, pure bliss.

Thank you!
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Does it have to be out of the country? 5K might go a long way in the Florida Keys. Fishing and diving for sure. Not much for surfing, though.

For vegetation, though, it's hard to beat. Sit, drink, watch the sun go down. You can take in as little or as much of the weirdo night life as you want.
posted by jquinby at 7:56 PM on April 4, 2012


Thailand, particularly Koh Tao. Cheap diving mecca, lots of opportunities to sit on the beach and drink, beautiful scenery, and you can hike around and look at stuff. If you get bored of one island, hop a boat to the next one.
posted by asphericalcow at 8:01 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


What about going somewhere on the Mediterranean? Get a good deal on the plane tickets, and rent a small apartment for the duration. Being immersed in a foreign culture will do a lot to get you away from your reality.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:31 PM on April 4, 2012


Southeast Asia is a good place to go if you want to go far and live cheap for a longish period - the plane ticket is expensive, but everything else is cheap.

It's very easy to do this in Thailand, which could be useful if you haven't traveled much and want a hassle-free experience. The Philippines are also good, and the diving is spectacular there. Give Malaysia a look too. With $3K for six weeks (setting aside $2K for travel) you could live very well and dive every day in a lot of places in that part of the world. It's also fairly easy to catch a flight to other parts of Asia if you decide you're done with being a beach bum and want something different.

I think Costa Rica will be quite a bit more expensive, but it's very easy to travel there and it's also quite beautiful. Great surfing on the Pacific side; not sure about the diving on the Gulf side. Getting around is easy if you rent a car, though that's a big chunk out of your budget.

It might be good to pick an activity that you're interested in doing - surfing, diving, learning the local language, etc - and plan a lot of your trip around that, especially if you want a maximally relaxed trip. The best spot to learn surfing and the best spot to learn diving might be in very different places, and tuning your trip based on your interest might help you do more of what you want to do and less of what you don't.
posted by hackwolf at 8:56 PM on April 4, 2012


Seconding Southeast Asia.

you might also want to look into a mediation or yoga retreat there by the sea. I don't have any particular recommendations, but I know there are several there.
posted by bearette at 10:03 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


6 weeks? I vote road trip across the United States or up/down the East or West Coast (or even Gulf coast if you need the tropical feel). Take your good ol' time, take back roads, have lunch in the small towns, go sightseeing, etc, etc. The key would be to go slow and take it in and just do what you want. I personally think there is much to see in the United States and people often overlook the beauty of it. By being moble, you won't get bored of one place. I've been to many beaches (not a lot but enough) including some overseas and one thing I have learned is that you don't need to travel thousands of miles over the pacific or spend an entire day of your life on an airplane to have a nice sunny day, warm sand under your feed, and a drink in your hand. It goes against the grain, but looking out on a beach and seeing beautiful warm teal water and palm trees, it all looks the same whether its Florida, Mexico, Beleze, etc.
posted by amazingstill at 7:26 AM on April 5, 2012


Costa Rica is only an option if you consider some of the far western coasts (Guanacaste province). You can find desolation, great weather, beaches, nature, and close enough to nightlife should you want. The vast majority of CR is overrun by tourists and not a 'peaceful getaway,' unfortunately.

Southeast Asia is good, depending on your level of comfort in non-English environments that take time getting used to (Philippines is a great exception, English understood everywhere, and cultural similarities to the U.S. with lots of peaceful getaway spots, tremendous beaches).

Europe in the Summer, especially beach-lined coasts are absolutely jam-packed, no peace at all (the exception, Menorca off the coast of Spain is quiet/lazy/relaxing natural beauty, and many beaches, and many not crowded).
posted by Kruger5 at 7:27 AM on April 5, 2012


Mozambique. The flight to Maputo from the U.S. will run you two grand, but you can easily pass weeks in Tofo for a couple hundred bucks a week. There's a range of accommodations from beach hut (no AC necessary) to nicer digs.

The beaches are really empty, compared to Southeast Asia or the Caribbean, but not desolate. The scuba diving is amazing. I love my trip to Moz in 2007 (not a typo).
posted by benbenson at 8:20 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine just did a week-long yoga retreat in Mexico. Lots of delicous organic local food, yoga on the beach, and day trips.
posted by stompadour at 9:30 AM on April 5, 2012


I'm contemplating the same thing. Two months, but a smaller budget.

My tentative plan is, Thailand.
There's a 28 day Yoga course with breakfast & accommodation. So only necessity is cheap food.

I'm thinking - sunshine (it's winter here), nature, no responsibilities, a full thai massage a few times a week, a lot of exercise i.e. yoga each day (I like yoga, you may vary), good healthy food (I'm a bit gluten intolerant but keep eating it anyway, it's easier to avoid in Thailand), a lot of sleep.
Also, thinking about a diving course, because, hell, why not, it's only a couple of days out of the trip and I'd be PADI licensed(?) for scuba diving, so it's an accomplishment, a challenge, exercise, and beauty.
Also possible workshops like a cooking course, or thai massage.
Apparently there's even an NLP 'goals' course etc I could do concurrently with the yoga. Flakey sounding I know, but I need something to break the mental rut, and figure out what I want out of life, and how to do it.

The really hard bit, is I'm thinking of a 10 day meditation course as well. It'll be hell, I just keep wondering if maybe that's the bit of my brain I need to to exercise, because I'm so very bad at it.

I'll have internet for some of the trip, but I like the idea of spending some time at a hut with great food, great view, and no electricity. I will have a journal and pens the whole trip, and have been wondering if there would be any appropriate book to take as bibliotherapy.

I'm just trying to come up with a list of things that would be enjoyable and healthy for me, and trying to figure out how to work with them, and just hoping this is the right approach. I'm handing in my notice, because I know I'm not suited for what I'm doing, and I'm just hoping this'll give me the break I need to get back on the job/life horse again.

Memail me if you have any good ideas for what you're trying to do, or want to brainstorm with someone else?
posted by Elysum at 10:35 PM on May 17, 2012


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