3 surprising destinations for relaxation

January 16th  |  

I’ve had the privilege of visiting some amazing places. Vacations are an ideal time to get away from the day-to-day grind and recharge. And during some trips in particular, I’ve been truly blown away by the natural beauty, rich culture, wonderful people and really good food.

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If you’re looking for a vacation destination that will leave you in awe, check out one of these three spots:

–  Sri Lanka  –

This island sits south-east of India—it’s a beautiful country with nice people and great food. A bonus: it’s not too expensive either. A few of Sri Lanka’s beach towns are major tourist spots—great for surfers, windsurfers and other water sports lovers.

We stayed at a hotel called Heritance Kandalama—a very interesting and fun experience. It was pretty much in the middle of the jungle, so we got everything that comes with that environment. For instance, every morning when I woke up, there would be this monkey outside of the bathroom window looking at me. Every morning for four days, he was there. You know how they say “don’t feed the animals”? Well, there’s a reason for that.

My wife, Adrienne, started feeling sorry for the little guy and fed him some of the fruit we had in our room. After that, he got a little more aggressive, and the next thing we know, he rounded up his buddies so more monkeys showed up knocking on the glass as the days went by. Adrienne is an animal lover, so of course, she kept putting food out for them. Eventually, they started jumping from out of nowhere and almost got into our hotel room. That persuaded her to stop. So a little piece of advice for you animal lovers out there: When signs say, don’t feed the animals… don’t feed them!

A top highlight of our trip had to be climbing the historic site Lion Rock, this gigantic rock structure where, in ancient times, a king once built his palace. The views, the climb, the fresco paintings on the rock walls are all breathtaking. We could see Lion Rock from our hotel so we were excited the whole time leading up to the visit. And not only did we visit Lion Rock, but we climbed to the top to see the awesome view it had to offer.

Adrienne and I are pretty adventurous, so we decided to take it as a challenge. It’s around 1,200 steps to reach the top—which was especially tough because we only brought a couple of bottles of water with us and it was very hot. We ended up rationing the water as much as possible, but it was worth it. Once we got to the top, we just sat there and enjoyed the 360-degree view of the country side. 

–  Lake Como, Italy  –

Located about an hour and a half outside of Milan, this lake lies in the midst of spectacular mountains. It’s the perfect picturesque place for some rest and relaxation—and fun. I’d highly recommend spending plenty of time on the beaches and in the water, swimming and boating, and just taking in the views that surround you. The people and the towns at the edge of the lake were so serene and peaceful. I could sit outside all day and not move an inch. It felt like I was looking at a postcard every day.

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. One of my favorite things about the hotel was the sheets they used on the bed. They were the best sheets I’ve ever felt in my life. Imagine taking a cloud and mixing it with butter and cream, then adding some silk, and poof… you’ve got those sheets! I’m not gonna lie, the hotel was pretty expensive, but Lake Como is a beautiful and majestic place. Picture the ideal location to have a summer camp at the lake, a lake surrounded by mountains and forests. It was so plush and green—one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

–  Montenegro  –

This European country is across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, just west of Serbia and north of Albania. We flew into the Tivat Airport and spent time in the beach towns along the coastline. Montenegro’s amazing Mediterranean food and friendly people made it a really enjoyable spot to vacation.

I’ll never forget the boat we took to sail along the bay and down a very shallow river. We stopped at a wheat-mill-turned-restaurant where I had the best crepes of my life, topped with chocolate, hazelnuts and whipped cream. If you go, have some of those crepes for me. And if you’re into the club scene, Montenegro is home to some of the coolest clubs—huge, open-air ones—and hottest music festivals.

We ate almost every meal at our hotel, Aman Sveti Stefan. The food was amazing! We thought about trying other places to get a bite, but the hotel had three or four restaurants that are spectacular. They had a wide array of foods to choose from, but the Mediterranean cuisine was the best.

Sometimes it pays off to go somewhere new, somewhere you might not have heard too much about. The opportunity to explore another country and discover all it has to offer is truly life-changing. If you have the chance to visit one of these three spots, do it. You won’t regret it.

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