Forest Bathing – What is it, and where can you do it? 2020 is shaping up to be a year of trends, and one of the newest, hottest travel trends is forest bathing. Various travel websites and even some television programs have featured this new way to travel,mostly for all the boxes it ticks off on that wellness travel bucket list of yours.
Forest bathing is a sustainable, slowed-down type of travel that is actually really good for you. The concept taps into Japan’s take on nature therapy which states that immersion in nature has a wealth of healing powers.
The goal of forest bathing is to employ as many of your senses as you can while immersing yourself right where you are – listen, smell, and touch everything the surrounding forest offers. While you might think the entire premise is just a gimmick, there’s actually research from such universities as Edinburgh to back up the claims that forest bathing reduces stress and improves your memory, your mood, and your overall well-being. You should also note that this research states it’s not something you should do just once – practice this activity regularly and you’ll see incredible benefits. Best of all, this activity is available for vacationers both in the U.S. and internationally! One of the best places to do this is in the heart of the African continent.
The forests and nature areas in and around Malawi are so untouched that it’s the perfect spot for partaking of this travel trend. Even though forest bathing is a relatively new concept, one of the best identified places to discover what it’s all about is the Nyika Plateau.
The Nyika Plateau is part of the national park of the same name. This national park encloses one of the most remote and secret forests on the planet. The forest covers over 20 acres and was the park’s first spot to be reclassified as a preserve. It’s home to some of the oldest trees in the world, the juniper, and some are thought to be as old as 1000 years. Some of these junipers are over 150 feet tall. Just imagine strolling through these ancient giants – it’s a humbling experience you’ll not soon forget. And the scent of perfumed gin that released from the large cones dropped by the trees will remain in memory long after you’ve left the forest.
Looking for something a bit closer to home? Check out any of these are hundreds of other great locations throughout the U.S. including: The Redwoods in California, Olympic National Park in Washington State or the Finger Lakes region in New York.