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Escape the city for your next holiday

by Tania Griffin

In a world where the hustle and bustle of city life can be overwhelming and its fast pace a constant challenge to keep up with, the desire for respite ‘far from the madding crowd’ is an alluring prospect.

“Urban living can be extremely stressful and we seldom have the time to ‘stop and smell the roses’,” says Shaun Lamont, managing director of First Group Hotels and Resorts. “However, being able to pause and appreciate life’s simple pleasures that often go unnoticed in the rush of daily living is important to our overall well-being. That’s why a holiday at a destination far removed from urban chaos encourages people to slow down and de-stress in tranquil and beautiful surroundings.”

He offers five reasons to choose a holiday spot out of the city:

1. Reconnect with nature

Nature’s beauty is unparalleled and offers an open invitation to immerse oneself in the natural world. From the unspoilt bushveld to sun-kissed beaches, tranquil lakes and breathtaking mountain ranges, these idyllic settings offer a chance to leave behind the demands of the great metropolis and constant intrusion of the digital realm and rediscover the serenity and harmony that nature provides.

2. Relax and rejuvenate

A holiday in a peaceful environment provides the perfect opportunity to unwind. The gentle rustling of leaves in a quiet forest, the soothing sound of waves lapping the shore, or witnessing a magnificent sunset in the bushveld or mountains all have a therapeutic effect on one’s mental and physical well-being – contributing to relaxation and rejuvenation.

3. Escape the noise

The constant noise and congestion of the city – with its relentless traffic, blaring sirens, noisy offices and busy malls – can be draining. Retreating to a peaceful locale provides the opportunity to revive your senses in tranquil quiet where the sweet sounds of nature are music to the soul.

4. Pristine splendour

City lights and pollution often obscure the radiant splendour of the night sky, dimming the brilliance of stars and constellations. Yet, when you venture to a destination far from both, the pristine clarity of the celestial canvas is a breathtaking sight, reminding one of a vast and awe-inspiring universe. There’s also nothing like inhaling crisp, clean air to invigorate you, bringing a glow to your cheeks and a sparkle to your eyes.

5. Uncover natural wonders

Rediscover the wonders of Mother Nature with activities like mountain hiking, wildlife spotting in the bush, birdwatching, snorkelling or fishing. These experiences will not only restore your spirit and relax you but also provide you with a renewed appreciation of the profound beauty that the great outdoors has to offer.

Whether you’re seeking a weekend escape or an extended holiday, there are any number of enchanting locations to choose from. First Group, for example, offers a diverse selection of hotels and self-catering accommodations, whether it’s at the foot of the majestic Drakensberg, along the beautiful beaches in the Cape or KwaZulu-Natal, or soaking up the picturesque charm of the countryside.

From tranquil country cottages to the rustic appeal of log cabins and the luxury comfort of hotels and resorts such as the unspoilt Wild Coast beach resort “Hole in the Wall”, their offerings are an invitation for city-weary holidaymakers to reconnect with nature and make magical, lasting memories.

“Taking a break from city life at times and learning to ‘smell the roses’ and discover the simple joys of life once more can create a sense of well-being that refreshes the spirit, and reminds us of life’s little treasures,” concludes Lamont.

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