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5 reasons to consider taking a break away from the city

A picnic outside the city in the Midlands is the perfect way to de-stress at the end of the year. Picture: Supplied

A picnic outside the city in the Midlands is the perfect way to de-stress at the end of the year. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 1, 2023


At times, the hustle and bustle of city life can be overwhelming and the fast pace of city living can be a constant challenge to keep up with.

Year-end fatigue can also increase the desire for “respite far from the madding crowd” and escaping the city can be an alluring prospect.

According to Shaun Lamont, the managing director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, urban living can be stressful and we seldom have the time to stop and smell the roses. 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,” said Lamont.

Here are five reasons why you should consider taking a break at a spot outside the city.

To reconnect with nature

According to Lamont, 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 the demands of the great metropolis and constant intrusion of the digital realm behind and rediscover the serenity and harmony that nature provides,” said Lamont.

To relax and rejuvenate

“A holiday in a peaceful environment provides the perfect opportunity to unwind,” said Lamont.

He also said that 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.

To 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,” said Lamont.

Lamont said 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.

Pristine splendour

He highlighted that 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,” he said.

Uncover natural wonders

Another reason is to rediscover the wonders of Mother Nature with activities like mountain hiking, wildlife spotting in the bush, birdwatching, snorkelling or fishing.

He said 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.

“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,” said Lamont.