Chakra Travel Takes You to the Most Healing Places On the Planet

Just as the seven chakras relate to areas on the human body and earth's elements, they also have corollaries for earth destinations. Travel with us—and the many travelers now making pilgrimages these energetic spots—to the seven chakras of the body and of Mother Earth.

Root Chakra: Mount Shasta (USA)

The first chakra also called the root chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine. The root chakra is responsible for feelings of safety, security, and groundedness and is associated with our basic needs for food, water, and safety, as well as our emotional needs to feel rooted and secure. Its energy is based on the element of the earth. The root chakra is like the foundation of a house and forms the bedrock to our lives.

The earth's root chakra is Mount Shasta in California's snow-capped Cascades Range. This gorgeous peak has a long history of sacred observation and mythology about lost civilizations. The Native Americans considered the mountain the center of the spiritual universe. Perfect home for the Muladhara, a word based on the Sanskrit for "root" and "base."

After visiting the peak, "Lonely as God, and white as a winter moon,' as poet Joaquin Miller wrote, see the three charming towns at its base, each with first-rate amenities: Dunsmuir, Mt Shasta City, and McCloud.

Sacral Chakra: Lake Titicaca (Peru)

The second chakra or sacral chakra is the seat of creativity and sexuality. Located above the pubic bone and beneath the navel, Svadhisthana translates to "the dwelling place of the self" in Sanskrit and is associated with the element water. When the second chakra is in balance, we feel an abundant and expansive sense of wellness, pleasure, and joy. Nice, right?

Travel to Lake Titicaca, between the border of Bolivia and Peru, to recognize the earth's second chakra. This large, deep lake is central to many myths; in Incan mythology, the god Viracocha emerged from the lake to create the sun, the stars, and the first civilization. Lake Titicaca is also the birthplace of the first Incan king, Manco Capac. The areas surrounding the lake, including Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and Iquitos, are also recognized as having powerful energetic forces. Because it's a popular tourist destination, you can reach the lake from either Bolivia or Peru. Bolivia's capital city La Paz glimmers on the eastern shore, and from Peru, the lake is easily accessible from Lima or Cuzco.

Solar Plexus Chakra: Uluru and Kata Tjuta (Australia)

The third chakra is your warrior chakra. This is the chakra that gives a baller presentation at work and then asks for a raise—and gets it. Located between the navel and the breastbone, the solar plexus chakra governs self-esteem, motivation, confidence, and a sense of purpose. Its associated element is fire, and in Sanskrit, Manipura translates as "lustrous gem."

Sacred to Australia's indigenous Anangu Aboriginal people, Uluru is a huge sandstone monolith 2.2 miles long and 1.2 miles wide. Together with Kata Tjuta, a collection of rock domes sixteen miles to the west, these astounding natural formations play an important part of the traditional belief system of one of the oldest human societies on earth. They are also recognized as the earth's third chakra.

You can fly directly to the spiritual center from Sidney on a three-hour flight, or opt to explore the outback in a more leisurely way by driving on the Northern Territory's Centre Way.

Heart Chakra: Glastonbury (UK)

Located in the center of the chest, the fourth chakra forms the nexus between the physical and spiritual realms. The element associated with the heart chakra is air, and the Sanskrit name, Anahata, translates to "unstruck" or "unhurt." When the heart chakra is in balance, we feel love for ourselves and others, reservoirs of compassion and empathy, and a deep connection with the life that surrounds us.

In England's Somerset, Glastonbury is seen as the site of the earth's heart chakra. Here, the flat green landscape is presided over by Glastonbury Tor (from the Old English for a high rock or hill) atop which St Michael's Tower seems to rise from the mist. The site has been associated with many spiritual and mythological traditions dating from pre-Christian times, and include Celtic mythology, King Arthur, and the Holy Grail. The area also hosts to a very muddy annual music festival.

To really see the spectacular countryside, hop in a car in London for the three-hour drive west to Glastonbury stopping in every charming village along the way.

Throat Chakra: Great Pyramid (Egypt)

At the fifth chakra or throat chakra, we move into the spiritual realms. Located at the center of the neck, the throat chakra governs expression and communication. In Sanskrit, the word Vishuddha means "pure" or "purification." When the throat chakra is in balance, we have an ability to express our truth, both verbally and nonverbally, live our purpose, and translate our plans and dreams into reality. This chakra has a natural association with the second or sacral chakra, the seat of emotions and creativity.

On earth, the throat chakra is associated with the Pyramids of Giza. The voice of the earth is calling to us with a message, writes WanderLuxe: "many believe that the constant wars and tragedies in the middle east are a physical manifestation of the mother Earth calling us to come to consciousness and follow the light."

Nine miles from Cairo, it's simple to reach the pyramids by private driver and guide; public bus; cab; or with an organized tour sold at hotels.

Third Eye Chakra: Mount Fuji (Japan)

The sixth chakra is the third eye chakra, located on the forehead between the eyebrows. This chakra goes by several names in Sanskrit; the most common, Ajna, is translated as "command," "perceiving," and "beyond wisdom." The third eye is the center of our intuition, that sixth sense that perceives beyond sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. When the sixth chakra is in balance, we can experience a sense of clairvoyance as well as an increased sense of access to wisdom, insight, and illumination.

On earth, the sixth chakra can be hard to pin down. Some say the sixth chakra has no fixed point on earth and moves with the earth's rotation. Those who subscribe to this theory pinpoint the sixth chakra as currently aligned with the heart chakra in Glastonbury and whose next destination will be Brazil.

But others say the sixth chakra's home can be found on volcanic Mount Fuji. The holiest of the country's Three Holy Mountains, Japan's tallest peak is an active volcano named for the Buddhist fire goddess Fuchi. At its 12,000-foot summit, find a shrine to the Shinto goddess Sengen-Sama.

A two to two-and-a-half hour express bus from Tokyo is the simplest way to reach Mt Fuji, which drops you off at Kawaguchiko 5th Station at the mountain's base.

Crown Chakra: Mount Kailash (Tibet)

The seventh chakra or crown chakra is located at the top of the head. In Sanskrit, Sahaswara is the thousand-petal lotus chakra and our portal to enlightenment and spiritual connection to all that is. An open crown chakra connects us not only to our higher selves but to all beings. This chakra's energy is transcendent, connecting us to the divine, universal energy.

"True opening of Sahaswara means the realization that you are pure awareness," writes Michelle Fondin at the Chopra Center. "You are pure consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. Like a drop in the ocean, you are a part of that ocean that contains and encompasses every aspect of it." This is the apex of the chakra journey.

The earth's crown chakra is found among the Himalayas of Tibet on Mount Kailash. A sacred site for several religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, it's not hard to understand why the magnificence of this 22,000-foot peak would inspire thousands of pilgrims and signify transcendence here on earth.

The best time to do a Kailash tour is from April to mid-June and September to mid-October. Fittingly, though, it's not simple to reach pure consciousness. A trip to Tibet requires four permits, and the mountain itself is not easily accessible. Your best bet is to work with a local travel agency who can help arrange the logistics for you. Search travel forums to make sure you're going with a reputable agency.

The Takeaway

"The human body resonates at the same frequency as Mother Earth," writes Suzy Kassem. "If you really want to remedy the earth, we have to mend mankind. And to unite mankind, we heal the Earth. That is the only way. Mother Earth will exist with or without us. Yet if she is sick, it is because mankind is sick and separated. And if our vibrations are bad, she reacts to it, as do all living creatures."

Heal ourselves, open our chakras; heal the earth. Namaste.

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It's no secret that the restaurant scene in New York City is one of the most impressive in the world.

Whatever you could want to eat, you can find it in New York—meaning that even if you have a slightly restrictive diet, like veganism, there's plenty of options for you. Local fast-casual chains like By Chloe and Superiority Burger are making New York one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, but the deliciousness doesn't stop there.


Between Manhattan and Brooklyn, there's been a boom of vegan restaurants that'll satisfy any craving. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Blossom(Upper West Side + Greenwich Village)

vegan restaurant

With two locations serving both Uptown and Downtown, Blossom is a go-to for local and tourist vegans alike. They offer an elevated dining experience (and a wide-spanning takeout radius) that puts a cruelty-free spin on classic main dishes like chicken piccata, rigatoni, and grilled salmon. Complete your dinner with a fresh, fruity cocktail and tiramisu—but reservations are strongly recommended beforehand.

Jajaja (West Village + Lower East Side)

vegan Jajaja

Jajaja is the ultimate heaven for Mexican food addicts. Get your fix of south of the border staples like burritos, street tacos, and enchiladas that'll make you second guess whether or not it's actually vegan (pro tip: The nacho portion is large enough to be a meal for one person). They also have a small but mighty menu of tequila and mezcal cocktails to kick off a night of LES bar-hopping. It gets crowded here quickly, though, so try to schedule your dinner early.

Urban Vegan Kitchen(West Village)

Urban Vegan Kitchen

We get it—eating vegan can get kind of bland sometimes. But that's not an issue at Urban Vegan Kitchen, the type of restaurant that'll have you wanting to order one of everything on the menu (but we recommend the "chicken" and waffles). Co-owned by the founder of Blossom, they boast a menu that's just as edgy and exciting as their decor. Their space is large too, making it a crowd-pleasing option for a slightly larger group.

Champs Diner (Williamsburg)

Champs Diner vegan

Located near the border of hip neighborhoods Williamsburg and Bushwick, Champs is a favorite of many young Brooklynites. Their menu is full of vegan alternatives to classic diner fare like breakfast plates, cheeseburgers, and even milkshakes that taste mysteriously like the real deal, while the decor puts a quintessential Brooklyn edge on '50s digs. Who said going plant-based had to be healthy all the time, anyway?

Peacefood (Greenwich Village)

vegan Peacefood

Conveniently located just a stone's throw from Union Square—near both NYU and the New School—Peacefood is a hotspot for college students, but vegans of any age are guaranteed to enjoy their menu. They specialize in comfort food items like quiche, chicken parmesan, and chili with corn bread—all plant-based, of course. While their "chicken" tender basket is to die for, make sure to save room for dessert here, too; Peacefood's lengthy pastry menu is a dream come true.

Buddha Bodai (Chinatown)

Buddha Bodai vegan

Dim sum restaurants in Chinatown are a dime a dozen, but Buddha Bodai takes the cake for the best veggie-friendly experience in one of New York's most bustling neighborhoods. Bring your family or friends along with you to enjoy this massive menu of buns and dumplings stuffed with any type of mock meat you could want. This is also a great option for gluten-free vegans, too, as much of their menu accommodates a gluten-free diet.

Greedi Kitchen (Crown Heights)

Greedi Kitchen vegan

Crown Heights might not be the first neighborhood people think of when it comes to dining in Brooklyn, but Greedi Kitchen is making the case for delicious restaurants in the area. Inspired by its founder's many years of travel, Greedi Kitchen combines the comforting flavors of southern soul food with the added pizazz of global influences. Try one of their po'boys or the crab cake sliders. Trust us.

Screamer’s Pizzeria (Greenpoint + Crown Heights)

Screamer's Pizza vegan

We know what you're thinking: Pizza without real cheese? Call us crazy, but Screamer's does vegan pizza to perfection. If you're into classic pies like a simple margherita or pepperoni, or you want to branch out with unexpected topping combinations, Screamer's is delicious enough to impress carnivores, too (pro tip: the Greenpoint location is small and serves most pies by the slice, while the Crown Heights location is larger for sitting down).


Learning a second language is one of the coolest and most rewarding things you can do in your spare time.

However, if hopping on a one-way ticket to your country of choice isn't an option for you, it can be difficult to find an immersive experience to learn, especially past high school or college.

The next best thing is language-learning apps.

We wanted to look at the top two: DuoLingo and Rosetta Stone. Duolingo is the new kid on the block; one of the top downloaded, this free app is a favorite. Then, there's the legacy option: Rosetta Stone. For over 20 years, they've been developing their language-learning software, and their app is the most recent innovation.

They're both great options, but keep reading to figure out which one is the best for you.

Key Similarities

  • Both claim you'll expand your vocabulary
  • Both are available as an app for iOS and Android users
  • Both have a clean user interface with appealing graphics
  • Both have offline capabilities (if you pay)

Key Differences

  • DuoLingo has a popular free version along with its paid version, whereas Rosetta Stone only has a paid version
  • DuoLingo offers 35+ languages, and Rosetta Stone offers 24 languages
  • Rosetta Stone has an advanced TruAccent feature to detect and correct your accent
  • DuoLingo offers a breadth of similar vocab-recognizing features, and Rosetta Stone offers a wider variety of learning methods, like Stories

DuoLingo Overview

DuoLingo's app and its iconic owl have definitely found a place in pop culture. One of the most popular free language-learning apps, it offers 35 different languages, including Klingon, that can be learned through a series of vocabulary-matching games.

DuoLingo offers a free version and a version for $9.99 a month without ads and with offline access.

Rosetta Stone Overview

The Rosetta Stone app is a beast. There are 24 different languages to choose from, but more importantly, you get a huge variety of methods for learning. Not only are there simple games, but there are stories where you get to listen, the Seek and Speak feature, where you go on a treasure hunt to photograph images and get the translations, and the TruAccent feature, which will help you refine your accent. Whenever you speak into the app, you'll get a red/yellow/green rating on your pronunciation, so you can fine-tune it to really sound like you have a firm grasp of the language.

Rosetta Stone costs just $5.99 a month for a 24-month subscription, which gives you access to all of their 24 languages!

Final Notes

Overall, these are both excellent apps for increasing your proficiency in a new language! They both feel quite modern and have a fun experience.

When it comes to really committing words to memory and understanding them, Rosetta Stone is king.

DuoLingo definitely will help you learn new words, and the app can be addicting, but users report it as more of a game than a means to an end.

With Rosetta Stone's variety of features, you'll never get bored; there are more passive elements and more active elements to help you activate different parts of your brain, so you're learning in a more dynamic and efficient way.

The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers only: Up To 45% Off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Languages & Free Tutoring Sessions!

Travel

So You Want to Try Workaway

Want to travel cheap, meet locals and kindred spirits, live off the land, and possibly change your life? It might be time to try Workaway.

Sitting in a house on a hill in Tuscany, Italy, watching the sun set and listening to the sound of music coming from the house in which I was staying almost rent-free, I wondered how I had gotten this lucky.

Actually, it was really all thanks to one website—Workaway.info.

Workaway Workaway


Workaway is a site that sets travelers up with hosts, who provide visitors with room and board in exchange for roughly five hours of work each weekday. The arrangement varies from host to host—some offer money, others require it—but typically, the Workaway experience is a rare bird: a largely anti-capitalist exchange.

I did four Workaways the summer I traveled in Europe, and then one at a monastery near my home in New York the summer after. Each experience, though they lasted around two weeks each, was among the most enriching times of my life—and I'd argue I learned almost as much through those experiences as I did in four years of college.

There's something extremely special about the Workaway experience, though it's certainly not for everyone.

Workaway Isn't for Everyone: What to Know Before You Go

I loved all the Workaways I went on, but the best advice I can give to anyone considering going is: Enter with an open mind. If you're someone who doesn't do well with the unexpected, if you're not willing to be flexible, if you're a picky eater or easily freaked out, then it's likely that you won't have a good experience at a Workaway.

There are exceptions to all of this. At the Workaway I stayed at in Italy, one of the travelers was suffering from stomach bloating, and the host helped cure her with a diet of miso. (I'm not saying you should go Workawaying if you're ill—this traveler's mother also came to oversee everything—but still, you never know what you'll find).

Workaway WoIsango.com

You should also probably be willing and able to actually work at your Workaway. These aren't vacations, and some hosts will be stricter and less forgiving than others regarding your work ethic. If you're someone who has no experience with difficult farm work, for example, it might not be a good idea to do a Workaway on a farm.

How to Choose a Host

The Workaway website boasts a truly overwhelming number of hosts. You can narrow your search down by location, but you can also search key terms that can help guide you in the right direction. You might search "music," for example—that's how I found the Italy location. You'll find hosts in busy cities and in the most remote mountains of India; you'll find opportunities to tutor and explore. You'll find shadiness, too, so trust your instincts.

Take time to actually read the host's entire bio before reaching out. Read all the comments, too, and if you're nervous or a first-timer, only reach out to hosts who have exclusively glowing reviews. I had the best experiences with hosts that had left extremely detailed bios—that showed me they were likely going to be dedicated hosts.

I also chose hosts whose bios gave me a good feeling, something like a spark of electricity or recognition. This instinctual method might not work for everyone, but it certainly led me in the right direction in all of my Workaway experiences. My Workaways gave me some of the best memories and deepest relationships of my life, and that was partly thanks to the fact that I chose places that were good fits for me.

For example, I chose to stay alone with a wizened academic in France. Something about his bio and descriptions resonated with me enough to trust him. (I also read some of his many thousand-page-long treatises on peace and compassion and decided that if someone could write this and be a psychopath, this wasn't a world I wanted to live in anyway). It was the right decision—and the two weeks I spent there were some of the most enlightening of my entire life.

When you reach out to a host, particularly if it's someone you really want to stay with, it's a good idea to frame your initial contact email as a cover letter of sorts—make sure you explain who you are and personalize your letter to fit each host.

Ixcanaan A Workaway painting experienceWorkaway


Travel Safely

Especially if you're traveling alone, it's always a good idea to choose a host whose page has tons of good reviews. Aside from that, a quick Google search and a scan of any social media pages related to your potential host can't hurt.

Ultimately, Workawaying requires a certain amount of trust and faith on both the host and the traveler's parts—you're either trusting someone to stay in your home or trusting a stranger to host and feed you.

But that trust, in my experience, also results in rapid and deep connections unlike anything I've experienced in the "real world." When you go and share a home with someone, you're also sharing yourself with them, and in that exchange there are the seeds of a powerful bond.

Participate Fully

Wherever you go, you'll want to open your mind and participate fully. Adjust yourself to your host's lifestyle, not the other way around, and take time to get to know your host and the others around you.

You might find that you become someone you never knew you were. As a lifelong introvert, I somehow managed to develop close relationships with many of the people I was staying with.

This might be because most people who are at Workaways are seeking something for one reason or another. In my experience, you find lots of people who are at junctures in their lives, seeking connection and meaning. With the right Workaway, you might just find it.

Workaway The Broke Backpacker - WorkawayThe Broke Backpacker