Looking to De-Stress? Visit These Places to Escape the Noise

The past few months may have caused anxiety. The blurring line between your work-life balance, chasing deadlines, the claustrophobia of staying indoors or restless everyday feeling might have taken a toll on your mental health. If all this sounds familiar to you, it just may be time to pause and unwind.

And there’s probably no better way to relax than by taking a break from the mundane lifestyle you are currently living! Not every vacation calls for adventure and tons of energy. And, although travel restrictions have eased, you still need to exercise extreme caution while going to new places. An absolute must is to avoid crowded, tourist destinations. Instead, consider taking a nature retreat to heal your mind and body and get back in touch with yourself. A change of scenery is a great way to de-stress and can help uplift your mood.

Here are some stunning and serene places that you can visit to declutter your mind.

Tosh, Himachal Pradesh

If you are looking for a mix between spending time in nature and experiencing a different kind of culture, then Tosh is an excellent choice. Walk along the serene Parvati River which promises lush, green scenery that is bound to mesmerise you if you are tired of staring at screens. You can spend your evenings overlooking the beautiful valley that has been split by a gushing river. A visit to Manikaran Sahib, a gurudwara located in the Parvati Valley, is a great idea for those wanting to get in touch with their spiritual side. Or reboot your energy by going on the Khir Ganga trek, which at the height of about 9,678 ft is one of the most sough-out trekking spots in Himachal Pradesh.

Tosh is a 13-hour drive from Delhi, located at about 7,900-feet. As you can imagine, the drive here is quite tricky as the hilly roads are narrow and full of hairpin bends. However, the Hill Launch Assist feature in your Ford Freestyle will keep you safe by prevent the car from rolling back, no matter how steep the climb might be. Freestyle is the only car in its segment to offer Hill Launch Assist with a manual transmission. You will also be able to negotiate the winding hill roads with greater confidence, thanks to the Ford car’s Active Rollover Prevention or ARP technology. ARP keeps the car in control and prevents it from toppling when you are negotiating sharp turns, even at high speeds.

So, head out to Tosh for a calming drive through the mystic hills and enjoy the drive in your Ford Freestyle.

Champawat, Uttarakhand

The year 2020 has thrown a lot of unexpected things at you, and the lockdown period may have led you to re-think your priorities and goals in life. So, if you are looking for some spiritual inspiration, Champawat is your answer. The town has numerous ancient temples and shrines; some of which hold significance in the Hindu mythology. Chaumu Temple, Kranteshwar Temple, Gwal Devta, Purnagiri Temple and Baleshwar Temple are few of the many such spots. Along with the positivity of these tranquil places, the surrounding dense green forests and hills add a mystic charm to this town in Uttarakhand. Another popular tourist spot you can head to is the stone structure Ek Hathiya Ka Naula that has beautiful, intricate carvings that will pique the interest of anyone interested in architecture.

The hill station of Champawat is about 10 hours by road from Delhi, and the drive is quite challenging considering rocky and gravel roads that makeup portions of the drive. But with your sturdy and powerful Ford EcoSport, you can be assured of a smooth journey. It’s outstanding ground clearance and high seating position ensures that you tackle potholes with ease. The compact SUV has enough space to ensure you can travel with your entire family in comfort, without having to leave anything behind.

Palakkad, Kerala

There’s nothing like the sight of the Western Ghats in all their glory, and you can enjoy this from Malampuzha Dam – one of the biggest dams in Kerala. And if you are heading to Palakkad, another exciting spot to consider visiting is the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve where you can spot not just tigers but panthers, Nilgiri Tahrs, Deers and many other wildlife species. If you are looking to do something calmer, a must-visit place is the Nelliyampathy Hills which offers a stunning view of the local village and waterfalls. Or take a walk through the large tea and coffee estates that offer the chance to breathe in some crisp, fresh air while enjoying some much-needed time in a lush, green space.

By road, Palakkad is just 3.5 hours from Kochi, 8.5 hours from Bangalore and 11 hours from Chennai. And since Kerala witnesses monsoons right up to the end of September, you will witness a fresh quote of green on your trip and occasional showers too. Driving through the rain in your Ford Figo will be hassle-free with its rain-sensing wipers which automatically turn on, whether it’s drizzling or pouring. Additionally, its compact size is perfect for zipping along narrow, winding roads.

Majuli, Assam

Mauji is a river island in the Brahmaputra River and the first-ever island in India to be declared a district. What better place than an island to escape the daily rut you are stuck in? Besides, Mauji is known to be the cultural capital of Assam and houses numerous monasteries, known as Satras, such as Kamalabari Satra and Auniati Satra. They also serve as centres for cultural activities and traditional performing arts that are sure to spark your interest.

Another highlight of Majuli is the delicious food it has to offer. Make sure to savour the traditional patot dis mas (fish baked in a banana leaf), chicken khorika (chicken roasted on a stick), sticky rice, and the traditional rice beer. Once you drive to Nimati Ghat, a 7.5-hour drive from Guwahati, you’ll have to take a ferry ride for about 40 minutes in the Brahmaputra River, which is the only way to reach the river island.

Gokarna, Karnataka

Longing for some vitamin-sea? Gokarna, in Karnataka, is perhaps among the best coastal regions for a little sun and sand. Its Om Beach is quite interesting; for starters, its shape resembles that of the ‘Om’ symbol. It is also quite popular for watersports (although these may not be available at the moment) and offers the chance to catch a gorgeous sunset. There are many other beaches as well, including Paradise Beach, Half Moon Beach, Kudle Beach and Nirvana Beach that you can check out as well. Do note, however, that some of these beaches are located at the bottom of hills, so getting there will involve a short downhill trek.

A beachcation to Gokarna is about a 9-hour drive from Bangalore. Everything you need to pack for this relaxing getaway can easily fit in your Ford Endeavour. The premium SUV will keep you comfortable, on road and off it.

While getting away for a quick retreat is something you are longing for, it is important to keep in mind the ongoing pandemic. So take all the precautions you need to when travelling. For instance, make sure to travel in your own car to limit contact with anyone else. As you plan your trip and pack your bags, remember that in this new normal you will have to be mindful of things such as social distancing and other hygiene practices. Don’t take unnecessary risks and make sure you have all the necessary permits and other requirements in place. But most importantly, ensure you are in good health and prioritise your safety over everything else.