“New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.” LCD Soundsystem
Perhaps LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy penned the lyrics above as a disenchanted swipe at the gentrified, expensive, overwhelming, and culturally less significant version of New York he wrestled with as a youngster.
This disillusionment with The Big Apple, however, is not Murphy’s view alone. The song, from the band’s 2007 Grammy Award nominated album Sound of Silver, could arguably be used as a soundtrack to the lives of those pushing 50 who grew up in boroughs like The Bronx, Queens, or Brooklyn.
New York has changed immeasurably over the last 30 years: crime rates have gone down significantly, housing prices have gone up significantly; you can no longer smoke in bars, restaurants, parks, beaches and boardwalks …
… And it’s bringing you down.
While it’s still the one pool where you’d happily drown, it makes sense to occasionally get away from it all. By recharging your batteries and energizing your soul in one of the hip vacay spots below, you’ll be ready to rekindle your love affair with New York upon your return.
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If you’re keen to get back to nature and regain your wobbly sense of balance, you could do much worse than visiting Iceland: it’s the most peaceful country on the planet, according to the Global Peace Index (and one of the most beautiful).
With no army, navy, or air force, and a very low crime rate, you’re unlikely to find much in Iceland to unsettle you. Best of all, the country’s unique, fascinating and breathtaking natural beauty has everything from volcanos to geysers.
Head to The Cook Islands in the South Pacific and you’ll find (after a bit of searching) Aitutaki. It’s the kind of place you typically see on vacation commercials. With its clear blue water and secluded beaches, Aitutaki is the perfect place to relax and unwind away from New York.
Because of its seclusion, it gives travelers a real feeling of inspirational isolation, which is ideal when you normally live in a sprawling metropolis filled to the brim with over eight million people.
3. Koh Samet
Koh Samet is nestled between Bangkok and the Cambodian border— it’s a beautiful location to retreat to when the strain of New York gets too much. While some parts of Thailand can be touristy, Koh Samet is a different prospect.
It’s a three-hour drive from Bangkok, but worth it to soak up the atmosphere at the beautiful beaches, including Sai Kaew and Prao. Accommodation is plentiful, too, with a choice of luxury resorts and beachfront bungalows (if that’s your vibe).
What do you think?
Do you grow tired of the hustle and bustle of New York? Where do you go to escape the madness? Please let us know in the comments section, we’d love to hear from you.