Student Flights


Where to do a mind, spirit or digital detox

Published January 2nd, 2015

‘Tis the season of excess and all that, but if Lindsay Lohan thinks you really should have a night in and you’re taking more questionable selfies than James Franco, it may be time to consider a body, spiritual or digital detox in January, depending on your vice of choice. Here’s where you can go around the world to balance your mind, body and spirit. And - leave the smartphone at home.


For a body cleanse:

If your five main food groups in the silly season were fried chicken, champers, canapés, candy canes and Cadbury (don’t judge!), it’s probably time to treat your body like a temple instead of a nightclub. The best way to rid yourself of the fat, grease, sugar, taste and salt is a juice cleanse. And it’s best to go to an island where there’s a natural smorgasbord of fruit, fruit and more fruit and no naturally occurring drive-thrus.


Check yourself into...

The effective yet affordable Spa Resort in Koh Samui. The island is known as the spa retreat capital of Thailand and Spa Resort was the first on Koh Samui. Now with two locations (Spa Samui Beach Resort and Spa Samui Mountain Retreat), bloated clients can detox with raw vegan food, daily yoga and massages. If you don’t want to commit to a week-long stay or a full-on regime, you can also visit on a casual basis for a treatment, class or colonic.


To detox from technology:

It’s a proven fact that the flickering blue screen of our beloved portable devices mess with your sleep patterns. As does a late-night booty call text. Ahem. If your relationship with your smartphone, tablet and laptop is getting a little co-dependent or downright toxic, it’s probably time to down tools and do a digital detox. That means going off the grid and learning how to reuse your digits for manual tasks other than swiping and texting.


Check yourself into...

The Shambhala Ranch Retreat in Ukiah, North California. The Digital Detox group hosts regular Digital Detox Retreats where you can power down in natural surrounds on a summer camp for adults. The device-free retreats mean no clocks, no screens and no networking. Instead, you’ll fill your days (and nights) with juicing, journaling (yes, with a pen and pad), yoga, meditation and hot tub soaking. If a technology junkie screams in the forest, did it really happen if it's not posted on social media? Just asking for a friend...


To reboot your mind and spirit:

The droning voice of your lecturer. Working back and through lunch at your 9 to 5. Waiting for your online shopping to be delivered. Traffic. Public transport. Big Brother. These are a few of your unfavourite things. If the red mist is starting to settle or you’ve got post-post regret, it’s time to check yo’self before you wreck yo’self, my friend. Forget the anger management course (unless it’s court-ordered) and try a meditative, stress-free holiday instead.


Check yourself into...

The Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamshala in northern India. Located above the town of McLeod Ganj, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides, Tushita is a centre for studying Tibetan Buddhism with 10-day meditation courses for newbies. What makes this retreat different is that the course is conducted in silence. Quieten the chatter in your mind with guided meditation, spirituality classes and dorm accommodation. FYI: karma is a bitch!


Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.