Where Ari­anna Huff­in­g­ton loves to un­wind

The founder of The Huff­in­g­ton Post and CEO and founder of Thrive Global un­der­stands the power of switch­ing off – and where to do it.

Qantas - - Contents -

1967 | In­dia CAL­CUTTA

When I was 17, I went to study com­par­a­tive re­li­gion at Visva-Bharati univer­sity, founded by Ben­gali poly­math Rabindranath Tagore in San­tinike­tan, out­side Cal­cutta [now Kolkata]. It was an amaz­ing three months. I loved wear­ing the sari and learned to drink hot tea on the hottest days be­cause they taught us that it was the way to keep cool.

I trav­elled across In­dia in third class, alone, liv­ing on ba­nanas, and com­pletely fell in love with the coun­try. Ev­ery time I go back, I re­live that first trip. Each visit has been in­cred­i­bly spe­cial.

The last time I was there, my younger daugh­ter, Is­abella, and I went to Dharam­sala to spend a week with the Dalai Lama. Even though we were stay­ing in this lit­tle ho­tel where you had to shower us­ing a bucket, and dogs barked through the night, there’s some­thing about In­dia and the In­dian spirit that al­ways takes me back to that first time.

1996 | Greece RHODES

Near the small vil­lage of Laerma, on the is­land of Rhodes, there’s a vine-cov­ered 10th-cen­tury monastery called Tharri. When I went there, it was teem­ing with life and had this amaz­ing ab­bot, Adaman­tios Tsoukos. Though he was only in his late 50s, ev­ery­body called him Geronta, mean­ing “old man”. In Greece, age is iden­ti­fied with wis­dom.

He and I would go on morn­ing walks. He knew the name of ev­ery sin­gle flower and ev­ery plant and he made me love Greece all over again be­cause there’s no other coun­try with those per­fumes. He’d stop along the walk and pick a sprig of thyme or rose­mary, a twig from a pine tree and so many wild­flow­ers that he knew on a first-name ba­sis.

We talked about his in­cred­i­ble faith in God. Ev­ery phrase would end with “thank God” and any­thing that he said about the future, he would pref­ace with “God will­ing”. He had this deep spir­i­tu­al­ity teamed with a rev­er­ence for na­ture. He’s now New Zealand’s Greek Or­tho­dox arch­bishop.

2015 | Greece ANTIPAROS

My chil­dren, ex-hus­band and I al­ways va­ca­tion to­gether. As my late friend, Nora Ephron, said, “Marriages come and go but di­vorce is for­ever.”

I love Antiparos so much be­cause it’s not crowded. You get there by tak­ing a small boat from the larger is­land of Paros so it feels even more re­mote – an is­land off an is­land. It also has all the things that are spe­cial about Greek is­lands: lit­tle shops, lots of charm, white­washed houses and, of course, great food.

At the cen­tre is a Vene­tian cas­tle from the 15th cen­tury. That’s how beau­ti­ful it is – to imag­ine some­one left Venice to set up camp there. If you get tired of the in­cred­i­ble light and sun, there’s a fa­mous cave you can ex­plore.

Her Thrive six-week on­line pro­gram is a stress man­age­ment course hosted by Forme (forme.edu.au). On the radar

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