TRAVEL NEWS The stay­ca­tion.

There are benefits to stay­ing where you are.

ELLE (Canada) - - News -

’m game to travel and ex­plore just about any­where—and I’m for­tu­nate that I get to do so for my job. But, re­cently, I de­cided to take the ad­vice Pico Iyer of­fers up in his book The Art of Still­ness: Ad­ven­tures in Go­ing Nowhere... and do just that. He ad­vo­cates pe­ri­od­i­cally tak­ing what he calls a “secular Sab­bath”—a time out from not only our daily lives but also our high-oc­tane travel ad­ven­tures—as a way to re­vi­tal­ize and more fully ap­pre­ci­ate all of life’s jour­neys. With that in mind, I ar­rived at the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Toronto—which is just a 10-minute cab ride from my house—for my own lit­tle retreat: a week­end stay to try the prop­erty’s new “Detox Box” ex­pe­ri­ence. I set aside my to-do list, put my phone on “mute” and didn’t pack much be­yond py­ja­mas and Iyer’s book.

I felt still­ness de­scend upon me the mo­ment I en­tered my suite. Sun­light, soft­ened by sheer cur­tains, streamed into the room, mak­ing the min­i­mal­ist muted-yel­low decor feel both bright and calm­ing. Im­me­di­ately, I no­ticed that the mini-bar had been emp­tied of the regular temp­ta­tions and was in­stead stocked with a sup­ply of cold-pressed juices from Green­house Juice Co. The only things on my agenda were an “en­er­giz­ing” mas­sage at the spa and two room­ser­vice de­liv­er­ies: a fresh salad for din­ner and a lemon-grass- and gin­ger-in­fused tea be­fore bed. I spent my day nes­tled in the couch or curled up on the bed think­ing, read­ing, doz­ing a bit and not pay­ing par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the time. The break helped me re­fo­cus my pri­or­i­ties and re­dis­cover the value of let­ting my mind wan­der—and let me re­flect on how grate­ful I am for ev­ery­thing I have.

In the book, Iyer writes about singer­song­writer Leonard Co­hen, who has fa­mously spent sig­nif­i­cant por­tions of the past 40 years study­ing Zen med­i­ta­tion. He cred­its Co­hen with de­scrib­ing the act of sit­ting still as “go­ing nowhere.” While he has trav­elled the world ex­ten­sively, Co­hen told Iyer that his great­est jour­neys are in­ner ones. I’m cer­tainly up for more of my own in­ner trips. CHRISTINA REYNOLDS

The pool—along with the at­tached spa—and guest suites at the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Toronto are an oa­sis of calm in the busy city.

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