FOREST BATHING IN THE BEAR COUNTRY

A hike in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is a chance to come face to face with bears and ethereal blue glaciers while slowing down and plugging into the therapeutic powers of the natural world

Hiking in the lush and inviting Tongass National Forest in Juneau, Alaska
The Tongass National Forest is a buffer against climate change, absorbing around eight percent of the nation’s annual global warming pollution and storing an estimated 10-12 percent of all carbon in USA’s national forests. However, it continues to be threatened by ongoing congressional attempts to clear-cut rare and valuable old-growth trees.

In the heat of idleness, I often envision myself in the middle of nowhere, lost in the deep, dark woods, full of magic and mysticism. Taking deep breaths to smell the fresh forest air and damp soil, placing my hands on the trunk of a tree, listening to the ambient sounds of birds, dipping my fingers in a stream to feel the chilled water and soaking up the sublime serenity, I am at the peak of bliss, calm and contentment. Such is the tonic called “nature”!

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CLOSER TO NATURE IN KODAIKANAL

A retreat tucked away in Palani Hills, Kodaikanal is ideal for nemophilists who find happiness in adopting the pace of nature

Layered hills of Kodaikanal
Layered hills of Kodaikanal

When I last visited Kodaikanal – a little hill town in Tamil Nadu, I was merely ten. With faint memories of enjoying a boat ride with my family, I am ready to head here again.

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This time around, I wish to explore its lesser-known, hidden gems in the company of my partner. The idea is to stay away from the tourist trap and take in the serenity of Kodai’s dense forests, lakes and high mountains. 

 

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