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A forest for-rest: Why our rainforest retreat was the perfect empty nester getaway.

I once read forest is for-rest and this resonated deep within my soul. Having moved to Perth Western Australia after a midlife plot twist (see my blog);  we enjoyed city living and the dry Mediterranean climate, but found ourselves missing the calming nature of a tropical rainforest. We took the opportunity to make a rainforest detour whilst on a short and hectic visit to our home state Queensland whilst attending a wedding and visiting family and friends. Holidaying as empty nesters gives us the freedom to take the trips we've always dreamed of, and a rainforest retreat has always been one of our favourite couple's holiday.  We knew it would be the perfect way to reset and ground ourselves. With this in mind, we embarked on our journey.

After a long slow winding drive up the mountain, as we ascended to the top where we were greeted by a dark green dense rainforest blanketed in mist. We couldn’t wait to check in so we could explore the forest.

As we ventured into the forest along the trail, I took deep, intentional breaths. Inhaling the fresh, crisp air and exhaling any tension or worries, I took in the sights and sounds of the tropical rainforest. I found myself standing tall, feeling the cool air against my skin, and letting it wash away the residual stresses of the previous working week. After our rainforest walk, we enjoyed a glass of wine at sunset on the balcony of the rooftop bar. Though the mountain was shrouded in mist, obscuring the sunset, the atmosphere was still serene and magical. 

A forest cabin provided the perfect setting for being truly present with nature and present in my own thoughts, whilst also providing the opportunity to spend uninterrupted quality time with my husband.  Before dinner, we sat peacefully in our cabin, quietly reading and savouring the solitude. I was immersed in "Sacred Rest" by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, and it felt perfectly fitting to explore the themes of rest and renewal in the tranquil seclusion of a rainforest cabin.

We enjoyed a cosy dinner in the rustic dining room and retired early, falling into a deep, restful sleep for a solid seven hours. It must have been the cool rainforest air because we don’t usually sleep so soundly.

The next morning we trekked back into the rainforest at a slower pace.  We walked slowly, looking into the leafy foliage for rainforest wren’s and finches. A light misty rain fell and we focused on listening to the gentle patter of raindrops hitting the leaves, whilst a breeze rustled the forest canopy.  Our favourite sound was hearing the melodic calls of birds particularly the sharp, high-pitched “whip-crack" of the Eastern Whipbird. I was grateful we could be together enjoying the serenity and silence. 

As we descended the mountain, we sat quietly together, soaking in the sounds of the rainforest and the crisp, cool air. It was the perfect moment to reflect on our short but deeply relaxing stay. 

If you haven't experienced a forest retreat, I highly recommend adding it to your empty nester vacation bucket list for these reasons: 

Reduced Stress:  The natural beauty, sounds, and tranquillity of the rainforest environment help to lower stress levels and promote relaxation.

Enhanced Mood:  Nature exposure can increase the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone, leading to improved mood and a sense of well-being.

Mindfulness and Presence:  The immersive nature of the rainforest encourages mindfulness and being present in the moment, which can improve mental clarity and emotional stability.

Reconnection: With fewer distractions, a rainforest retreat allows couples to reconnect and strengthen their bond, enjoying each other's company in a beautiful, natural setting.

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