Life-Changing Getaways

life changing getaways

Don’t spend this weekend on your couch or, worse, working. Here are a few out-of-the-box ways to transform yourself, from learning about another religion to seeing the Grand Canyon in a whole new way – in just a few days.

By Sofia Safina

How Would Buddha Vacation?

Shambhala Mountain Center, a Buddhist center located on 600 acres in northern Colorado, provides weekend retreats for anyone interested in Buddhist teachings. Programs include meditation, yoga, relationship counseling and art.

Cost: $69-$199 per night

Click: â€¨(Find other Buddhist retreats here.)

Mountain Meditation

Mind Over Mountains offers adventurous getaways for women with the Colorado Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. Special group offers include mother/daughter and women in business retreats. Cost includes food, spa treatments, rock climbing, yoga, meditation and many more activities.

Cost: $2,000-$3,500


Get Your “Ass” in Gear

With Xanterra Parks and Resorts, enjoy the beauty of the Grand Canyon from afar, or ride a mule into the Canyon. Then spend the night at Phantom Ranch located deep in the Canyon. Reservations should be made six to eight months in advance. Cost includes overnight stay, breakfast and lunch.

Cost for two people: $652


Who Needs a Mule?

Not particularly fond of large animals? Hike the Grand Canyon and absorb all of its beauty at your own pace. The National Park Service offers safety tips and advice for hikers at They suggest hiking during the shadier part of the day, eating salty foods, drinking plenty of water, walking slowly and resting often. Check out Xanterra Parks and Resorts for hiking services, such as carrying your duffel bag.

Cost: Entrance to park is $25 per vehicle


On the Green

Las Verdes offers golf safaris for women of all skill levels and ensures that the trip is about fun rather than competition. It provides personalized practice sessions with an LPGA-certified female instructor. A three-day safari also includes lodging at the Cypress Inn near Carmel Beach on the Monterey Peninsula, Calif., plus daily breakfast and lunch, use of professional golf equipment, a massage, a yoga class and a gift bag.

Cost: $2,995-$3,950

 (To find out more about golf safaris, click And check out the top 100 courses according to Golf Digest.)

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Dedicate a weekend to exploring the possibility of becoming a pilot. If you ever imagined being in the driver’s seat of a plane, check out the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. It will help you decide what type of school you’d want to attend and suggests what to consider before choosing a specific school.

Cost: $2,000-$8,000 in operating costs for the private pilot and the airplane

(Find aviation schools near you.)

Skydive Right In

If you don’t have the time or money to learn how to fly – or if you’re looking for a bigger adrenaline rush – consider skydiving. Learn one of three methods: tandem freefall, solo freefall or instant opening. And you can usually train and jump in one day.

Cost: varies depending on method and area


The Big Blue

Do you prefer the blue of the water to that of the sky? Then scuba diving might be right for you. Escape the everyday humdrum of the dry world to explore the new places of reefs and shipwrecks while connecting to nature.

Cost: Contact your local scuba diving school for prices.


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