a guest post from Gaetan Gabor, from Tiny Living Life
Travel to sacred sites and intentional communities is on the rise, as more and more people seek travel experiences that fulfill a deeper purpose. If you’re leaving home to find yourself and want to immerse yourself in an alternative lifestyle, whether it’s tiny home communities or hippie communes, here are some amazing exotic places to travel to that will turn your trip into a pilgrimage. So, let’s make a journey to five of these spots on the Earth and see what people have created there.
Twin Oaks, Louisa County, Virginia
Twin Oaks is one of the oldest intentional communities in the US, as it was founded in 1967. This ecovillage is set on 450 acres of farmlands, woods, and creeks, and it’s based on principles of ecology, sharing, and cooperation.
Residents here get everything for free including a small monthly allowance, in return for doing chores around the community. But, this is not your average hippie commune. These folks run two successful businesses manufacturing tofu and hammocks and there’s a large communal garden and infrastructure to manage.
That’s why people leave with multiple skills under their belts, from gardening to cooking, carpentry, and animal husbandry. This is probably why most people stay for over a decade!
In addition to weekend tours, Twin Oaks offers a three-week visiting period and you can apply for a long-term stay if you like, granted you vibe with the rest of the residents.
Getting to Twin Oaks is relatively simple since it’s only 45 minutes away from the nearest city of Charlottesville in Virginia. So, you can fly into the Charlottesville airport and either drive to Twin Oaks or request a lift from one of the members.
The Merkaba Community in Fundao, Portugal
If waking up to daily yoga flow classes set in a remote and lush Mediterranean forest sounds like your idea of vacation fun, then you should check out the Merkaba Community in Portugal.
It’s set deep in the mountains of a small village called Povoa Da Palhaça near Vale De Prazeres, Fundãoso, you’ll breathe fresh air every day and enjoy complete immersion in nature. This community is based on the principles of mindfulness, respect for nature, sustainable waste management, and eco-friendly living.
Everyone is free to pursue their passion and explore the environment around them while participating in communal activities. Basically, this is a great place to go for anyone who wants to explore the merits and possibilities of communal living.
It’s a way to show people a new way of living where all of the principles of sustainable community living are put into practice. The community runs on solar power, rainwater and they have a growing community garden.
To get to Merkaba, you’d have to fly to Lisbon, take a train to Fundao, and from there take a taxi to Merkaba.
New Earth Haven, Ubud, Bali
New Earth Haven is a beautiful sanctuary located in the thick Balinese jungle of a little village called Kaliki. Its goal is to create a hub for conscious community development based on shared values of activism, bio-resonance, and bio-architecture.
Although it’s not a permanent alternative community per se, New Earth Haven does a great job of providing space to alternative thinkers and those interested in learning about conscious community development.
Their accommodation consists of beautifully themed domes (i.e. Amethyst dome) that are set in serene rice paddies. You’re technically outside with no doors or windows, so each bed is framed by whimsical mosquito nets. Think outdoor bamboo showers, eco-friendly and sustainable building materials, compost toilets, as well as a vibrant mix of outdoor spaces with creative art installations.
New Earth Haven is about 15 minutes from Ubud and staying here is incredibly refreshing. The vibe is a mix between Burning Man and the most luxe resort that you can think of.
Christiania is a Danish intentional community that was founded in 1971 on the values of self-governance, cooperation, creativity, peace, and freedom. It’s set on 19 acres of land that used to be military barracks in Copenhagen.
It’s an idyllic spot for those with a penchant for alternative lifestyles and it has a sizeable community of artisans and environmentally conscious people. You’ll find that most of the homes are unique and eccentric which conforms to Christiania’s non-conformal vibe and it’s a must-see on your bucket list when you visit Denmark.
Since it’s located in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital city, getting to Christiania is relatively easy and it has even become a tourist hotspot.
Fuchsbau (Fox Hole) in Germany
The inhabitants of this alternative living community are all about minimalism and disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of conventional living. Fuchsbau mostly consists of young people who’ve decided to check out of normal civilization, and it’s set in a calm and quiet forest outside of Berlin.
A majority of the commune is powered by solar energy and you’ll eat mostly organic food that’s grown on the land. Everyone does everything together and there’s a real sense of community here.
It’s one thing to visit a destination with the intention to experience a different culture, but it’s something else entirely to travel to a place that is completely outside of the norm. Those who have traveled to these communities say that the experience is a breath of fresh air, nothing short of magical, even.
We hope this has inspired you to go off the beaten path the next time you plan a trip.
Who I am:
Gaetan is a strong believer in minimalistic lifestyles that bring us closer to what makes us truly happy. Being with our families & close friends, self-sufficiency, and internalizing our sense of fulfillment are the driving forces behind creating Tiny Living Life. Behind the scenes, Gaetan is a big advocate of the outdoors, bouldering, and staying fit when time permits.