BOSTON (CBS) – A busy marketing executive, Jane Charneski was desperate to ‘unplug’ during a recent vacation. “I was just working a lot of late nights and weekends and it was just really intense,” she said.
She decided to tune out all of the noise in her life by trying something different: a five day silent retreat. “I thought it would give me a way to take inventory,” she explained.
Silent retreats, where you literally have to take a vow of silence during your trip, have become a huge travel trend according to travel editor Kathryn Oshea Evens.
“I think it’s because we’re just so completely bombarded with texts, Facebook, Twitter messages, emails, phone calls. It’s endless and sometimes as human beings we just need to unplug and get away.” she said.
Silent retreats can be bare bones accommodations or luxury resorts.
Some allow group interaction while others encourage you to spend time alone. According to Oshea Evens, resorts offer activities like hiking, canoeing and spa treatments.
Some facilities require total silence, while others have extended quiet periods. Many of them check your technology at the door.
“It’s our belief that by becoming disconnected in the ways we connect through our technology we can become more connected to ourselves,” explained Nat Reid who runs a silent retreat center. He says while staying silent can be difficult, it can also be transformative.
“People often talk about a renewed sense of wonder, kind of rediscovering the joy of being out on a beautiful day and maybe just watching the way the light changes in the evening,’ he said.
Jayne believes her retreat experience was invaluable.
“It is a really powerful feeling to be really in the know, to really be in the know and really be experiencing what’s in front of you.”
These retreats can last for a long weekend or even a couple of weeks, depending on just how much you want to disconnect.