Recal, a company specializing in mindful adventure travel, has partnered with Quiet Parks International to facilitate small-group mindfulness retreats in places deemed the quietest in the world. They call this their ‘Quiet Park Trip Series’ and in 2022 are headed to Glacier National Park in Montana and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota.
Recal Travel, a company founded in early 2021, has a unique approach to its coach-led, retreat-style trips using a travel model known as “Mindful Adventure Travel.” With this approach, the company develops mindfulness-based itineraries to ‘recalibrate’ both the mind and body. Recal trips are a way to break free from the noisy, distraction-filled environments that surround many people today, and reconnect with nature in its purest form. Recal’s mission pairs well with Quiet Parks International (QPI), which is the first and only organization worldwide committed to the preservation of quiet, for the benefit of all living beings.
Natural quiet, or the ability to listen to nature without noise pollution, is becoming harder to find. The vast majority of people living in the world today are exposed to unhealthy quantities of noise pollution. There are very few places left on earth where you can listen to the sounds of nature for more than 15 minutes at a time without a human-made noise intrusion, and even those places are vanishing quickly.
“Humans have spent thousands of years in naturally quiet places; it is literally the place that, evolutionarily speaking, we “grew up,” explains Anthony Lorubbio, the founder of Recal. “Today, however, due to the scarcity of natural quiet and our modern, urban, and sedentary lifestyles, we spend very little time in quiet places. And even if we have that rare opportunity to visit one, our minds often create noise that distracts us from being present.”
On each trip in the Quiet Park Series, certified mindfulness coaches will guide attendees in practices to stimulate introspection and inner quiet, while increasing awareness of the surrounding external quiet. These mindfulness practices include meditation, breathwork, journaling, forest bathing, and silent hiking. This sensory experience enables attendees to listen to nature in a way that is rarely available to them; and without the impact of noise pollution, it connects them to the world just as it was many years ago.
QPI and Recal’s mission is to not only help local communities preserve quiet places and mitigate sources of noise pollution but also to draw mindful and sustainable tourism to these areas to experience the quiet.
“Quiet tourism is a truly sustainable form of economic development whereby we do not change the places we visit, we change ourselves,” says QPI founding partner Gordon Hempton. “If we were to study quiet destinations, we find they are also the healthiest places left on the planet—carbon capturing, oxygen-producing, characterized by diverse wildlife function in a stable ecosystem—so, saving quiet also saves so much more.” Natural quiet is a resource that’s not just important for humans, but also for wildlife and their access to acoustic environments where they can communicate.