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3 On Your Side: Silent Retreats

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Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Vacations can be fun, but they don’t always offer a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, especially if you pack your cell phone and laptop on the trip.

But 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us about a travel trend that has vacationers literally turning down the volume, and relaxing all without saying a word.

If you just want a few days to just get away from it all, literally, you may want to look into a silent retreat.

Jayne Charneski is always on the phone or on the computer. She doesn’t have a lot of down time.

“I was working a lot of late nights and weekends and it was just really intense,” said Charneski.

To tune out a lot of the noise, she decided to try a five-day silent retreat where you literally have to take a vow of silence during your trip! It’s becoming a huge travel trend.

“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,” said Kathryn O’Shea-Evans with Travel and Leisure.

Silent retreat centers can run the gamut from bare-bones accommodations to luxury resorts, with pricing that reflects both options.

Some allow group interaction while others encourage you to spend time on your own.

“Spa treatments, hiking, canoeing. Amazing meals, just reading,” said O’Shea-Evans.

Some retreats require total silence, while others have select silent periods. Many of them ask that you leave 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,” said silent retreat director, Nat Reid.

Charneski says it worked for her.

“It was like a good chance to be quiet, sit still and see what’s going on,” said Charneski.

Retreats can last a few hours, a weekend, a week, or even an entire month, depending on your needs.

For more information on silent retreats visit:

Dayspring Retreat Center:
Germantown, MD
www.dayspringretreat.org

Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat House:
Atlanta, GA
www.ignatiushouse.org

Esalen Institute:
Big Sur, California
www.esalen.org

Retreats Online:
http://www.retreatsonline.com/guide/silent.htm

Retreat Finder:
http://www.retreatfinder.com/directory/silent_retreats.aspx

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