Inspired By Earth Day: Retreats for a Modern Thoreau

I first learned of Henry David Thoreau and Walden Pond as a freshman in high school. I was a self-proclaimed tree-hugger back then, so his thoughts on man and the environment simply fueled my passion to save the planet. As an adult, I can more fully understand the philosophy behind his Walden stay - to simply observe nature and reflect. In honor of Earth Day, here are two locales perfectly suited for a modern-day, Thoreau-like sabbatical. And, of course, both are ecofriendly.

Fogo Island Studios, Newfoundland, Canada

 Squish Studio, Fogo Island

Squish Studio, Fogo Island

"I love Nature partly because she is not man, but a retreat from him. "

Located along the north Atlantic, Fogo Island offers four artist studios as part of a program to promote habitat preservation and sustainability. Each structure is completely off-the-grid and perched along the island’s rocky coastline. Imagine what these views could inspire!

 Squish Studio, Fogo Island

Squish Studio, Fogo Island

 Squish Studio, Fogo Island

Squish Studio, Fogo Island

 Squish Studio, Fogo Island

Squish Studio, Fogo Island

The Treehotel, Harads, Sweden

 The Mirror Cube, Treehotel

The Mirror Cube, Treehotel

"I have a room all to myself; it is nature."

The Treehotel in Sweden would definitely make my bucket list if I ever decided to create one. Each of its treehouse-like cabins is suspended 13 to 20 feet above the ground, offering fantastic views and sparse interiors (Thoreau would be proud!). My favorite room is the Mirrorcube. Its facade perfectly blends into the surrounding forest.

 The Mirror Cube, Treehotel

The Mirror Cube, Treehotel

 The Mirror Cube, Treehotel

The Mirror Cube, Treehotel

 The Mirror Cube, Treehotel

The Mirror Cube, Treehotel

Of course, we can't all scurry off to Canada and Sweden to be at one with nature, so, look for the everyday opportunities. From community parks to your own backyard, embrace and enjoy!

Images: (1-4) Bent René Synnevåg, (5-8) Peter Lundstrom, WDO | Treehotel

Quotes: Henry David Thoreau