“In a world driven by the twin forces of consumerism and productivity, of limitless possibility and endless overwhelm, we seem to have lost the art of- and the sense of value in- not doing stuff,” writes Jemima Kelly in the Financial Times

The natural paths connecting the villas on the Awasi Patagonia private reserve

Making the Most of Moments

At Awasi, we have guests travelling from all over the world, fulfilling their dreams of visiting places they may have been dreaming of for years.

This is why private excursions sit at the heart of our concept: each room at all three Awasi lodges (Atacama, Patagonia and Iguazu) is given its own private guide and vehicle.

We know that time is precious, and believe that the best way to make the most of your experience is to design an individual itinerary that matches your personal interests and tempo.

At Awasi, our private guides get off the beaten track to immerse guests in nature. The road down to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Personal Pressure Points

However, one thing we have seen over the years is that guests have so many things they want to do and see, that there’s a temptation to fill every minute. 

As such, the topic of this article struck a chord with us.

“We often ask ourselves: What have I managed to do today?,” says the Financial Times, “but far less often do we ask: What have I managed to not do today?”

Moments of contemplation in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Just Be…

In past posts we have written about the importance of quiet in travel and mindful activities such as forest bathing.

As well as encouraging guests not to fill every moment of their stay, our guides are trained to give guests time to think, to experience wild and wonderful South America without a constant stream of information.

The temptation to fill every second of one’s trip with activities is often seen as the best way of making the most of the destination, but sometimes simply taking a moment to be, to watch, to listen to the sounds of a place, to smell the fresh air… can be the richest moment of all.

Decking overlooking the River Iguazu at Awasi Iguazu

At all three Awasi lodges, we have areas where guests can stop for a moment of contemplation

Becoming Bored 

“In our always-on culture, it seems that we are more focused on working out how to fill up our diaries than how to create space in them,” continues the Financial Times article.

“Not having things to do can leave us with a void that makes us deeply uncomfortable, so we reach for things to fill this gap, in order to regulate our emotions and avoid difficult feelings.”

“But sitting with uncomfortable feelings can be helpful over the long run,” says the Financial Times “and boredom should be more readily embraced.”

Blissful Boredom

It is often said that boredom sparks creativity

“It turns out that bliss – a second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious – lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom.” – wrote novelist, David Foster Wallace.

Allowing the brain to wander can lead to creativity – for example, looking out of the window watching the wide open landscapes of Patagonia can get those cogs turning bringing ideas, solutions and inspiration when least expected. 

Spectacled tyrant bird taken by Awasi Patagonia guide, Fran Girado

Music for the Mind

Boredom doesn’t have to mean sitting in a dark room doing absolutely nothing, it just means calming the constant stream of action and information.

For the author Margaret Atwood, the mind-slowing effect of birdwatching is a great source of inspiration for her writing.

Iguazu may be world famous for its waterfalls, but could it be the birdsong that touches your heart most tenderly?

No need to leave the comfort of your villa at Awasi Iguazu – to quote the words of Juan Pablo Culasso, the “birdsong is like a symphony orchestra”.

Flow & Go

There is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to seeking inspiration. For some people, it takes physical activity to get the creative juices flowing.

Be it taking a run, hiking, biking or kayaking, we have active options for all levels of fitness. 

Exploring the area around Iguazu with your Awasi private guide. The open road can feed the imagination.

Art & Nature

Lastly, let’s touch on the “art” part of this theme.

At Awasi, we are fascinated by the connection between art and nature, and in protecting and supporting both.

Topographies of Fragility by Argentine-born artist and photographer, Ingrid Weyland

Artists in Residence

Several artists have been inspired by their stays, and we enjoy collaborating with artists in residence.

From painters and jewellery designer in Patagonia, to Argentine artist Ingrid Weyland who uses her photography as a way of drawing attention to conservation and environmental issues

For the static to kinetic, we recently created a short film in honour of ‘nature as a form of art’ with Teresa Marcaida, a dancer and choreographer who studied at the Juilliard School in New York.

Time & Space

So, wherever you are coming from and wherever you aim to go (physically and mentally), we are here with as little – or as much – as you would like to put into your day.

Enjoying these moments of peaceful contemplation in nature are hard when in groups, that’s why our three Relais & Chateaux lodges have 100% private excursions.

“Awasi champions time and space as the ultimate luxuries, and succeeds at using both magnificently.” – Journalist, Sam Bradley.