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Spiritual Retreat: The Monastic Community of Mount Athos, Greece

The monasteries of Mount Athos, Greece, are among the oldest monastic communities in the world, dating back to the 9th century. For those seeking a quiet place to contemplate, plan, think, or write, look no further – as long as you are male. Since 1046, the church officials who run the Autonomous Monastic State of Mount Athos have forbidden women from setting foot on this small peninsula. (Men with long hair are also forbidden entry.) Would-be visitors must procure an invitation from one of the twenty monasteries on the peninsula, and stays are generally limited to one to four days depending on time of year. While you’re there, you can count on plenty of time to think and write as silent reflection or prayer are pretty much your only options. 

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Where to Go When You Want to Get Away — From Everyone

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By William Gurstelle

Sometimes you just need to be alone. Perhaps you’ve decided finally it’s time to write your hard-boiled detective novel. Maybe you’re inspired to develop that business plan you’ve been talking about for years. Or, you just want to get away and think. One key to moving forward is to find the place where the creative juices will freely flow. While Herman Melville wrote much of Moby Dick at the Manhattan’s New York Society Library, others, such as E. B. White and D. H. Lawrence, favored isolated wilderness cabins in which to write their masterpieces. Finding a conducive, distraction-free environment is no easy task. Texts, emails, phone calls, and people constantly impinge on your good intentions to really focus. So, here are the world's 10 most isolated places to travel that might enable a tete-a-tete encounter with your muse, or just a vacation where you can get away from it all.

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