There has been a marked rise in the use of cremation over the last 30 years as more people choose that method over burial. Back in 1980, just four percent of families opted for cremation over burial, but that figure has soared to 39 percent and is expected to approach 60 percent by 2025.
With so many incredible destinations dotted across the globe, it makes sense to look further afield than a home town or city to put a loved one to rest, particularly if they were an ardent traveler. Indeed, having his or her ashes scattered in a specified favorite location can also be at the request of the individual who has died. A trip abroad to carry out the task can also be part of the grieving process, giving you some time to come to terms with the loss by carrying out this last service for someone you love. Different countries may also have their own interesting cremation practices, each unique to their own beliefs. Here are some places that feature highly on the list of places where cremated remains are often scattered.
With its lush green landscapes, steep inclines, and memorable ancient structures, the 15th century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the most stunning and peaceful spots in South America. The Temple of the Sun is the most prominent feature. The ancient site is a popular location for scattering ashes because of its natural beauty.
Seas, rivers, streams and lakes are popular natural locales for scattering cremated remains because they are idyllic and peaceful and often have a special meaning for the deceased person. Hainan Island in China is renowned for its tropical climate, beach resorts and forested scenery, so it would make an excellent scattering point for those willing to venture to Asia. The island overlooks Haikou City on the mainland.
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil has a wealth of locations for scattering ashes, but arguably the best is the Corcovado mountain, with the remarkable Christ the Redeemer, a stunning Art Deco statue, overlooking the city of Rio De Janeiro. Located 2,300 ft. above sea level, it allows you to scatter a relative or friend’s ashes by one of the most enduring symbols of Christianity. It is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
You will need to notify the airline you are flying with that you are carrying cremated remains, and you may need to submit documentation. Delta AirLines, for example, permits customers to carry ashes with them on the plane but they first must pass through an X-ray machine. You may not be allowed to take them on at all if they are in a metal container and security is unable to ascertain what is inside. You will probably also need a certificate of cremation or the death certificate, which is included with an extensive cremation package.
“Different countries will have different requirements and rules regarding travel with cremated remains,” President of the Association of California Cremationists, Maggie McMillan adds. “It is important to check with the consulate/embassy before traveling to learn what the specific rules in the chosen country are.”
U.S. National Parks
For those a bit closer to home, the United States has 58 national parks in total, each with unique topography. The Grand Canyon National Park, for example, boasts stunning panoramic vistas, while Mount Rainier National Park has beautiful glaciers and wildflowers. Each of them has rules and regulations for the practice, so you will have to contact them beforehand to make sure your plans are acceptable. Whether at home or abroad, finding a memorable spot to carry out this final duty can bring you the closure you need.