Imagine your dream active retreat… what does it look like? Where is your dream location? Is it at the beach or in the mountains? Is it a more luxurious or adventurous retreat? Or both. How much yoga a day do you want? Do you fancy seeing part of the country at handle bar level?
Are you ready for freedom and fun—to set your trailblazing and have some adventure? An active retreat places us in situations we couldn’t otherwise imagine. It often spurs us to do things we thought we couldn’t do. It provides perspective on our lives and our place in the world. Amidst all this, travel and adventure also offers freedom.
Among adventure, the greatest freedom of all is the freedom to let go.
Wellbeing and lifestyle is important to us and we know that daily life can send us in overwhelm—leaving us to feel like we just want to get overseas.
Here are some answers to your questions to help you along the way-warning, this post comes with daydreaming moments in gorgeous places.
When you picture yourself on an active retreat, where do you see yourself?
Do you picture yourself within beautiful surroundings, being on the road where nobody knows who you “should” be and all they know is who you are then and there? Do you envision places where you notice things you have dreamed of seeing for a lifetime—with fresh air whooshing around you! Do you see yourself stepping out of the norm of what you would usually do; think prosciutto and fresh pasta in Tuscany, a glass of rose in Provence on dusk, or sipping on fresh coconut water direct from the coconut with a cool ocean breeze in Bali.
Do I want to challenge myself or is my focus more on rest, recuperation?
Are you looking for active, reflective or restorative? Maybe none of these. If you’re a dedicated yogi, perhaps choosing a yoga retreat is best. However, getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things such as cycling, trekking or snorkelling is never a bad idea. Considering what the overall focus of the retreat will be is so important, since the majority of the time will be spent in that space. What are your intentions from this experience? Do you want this to help focus and quiet your mind? Are you seeking clarity?
Do you want to make new friends? Are you doing it for your health and fitness?
What’s the difference between a yoga retreat and an active holiday?
The word ‘retreat’ has a heap of negative connotations – to withdraw, to shy away. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to wellness. By using the planet’s most impressive destinations as a backdrop, choose an active holiday that gives you the opportunity to take in a holiday. Do you want cycling and yoga perfectly combined with the sunshine, authentic cuisines and like-minded people to give you the experience you need. Think of yourself in retreat-mode. And the main priority is your enjoyment, meaning you should always be in control of your level of participation.
Does the place, location, resonate with me personally?
It’s all about location. This is probably one of the most important aspects of your decision-making as it can affect your entire experience. More often than not when we think of retreats, we think of tropical paradise. But don’t be fooled, retreats are happening all over the world. So if Bali’s warmth isn’t your thing, seek out a more European climate, such as Italy or France. Whether it is beach or ancient ruins of Angkor Wat choose a place where you’d prefer to spend your time and money.
Do I need to be experienced with yoga and cycling?
Wherever you are, is where you are supposed to be. You want to find retreats that will match your experience level so that you’re adequately challenged yet comfortable. Worried that you are new to Yoga? Don’t be. A retreat should help you start your Yoga journey, or deepen your practice for those who already have made Yoga part of their daily lives. Worried that the cycling might be too difficult? Don’t be. You can choose a retreat designed to challenge you (it’s all part of the fun!) and a yoga and cycling retreat is a perfect place to find your cycling legs. If you are more experienced on the bike, you can definitely be challenged too!
Do I want to travel abroad and stamp my passport?
You can immerse yourself in a different culture and experience something completely different to your normal environment. Removing yourself from your home reality and being outside your comfort zone may be the catalyst you need to see yourself objectively, change your headspace and reinvent yourself. You might even find a little piece of you along the way and ignite a passion for something new!
How much do I want to spend on my Retreat?
Retreats can range quite a bit in price, so it’s important to look at what’s included before you decide. Be honest with yourself about how much you can afford. The time of the year could make a difference in price. Ask: Are transportation costs included? (flights, transport to/from airport) Is food included? (how many meals are included) Is accommodation included? What other activities are included? What additional expenses am I up for?
Does the location practice Eco-friendliness and responsible travel?
If you care about eco-friendliness or how much a place gives back to the local community, choose a company that aligns with your own mission. It's impossible to leave nothing but footprints, but choose an organisation, which recognises the environmental and social responsibilities and reduces any negative environmental and cultural impacts of your trips and the regions you visit. The very nature of travel means we have an impact on the cultures we visit, so we must try to make it a positive one. There are many considerations to responsible travel and none of us have all the answers. The fact that you are thinking about them is a good start. Thank you for caring and planning to be a responsible traveller!
Now I’d like to hear from you…
What do you think when you hear the word retreat?
Do you want an experience for your overall wellbeing?
What are you doing to nurture yourself now?
Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.
Pedal. Stretch. Breathe. Tantalizing Tuscany - 11 to 18 June 2016
Pedal. Stretch. Breathe. Perfect Provence - 20 to 27 June 2016
Pedal. Stretch. Breathe. Captivating Cambodia - 20 to 31 July 2016
"I wanted to thank you for the fabulous time I had in Lucca. I couldn’t believe how much I missed our whole yoga + cycling + yoga routine when we got to London - I felt amazing for having all that fresh air & activity in my days. What a luxury having yoga on tap twice a day too. Made me think about how unavoidably sedentary the corporate life is, even if like me you do some form of training most days." Sarah, Sydney.