MGU 365 | Sand And Salt Escapes

 

Stepping away from work could be challenging, especially if you have been a workaholic. It seems impossible to break your routine because your goal is to grow professionally. But what if you’re neglecting part of yourself in that process? Join your host Whitney Lauritsen as she shares in-depth insights on how you can disconnect to reconnect through a retreat. It’s called the Sand And Salt Escapes, where it could inspire you to go or to do something similar so you can create special memories. It’s time to take this unique exercise and mindfulness activities that restore the balance and energy you need to function well. Tune in to learn more about creating that space for yourself and gain absolute clarity on your life.

Listen to the podcast here


 

Disconnect To Reconnect: Taking Stock Of Life Through A Retreat

I will leave for Costa Rica. I will be releasing the episode of what my trip was like. It’s interesting because I have a two-week trip, and this is the fascinating element of having episodes before they come out. To give you some context that this is the before and there will be an after, I want to share with you more details about why I’m going to Costa Rica. Maybe I will talk about my Singapore trip, although I’ve pretty much summarized that in the past episodes where I mentioned that I’m going there because my dad is on business. I have barely spent any time planning for Singapore because I have been so consumed with this Costa Rica trip.

I mentioned in at least one previous episode that I got hired to support the creator of this new retreat with marketing. I’ve created a whole marketing strategy for him. It has been an interesting journey. I’m going to take you through some details about what this retreat is. Next episode, I will share with you how much that lined up with the experience. I say that because this is a pilot retreat. It is not open to the public, the one that I’m doing in July 2022. Later in November 2022, it’s open to the public.

If you read this episode and want to go, those details will be over at Wellevatr.com. Maybe this will inspire you to go or do something similar. If you want to know more details about what it has been like to plan the marketing strategy, I’m going to share a little bit about that too. Let’s dive right in. I have the website pulled up here. I’m going to read directly from that.

The website for the retreat is SandAndSaltEscapes.com. Looking at this, I feel two positive emotions. 1) I’m super excited to go, and 2) I feel proud of Max, who created this retreat. We did not know each other a few months ago. He reached out to me through email, inviting me to go as an influencer and do some content at the event. I responded, saying, “Let’s have a chat. Let’s see what we can do.” When we got on Zoom and met each other for the first time, I explained to him that I don’t do much influencer marketing at the moment. I don’t know if I will again like I used to.

 

MGU 365 | Sand And Salt Escapes

Sand And Salt Escapes: One of the biggest challenges is taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally. You have to dedicate time for yourself and that’s really tapping into the ethos of the retreat.

 

I used to do so much on YouTube and social media, and people still reach out to me asking for those services. It doesn’t resonate with me at this time. What does resonate is helping small business owners like Max develop a way to reach their ideal customers and get the messaging of who they are across. In terms of the website, I don’t even think the website was created a few months ago when I first met Max. He made this wonderful PDF outlining what he was thinking about. For the most part, I have been able to see his whole vision come to life, and that has been so cool. This new version of the website, which will probably even be changed by the time you see it, is amazing. Keep that in mind.

I’m going to read some things to you that may look very different in a few weeks and a few months as this evolves. To be more clear, the reason I’m going down there is so that Max can test out the whole experience so that I can think of new opportunities for marketing. I’m helping them come up with a plan for their content. Max has hired someone else who’s going to be doing the photography, videography, and posting on social media. I have been coming up with the plan for what that will be like, the timing, and the feel of it but it’s a group effort together.

I’m also supporting them with this website that they created by Max in his team. I will go over more of what I’m doing later on but let me tell you more about it. Max describes Sand & Salt Escapes as retreats for driven professionals to disconnect from their day-to-day and reconnects with themselves through unique exercise and mindfulness activities that restore balance and energy. If you know me at all, you can see why I was drawn to the phrase disconnect to reconnect or disconnect and reconnect. It is amazing.

He says, “Every element of the retreat is curated to help you take a step back from the hustle of your day. We take care of every detail, from airport transfers to chef-prepared meals to invigorating workouts and unique mindfulness activities, to deliver a week that will create space for you to focus on what’s most important, which is you.” When I first heard about this retreat, my very first impression was around Max. There’s a beautiful About page. You can check out the website for Sand & Salt Escapes, where Max tells this story. I felt it deep down that he really cares.

Disconnecting to reconnect is really amazing. Every element of this Sand and Salt Escapes Retreat is curated to help you take a step back from the hustle of your day. Click To Tweet

I still felt a little skeptical because he was a brand new person I hadn’t met before. We had our first conversation. I let it all out. I said, “This is what’s important to me. What type of retreat is this? Where do we align?” I was amazed and frankly surprised to find out how many ways in which his philosophy and way of creating this retreat and his own lifestyle lined up with mine. That was exciting.

I started doing a bunch of market research after I was hired. Before I even started, I was doing some research because I wanted to see what the retreat experience was these days. Especially in 2022, we are still in the pandemic. How much does that change? How were other places talking about this? What are they doing? How are they creating these experiences?

I found that the marketing, at least for other retreats comes across, is a bit generic. It feels a bit transactional. It doesn’t feel as authentic. For example, the photos and videos feel very polished like stock images. It doesn’t feel like this personal, intimate, authentic experience. It feels like you are going on a cruise or something or going to a high-end resort. While the experience may be nice, if you are somebody who’s interested in a deeper experience, that’s not necessarily a silent meditation retreat, like a lot of them, and not necessarily one that’s all focused on yoga or plant-based food. If you are someone who just wants to get in deeper connection with yourself, there are a surprisingly limited amount of experiences like that.

One thing that stood out for me about Max’s vision for Sand & Salt is that he wants us to be about people doing things on their own and less about group activities. That, to me, maybe the most unique part of this, and what a great thing to hear as an introvert. I also found myself getting a little bit excited about doing things as a group. There was part of me that was, at this moment, wondering like, “Am I going to feel too alone? Am I going to feel lonely because I’m going down by myself?” Max will be there with his wife, and another team member will be there.

 

MGU 365 | Sand And Salt Escapes

Sand And Salt Escapes: You have to step away from a lot of things, detox yourself and have silence because that free time is going to be the most meaningful part of the retreat.

 

Doing Your Own Thing

Max has invited some other people to test it out during this pilot retreat. I wonder, “How will it feel for me?” I cannot wait to share that with you in the next episode after I return because I’m someone who enjoys being with a group sometimes but also wants the option to leave and do my own thing. The Sand & Salt structure is going to work perfectly for me because they have lined up the days. On the About our Retreats section, it says, “What a day can look like.” It starts at 7:30 AM. I’m laughing because that’s quite early for me.

Behind the scenes, over the last few weeks, I started adjusting my schedule. I did get up at 7:30 AM. That’s hard for me. You didn’t know this about me. I usually wake up around 10:30 AM. Not only is it three hours earlier but Costa Rica is on Central time, which is two hours earlier than Pacific. That’s interesting. For some reason, I kept thinking it was only one hour ahead but that would be Mountain time. I guess it’s two hours ahead in Central time. I hope I’m getting that right. There are so many nuances to going to a different country. I still feel like I might screw something up. I might forget something that I need at home. I did find out that the power adapters in Costa Rica are the same as in the US.

I checked so many websites to confirm that because I almost didn’t believe it. I was like, “Another country has the same power adapter?” That’s wall plugs in Canada. I can’t remember. It has been a while since I’ve been to Canada. I feel like they might as well but I’m used to going to countries when I was studying abroad or when I traveled to Greece. Those are the main places I have been to, and Australia too. I am used to bring a power adapter with me. I felt like there was so much to get used to. I want to be prepared. As I talked about in previous episodes, I’m a little nervous about all of that.

One thing Max did that was nice was send out emails with packing lists and detailing this whole experience. Going back to what a day can look like, there is that early morning snack that I will grudgingly participate in. The reason I want to go is that starting off the day with the group creates so much intimacy. I have a lot of FOMO. I don’t want to miss out on what the other people are doing. Even if I’m tired or feel like being by myself, I’m probably going to at least check it out, even if it’s for five minutes. There will be an 8:00 AM beach workout. This is going to be putting me back in the old days when I used to work out early in the morning.

Travel friendships or hotel friendships are nice. You meet someone and spend a few days with them. You make fond memories and then you never talk to them again. Click To Tweet

Pre pandemic, I used to love going to this early morning yoga class. It was at 6:00 AM. That was one of those who am I moments. I went for a long time, at least. I was frequently going from September 2021 to March 2020. That’s a good chunk of time, which is six months or so. Twice a week, I would get up at 5:00 something AM and drag myself out of bed to work out. I will be thinking of those days with these beach workouts because I’m out of that rhythm but getting up early to have that snack will at least wake me up and get me into that good place.

After the workout, we return at 9:00 AM to have a chef-prepared breakfast. I’m super excited about this because I’ve sent in my dietary preferences. I’m very curious to see what the chef is going to make for someone like me. I’m envisioning us sitting outside on the warm Costa Rican day after working out, feeling super hungry. Maybe we haven’t changed our gym clothes yet. The schedule doesn’t have room to shower but we will see. Does everyone want to eat food while being in sweaty clothing? I’m not quite sure but it’s Costa Rica. Who knows? It’s going to be a different experience. I’m expecting local foods. That’s about it, though. I don’t know exactly what it will be but I will report back.

We then have free time. This is another thing. There are two chunks of free time in the schedule. This is all subject to change. There are about three hours of free time after breakfast. I’m super curious to see what I am going to do. I’m expecting to want to work a lot during that time but I’m hoping that I don’t. As I mentioned in the previous episode, I’ve had to do a lot of prep work to make the space for this trip. That prep work has involved recording episodes in advance like this one. I have had to tell all of my clients and make sure that the work is set up for success. Later on, I will go through and do as much work as I possibly can for one of my regular clients. We usually work daily.

Experiencing The Retreat

I’m a little nervous about that. I’m going to try to check in with them each day, even when I’m in Costa Rica. The retreat is one of my clients. On the 3rd and 4th, everything is going to be good, but maybe some work here or there. My point is that I hope that I don’t spend all three hours of my free time working like I would at home. One of the biggest challenges for me mentally and emotionally is going to be dedicating that time to myself. That’s tapping into the ethos of the retreat. Max has told me that he doesn’t envision me working most of the retreat. He’s envisioning me experiencing it so that I can better help market it and give feedback. That’s cool. This is a dream for me.

 

MGU 365 | Sand And Salt Escapes

Sand And Salt Escapes: Towards the beginning, people are going to want to socialize more. And then they’ll probably gets in the zone of this retreat center and maybe hanging out less unless you make really big bonds with people.

 

Bringing A Journal

I love giving feedback. I love testing things. Being a beta tester is my favorite, so that’s what this retreat feels like. I can’t wait to immerse myself in it. I feel like I want to be a fly on the wall and be taking little notes of people as they are going through their retreat but it’s going to be interesting to take notes on myself. I brought along this little retreat journal that I got from the Goddess Provision subscription box. It was designed for a self-retreat at home. I decided to bring it along because it has some great prompts in it for taking note of your feelings and the before and after journey. I hope that I have filled that out. I’m one of those people that has the intention of doing something like that and does not always follow through.

For the show, I would love to be able to have a record of my evolution and also be very clear on how I’m feeling each day. You have to be intentional. It’s also interesting that because I felt a lot of anxiety and stress because I have had to do so much leading up to this retreat, it’s probably going to take me a few days to unwind from who I am normally versus on vacation. That’s also part of the purpose of a retreat like this, as the phrase, “Disconnect and reconnect or disconnect to reconnect,” because you have to step away from a lot of things, as some people say, “Detox yourself, and have silence.”

Maybe that free time is going to be the most meaningful part of the retreat because I will probably be spending a lot of it alone. Maybe I will be sitting by the beach, watching the waves crash. Maybe I will be taking a nap and recovering, letting my body experience the solitude and the quiet. It’s cool. Speaking of sleeping and the accommodations at this retreat, I will share more about it in a moment. To finish off the schedule, after that free time, there’s a chef-prepared lunch, and then there’s another block of free time. On some days, we will do things like breathwork classes. Saying that out loud makes me so excited. I haven’t done breathwork in so long.

Breathwork Classes

Years ago, pre-pandemic Whitney used to volunteer with social media marketing at a retreat center in Los Angeles. I don’t know how much I’ve talked about it this 2022. It has come up in at least one episode because Ben Decker came on the show as a guest. He used to teach at DEN Meditation, where I was volunteering. In exchange for my social media help at this meditation center, I got unlimited meditation classes. It was amazing. I love that so much. I would go there almost every single day. One of my favorite styles of meditation was breathwork classes. Generally, you are lying on the floor with your eyes closed. There’s music playing. There’s someone speaking and guiding you through how to breathe and helping you tune into your breath in a unique way.

It’s an interesting thing to plan your retreat and think about what information you need to make this decision. Click To Tweet

I can’t wait to do that. Imagine being outside. What’s cool about the location in Costa Rica is, from my current understanding, the beach is close by. It’s walking distance, maybe a ten-minute walk away, and then there’s a jungle there with monkeys. This is all it’s going to be interesting because I haven’t been to Costa Rica before. I’ve seen tons of photos and videos while I have been researching the marketing strategy for this. I still feel like none of that is going to scratch the surface of what it will be like. Another goal of mine for this retreat is to capture content to share with you and post on TikTok and YouTube. I want to do a series.

I had mentioned before how I’ve already started working on my packing video. I’m so curious to see how those are going to turn out. I found that I wanted to get as much information as possible before I left. Every traveler is going to be a little different. It could be because of my neurodivergence that I like to be prepared and have a good idea of what I’m going to do before I get somewhere. I was trying to find videos or Instagram posts. I was searching through YouTube and blogs, looking for anybody who could tell me about this specific part of Costa Rica, which is called Nosara. I wanted to know what the airlines were like and which one I should choose.

I opted to fly Alaska Airlines, which I like. They have a round trip non-stop from Los Angeles to Liberia Airport, which is a two-and-a-half-hour drive to this Nosara Retreat Center. In that two-and-a-half-hour drive, I was also very curious about it because that sounded unpleasant to me. Funny enough, I can drive myself for two and a half hours easily with all the road trips I’ve done. It feels like nothing but sitting in the back of a van on my way to where I’m staying after a long flight, I’m not looking forward to it, to be frank. There is an airport closer to the retreat center that you can transfer to from Liberia or San Jose was the other airport.

Max was telling me how the weather can be so intense and unpredictable this time of year that the flights could be delayed or be awful turbulence. That sounded like a nightmare. Speaking of weather, July is part of the rainy season. It seems like the rainy season lasts a long time in Costa Rica. That makes me exciting, to be honest. I’m wondering, A) “Is my flight there going to be delayed? B) “How is it going to be to travel by car if it’s pouring rain? Are we going to get stuck?” I’m a little nervous but this is a very common pathway. There were some videos on YouTube that I watched that show the journey from Liberia Airport to Nosara. It looks fine. It’s like that fear of traveling internationally in the worst-case scenarios.

 

MGU 365 | Sand And Salt Escapes

Sand And Salt Escapes: One major thing to point out about Sand and Salt Escapes is that it’s designed to be very intimate.

 

Getting Insurance

I was thinking of bringing my Garmin inReach® Mini, the little satellite device I had. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do that. The only downside is I have to activate the plan for it. It got a cellular data type plan. It was only $15 but it’s one of those things like, “Am I going to use this or is this a waste of money? What if something awful happened?” It would be nice if I didn’t have cell phone service so that I could get in touch with an emergency contact. I’m going to do that. Speaking of which, I’m also looking into getting traveler insurance super last minute. I assume I can still set that up. I kept procrastinating signing up for it because it felt a bit overwhelming.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought traveler insurance. It’s not myself. Maybe when I was in college, traveling abroad, my parents got it for me. I have some protection through my credit card. I can’t remember how much I talked about this in past episodes but I signed up for a special travel credit card so that I could get some travel perks and build up some more miles for future trips. Most travel cards offer lots of coverage in case of trip cancellation, delays or emergency evacuation. Some of them offer medical coverage. Mine doesn’t seem to offer that much, from what I could tell. I’m going to purchase an additional plan. If I do, I will fill you in on those details to see if it was a good experience.

They are inexpensive, especially if you are going on a short trip like I am. It’s inexpensive, meaning I’ve easily found plans between $10 to $20. I feel like I should just go ahead and do it but my brain goes to this place like, “Do I really need this?” My brain swings the opposite way and says, “What if?” and I get super paranoid. After that breathwork class, we are going to have a daily sunset viewing at the beach, then a chef-prepared dinner, conversation, and free time. That is our third block of free time and an opportunity to connect deeper with people. One thing I’m curious about is what it will be like if other people are going to be hanging out and the rhythms in which we may or may not intersect.

Towards the beginning, it’s likely that people are going to want to socialize more. There will probably be a dip where everyone gets in the zone of this retreat center and maybe hangs out less unless you make big bonds with people. This is something I love when I’ve traveled like those travel friendships, hotel friendships, and cruise ship friendships. You meet someone and spend a few days with them, they feel like your best friend, and then you never talk to them. I have had my fair share of things like that. I look back on those people with so many fond memories. I don’t know if it will happen. One major thing to point out about Sand & Salt Escapes is that it’s designed to be very intimate.

When you’re planning for a retreat, it feels comfortable if you can visualize where you’ll be sleeping and what things you might need. Click To Tweet

I don’t know how much it will be capped at for the future retreats but on this one, the pilot retreat I’m going to, there are only ten of us. I know that at least a few of them will be couples. I don’t know what’s it going to be like with the couples. Are they just going to be off doing their own thing the whole time? For me, as a solo female traveler, it’s going to be interesting. I’m preparing myself to spend a lot of time alone. That will make the group experiences feel that much sweeter and special. Speaking of experiences, there are optional activities that you can choose from local people. The two I’m considering are surfing lessons, which I found out are only $100.

I don’t know why that seems cheap to me. Maybe it’s the travel mindset but I’m going to do that. I’ve never taken a surfing lesson before. I figure why not. In fact, the Nosara beach in this specific retreat center I’m going to is often used for surf retreats. The water must be perfect for it. I feel nervous. I need to think more about what I would wear because I’m bringing two bathing suits but whenever I’ve seen surfing lessons, it seems like you get beat up and bruised. I don’t have a body suit. Maybe they provide it. I guess I have to go with the flow with that. I’m simultaneously excited and nervous. I don’t like getting physically hurt, which is another reason to get that travel insurance.

Ziplining

The other thing I’m considering is going ziplining, which I have always wanted to do. I have never done it. I remember when I went on a cruise, which was a similar experience in some ways, I went on a vegan cruise back in 2014 with Jason, my former co-host, as well as Chris and Jon from The Vegan Zombie, Miyoko from Miyoko’s Kitchen, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, the amazing cookbook author, and Brian from Vegan Black Metal Chef. I wonder what he’s up to these days. It was an incredible group of people. We all went on a one-week cruise together. It was in the Caribbean. A bunch of them went ziplining. At the time, I didn’t have a lot of extra money.

Now, I’ve saved up for a lot of travel experiences. I’m able to afford some of these things that a few years ago seemed like splurges beyond my means. That’s an interesting element especially of this retreat because it’s targeting driven professionals, meaning people that have been in a professional career for a number of years and either are re-evaluating it or ready to take a break and want to work on themselves but they are financially stable enough to not only go on a retreat like this but do it in a more luxurious way. Speaking of luxury, this retreat seems to have a nice balance of luxury in the sense that everything’s taken care of. It’s an all-inclusive experience except for the plane ride.

 

MGU 365 | Sand And Salt Escapes

Sand And Salt Escapes: It’s nice to tell people what it’s like to be traveling during COVID where you can provide recommendations on what went wrong or went right. In that way, you can create guides for them.

 

When you land at the airport, they cover your transportation to the retreat center and everything like food and accommodations. The activities are part of it, aside from things like the surfing lesson and the ziplines because those are optional things that you can add on. Massage is another example of an add-on. It is going to be interesting to see what the people who show up are like. That can change the energy of something too when you go to maybe a more budget-friendly experience versus something that’s designed to be not necessarily high-end but more for people that have financial flexibility or somebody who’s good at saving and budgeting like I am. I went and got cash at the ATM. Something else I learned about Costa Rica is that US dollars are accepted pretty much anywhere.

You can use your credit card but it was recommended to have some US dollars in cash on hand. I went and got some, and that even felt a little uncomfortable for me because I didn’t know how much to bring, and my brain kept going into all these what-if scenarios. I was nervous about traveling with a few hundred dollars. I was wondering what bills I should bring. I can’t wait to tell you all those details because if you are like me and want every single detail shared with you, that’s what I hope to do. What I want is not only to do the episode and do those videos I shared but I’m hoping I have the mental energy during the retreat to blog about it or put together a PDF because I wish somebody had done that for me.

I’m sure they have but it feels like you have to scour the internet to find some of this information, and it’s in multiple sources or it’s not that detailed. I want to see a YouTube video that shares every moment and does it in a quick, bite-sized way and a thoughtful, organized fashion. I did find a good amount of those for the flight experiences but I found it interesting how they only touched upon almost more of the surface-level obvious things versus the feeling. That’s something that I hope to capture. I want to talk about what it feels like to be on a long flight. As I mentioned, I’m not just going to Costa Rica, which is a little under a six-hour flight.

I’m also going to Singapore, which is, depending on your location, one of the longest flights in the world. With my dad’s flight, I can’t remember. He might not be flying direct but if he was flying from the East Coast in New York to Singapore, it’s the longest flight, nineteen hours. I was very curious about what is it like to be on a flight for that long. People just share what the meals are or tell you what the entertainment and how the seats feel but I want to dive deeper into the mental journey of it, especially because I’m traveling during COVID. I don’t know how long this information will be relevant but I have been desperate for people to tell me, “What is it like being on a plane now in July 2022? What do you recommend? What went wrong? What went right?”

Bad dreams could mean that you’re neglecting parts of yourself. Click To Tweet

Testimonials And Reviews

Me being my detailed self, I’m hoping that I have the bandwidth to create some guides. I’m also planning to write some reviews on Google, TripAdvisor, and a few other sites. Trust me. Those will be very in-depth. One thing I’m doing in my marketing role is overseeing the testimonials and reviews that some of the attendees are going to leave to support people who are interested in attending in November 2022 and beyond. I’m going to be thinking about like, “What information does somebody need to make a decision to go to a retreat like this?” That has been such an interesting thing to plan out.

I’m thinking about what I needed but some of those things were taken care of for me. My flight was included and my compensation for marketing. The whole retreat experience is covered for me since I’m part of the team. That certainly changes the experience of traveling when you don’t have to worry about that. Thinking about my packing, which took me a lot of time to think through the things I was going to bring and look for advice around that. I had to think a lot about flights. I can’t even tell you how many hours I spent researching flights, not just for Costa Rica but to get from Costa Rica to Singapore. That was an intense thing that I learned a lot about.

I want to map out this whole journey like, “How somebody finds out about Sand & Salt Escapes. What’s their first impression of it? How do they figure out if they want to go and make sure they have enough time to work it into their schedule, and what is the outcome they are looking for?” I certainly have my assumptions about that but to immerse myself in this experience over the course of a week is going to be interesting. I look forward to sharing that.

Here are a few more details about the retreats and what you can expect. It’s six days, and all meals, activities, and accommodations are included in the price. All the details are taken care of. They have great accommodations. There are daily outdoor exercises, as well as that daily mindfulness. I believe that’s all outdoor. The space at this retreat center feels small.

 

MGU 365 | Sand And Salt Escapes

Sand And Salt Escapes: The retreat is all about rebooting, reconnecting with yourself, and finding clarity.

 

The accommodations are in separate buildings, to my understanding. They are bungalows and have a variety of beds. Most of them are either queen or king size. There are even some twin beds. I’m curious what that will be like. I’ve seen some pictures and videos but one thing I wasn’t able to get from previous retreats at this center was where’s everything in relation to each other.

I’ve seen aerial videos, and it looks small in a good way. There’s a pool in the center. There’s this cool outdoor fitness platform next to the pool underneath an awning. It looks like the common area has the kitchen and couches. That’s overlooking the pool too. It looks pretty small but in some of the rooms, I don’t understand where they are and how big they are. Part of my role with both the marketing but also my content that I’m making for you and for other people that want to read it is I want to show you around so that you can fully understand it.

I feel more comfortable if I can visualize where I’m sleeping. I want to know, “Do I need to bring another pillow? Is the bed going to be comfortable? Is it going to be noisy? Is there going to be a lot of light and their shades?” With the air conditioning, I know that they have. What is the bathroom having? Does it have shampoo? Do I need to bring all that stuff with me? I think that’s included too. Maybe I can check this out in real-time if they added that to the sections. I know they have been working on this. There is a page on here that has the different rooms but they have been moving and playing around with the layout of this website.

In the November Retreat section, here’s the description, “Nosara is a wellness paradise.” I forgot about this. This is so cool. I haven’t been thinking that much about this from a marketing standpoint because I don’t know how much this appeals to their ideal customer but for me, I got so excited when I heard that this peninsula of Costa Rica is one of the only five blue zones in the world where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else. I don’t know if I have ever been to a blue zone before. I feel like there’s a blue zone in California. Maybe I haven’t been to one but California versus Costa Rica is going to be different.

Here’s the accommodation. It’s a luxury boutique villa integrated into the surrounding jungle. The entire property is rented out for this retreat. It has 5 standalone bungalows, 2 private jungle bungalows, and a private loft space. There are eight separate rooms. Each bungalow has its own private bath, AC, and safe, and rooms can be personalized for single or double occupancy.

They even added in this description a little walkthrough. It says, “Walking through the entrance, you immediately enter another world designed by Donald Loria Prendas. Each bungalow sits in the garden and gives guests privacy from their neighbors. The native shelter of teak, concrete, and water seamlessly blends with gardens and canopy for an intimate connection between architecture and nature and comfort and inspiration. Interconnected spaces invite the flexible movement of a sensory experience between living and dreaming.” Who wrote this? This is amazing. I got to ask who put this together because I have not read this before.

“Multiple water features will calm you, give you the space and time to reflect and contemplate your experience at Jade and the surrounding community.” I didn’t know this either. “It’s within walking distance of a grocery store, incredible restaurants, coffee surf, boutique designer shops, yoga classes, and gyms.” I also didn’t know where this was in relation to the town. I saw it on a map but it conceptually was not clear to me. We are also doing in addition to the breathwork classes, sunset art class, Vinyasa yoga, Kundalini yoga, and a sound bath. I want to cry. I’ve spent all this time working on the marketing plan but they have been doing so much, Max and his other team members behind the scenes. There’s stuff that I didn’t even know yet.

This is so cool. There are key details. In addition to the lunches, breakfast, and dinners, there are unlimited healthy snacks. What does that mean? I love snacks, so unlimited is a great word. They have a list of additional activities like ATV tours, mountain biking, horseback riding, and tennis. There’s even a COVID protocol section. I’m so curious to see. Will that even be a factor in November 2022? When I first heard of this retreat, I thought like, “COVID will be fine by then,” but so many things change over time. As I mentioned, that’s something that I plan to incorporate into my content. I will let you know what it was like.

Sadly, I’m hearing so many reports of people getting COVID on airplanes now that I’m expecting it to happen to me. Max has told me that he’s prepared. He’s spoken with COVID experts. He’s going to have some supplies on hand, tests, and all of that. Who knows what future retreat experiences will be like COVID-wise? It is a good thing to consider now. I’m going to start to wrap up at that. I’ve painted a cool picture here. It’s all about rebooting and taking stock of your life, reconnecting with yourself, and finding clarity. I don’t feel like I have even paused to think about how much I might need that. I have been so busy thinking about what other people need.

Maybe this retreat for me, beyond my actual work there, is going to be uncovering unmet needs. I talked in the previous episode about some reoccurring bad dreams I have had and how the dream theme seemed to indicate that I might be neglecting parts of myself. I love that the theme of this is about introspection, decompression, realigning, and creating these special memories.

I am also not someone that goes on a lot of vacations. I have trouble stepping away from my work and having six days of a likely, very calm, and unplanned time is going to feel special. I hope that I savor it deeply and that I don’t rush through it. Sometimes you can get caught up in the hustle of a vacation. A retreat can give you a different experience than just going to a hotel.

For me, the closest vacations I’ve taken in years have been road trips. They don’t feel like vacations because I’m constantly going. I sleep to recover, and then I’m up, do some activity, and then I’m back on the road and driving to somewhere else. I ended up needing time to unwind from something that was supposed to be personal time away from work. I hope that I do this. I’m part of this target demographic of somebody who’s driven and caught up in work and could use the time away from that to have some joy, tranquility, restorative experiences realigned with myself, and those therapeutic benefits of being by the ocean.

Even though I live in Los Angeles, I rarely go to the ocean. I won’t have an excuse because it’s close to this retreat center. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Stay tuned. That’s coming up next episode unless something changes but it will be coming up very soon. If my schedule gets thrown, I might do something else next episode. Also coming up for you are some amazing guests. I say this so frequently but I love them.

Speaking of which, I’m about to have an episode with some guests. That came out in the last episodes for you. If you haven’t read the last episode, funny enough, I’m about to have that one now. I’m going to decompress from this episode, gear myself up, and then I have to get ready for my trip so I can leave early. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. I will be back again. Until then, I’m wishing you all the very best. I’m hoping that you are creating some space in your life, whether now or in the future, to disconnect and reconnect with yourself too.

 

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