The buzzword “revenge travel” was born to describe the idea of making up for lost travel time (during the C-19) with bucket list-worthy trips. Sure, that could mean splurging on a lavish Greek vacation or finally visiting Machu Picchu. But what about trying a retreat?
Rather than a regular vacation, a unique retreat could ramp up the meaningfulness of your next adventure, whether by yourself or with others.
Why Choose a Unique Retreat Over a Regular Vacation?
“When we travel, our usual habits and customs are stripped back and highlighted as just one way of moving through life. This leads to a natural openness and willingness to experiment with new practices and approaches that can be hugely beneficial to a journey of personal growth,” says Jo Thornhill, founder, CEO and life coach at Yoga Explorers, a company that hosts yoga retreats in various destinations across the globe.
“Retreats can serve as a great way to break patterns in your life that are not contributing to well-being. So if someone is looking to create change in their life, I would encourage them to consider a retreat,” adds Dr. Erica Matluck ND, NP, and creator of Seven Senses, a holistic travel experience that blends the mind, the body, heart and spirit.
Still on the fence about the idea of blending personal growth with traveling? Here’s why you should consider swapping your beach vacay with a retreat.
1. Self-Care and Stress Relief
“More than ever post-pandemic we have realized the importance of self-care, both in terms of looking after our physical and mental health and honing our ability to inhabit and appreciate the moment,” says Thornhill.
If two years of lockdowns and anxiety have you craving serious TLC, a retreat can help re-energize you in a way that going on vacation can’t. A good read and a mojito in hand can help relax you, but retreats directly address the source of your stress and equip you with the tools to manage it long-term.
For example, a fitness retreat can encourage you to get back into shape. A meditation retreat can get you into practicing mindfulness on a daily basis. It’s a great way to kick-start habits that will keep on giving long after your tan is gone.
2. Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
Growth happens outside of your comfort zone. And a lot of the retreats available out there, which cater to all sorts of goals and tastes, build on this principle.
“Being in a new place and having an unfamiliar sensory experience is a great opportunity to create something new,” according to Matluck. “In addition, different lands, elements and types of topography can have a unique impact on consciousness and the healing process so the location in which you do personal work can offer an added benefit to your therapeutic process. For this reason, we offer retreats in multiple locations at different times of year to honor and leverage the impact of the local environment.”
If you want to get out of your comfort zone on a whole other level, travel solo. If you want to dip your toes into new waters, bring a friend. Either way, a retreat can provide a structured and safe way to get uncomfortable in ways that a regular vacation can’t.
3. Changing Your Life
Some retreats cater to people looking to explore their spirituality. Others are focused on life coaching and facilitating transformations in your career or relationships. Some are all about nurturing your physical body. And you can also find experiences that blend multiple areas of transformation, such as Salty Souls, which combines female empowerment, surfing and yoga.
Whatever area of your life you’re looking to transform, going on a retreat can support you. And it can sometimes support you the most when you’re not quite sure what you are looking for but know you need a change.
“Our retreats are holistic so the transformation that occurs permeates the physical body, thought patterns of the mind, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. For most people this means freedom from old patterns that are resulting in undesirable life circumstances,” shares Matluck. “For some people, this means a new relationship with their physical health. For others, it means transcending limiting beliefs about what they’re capable of. For some, this means a breakthrough in their career or relationships.”
4. Community and Connection
One of the best parts of going on a retreat is meeting people you wouldn’t have met otherwise, in a setting that fosters a sense of community and connection.
“On a Yoga Explorers trip you’ll find the perfect balance of wellbeing and growth, with laughter and relaxation. We source the very best destinations and match them with world-class teachers and excellent hosts. Our retreats are a joy-filled combination of holiday and retreat where like-minded clients become friends for life,” says Thornhill.
A look at the client testimonials of Yoga Explorers reveals a common thread: the people. “I went for the yoga but came away with so much more. Wonderful like-minded people brought together in magical places,” wrote client Yvette Costi.
So if you’re craving connection and community, a retreat is a surefire way to get a big dose of both.