Retreats are intentional travel experiences typically designed to support rejuvenation, personal development and spiritual, emotional and mental healing. They can be centered on specific activities like fitness or yoga, meditation, nutrition and creative or spiritual practice, and they are usually hosted at private retreat centers in beautifully natural locations. Regardless of the setting and content, retreat travel experiences are often life-changing and will most certainly impact the way you look at self-care.
For beginner and expert writers alike, a private retreat with a writing-specific curriculum can be an impactful way to reinvigorate your writing practice. Writers retreats are typically designed to host intimate groups in beautiful settings with time spent gaining instruction during writing workshops and plenty of solo time to get into the flow. Check out Wild Awakenings with Cheryl Strayed and Roda Ahmed at Art of Living Retreat Center, and the Iceland Writers Retreat.
Yoga + Ayurveda
For over five decades, Kripalu has been a leader in yoga and mindfulness education. Located on 100 pristine acres in the stunning Berkshire Mountains, Kripalu is the largest yoga retreat center in North America. Kripalu offers an array of different types of retreat experiences, from self-guided R&R Retreats to Ayurvedic courses and yoga certification programs. Kripalu attracts some of the world’s most respected leaders in yoga and natural healing, including Seane Corn, Rolf Gates, and Gabby Bernstein.
Meditation retreats offer participants a chance to rest, restore and learn the skills of meditation and contemplation. While the benefits of meditation cannot be overlooked, the barriers to regular practice are very real. Enter a meditation retreat: a dedicated segment of time to focus solely on learning how to establish and maintain a consistent meditation practice. Book a residential or daylong retreat at Spirit Rock, with programs centered on the teachings of the Buddha, Insight Meditation and loving-kindness (metta) meditation.
A visit to award-winning Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Southern California offers guests a luxurious stay on a stunning 450-acre property. With a variety of programs to choose from, including fitness, nutrition, culinary, spa and wellness and medical, there is truly something for everyone. The gorgeous setting, combined with farm-to-table meals and a staff that caters to the guest’s every need, creates a one-of-a-kind retreat experience. Three-, four- and seven-night stays include luxe accommodations, all meals, spa treatments, fitness classes and more.
Believe it or not, there are retreats for people who want to learn how to naturally ferment foods and bake sourdough bread. After all, the best way to pick up a new skill is to be immersed in a workshop with real-time access to an expert. Bread lovers should definitely check out Tara Jensen’s Sourdough Summer Camp at Pine Mountain in the eastern Kentucky Appalachian Mountains. Austin Durant’s Fermentation Intensive Retreat, in San Diego, CA, teaches participants how to ferment vegetables, miso, kefir and more.
Art + Creativity
For travelers looking to supercharge their creative practice (read: everyone), a creativity-based retreat is the answer. Art-focused retreat groups head to beautiful and unique locales and enjoy a variety of activities including painting, printmaking, food demos and more. These retreats are a rejuvenating way to network and grow skill sets as well as boost inspiration. Artists Kelly Rae Roberts and Lotta Jansdotter both offer a variety of themed retreats at a rotating roster of destinations.
For those in recovery from addiction, the idea of travel can be daunting. Sober retreats offer an organized support system to ensure folks in recovery have exactly what they need to stay sober while enjoying new experiences. The Yoga, Meditation, and Addiction Recovery Conference is an excellent opportunity to step away for some R&R and to find connection and balance. For women in recovery, She Recovers offers unique retreats based in Mexico, Sedona and Salt Spring Island.
When retreat travel comes to mind, those on a budget tend to tune out. However, as wellness travel becomes more common, prices become more accessible. Indulge in hiking, biking, yoga and a mineral soak at Ojo Caliente in New Mexico if you want to stay stateside. If you’re feeling more adventurous, head to Costa Rica where both Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort and Borinquen Mountain Resort offer affordable, eco-luxe retreat accommodations and programming at a moderate price.
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