I have been no stranger to travel this year, as my Instagram feed probably shows, and so I thought my wanderlusting would be over after our long weekend in Tulum. Spoiler alert: I was wrong! When Vibe Tribe Creative came knocking, I was packing my bags once again. This October, the tribe girls took me on an adventure in Nicaragua on their Dream Seek Retreat.
You may remember the Vibe Tribe girls from our Women We Love piece after they landed boss lady client Giuliana Rancic. Since then, they have continued to grow their business, including launching this first in a series of wellness-focused retreats towards self-discovery. For their first foray into retreat-hood, they partnered with yogi extraordinaire Mary Tilson for a yoga-lovers dream week.
But what about the less flexible ones of us in the group? Yes, even people like me who love yoga pants…but don’t have much experience with yoga class…I was still welcome! So, with that, girls from across the country packed their bags and boarded early morning flights to Aqua Wellness Resort in Nicaragua.
For those doing their first wellness retreat, I can say that Dream Seek Retreat is a great first step towards finding your way into the worlds of yoga, clean living and dream planning. Mary and the Tribe girls do a great job of catering to all levels of yoga fitness, retreat experience and adventurous spirit throughout the week. I tried to say “Yes!” to every experience, but even when I chickened out (hello surfing), they had plenty of other activity options so I never felt anything but included.
When I did succeed? Hi, cheerleaders! Mary christened me “Little Crow” thanks to my determination (and constant squealing) to nail Crow Pose in yoga class. Hilary cheered along the Chicago Cubs with all of the Windy City fans as our team advanced ever closer to our first World Series in 108 years. And Lindsey captured it all on film, making us all feel like super models even when we were dripping sweat after yoga class or wiping away tears during a particularly emotional team building lesson.
A group of ten women landed in Nicaragua as total (sleepy, hungry, cranky) strangers, and left six days later not just a little more sun kissed or with new yoga moves…but as friends and confidants and Instagram followers and support systems. Not to get all mushy (yuck, gross) but I would go on every future Dream Seek Retreat just to hang out with some cool, inspiring women I might never meet otherwise!
Interested in joining the next retreat? The location is still top secret, but it will take place in late spring or early summer of 2017 so be sure to follow along with Dream Seek Retreat to find out where I’ll be taking my next adventure!
In the meantime, for those looking to take any sort of wellness retreat or adventure vacation, I am breaking down my prep list for a stylish and comfortable time…
WELLNESS RETREAT PREP LIST
- COLORFUL WORK OUT GEAR: Yes, you could of course wear boring black and grey outfits, but why? Especially when you’re in the tropical jungles, beautiful beaches and other exciting locations that many wellness retreats take place in, you should stand out. Plus, it will help you feel cute after a nice sweaty yoga session
- BUG SPRAY: I feel that this is an obvious item on the list, but it is THAT important especially if you’re in a more tropical climate.
- A KILLER WATER BOTTLE: Don’t be that person in class with the lame YMCA squeezy water bottle from 2006. When I saw Gisele Bündchen carrying the gorgeous blue Sol Water bottle, I immediately started digging. Turns out, it’s pretty and charitable! SOL Water bottles donate 1% of proceeds to charities that support clean drinking water in 3rd world countries and impoverished societies around the world.
- SUNGLASSES: Not everyone has as many as me to choose from (I have a whole bookshelf to display my collection) but in a week where you will wear minimal makeup and be frolicking in the sun, stunner shades are a must. I wore the Mayas and Zions from Dharma Co. and they were slip and sweat proof even after hours of trying to perfect my crow pose.
- A JOURNAL: The lovely Tribe ladies provided us with journals at the start of the trip, and then we did a few journaling sessions throughout the week. As someone who is constantly typing on a computer, I forgot how nice it felt to actually write what I thought and felt. Get it out on paper.
- MORE COLOR: There were a few nights when I finally changed out of my yoga pants, and put on a comfy dress for happy hour or fireside chats on the beach. Given the nature of our trip, I packed a Songa Designs necklace to add some oomph to my outfit. It packs easily and lightly, plus they’re handcrafted by artisans in Rwanda using local eco-friendly materials.
- CAMERA: Whether it’s a simple as your phone camera, or as fancy as a DSLR, you’ll want to capture the moments of this trip. Maybe don’t try to do downward dog with camera in hand, but it’s also important to capture and remember who you were at the start and end of the trip. It might not be the same person.
- BUG SPRAY: Seriously. Can’t emphasize this enough. Sun screen is good too, but for love of god, bring the bug spray