Behind Travel and Flow
This summer I’m hosting my first travel/yoga Retreat.
I’m putting all I’ve got into this project and really want it to take off. I’ll share a lot of picturesque marketing. These images are real but they are just a fraction of the whole story. Exception: this post.
Social media is a world of ideals, just a sliver of a reality which is messy, which makes mistakes, which meets one struggle after another yet perseveres. Here’s how it really happens.
I got the idea to do a retreat a while ago. I suppose the interaction of two major passions in my life–physical/mental health & traveling– was always coming, but it was the summer before I moved to Spain when such a dream first emerged.
I talked with a friend, Arta, about doing one together but that fell through (our working together, not her Retreat- I attended Berat Yoga Retreat last year in Albania and it was lovely (info here). Truth is, I was bummed when ours didn’t happen but also aware that I wasn’t ready to go for it on my own. So I filed the idea until a later date.
Flash forward a couple of years. Years of experience visiting the “bucket list” European cities: Paris, London, Florence, Milan…then returning for a second time as one can while living in a Europe well connected by discount airlines. Visiting the same cities again encourages wandering. I grew to enjoy going next door to see something just off the standard path; the lesser know. The day trips and villages a car ride away offer a deeper dive into the intricacies of each place. This was gold!
Inspired by small towns in Spain, picturesque villages which scatter the countryside with history and small-town culture, I started to look at a new opportunity in rural tourism.
As friends and family came to visit and travel with me in Europe, I shared my knowledge about booking cheaper/more direct flights and finding memorable accommodations, meals and sights. I gained confidence in planning not only for myself but now others and with that the desire to lead a retreat came back to me.
The interest was peaked but I was still too nervous to act. Then I met Priscilla at a hostel in Budapest. She was fearlessly pursuing her own dream: https://www.greentreestravel.com and had such an authentic and solid approach that she motivated me to dare greatly and do this thing myself, my way.
Anticipating the amount of work and savvy needed for such things, I decided to pursue a business partner. When I pitched the idea to Tara (of Silly Little Kiwi blog– a fantastic person and thoughtful adventurer too– here’s a link to her site), she not only saw the vision but shared it and agreed to work with me. Her knowledge of social media and marketing along with extensive international travel experience, yoga teaching certification and an impeccable eye for design would seriously benefit the project.
We did work. We scoured the internet for just the right location and accommodations. We polled to find out more about our target customers’ wants and needs. We designed an itinerary and crunched the numbers then crunched again to make things work as efficiently as possible, got the graphics going, the business plan ready, and just when we were ready to post the website…
It was crushing to find out that visa timing would prevent us from pulling off this one as a team (welcome to expat reality). And so, when I was left to decide whether or not to go it alone…
I chose the path which scares me most. I’m doing this thing.
This may be a great success or a major failure. The odds feel 50-50. Either will mean growth. I’m grateful for the courage, for all of my incredible mentors, friends and sponsors who have contributed to this leap-of-faith moment.
My mom, who took me to yoga class with her when I was 16. Amy, who introduced me to Angie, who first saw a barre teacher in me. Jasmine, who pushed me to learn more and then more and then more again, always. My Rishikesh Yog Peeth yoga teacher training teachers (especially Roshan, Govind and Jeet) and classmates like Serene, Annaling, Depali and more– all of these connections made thanks to a recommendation by Christie. Experience at Montana studios thanks to Stephanie alongside Jordan and Joelle and Kathryn and other amazing teachers/students (Kylie, Dawn, Selena) who continue to influence me.
Basically I wouldn’t be halfway to ready without this major team and I will do my very best to make all of you proud.