Last updated on May 11th, 2022
Rediscover and connect with yourself
From weekend photography retreats to multi-day tours and retreat places, we’ve curated some of our most recommended wellness experiences to help you rediscover your more connected, purposeful self this year. Wellness is not just eating healthy and exercise, it’s mindfulness, finding joy, slowing down, and sleeping well.
Breathe deeply as you imagine finding time for yourself in places like Tuscany, Spain, Mexico and California, with these JourneyWoman Verified retreats from our Women’s Travel Directory.
Lee Horbachewski is a photographer, mental health advocate and author based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Photography took Lee out of the depths of darkness in 2013 and taught her to see the light in the dark, by adjusting some settings. For almost a decade, Lee has been a spokesperson and advocate for Distress Centre Calgary by sharing her story of overcoming years of depression and anxiety.
“Photography provides an impactful metaphor for life – when there is darkness, adjust the settings and there is light,” Horbachewski says. She offers retreats in an intimate and small group setting staying at locally owned and run inns and lodges, treated guests to a weekend away that leaves women relaxed, rejuvenated and inspired.
Learn more: Women’s Photography Retreat
Author Laura Davis combines adventure, cultural exploration, writing and relaxation into her writing retreats. In June, Laura is hosting a 10-day retreat in sun-soaked Tuscany at a majestic 15th century vineyard and olive farm, just 45 minutes away from Florence. The author of The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story, the story of her loving yet tumultuous relationship with my mother, and six other non-fiction books, she has helped people find their voices, tell their stories, and hone their craft for more than 20 years.
“I love nothing more than a group of women far from home, free from the constraints and habits of daily life, discovering the wonders and mysteries of a new, vibrant world around them,” Davis says. “I love leading trips grounded in daily writing because honest storytelling and sharing bonds a group quickly, allowing women to form deep friendships that often last long after the trip is over.”
Learn more: The Writer’s Journey
For those feeling that their creative energy needs release, artist Amit Janco has designed a seven-day creative and wellness retreat in San Miguel, Mexico in March 2022. Trained as a lawyer, Janco is certified in Narrative Therapy, Usui Reiki (Level II) and Aromatherapy Basics (NAHA), and has a background in fine & graphic arts, energy healing, Iyengar yoga and traveling.
Each day includes painting, moving around and watching the magic and mysteries unfold, with San Miguel as the source of inspiration. There will also be time for writing, meditation and movement. “Art is the basis of human expression,” Janco says. “It’s at the core of your existence, so uncork and celebrate the fizz of your being!”
Learn more: Painting in San Miguel
In her early 30s, Shawna McKinley Robins was diagnosed with cancer, which changed the whole focus of her life and career. Today, she is a best-selling Amazon nuthor, National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach and the CEO of Kaia Health and Wellness. Robins’ The Rest & Reset Academy brings together adventurous, well-traveled women who want to improve their health so they can continue doing what they love. The Rest & Reset Academy’s primary focus is to teach women how to improve their sleep, because without deep, restorative rest, the body and mind will break down quickly into chronic illness and disease. This program also focuses on improving mind-body connection, brain health, heart health, gut health, weight loss and developing a growth mindset.
“We can take back control over our bodies and our lives,” Robins says. “We can feel more vibrant, have more energy and feel good inside in our bodies again. I became a board-certified health and wellness coach so I would be in the position to work alongside medical professionals. My goal was to figure out if it was possible to reroute people’s health trajectory, stop disease and medical conditions before they took hold.”
Learn more: Kaia Health and Wellness
5. Reconnect to Women at Women’s Travel Wisdom Retreat in California, October 2022
The vision of Doni Belau, Girls’ Guide to Paris, this five-day wellness and travel retreat draws on the wisdom of 13 best-selling authors, life coaches, activists, award-winning photographers, entrepreneurs and travel experts to help women reconnect to their purpose. Attendance is limited to 80 women at the 200-acre Mandala Springs Wellness Center from October 20-24, 2022, where guests can connect to nature, glamp, camp or stay with friends in RVs for a more authentic experience.
“As guests of the world, we must make meaningful contributions when we travel,” said Doni Belau, CEO and Founder, Girls’ Guide to Paris and Beyond. “This is a unique opportunity to join a circle of powerful, wise women, be inspired by their courageous stories and become healthier, stronger, and more purposeful travelers.”
Learn more: Women’s Travel Wisdom
6. The Ultimate Retreat, a Transformational holistic health fitness and wellness retreat located on Spain’s beautiful white coast
According to founder Julie Slade, the idea for the Ultimate Retreat was born 17 years ago when she was living in the UK, stressed to the max. Back then, she says, choices were limited to juice cleanses or military-style bootcamps. So, she designed what wasn’t available to her and opened the doors on the Ultimate Retreat Company in Alicante, Spain a decade ago.
“It needed to be the kind of place that was really supportive but not intrusive,” Slade says. It needed to be luxury. For me, the worst thing in the world would be going somewhere on your own – and the vast majority of our guests do travel solo – and having to share a room. I wanted to make sure everyone was super comfortable and that there was no difference in quality of accommodation.”
Learn more here: The Ultimate Retreat
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