We were recently joined by 11 gourgeous ladies from Australia, New Zealand, and US in Byron Bay for 5 days of beautiful sunshine, surfing, SUP, ocean kayaking with dolphins and of course lots of delicious food and laughter. Shannon from Virginia, USA talks to us about her time on retreat, why she feels it's so imporant to take time out and why she would recommend travelling solo to others.
What brought you to Byron Bay?
I had a really difficult and stressful last year and decided it was take to give back to myself. I wanted to take some time off work so booked a month's holiday visiting Hawaii and Australia with the purpose to simple relax and have fun. Whilst looking at things to do in Australia I came across Escape Haven Retreats in Byron Bay and thought this would be a great opportunity to completely relax and rejuvinate inbetween visiting my Australian family and continuing my trip to Northern Queensland.
How do you feel after taking a break to focus on your well-being?
Like another person! I'm compltely relaxed and revived. I feel it's really important to stop and take time out so I'm quite strict on doing this for myself each year as I notice a huge difference within myself. Escape Haven is a perfect opportunity to enjoy that downtime but in an active way, whilst trying something new, touching into your adventurous side, centering yourself and at the same time finding those important moments of zen.
How have you found travelling solo and would you recommend it?
Besides from the regular work trips, I've never travelled on my own extended trip like this before. It was definately putting me out of my comfort zone but I had the most incredible trip and I'm so glad I did it. I feel Escape Haven retreats is perfect for groups of friends and solo travellers alike. There was a complete mix on retreat but worked perfectly as we ate and did our activities together, and I loved meeting other like-minded women. The staff were unbelievably helpful too. I would definately recommend it!
What was the highlight of your Escape Haven Byron Bay retreat?
More than anything, I loved trying new activities I've never done before. I went surfing for the first time and ocean kayaking which was amazing! I love yoga and practice back in the States so it was great to keep that going whilst on holiday. I especially loved doing the yoga classes outdoors in the rainforest rather than in a studio where all you can hear is the sound of the crashing waves – so peaceful. I did a more serious yoga detox retreat for a month preivously, but loved how this retreat focused on simply having fun. (And the food was plentiful!) Plus, the resort itself exceed all my expectations. I was expecting it to be nice but not quite as luxurious as it has been – it's been bliss.
If you could describe your Escape Haven experience in 3 words what would they be?
Amazing – Adventurous – Relaxing!
Would you visit us again?
In a heartbeat. I'd love to come back to Byron or even another Escape Haven retreat in the world. I'll have to make some time and put it on the wish-list!