Regardless of how much one loves the life they’ve built for themselves, it’s only natural to feel an occasional pull to just get away from it all. Whether run down, burnt out, or plain bored, retreating can be just what you need to prompt a reset.
If joining a formally organized retreat isn’t for you, why not plan your own? With some reflection and planning, organizing your own retreat can be extremely satisfying. Here are some things to consider:
What are your goals?
First and most important, what are you hoping to get out of your retreat? If life has felt static and uninspiring, some adventure may be in order and the location you choose for your trip needs to allow for that! Whereas those who are experiencing burnout and fatigue may find that disconnecting from their devices at a silent spa for a few days more fits the bill.
If you’re in need of excitement or a shift of perspective:
- Consider traveling to a city or country you have never been, preferably with cultural or language differences to challenge your way of thinking.
- Choose a goal for yourself while away, such as hiking a certain distance, learning salsa, or attending a different art event every evening.
- Try going alone! This is outside of the comfort zone for many, but traveling alone introduces you to new people and experiences that you don’t necessarily get when you’re with a partner or friend.
If you’re hoping for spiritual realignment:
- Research local ceremonies or spiritual practices. Is there anything that speaks to you and that you’d be willing to try?
- Consider the mind-body connection. Look for yoga or meditation classes that encourage participants to go inward.
- Bring great reading material and a journal for reflection, and commit to using both every single day.
If you’re focused on health:
- Choose a location where you can either access the outdoors or attend fitness classes to get in that daily sweat.
- Look for accommodations near a spa or holistic center and consider pre-booking a number of treatments in advance.
- Think about the food options and what you know about your own weaknesses when it comes to eating habits. For example, planning your retreat in a city like New York could lend itself to indulging in late night cocktails, pizza, and hot dogs. Whereas booking a quiet spa/hotel in Scottsdale with reduced late night options may encourage healthier eating.
What is your budget?
With careful research and creativity, even the smallest of budgets can support a retreat. If funds are tight, consider a weekend away and stay closer to home to reduce the costs of travel. Choose accommodations where you can purchase groceries and cook for yourself. Create a daily schedule of activities based on your goals - wake-up times, physical activities, reflective ones too. Be your own retreat planner and develop a calendar to ensure you get what you’re hoping to out of just a few days. You don’t need fancy, you just need the right mindset!
If money is no object, take a pause and reflect on what is most important to you and what is in alignment with the purpose of your retreat. For example, spiritual realignment need not be materialistic, but when overworked and fatigued, booking a high-end hotel room and upgrading to the quiet side of the building will increase the likelihood of catching up on your rest.
Local or abroad?
Choosing whether to travel locally or abroad will be impacted both by the purpose of your retreat and budget, but there are some additional factors to consider. For example, if you stay local, are you as likely to disconnect from the “real world” and fully immerse yourself in your retreat experience? But if traveling abroad you’ll also need to account for things like documentation, health or travel insurance and VISAs possibly being needed for entry. When air travel is involved, transfers, jet lag, and time changes are the reality. Although more complex, retreating abroad could be absolutely worth it to experience a new culture and dust off the “everyday blues”!
At Loba, we’re big fans of the retreat concept. It’s incredibly important that we each take the time to create new habits, experiences, and rituals that serve our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
If you’re feeling the need to get away from it all, we hope these questions for reflection and tips for planning your own retreat have been helpful!