How many times have you stared at your beach desktop wallpaper at work and wished you were sitting under those palm trees? Yet you let go of the idea of relaxation due to the many responsibilities that may keep you attached to your desk. Research conducted by the organization Project Time Off reported that 55 percent of American workers left vacation days unused in 2015. In the U.S. we have become accustomed to living constantly on the go. Busy seems to be the new cool and people somehow feel guilty or left behind if they take a break.
One, we must remember that we are human beings and not automatic machines. Two, let’s all let go of the notion that we must constantly stay busy. The success train will not leave you behind because you take a few days off to relax. A week of self-care can help raise your levels of focus, creativity, and inspire you in ways you probably did not even think about.
Escaping to Latin America is a great way to unwind. Here are five different options for a self-care trip in Latin America, whether that means a yoga retreat or a service trip. Self-care and feeling fulfilled looks a little different for all of us.
Root 2 Rise Yoga Retreat takes place every summer in the beautiful pacific coast of Costa Rica. During this week-long retreat you will stay in locations surrounded by the rainforests and the Pacific Ocean. Participants can relax with yoga taught by Root 2 Rise’s founder, Michelle Chua, or by taking a swim at the beach. For those more adventurous souls outdoor activities such as zip-lining, guided hikes to waterfalls, and a tour to the Manuel Antonio National Park are also scheduled. Additionally you get to learn about Costa Rican culture and history by immersing yourself into the culture with authentic Costa Rican meals, music, and dance.
Many people seek not only to travel for enjoyment but to travel with a purpose. This is where V2 Volunteer & Vacation come into play. V2 organizes volunteer oriented trips to the Caribbean and Latin America. Their vacation and volunteer model is highly focused on connecting with the local community. Participants stay in host family homes, learn about local heritage and culture, and volunteer with community projects. Examples of volunteer causes include community development volunteering in Jamaica and animal care and veterinary medicine in Trinidad & Tobago. If your heart is fulfilled by service causes a V2 trip may be the right fit for you.
Do you love to dance and wish you could travel to multiple countries to learn or improve your dancing skills? Now you can with Dance Adventures. This organization leads week-long trips to various countries around the world in which travelers attend dance classes as well as music and dance performances. Dancing and learning from locals is also highly encouraged. From learning Zouk in Brazil to Tango in Argentina dancing and making friends in a foreign country sounds like a perfect self-care trip!
The Garden of Peace is a healing center located in the Amazon jungle in Peru. This 10 day retreat allows you to learn and participate in shamanic diets and the use of indigenous plants including Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is an indigenous sacred plant that has been used in different parts of South America for healing purposes. According to The Garden of Peace website, “Ayahuasca and the master plants can assist with treating many conditions physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. We have had excellent sucess particularly with depression and anxiety, chronic fatigue, arthritis, parkinsons, trauma, grief, addictions, eating disorders and more.” All the ceremonies are guided by a traditional shaman. Participants are encouraged to take alone time to reflect, practice meditation and yoga, sleep, and rest during their time at the retreat center.
Women of Color Healing Retreat is a unique retreat catered towards black and brown women seeking to connect with themselves and with nature. The retreat takes place in the Caribbean community of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo is known for its rich Afro-Latino culture and beautiful Caribbean beaches. The retreat includes three daily yoga classes, silent guided meditation, inversion workshops, sauna sessions, and vegan meals. This retreat is the first of its kind and in my opinion a needed space for women of color who love the healing and self-love aspect of yoga.