Hey guys! In December I trekked all the way to Hawaii from England to attend my first ever Retreat and also to visit Hawaii for the first time! It was an incredible experience and I enjoyed every minute of it (except the long commute!). I want to share with you my experiences at the Retreat and exploring Hawaii – prepare yourselves it’s picture heavy because Hawaii is very picturesque! It reminded me alot of back home in New Zealand and made me realise how lucky I am to come from such a beautiful country.
I left a dreary London on boxing day and arrived to a mild evening in Hilo on the Big Island. I had no wifi and no idea who was picking me up or any way to contact them – probably should have sorted that out earlier huh? Luckily after waiting for a bit there was a guy wandering around looking like he was looking for people so I kinda looked at him and alas, it turned out to be Charles, one of the guys from the Retreat. We picked up another girl and jumped in the van that would be our second home for the Retreat and headed to The Aina. The retreat was a small group of 7, 7 girls and 1 guy. That night since it was relatively late we just went off to bed.
The next morning was when the fun started, Each day (bar 2) we started off with yoga and meditation, followed by a chilled out breakfast feast which usually consisted of us making EPIC smoothies, ice cream and smoothie bowls out of abundant fruits and superfoods – mostly produced by the island itself. I loved it! During the day we would snack on fruit and in the evening the boys cooked us a feast at The Aina or occasionally we went out for dinner which usually resulted in Thai. Everything we ate was vegan, everything was fresh, I didnt feel hungry, I didnt crave meat or sugar it was great! There is some super filling veges out there like taro and breadfruit. Each evening before we ate our meals we would join hands, close our eyes and speak individually about what we were grateful for that day, it was a really nice way to connect and pause and appreciate the food, the company, the day. We called it Gratifood. I would love to introduce this when I have a family one day
Right, back to the adventures, some days we would chill at The Aina, visit another farm and have a tour around all the different vege and fruit trees etc, other days we would go to a magical waterfall, walk through a lava cave and meditate within it, go to the beach and relax, swim, sunbathe, we visited a Kava bar, Booch bar, various markets, got our auras fluffed, and one of my favourite things was attending Ecstatic dance in Pahoa. It happens each Sunday I believe and its a gathering of anyone and anyone drug and alcohol free,. You take off your shoes, jump on the dance floor and dance, move anyway you wish. There was a DJ playing music and you could come and go as you please on the d-floor, you could wander down the end and sit and stretch or meditate or sit at the side and watch others move. It was so much fun! Just dancing the way my body felt like dancing with the music, truly letting the music move me, not caring if I looked silly or not, being surrounded by so many different people of all ages, races and sizes just doing there thing, I felt no judgement, I just relaxed and let the music take me away. It made me realise that I can go out sober and dance if I want to, I’m not afraid of that anymore. I love music and I love moving to music so I am definitely having more of that in my life!!
We had some epic chats getting to know eachother in the group and I cant tell you how wonderful it was to be surrounded by like minded individuals, by people who accepted you for who you are, no judgement, feeling comfortable to talk about anything and everything, no matter how personal – being vulnerable and knowing you are being truly listened to and loved. It was SO REFRESHING. I need more of that in my life. I realised I am most definitely on the right path, I will continue to follow my gut, my instinct and see where it leads. I have no idea what I’ll end up doing, who I’ll end up with, but I know if I keep following the path the speaks to me, that feels right then it will lead to where I am SUPPOSED to be. I noticed just how far I had come in my own personal and spiritual journey and that cemented the continuation of this journey for me.
I don’t want to write a novel but it was most definitely a positive start to 2016 and I know I will achieve alot this year and grow even more. There were a few things I thought could have been done better at the Retreat but theres no need to talk about those really is there – let’s keep things positive Check out a bunch of pictures below to give you an idea of what we got up to and what The Big Island is like! I will definitely be going back to Hawaii some day.
Massive Banyan tree
Girl shot on one of the many black sand beaches
Black sand beach – yes it was a nude beach lol
Breakfast – fresh coconut and an epic smoothie topped with cacao nibs
Cave meditating :)
Exiting the caves
One of our many epic dinner bowls
Look at all the fresh, healthy amazingness!
Plucked this giant avo and just started eating it – take me back!
Acai & banana icecream topped with peanut & cacao powder & shredded coconut
Trying our first Jackfruit
Kapoho tidal pools – a must see
Lava fields for days
One of the two mischievous cats on The Aina
Planting Kava trees on The Aina
Hilo represent on NYE
The gang with our Retreat leaders in front of Rainbow Falls
The bathrooms and cabins we stayed in on the Aina
Checking out Mauna Loa volcano – see the lava glow?
Gorgeous sunset surrounding Mauna Loa volcano
Waterfalls galore in Hawaii
Like I said waterfalls galore haha
A secret waterfall on The Aina
Doing some morning yoga and the cat thinks Im a nice place to sleep
Beautiful – no words needed
Have you ever been on a Retreat? Have you been to the Big Island? Tell me your experiences below xxx