In NOLA, you can find some delicious places that have healthy options for that detox after the carnival season has ended. Here’s 7 places to eat healthy in New Orleans - a guide to eating well in our favorite city, New Orleans.Read More
by Oui We Contributor Sam Spahr
We have finally passed through the end of January, into month two of the year, however it’s not too late to take advantage of the New Year. In my opinion, it’s always a good time to start a different routine or to jolt “your” new year again (time is arbitrary and man-made my friends!)
Feel like maybe you’ve already hit a rut in 2018 or can’t seem to ditch the stress you wanted to? Then sis, a wellness retreat could be on your next horizon. These rejuvenating getaways have been shapeshifting in recent years - to the point where you can find one to fit almost any aspect of your needs. Whether you’re game for an intense meditative experience or really need some pampering and digital detox, there is a retreat waiting for you. Two nights in the mountains, two weeks in the jungle, even a DIY a worry-free weekend with your ladies, the options are abundant. Dipping your toe into the wellness spring can be a little intimidating but there’s no need to be a yogi or total guru to tap into your self-care.
So what’s right for you?
Who hasn’t uttered “new year, new me” at least once (if even ironically). We instinctively know the best place to start is form the inside out - not just spiritually, but with our food and physical practices.
Sunrise Springs Spa Resort in Santa Fe, New Mexico reads like the most relaxing summer-camp-for-adults to exist. They boast several all-inclusive packages as well as à la carte options to completely customize your time there. Not to mention nearly perfect weather year round means you can be surrounded in the beautiful glow of the southwestern landscape (squeal)!
A unique feature of this Santa Fe paradise is the culinary experience. With so many of us experiencing an enlightenment toward how we nourish our bodies, Sunset Springs boasts there own farm and opportunities to deepen your knowledge about food in every sense - think culinary classes, menu planning, sourcing your food, and social dinners.
Even more, their Sunrise Glow Cleanse package offers a deeply personal detoxifying retreat. With the help of a nutritionist and focused sessions, you’ll be guided toward your total health goals - mind, body, and spirit. You may also find yourself attracted to their art activities, hiking, or meditative spaces, but don’t skip over Puppy Play - yes, it’s what you think it is, excuse me, I’m still swooning…
This is it - me time. I set my space, settle down to meditate, and 45 seconds later I am mentally compiling my next to-do list or wondering if my fan has always been that loud. You too? Stay with me.
Shambhala Mountain Center of Red Feather Lakes, CO was made for people like us. We have the best intentions! I know! Luckily this mountain nestled retreat understands offering weekends workshops like Learn to Mediate or The Art of Being Human and longer immersive experiences for those who so desire. Shambhala seeks to help you look inward and truly supports your internal healing and growth.
They have tapped the healing art of Qi Gong to help their visitors do just this. Qi Gong is gentle movement based meditation (yay! fellow wigglers unite!) It’s rooted in Chinese medicine and allows those who practice to reach a greater sense of self awareness as they connect to the meaning of Qi Gong, “life energy.” A series of coordinated poses, deep breathing, and intentional focus will move you toward true holistic balance.
And sometimes the calendar year shifts and nothing has changed. Be honest, I’ve done it - or more accurately I have done nothing to change my situation. It’s okay. Repeat. It is okay…
Force yourself to slow down. Take yourself out of your environment in every way. Come away to the jungle; you just need some R+R. The Haramara Retreat in Sayulita, Mexico provides the ultimate unplugged experience for anyone looking to completely disconnect from the norm and reconnect with the world. Electricity is found in the restaurant and yoga studios only, and yes cell service is limited, but take one look at the lush jungle around you, and I promise your digital woes will quickly be a thing of the past. Imagine waking up under a thatched roof open-air room with vibrant green views at almost every turn. Once you find the will to leave this dreamy space, you’ll find an spa menu to quench your relaxation needs. The spa is proud to source their products as locally and sustainably as possible using many traditional and botanical techniques from head to toe.
Let’s not forget, Haramara is in Mexico, and what’s Mexico without a gorgeous beach. The resort provides a private beach for its visitors as well as a stunning infinity pool to keep the relaxed vibes a-flowing. And when the time calls for a little adventure, Haramara provides chances to go whale watching, hiking, surfing, and so much more. Just be sure to work in a yoga class at one of their open-air studios before you head on home totally rejuvenated.
Cant getaway at the moment? No need. DIY an amazing Wellness Weekend for you and your gals with out having to check out of town. See my tips here.
Sam Spahr is an artist-educator who gets her kicks sharing the magic of the arts with kids and adults alike. She has a penchant for ancient artworks and helping others find the connections between now and then. When not inside a studio or bookshop, you can find her paddling out somewhere with her hubs and pup. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, but loves eating even more, especially in new cities and cultures.
The journey to the metaphysical mecca of Joshua Tree, deep in the Mojave desert is a spiritual one. There’s a connectedness and a solitary easeful feeling that arises passing through those gnarled trees that give this area its name.
To get prepared for any adventure I like to get the vibe going at home first. I have my own little bohemian traveler library and there's a full list in my book for every single chapter and destination. I've pulled a few favorites from the "Way Out West" chapter to get you in the desert head space!
Movies to watch: Stones For Ibarra (1988), Lo Sound Desert (2015), Bagdad Cafe (1987), Young Guns (1988), Tiger Eyes (Judy Blume), The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Books to read: Wind, Sand and Stars (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), Joshua Tree (Rudy Vanderlans), A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Rebecca Solnit), Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey), Complete Astrology: The Classic Guide to Modern Astrology (Alan Oken)
Bands to set the tone: U2, Queens of the Stone Age, Emmy Lou Harris, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Best Coast, Wavves, Eagles of Death Metal
Painters, writers, poets and musicians have been making the pilgrimage to Joshua Tree for decades. John Lennon famously recorded “Imagine” and Come Together” from The Joshua Tree Tapes here. There’s a love story to enlightenment transcending from these rare landscapes.
There’s a ghost of melancholy romance in the atmosphere.
Gram Parsons of the Byrds and the Rolling Stones, who died suddenly in room Number Eight at the Joshua Tree Inn, spent time there. He had a deep chemistry with Emmy Lou Harris - and while the two never quite solidified their love affair, the cosmic cowboy sound they created is reflective of the electricity between them. Outlaw artists of the early 70’s went for wide open spaces, psychedelic enlightenment, in an outpost surrounded by monumental rock formations, mojave yucca, juniper and sage.
What to pack for a trip to Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree girl hangs with friends channeling the proper 70s-era rocker. She dresses in glamorous maxi gowns or in leather, fringe and concert tees. In Joshua tree she blooms. She’s a delicate cactus flower, stylish by nature mixing high end designer finds with hand-me-downs vintage beauties from her grandmother’s closet.
Where to stay
There’s so many Airbnb options, from tree houses to homestead cabins each offering a unique experience and a shift in perspective. On my most recent visit we chose the Cozy Dezert Retreat - for less than about $100/night there's 2 bedrooms, an outdoor firepit, jacuzzi tub and scenic views abound.
Another (super instagrammable option) is the Dome in the Desert. An 80’s era geodesic dome, stocked with books on palm reading and fortune telling and all sorts of knick knacks you’ll want to find for your house back home. Light up the palo santo here and allow your inner creativity to be unhinged.
Can't Miss Joshua Tree:
FOR THE SPIRITUALIST: Schedule a visit to the Integratron for a chakra alignment and sound bath. The Integratron is an energy machine built on a geomagnetic vortex in Landers, California, twenty miles north of Joshua Tree. According to the creator, the wooden dome was built utilizing the design of Moses’s Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla, and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials. Mmmhm, not quite sure who ET contacted but interesting right?!
According to the website, “The structure is designed to be an electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel.” You’ll float out the door afterward.
FOR THE FASHIONISTA: Throughout Joshua Tree and the neighboring Yucca Valley are several boutiques and bohemian-chic vintage shops. Ricochet Vintage Wears (packed with groovy printed frocks), the End (curated by a Hollywood costume designer), Hoof & the Horn (full of Americana styles), Funky & Darn Near New (for leather, fringe, and cowboy boots), and Trailer Trash (stocked with handmade art, clothing, and music memorabilia) are all worth an afternoon of deep rack diving.
FOR THE MUSIC LOVER: Ease into Joshua Tree local life at the Joshua Tree Saloon for karaoke under a disco ball. Give the crowd your best Jagger and settle in for a night of cheap beer and deep conversations.
It's not a full trip without a visit to Pappy & Harriet's Pioneer Palace, so make sure to put it on your list. Standing on the site of an Old West Frontier Town movie set built by Hollywood investors including Gene Autry and Roy Rogers this place is a roadside dream. Known for its’ mesquite barbecue and mac and cheese Pappy & Harriet’s offers raucous good times and intimate music shows with bands like Best Coast, Vampire Weekend and the Pixies.
As you leave Joshua Tree, gaze up into the ethereal California sky, feel the heaviness of the air, and take off into the dreamscape, knowing you’ll never forget the out-of-body experience this whole trip has been.
I can't wait to see what you find on your own adventures. Be sure to tag #AWanderfulLife so we can all follow along together.
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Hi hi wanderlusters,
My last post on what I packed for 10 days in Paris was one that I created for a couple of reasons. First, as I was planning for my trip I truly had a bit of trouble finding a good list of things that would get me through 10 days in only a 10 kg carry-on. I needed a list for the type of girl I am: a free-spirited wanderer - someone who can spend weeks on the road or abroad and someone that wants to do that while traveling really light.
As I planned I found that there's lots of packing lists, however, as a girl that loves adventure and fashion equally the posts I found were of one variety or the other. It was either anoraks and boots for the rainy days and exploring places like the Catacombs or, on the other end the recommendations were high fashion - for a girl that might be traveling to Paris for Paris Fashion Week.
In my case I wasn't doing either, and the feedback from so many of you was that my list was super helpful to you. So, Yay!
This is for the Day Tripper
At your request I decided to create another packing post! This one is for those of you that head out with a friend for a day or two on a whim. You're the type that loves a quick trip to the mountains or a jaunt to a big city equally. So, here we go! Get the full report below.
Packing for a Day (or Two) Road Trip:
A few basic rules
1. Transitional Dressing
Be ahead of the game for swinging temperatures. When road tripping with friends you can go from "ughhh is the heat on full blast?" during long stretches in the car to "omg it's freezing in this cabin!" once you've arrived.
Choose clothing items that work no matter the season: slinky turtlenecks, basic jumpsuits, shirt dresses, denim boyfriend cut overalls, knee length shorts paired with opaque hose... you get the idea. The point is to limit the wardrobe going in your bag, to be comfortable in the car and to be prepared for a variety of temperatures and activities once you make it to your destination.
2. Maintain Your Health
When I returned from Paris this past week I got sick. And I am 100% kicking myself for it. At home I have a vitamin and juice ritual - I never miss a morning, however when traveling it's sometimes difficult to maintain my usual healthy lifestyle. For Paris I didn't consider that I'd be missing 10 days of my routine. My vitamins didn't make the trip and lots of cheese and chocolate replaced my normal juice regimen. No good!
On day trips my solution is an overnight vitamin kit and a new product from V8®. I particularly love the V8® Veggie Blends: Caribbean Greens, it's an easy, affordable way to get my daily intake of veggies, antioxidants, vitamins A, C & E - there's a full serving of veggies in each 8 oz. glass. I pick up my regular vitamins at Walmart and got the V8® there too.
3. Document The Trip
For shorter trips it's easy to leave your camera and journal behind. I, on the other hand do the opposite! I so often find that these shorter trips make for the best time to take photos, to make notes of the things I saw and did, to pick little road side flowers to press in my favorite book and those are the things that later remind me of the experience.
So with that, here's the packing list!
For 2 nights, pack 2 outfits that can be mixed and matched. If you're unsure of what you're evening plans might be include items that can be dressed up or down. Black leggings, a simple oversized tunic, ballet flats or simple sneakers. If you're planning to do yoga or go hiking your sleeping t-shirt can double as your workout top.
Healthy Snacks & Drinks:
Water (bring a canteen to refill), Nuts, Dried Fruit, Protein Bars, V8® Veggie Blends. Avoid getting hangry with your travel partners or having to stop for fast food by ensuring you have all your healthy travel supplies when you leave.
A Credit Card or two. Remember to alert your bank if you're even crossing state lines.
Cash. I've had crazy things happen - fraud on the only card I brought while traveling abroad, for example - and you'll be glad to have the cash while the bank sorts out things should something go wrong. Plus, it's always helpful to have it when you're traveling with friends to be able to pay for little things without involving cards.
Your camera, camera charger, phone, phone charger, back up battery pack (good for car rides when several people are trying to plug into the 1 car charger), headphones (headphones are useful when you’re in the car and need a little solo time, get lost in a favorite album, book or a podcast).
Worth mentioning for those of you that might be day tripping to a show, concert or event.
More useful things to pack for a day on the road:
Umbrella/Rain Gear: Of course this depends on where you're traveling to, however, should a thunderstorm break out or if the sun is beating down you'll be glad you have it.
Paper Maps: I've mentioned this several times in past posts, GPS signals can be spotty and after enough experiences of being routed down dirt roads, I bring a map when I pack for a day trip.
Oversize Scarves & a Traveling Jacket: If you'll be outside or perhaps going to a theater or venue with a pumping A/C system it'll be totally worth having both. I have several Turkish scarves that I wear that also double as blankets or towels too.
So, voila! That's my list for day trip travels. Of course, if I missed anything I'd love to hear from you guys.
Thanks for reading you guys!
I partnered on this post with V8® Veggie Blends.
This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #V8Mornings #CollectiveBias
*opening photo of me shot by Allister Ann day tripping through Montana