In early May I made my way to Bali for travel with The Runaway Experience for their Wellness Series. I was looking for my “Eat, Pray, Love” experience because I realized I needed time for peace, clarity, and self-care. I spent 8 days in Northern Bali on a family owned retreat property with a group of beautiful women who were all looking for some R&R. The days were filled with yoga, good eats, lots of talks, laughter, and random dance parties. I enjoyed every moment of it.
The Runaway Experience is comprised of a couple, Kalisa and Jeff, who came up with the grand idea to create curated travel experiences in which the participant’s only job is to pack their bags. The trip had an itinerary for each day and transportation (besides the flight), food, activities, lodging, and non-alcoholic drinks were included in the price. From start to finish, Jeff and Kalisa were available to answer any questions and ease concerns about the trip. What sets them apart is the time they take to build rapport with participants and that they have personally experienced every detail of the trip prior to rolling out the trip.
Let me give you the rundown. Each day began with my roommates and I watching the sunrise, followed by Yoga with Koya Webb, meals, and 1-2 scheduled activities. The activities included yoga in a buddhist temple, hiking the land to a major waterfall, visiting the local market, learning Balinese dances from local youth, and a visit to the holy springs and hot springs. The best part about Bali is the exchange rate. Many of us were able to get massages everyday for less than $20. I also bought some cute sarongs, bracelets, bags, and a harem jumpsuit from the local market which I definitely got for a steal. There's a little girl out there named Dora who is destined for a career in marketing because she swindled me out of a few dollars. lol.
The yoga was awesome! I had done yoga before and found it to be healing and helpful at releasing tension and stress. But this yoga experience was different. Koya taught me that yoga is a practice, my practice, and I don’t have to be an expert to do it. She empowered us to listen to our bodies, breathe through the discomfort, take rests when needed but focus on building our resilience and getting what we needed from the practice. Every day we spoke words of intention and ended the practice by gathering in a circle followed by a hug. The hugs are important because I am not a hugger. I give great hugs but I don’t receive them well. But I actually wanted to receive the hugs! Lol. They gave me an added sense of power, strength, and support that I needed to receive at the time.
Before I went to Bali, I had jokingly said I wanted to do a headstand which I semi-attained (it was a shoulder stand) at the end of the week!! It was amazing. Koya’s teaching style reminded me that life is what you make it and by pushing past our perceived limits and trusting ourselves (with a little bit of support, when needed), we can accomplish anything! I’ve been doing yoga 3-4 days/week since my return.
This experience definitely re-ignited my passion for travel, which had been instilled in me by the many trips nationally and abroad my Mother made sure to send me on. I began planning my next steps and attempted to persuade Jeff and Kalisa to make these countries their next travel destinations so I could duplicate this awesome experience. They reminded me to savor life experiences because having a dope life depends on me *points to self*.
My favorite part about this experience was the connection I made with Jeff, Kalisa, and the other ladies. I went as a solo traveler but left with new friends, some dope freaking pictures, new playlists (thanks Jeff!), and an experience I will never forget.
There are so many more stories and lessons I learned on this trip but they cannot all be put into words. So I’ll just drop those dope pictures I mentioned above and encourage you to check out The Runaway Experience at www.runawayexperience.com and subscribe or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
If you could leave a comment below so we chat some more about this experience or similar experiences you've had, that would be great!
Photos courtesy of my iPhone, @runawayexperience, and @alexbaengueava