TOP 3 PLACES TO TRAVEL TO
Hello everyone! Jenn here. I am the event planner, logistics coordinator extraordinaire, and co-founder of Integrative Wellness Retreat. Over the years, my job as an event planner has taken me to some pretty incredible places around the world. I feel especially fortunate to be able to travel to amazing places and share my passion for detail with some pretty amazing clients. This past year was filled with a lot of travel, some for work and some for play. The nature of my work has me jet-setting often. Packing light is a priority and checking out local restaurants and off-the-beaten path hideaways is always on the top of my list.
Amanda and I are all about this idea of adding pages to our "Soulful Travel Diary" and sharing our soulful travel adventures through this blog. We especially look forward to any travel that ties in our love for food, movement, and lifestyle. No matter where I go, I always try to experience as much of the local culture as possible. I recently reflected on 2014 and wrote down the top 3 most memorable places I traveled to. Consider this guide our 2015 edition. I can't wait to see what this upcoming year has in store for us travel-wise. Getting leads on what to do in a new place is the BEST, so below I share my favorite things I did in each city, what to pack, and a few soulful traveler's tips to consider when you go. Enjoy!
No. 1 |Tulum, Mexico|
The magic in the air is palpable, from the turquoise waters, to the ruins jutting up out of the sand, it’s the perfect place to turn off all of the electronics and listen to the natural rhythms of the earth. My fiancé (Anthony) and I both travel for work, and thus spend a lot of time apart. I cherish the times that we get to spend together (especially in paradise).
- Favorite thing to do in Tulum| Sitting at Papaya Playa (the eco-resort home to our 2015 Ayurveda, Alignment, + Yoga Retreat!) overlooking the water, listening to the waves, and drinking fresh coconut water with Anthony. Also, a morning yoga practice on the beach pondering life to the sunrise.
- What to pack to Tulum| You don’t need to pack much, but make sure you bring a couple of light weight pants and long sleeve shirts. The tropical climate means 75-85 degree F temperatures all year round, but it also means an occasional mosquito bite. A wide brimmed hat is also helpful as the sun rays can get pretty intense in the afternoon.
- Traveler tip while in Tulum| TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE! Grab a bike, ride along the beach and over to the ruins! The scenery is amazing and you can stop for a coconut on the way! Papaya Playa also has an in house shaman named Gaby that does body work and energy work. I am excited that she'll be leading a temazcal meditation for us at our upcoming retreat February 2015. If you're down there, she's definitely someone you want to connect with if you're looking for some more unique body work that's not your everyday deep tissue massage!
No. 2| New Zealand|
Pacific Islander culture has always been incredibly interesting to me - the art, the food, the dance, it all tells a story.
- Favorite thing to do in New Zealand| Rotorua - one of the largest geothermal areas in the southern hemisphere, there are bubbly geysers, mud pools and hot water springs. The colors that the different minerals make in the water is beautiful and mesmerizing. There are local villages that cook their food and clean their clothes in the water from the springs. Getting in tune with the land and what it can provide is both inspiring and delicious! The corn on the cob they boil in the springs is amazing!
- What to pack to New Zealand| The seasons in New Zealand are opposite those in the US, so pack appropriately. If you plan on going down south, make sure to bring snow boots and jackets to explore the fjords.
- Traveler's tip while in New Zealand| Let caution go to the wind! Throw out your itinerary and follow the open road, there are incredible little towns at every turn filled with B&B’s, cafes and friendly locals ready to welcome you. The countryside is filled with rolling green hills and more sheep than people… and driving on the left is an experience not to be missed!
No. 3| Aspen, Colorado|
I've always loved Aspen. This year, I had the pleasure of traveling to Colorado more times than I can even remember, but what I do know is that I always look forward to spending time in this charming little city...it is definitely a favorite!
- Favorite thing to do in Aspen| Hands down the Gondola ride to the top of Aspen Mountain. Peaceful, beautiful and full of anticipation for the exciting ride down on the slopes!
- What to pack to Aspen| A water bottle! The City of Aspen sits just under 8,000 feet above sea level so drink tons of water before you go and while you’re there to help your body get used to the lower concentration of oxygen in the air.
- Traveler's tip while in Aspen| Breakfast at Peach’s Café for a green juice, almond milk and almond smoothie. Catch a yoga class at King Yoga in the afternoon. Founder Aaron King (@kingyoga) is an amazing teacher that fuses killer music with movement. For dinner go for a hike or cross country ski (depending upon the season) to Pine Creek Cookhouse. The view and experience getting there and back is almost better than the meal itself.
Want to know the Top 3 things I always pack, no matter where I go? Each of us on the IWR crew chose our top 3 soulful travel essentials, check 'em out!