Overseas spiritual retreats are the bomb for me! I love to travel and see new parts of the world, I love learning about spirituality and I love not having to work, so these babies tick every box. I’ve been to Bali for a yoga retreat, Peru for an Amazonian retreat, Chile for a shamanism course, India for meditation lessons and Cuba (of all places), for tai chi.
On the list of things to do are a silence retreat in Sedona, an animal communication course with the Assisi Animal Institute in California, more courses with The Four Winds Society in Joshua Tree and a plant medicine course in the Sacred Valley of Pisac. This list will no doubt be continually added to as time goes by too.
I think spiritual retreats in exotic locations are a great idea for everyone. Here are my top seven reasons why:
1. Your problems are another world away
When you can’t check your work emails, receive bills or take phone calls from people who generally shit you because they are in a different time zone, you can just focus on you. That’s when you really get to recharge and remember all the wonderful things you have in your life to be grateful for. It’s also when you can think about what it is that will make you happy in the future so that you can start making steps towards that.
2. Culture change is great for the soul
Getting away from the mundane daily grind does wonders for you. New sounds, new foods, new fashions, new ideas….. it’s all good. It’s the stuff that wakes you up and reminds you how great it is to be alive.
3. Authentic traditions
If you go straight to the source of where a spiritual tradition comes from to learn about it, you will get the authentic experience. It’s not some westernised, watered down version. You’ll likely be learning from people who have generations’ worth of know-how and practice. In other words, you’ll likely be learning from the best.
4. The people you meet
Unlike doing one of these types of things at home, you will meet people from all over the world who can share their knowledge and experience from wherever they come from. These people will also be like minded to you which means you can develop network of people from different countries with whom you can converse with on topics that interest you.
5. It’s a healthy holiday
I don’t know about you, but if I’m not doing a retreat or a course on a holiday, I am usually eating a whole lotta crap. On retreats, they usually make an effort to provide really healthy food, packed full on nutrients. You do your body a favour by eating it. Just this aspect of the retreat alone makes you feel great.
6. They are cheaper than you think
Most spiritual courses and retreats are fully inclusive of food and accommodation so you don’t need to allow for daily expenses. In addition, many highly spiritual countries such as Nepal and Peru are developing countries, so things are cheaper if you get some time off to go exploring.
7. You support the local economy
If you go to a developing country for a retreat, you will be helping people in need. Whether the people there are employed by the retreat centre itself or you buy goods from them in the villages, you are supporting them. The best part is that these types of places often have the most unique and beautiful handmade items, so buying them won’t be a chore.
Have you been on any overseas retreats that you would recommend?