There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Not sure if you heard but I decided to cancel my Egypt and Mexico trips this year and am only moving forward with Madagascar (pending their borders are open by July, praying they do), Morocco & My “Mystery Destination” (pending their borders are open – it is anticipated that they will be by this summer though).
I know that everything happens for a reason though and having a couple of GREAT local options to hold us over while we wait for things to settle again, helps soften the blow.
The first one option is my “Equines & Earth” day trip that I will be sharing about in this post and I am absolutely giddy about it, pun intended! Check out some of my others —> HERE.
Join us for a day of horseback riding through the forest!!! We will ride our horses for about 2 hours, then break at a beautiful lake where we will have time for a picnic lunch, relaxing, getting to know each other, experiencing a guided forest bathing walk, taking pictures & even swimming in the lake if you feel up to it! After, we will ride back to our point of origin again on horseback and call it a days. Saddle up! It’s going to be a great day!
The day will start between 7 & 8am and end about 4pm. Though you definitely don’t have to be an avid horseback rider to participate, the ride is moderate in activity level, – 2 hours each way, give or take some time – so be sure you are up for the adventure before you sign up!
Why I am excited about this trip?
Well . . .
1) I have been practicing Forest Bathing (Shinrin Yoku) for many years now, I have always enjoyed spending quiet time in nature, letting God speak to me in those moments when I take the time to slow down and REALLY listen. I find myself marveling at what He is capable of by acknowledging His breathtaking creation. Even Genesis teaches/reminds us that God thought all He made was good and I believe he delights when we acknowledge His awesome works. There is also so much wisdom to be realized by observing nature. So much faithfulness to be witnessed. Why should I be different that He would not be faithful to me too?
“On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.” Psalm 145:5
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” – Job 12: 7-10
I am delighted to share that I earned my Forest Therapy & Nature Mindfulness Certification last year and have really been looking forward to more opportunities to incorporate this holistic practice into my retreats/trips!
In a world where stress levels are through the roof and time outdoors is neglected, Forest Bathing (Shinrin Yoku) is a tool proven to reduce stress hormone production, improve feelings of happiness and free up creativity, as well as lower heart rate and blood pressure, boost the immune system and accelerate recovery from illness.
and reason number . . .
2) I absolutely LOVE horses and horseback riding!
A few benefits of Horseback riding:
- Improves mental well being
- Encourages trust
- Increases strength & builds muscle
- Creates time to relax
- Can increase socialization
- Develops core strength
- Develops problem solving skills
- Improves coordination
- Exercises the mind
All that being said, I would LOVE to invite you to join us for an AMAZING day trip, right here in California!
When: Saturday June 19th 2021
What is included?
🐎 Private experienced horse riding guide for the group
🐎 Horse & horse gear (saddle, stirrups, helmets, etc)
🐎 Forest bathing guided walk
🐎 A small gift from me!
🐎 Use of a pack mule for extra goodies you want to bring along. towel, hammock, small foldable beach chair, food, etc.
🐎 Free time at the lake for swimming, hiking, relaxing, eating, etc.
🐎 Trip organizer (ME! lol) so you don’t have to plan this trip, you just get to show up!
- Transportation to meeting point (about 2 hours from Merced)
- Lunch & water
- Accommodations if you decide you want to head over the night before
- Trip protection (highly recommend)
- Must be 12 years old to participate or have previous riding experience
- Please do not come if you are feeling sick AT ALL. This is where your trip protection will come in handy to protect your investment.
- After you sign up, I will send you an email with the meeting point, what to wear, what to bring, etc.
- Should you decide to head up the night before, let me know and I can tell you where I have booked my accommodations.
- I am happy to help you find trip protection if you’d like my help.
- Of course, I can not predict what the Covid situation or rules will be like in California in June BUT I am hopeful we will be on the road to our new “normal” by then. 😀 That being said, get the trip protection.
- Weight limit per horse is 250 pounds. This rule is per the stable company rules.
$370 / Per Person
- $70 non refundable deposit due immediately to reserve your spot
- Payment 1 of $150 due on or BEFORE March 15th 2021
- Payment 2 of $150 due on or BEFORE May 15th 2021
6 spaces available 5 spaces available 4 spaces available
3 spaces available
Email me to sign up!
Include “Equine & Earth” in the subject line of the email.
The flight into Rangiroa was stunning and unlike anything my companions had ever seen, of course I was also amazed because nature NEVER ceases to amaze me but I had seen similar views from the float plane when I visited Fiji, so though I WAS…
This will be an 9 part journal series (maybe more).
Check back every 2 weeks or so for new French Polynesia journal entries.
I can’t believe I am ACTUALLY going to French Polynesia. To be honest, I had kinda placed French Polynesia on my list of places I will likely die before visiting. There are many reasons it felt so out of reach, none of which I feel compelled to share here.
The fact that it is during a global pandemic seems even more wild to me. We had to jump through many hoops to get here. Including getting random Covid tests every week to see if any of them would be returned to us within the SUPER SHORT turnaround time window we had. Only to realize, none of the places in our area would work and we would have to drive 2 hours away, 2 days before our flight for the Covid test that was required to boarded the plane. Proof of a negative Covid test within 48 hours of our flight was required to board the plane. To be honest, I am thankful for the rule. It made me feel safer knowing that every person on the plane was Covid free.
We looked ridiculous on the plane. The face shields we wore were unbearable and made everything look like we were underwater. Truth be told, we took them off once we got onto the plane, we couldn’t handle how bad they made our vision.
Anyway, we were off and 8 hours away from a place that I KNEW would take the prize of the most epic mother daughter trip that Jolee and I had ever been on together so far. Our friends who joined us also made the experience so much richer, they were a true joy.
When we arrived, we landed in Papeete, the place where ALL flights into French Polynesia land first. We made our way through customs, where we were each given a Covid-19 self test that we were required to perform and submit to our hotel host on the morning of day 4, tucked those away safely into our backpacks and then finally connected with our hotel host who drove us to her small, clean property located on a hillside. To be honest, I didn’t invest too much into this accommodation choice because to me it was just a place to lay our heads for a night until we headed out to the place we really came for. I just needed it to be safe, clean and to have good reviews. This place met all of those expectations.
The next morning, we got dressed and made our way by foot to the Papeete market in search of breakfast and flower crowns. We made wrong turn and ended up seeing way more of the urban areas than we bargained for but we eventually made it to the market after I pulled out my map. Note to self, maybe start with a map next time. ha ha
The market was loaded with vendor after vendor of GORGEOUS flowers and a whole side street was dedicated to flower crown vendors. It was overwhelming trying to pick our crowns but we finally did and they were PERFECT! They smelled AMAZING the ENTIRE trip, no joke. They never lost their beautiful aroma.
Flower crowns on our heads, we were now ready to make our way back to our hotel and be taken to the domestic airport, where we would board our plane to make our way to Rangiroa. A place literally like a natural aquarium and named the most beautiful and the richest site in the world by Jacques Cousteau. PS – He was right!!!
I had 2 accommodations lined up for us on Rangiroa. One small, cute and inexpensive, beach front accommodation and one luxurious overwater bungalow resort. I mean, we couldn’t go all the way to French Polynesia, the birth place of the overwater bungalow and NOT stay in an overwater bungalow.
Head over to part 2 to read about what happens next and check out our first accommodations on Rangiroa!
Why is it important to reduce our carbon footprint? Where do I even begin? First, I will start with the fact that research shows that reducing greenhouse gas emissions could help prevent 300,000 – 700,000 premature deaths cause by air pollution by the year 2030.…
So I did it, I travelled during a global pandemic. I had a yoga retreat scheduled and I wasn’t going to miss it since I had willing participants and the borders to the DR (Dominican Republic) had recently opened back up. PLUS, we were told that we were going to be the FIRST group of guests on the property since covid, so that was very reassuring.
How did I do it? What happened?
Well, I first started by getting a covid test myself about 1 week before leaving on my trip (I have done 48-72 hours pre flight for all travels since this first one). I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to be the a*$hole that was unknowingly spreading covid around the world because “I didn’t even feel sick”. As we all know, MOST cases are asymptomatic and I’ll be darned if I am going to be the reason that someones loved one dies! I got my results, NEGATIVE. Sweet!
Step 2. I obtained allll the protective gear. N95 mask, lots of disposable gloves (I found some eco friendly gloves that made me feel waaaayyyy better about using gloves), a couple of surgical hair covers, and two full body clothing covers. I wanted to make sure I had two full sets, one for each way. I also ordered face shield but they didn’t arrive in time. It’s ok.
I left my house, with my hair all tucked away into the protective cover and as soon as we got to eh airport I got all geared up! I had lysol spray (travel size) and disinfectant wipes in bulk in my personal item and utilized my Global entry pass to avoid the large gathering of people. I sprayed and/or wiped anything my bags had to touch and replaced gloves as needed. I also made sure to arrive with a full belly and hydrated, to avoid having to remove my mask during the flight. I mean, it doesn’t really make sense to go through ALL of this, just to ultimately expose myself while on the flight.
Step 3. Once I arrived to my accommodations, I immediately removed my clothing and put them inside a waterproof bag that I would not open again until I arrived home and immediately threw them straight into the washing machine. I disinfected the exterior of my bags and then hopped into the shower. PHEW! I did my best! PS – They took all of our temperatures upon arrival and gave us each a sanitizing kit. We were ALL good.
While we were in the DR, we were required to wear masks anytime we were in public, with the exception of when we were at our secluded treehouse village which is spread out massively or at the beach/swimming, which had ZERO other people on it as far as the eye could see. Not kidding. In populated areas though, always a mask.
On the return flight I did the same thing, I geared up when I left the Treehouse village. Then when I arrived home, I sprayed the heck out of my bags with lysol and left them in the garage, I removed my clothes and put them in a trash bag, which I would deal with the next morning and headed straight for the shower.
I immediately went into quarantine upon arriving home. Now this is where the tricky and obnoxious part came into play. Since I wasn’t sure I hadn’t picked up covid while traveling and abroad, I had to make sure I was protecting my family. I LITERALLY wore my mask all day every day, EXCEPT when I ate or taught yoga via Zoom. However, when I did the 2 before mentioned things, I would go outside as to not expose my family to covid, should I have picked it up during my time away and not be presenting symptoms. It was hard and painful, my face under the mask was raw but I did what I felt was the right thing to do. I even wore it when I showered and only removed it to wash my face. This is where all of my free diving breath holding techniques and Wim Hof Method breath work came in healthy 😂 I am able to hold my breath for 2+ minutes so it was easy to hold my breath while I washed my face, then put my mask back on. Winning! Ha ha ha
Step 4. I waited the suggested 72 hours post exposure to “build a detectable viral load” then went to the doctor and got retested. I waited 3 more days and I finally got my results. NEGATIVE! I can’t even explain to you how quickly I ripped that mask off my face when I got off the phone with that nurse. Hallelujah! * Note, since this post was written, it is now advised to wait 7-10 days for a detectable viral load, so that is how long I wait to get retested now. *
So yeah, That’s what I did and that’s why I did it.
Was it worth all the trouble? YES! Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! In fact, I am doing it again in November to my “Mystery Group Trip”. I would also like to note that I would do it exactly the same way I did it this time, except I’d also bring my face shield or protective eye gear that didn’t arrive in time for this trip. Is it excessive? Maybe, but I am not willing to risk spreading a disease that could kill people OR stop traveling now that borders are starting to open back up.
I would like to highlight that I am NOT promoting travel during a pandemic, ESPECIALLY if you are going to be careless and contribute to the spread of this nasty disease. Ultimately, you make your own choices and if you do choose to travel, I hope you are as careful as I was (or close to it) so we can finally rid ourselves of this awful plague.
Have you traveled since the pandemic hit? Feel free to share your thoughts and/or input in the comments below!
Oh and thank you for taking the time to read my post! 😌 🙏🏼