We live in a world worth wandering

Author: hilcast

February 2020

February 2020

4 options Back to Mexico BUT to a new amazing place In luxury eco tents, on a pristine private island, loaded with adventures AND serenity. A National Geographic recommendation actually! Kayaking, Snorkeling, Hiking, Sea Lions, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Star Gazing, Swimming, Deserted Beaches – $2,055/ […]

2021 Group Experience Destinations

2021 Group Experience Destinations

I don’t think people realize how much time I invest in deciding my group experience destinations. I don’t just pick the top trending location and take a bunch of people there(though I have done this before once and realized I didn’t like it). Rather, I […]

Ecuador – Nature & Adventure Unleashed

Ecuador – Nature & Adventure Unleashed


When we hear of Ecuador, most of us instantly think of the pristine Galapagos islands, I know I do. The truth is though, there is SO much more to this amazing country than you may realize and I have done you a favor by laboriously combing through the endless possibilities of MUST see/do activities and experiences in Ecuador to bring you an adventure filled retreat that won’t break the bank! There IS an optional Galapagos extension for this trip, but it is NOT required.

Join me for an epic adventure retreat loaded with mindful, empowering experiences to ignite mind, body & soul!

Let’s get to the nitty gritty.
The details!

DATES: June 9th – 17th 2020 (8 nights)


June 9th – Check into accommodations in Quito. Meet your fellow travelers, mingle, rest up.

A lively, clean & bright place to lay our heads.

June 10th – Board the Wanderlust Bus at 6am in route to Banos. With stops for breakfast and lunch. As well as stops at Cotopaxi National Park, home to one of the world’s highest active volcanos and Quilotoa, a 1.8mile wide turquoise volcanic crater lake. I plan on leading a guided meditation at one of the two locations.

The Famous Cotopaxi Volcano
Quilotoa Crater Lake

June 10th – Check into accommodations in Banos. The town known as “The gateway to the Amazon”

A very highly rated spot with breakfast available for only $3.50 per person!

June 11th – Visit the famous Banos Tree House and swing. If you missed my Bali retreat but followed along online, and wished you had come just to go on a Bali swing, you have NOT missed your opportunity for an EPIC swing. This is it right here, “the swing at the end of the world”, as it is known. Time TBD and the rest of the day will be free to venture into the amazon rainforest, rappel a waterfall, zip line, shop, soak in the thermal pools or anything else you can dream up!

La Cas del Arbo – AKA The Tree House
Ok, who’s in!?!?!?

June 12th – FREE DAY. With SOOOOOO much to do in Banos, I wanted to give you the freedom to choose whatever your heart desires.
I will personally be doing the Ruta de las cascades (aka waterfall route tour) in the morning, departing at 10am and you are TOTALLY welcome to join me! It is a tour that takes you along a 10 mile route via open air bus or bicycle to almost a dozen waterfalls! As a waterfall chaser, theres no doubt I will be taking in these falls. Later in the day there will be a volunteer opportunity to give back to the beautiful children in the community we are so blessed to be able to visit from 4:30-6:00pm. This service project may consist of time helping the children with activities such as art, music, dance, theater, games, yoga, science experiments, games, and cooking. All will be dependent on our groups skills. I would love it if you wrapped up your day in time to join me for this giving experience. If you do not wish to participate, perhaps you can bring a few clothing items in your suitcase to donate(any size/gender) to the charity shop they have.

I mean, need I say more? This is one of the waterfall stops.
Video below. It’s hard to find a super high quality video of this waterfall but you get the idea.
Out of this world National Parks
If there are waterfalls to be chased, I will chase them!
Suspension bridges, viewing platforms, etc.

June 13th – Depart Banos and head back to Quito for one night. Evening at leisure. Optional guided meditation to end the day.

June 14th – Depart for Bellavista Cloud Forest at 6:15am. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included at the lodge. Guided forest hikes with naturalist exploring the secrets of the cloud forest. Evening yoga and/or meditation practice in the incredible observation deck.

Cloud forest dreams come true here.
A bird watchers paradise

June 15th – Breakfast and lunch included. Option to continue hiking with our naturalist guide or choose to relax back at the lodge. Depart Bellavista cloud forest and head back to Quito. Check in to accommodations in Quito. Evening at leisure. Visit the equator at the middle of the world, enjoy a yoga practice, Go to dinner and a Jacchigua show, jump in on a food walking tour or whatever your heart desires.

No hiking? No problem!
Relax at the

June 16th – Depart accommodations at 8am for a Papallacta Hot Springs & Spa day trip, located in the high andes mountains. Be ready to awaken your sense with this essential holistic experience! Evening at leisure. Enjoy a restorative yoga practice with me or feel free to explore the city with a new friend from the retreat!

Ahhhh-mazing thermal pools with soothing shower fixtures!!!
Just when you thought this place didn’t get any better . . . it does.

June 17th – Say good bye for now to each other and Ecuador! Our time has come to an end.

Who is this trip for?

The Adventure Seeker
The Nature Lover
The Budget Traveler
The Free Bird
The Open Minded
The Bucketlist Slayer
The Wellness Warrior
The Holistic Human
The Humanitarian


Prices are per person, based on shared occupancy.

Price “A” is based upon a group size of 8 travelers. You are NOT responsible for this, however, if you’d like to invite your friends, please feel free!

Price “B” is based upon a groups size of 6 travelers. I suggest planning this amount into your budget in the event that we only get 6 sign ups. If we get 8 though, then consider the difference your extra spending money, or the down payment to your next trip. Yayyyy!

Total Cost:

A – $1,237 Per Person

B- $1,449 Per Person

$533 non refundable deposit required to reserve your spot.
Limited spaces available so reserve your spot TODAY!

Payment Plan:
* Deposit(non-refundable): A & B $533
* Payment 1: A & B $458
Payment 1 due not later than December 1st 2019
* Payment 2: A $246 B $458
Payment 2 due no later than March 1st 2020


Want to go but don’t have a roomie? Let me know and maybe I can room you with another solo traveler!

What is Included:

* Accommodations for 8 nights
* Transportation – to Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, Banos(Round Trip), Bellavista Cloud Forest Accommodations(Round Trip), Papallacta Hot Springs(Round Trip)
* Breakfast on 14th, 15th, 16th & 17th(depending on the time of your departure flight)
* Lunch on the 14th & 15th
* Dinner on the 14th
* Tour CotoPaxi
* Tour Quilotoa
* Naturalist guided hikes at Bellavista Cloud Forest and access to 700 hectare reserve
* Papallacta entrance and access to jetted thermal pools & polar pool
* Yoga and Meditation Practice where mentioned above
* Tree House swing ride
* Volunteer opportunity

What is Not Included:

* International Airfare
* Travel insurance(required)
* Souvenirs
* Passports & visas(if applicable)
* Vaccines if applicable
* Transportation not mentioned above
* Meals not mentioned above
* Massages & additional spa services at Papallacta
* Tips/Gratuities
* Tours/Activities not mentioned above
* Yoga Mat

I’m Ready!!!! Click —> HERE <— to step outside of your comfort zone!

DISCLOSURE: This itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as unpredictable weather, tour company/hotel issues or errors or any other factors outside of my control. I always strive for the best possible experience and will substitute anything that must be changed with something equally or even more awesome!

A 10 year old with a mission

A 10 year old with a mission

If you are new to my blog, allow me to introduce you to my daughter Jolee. She is my pride and joy. When she was 5 years old, she learned what the word endangered meant. She realized that one of her favorite animal was critically […]

Past Group Trips

Past Group Trips

Iceland – March 2014 Napa – April 2014 Yosemite X’s 6 – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019 Peru – November 2018 Bali – February 2019 Borneo – February 2019 Pacifica – April 2019 Lake Tahoe – June 2019 Mexico – October 2019 Feel […]

All the reasons you don’t travel, solved.

All the reasons you don’t travel, solved.

Excuse #1 – I can’t afford it.

Solutions – 1. Stop frivolous spending! Have you ever calculated how much you spend on coffee drinks, energy drinks and/or alcohol? Go ahead, add it up, do it for a whole year, I’ll wait . . . Shocking right? $4/day for 365 for caffeine alone in days = $1,460!!! Shall we calculate the boo’s in now?

Now figure out how much you spend eating out unnecessarily or shopping for designer clothes, shoes and bags? They don’t actually even have to be designer! If you don’t NEED them, then, honestly, it’s wasteful spending. I don’t even want to know what that number adds up to. Now add up the cable tv services with alllll the channels, monthly memberships to fun box subscriptions, etc etc.

I can already tell you that with these items mentioned above, you could have taken a REALLY COOL trip this year!

2. Now lets talk about saving. You don’t have money to put in an actual savings account? What about a change jar? Can you commit to putting ALL of your change in a jar and saving it for however long it takes to be enough money for one whole day of food while on a trip? Maybe an uber from the airport to your destination hotel, a fun tour while abroad, or even for a night or two of accommodations? It ALL adds up!

3. Another way to save money is to travel during shoulder season. Avoid peak season for two reasons. One, crowds, crowds, crowds and two, you’ll save money not going during peak season. Off season isn’t always ideal weather and quite honestly can even be dangerous BUT shoulder season can be rad!

4. Sign up for Discount travel clubs like Trip Valet. You can save up to 80% off on hotels, tours, cruises and more! Another great and FREE membership is Hotels. com, I like them not because they have the best deals(they oftentimes don’t) but because of their rewards program! For every 10 nights your stay, you get 1 night FREE! Follow my link below to sign up and start racking up those free nights!

5. Early bird sign ups for retreats and group trips. Don’t waste time coming up with excuses when a trip you’d love to go on comes up. Take advantage of the early bird specials that many companies offer.

Excuse #2 – It is not safe

My response to that is this. Did you know that if you look up the top 10 most dangerous cities IN THE WORLD, our sweet ole America takes THREE of those spots?!?!? THREE!!! That’s not ideal.

Also, at any given time, I invite you to go to the department of state website From another country to see where we rank. We are usually a level 1 or 2, during 9-11 it was like a level 4 I believe. They also list a bunch of potential infectious diseases that can be caught while in AMERICA and natural disasters that can occur like floods, fires and earthquakes. That isn’t even the crime that occurs! Then check out travel levels for different countries that we would visit. I bet your didn’t know that traveling to France is a 2 but traveling to Rwanda or Botswana in Africa, Chile or Argentina in South America or Bhutan and Cambodia in Asia are ALL level 1’s. These are just to name a few. Before you decide that the world is a big, scary, dangerous place, please educate yourself.

In regards to air travel. You are 1000 times more likely to die in a car accident that you ever are to die in a plane crash. Enough said. IF you STILL don’t want to fly, go on a cruise or a road trip. Cruises depart from the West, East and South of the United states. If you are in the North, Road trip to Canada. Done.

If you still don’t feel safe, invest in travel insurance for that extra peace of mind. Not only will they cover basic things like lost bags, they also cover emergencies such as sickness, hospitalization and accidents while abroad. Including being airlifted to a place that can provide acceptable care or they will fly you home.

Excuse #3 – I don’t have anyone to go with.

Solution – Group trips and retreats. Find a reputable company who organizes trips to areas that interest you and join a group! This is not only a safer way to travel but also A GREAT way to meet new people and make lifelong friends! I always have Group trips/Retreats running. Feel free to check them out —> HERE

Excuse #4 – My job won’t let me go.

Well last time I checked, in America we are given time off every year from work for public holidays, personal reasons, etc. Most places also close for major holidays, so if nothing else, you have a long weekend to do something fun.

We were not born to pay bills and then die! Use your vacation time at work! It is YOURS, legally. Turn a long 3 day weekend into a 4 night/5 day trip just by take ONE of your vacation days off.

Excuse #5 – I have kids, it’s overwhelming.

Solution 1, don’t bring them, find a trusted babysitter, maybe family member or long time friend to do something fun with them back home. IF that is not an option, then solution 2 is bring them and go on a cruise or a road trip. Cruises are one of the most comfortable and EASY ways to travel. Especially for “beginning travelers” as I like to call them. Plus, most cruises have specials where kids sail for FREE several times per year! Cruises also usually offer complimentary childcare and lots of activities for kids so the parents can get away for a while and get some adult time. EVERYONE will have an opportunity to have a good time.

I realize some people have other reasons they are unable to travel, such as being extremely ill or caring for an ill loved one. My heart goes out to you and your family, I mean that with all my heart. I pray you(or they) are able to fully recover and explore our planet one day and that you have opportunities to venture out where you live, with loved ones to breathe the fresh air from time to time, even if it’s to a local park.

Protected: Mystery Destination Details

Protected: Mystery Destination Details

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Mystery Destination

Mystery Destination

Thanks for stopping by! This destination is a place I have been wanting to visit since 2007!!! Quick math, 12 YEARS!!! Good things come to those who wait right? I am certain that this area of the world will shoot to my top 3 places […]

Where I have been

Where I have been

I have had quite a few people ask me where I have been so I thought it would be convenient if I just had it all written down in one place. 

I started traveling at a young age but as an adult, I went through “spurts” of travel depending on what was going on in my life.

Recently though(over the past 9 years), I have been fervorously checking off bucket list item!

States I have visited:

  1. California – born and raised
  2. Hawaii – lived here for nearly 5 years – Mostly Maui, some time on Oahu & Kauai as well
  3. Colorado – lived here for 1 year
  4. New Mexico
  5. Texas
  6. Arizona
  7. Utah
  8. Montana
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Massachusetts
  11. Rhode Island
  12. Washington State
  13. Oregon
  14. Nevada
  15. Alaska
  16. Wyoming
  17. Georgia
  18. Illinois
  19. Florida
  20. Iowa
  21. Minnesota

Countries I have visited:

  1. USA – Born and raised!
  2. Mexico – around 19 times. Yes, I LOVE Mexico.
  3. Costa Rica – 3 times
  4. Honduras
  5. Spain – 2 times
  6. Italy – 2 times
  7. France
  8. Greece
  9. Macedonia
  10. Canada
  11. Monaco – technically a sovereign city-state
  12. Vaticany City – technically a sovereign city-state
  13. Austria
  14. Belize
  15. Australia
  16. Vietnam
  17. China
  18. Icealnd
  19. Bahamas
  20. Fiji
  21. Slovenia
  22. Romania
  23. Croatia
  24. Turkey
  25. Madagascar
  26. Peru
  27. Indonesia(Bali)
  28. Malaysia(Borneo)

Continents I have visited:

  1. North America
  2. South America
  3. Europe
  4. Asia
  5. Australia
  6. Africa

Just ONE more continent left, Antarctica!!! It also happens to be the place I want to visit MOST for so many reasons!

I haven’t even begun to touch the tip of the iceberg of places I would like to visit! Sometimes I feel like I am just getting started.

Thank you for deciding to follow us(me & Jolee) on our journeys. We hope to possibly even MEET YOU on on of our group experiences one day!

I would love to hear about YOUR favorite destinations and why you love them so much, so please feel free to comment here with stories and photos of your trips!

Keep wandering,