I’m back from my whirlwind trip to Costa Rica with The Weekend Sabbatical. Let me start off by saying WOW. What a freaking incredible experience and opportunity to be a part of. And what an incredible country to visit.
I’ll do another post about the Costa Rica sights and exotic animals we saw. But this one is about my own experience on the retreat.
[Full disclosure: I went on this experience for free as a yoga teacher. I’m not required to blog or instagram about my experience on the trip or anything. As always I want to be 100% transparent with you guys. I write about this trip because I honestly can’t imagine not sharing the experience.]
FIRST: WHAT IS THE WEEKEND SABBATICAL?
The Weekend Sabbatical is a 5-day career development travel experience. Every day is a different theme and is designed to give professionals the chance to recharge, contribute to a community in need and take a step back to evaluate where they are at in their career. The trip is led by executive/life coach Max Linkoff and combines elements of life coaching and personal development.
I also led daily yoga classes to bring in some wellness and mindfulness into the experience.
The timing for me to participate on this trip both as a yoga teacher and participant could not have been better. One month post grad school I crave guidance in my life.
HOW DO I SUM UP A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE?
I struggle to put into words how powerful this trip was for me. On many levels.
Yes, the career guidance aspect of the retreat was powerful. And so freaking helpful for me and where I’m at right now.
I needed this chance to pause and reflect on where I want to take my life next. It can be SO hard to do this when you’re in the thick of things. This trip was not only a chance to step away from my routine, but also provided the forum to really think through what I want and don’t want.
Every night we’d journal about the activity of the day and then gather together as a group to share and reflect. The final activity was a Vision Plan for what I want the next few months to look like.
After all the journalling, reflecting and question asking I came back with a sense of clarity and honesty about the path I want to take next.
THE BIGGEST LESSON CAME THROUGH DISCOMFORT
I talked about this when I went to Europe earlier this summer, but I’m not very adventurous. I like to stay within my comfort zone. A lifetime of managing a phobia and anxiety will do that to ya.
This trip required me to take a BIG step outside my comfort zone.
It meant going to Costa Rica. A land with a lot of bugs. I live in New York City for a reason, I’m not very fond of nature. Nor am I one of those people that feels more calm or relaxed in nature. Quite the opposite.
It meant traveling with strangers.
It meant putting myself in potentially anxiety-inducing situations.
And it meant giving up all control for a week. All I could do was go with the flow and say yes to the adventure planned for each day.
THE NIGHT BEFORE I LEFT FOR COSTA RICA I HAD A MELTDOWN.
The night before my flight I called my mom because I needed a major pep-talk. I was scared. There were so many what-if’s of things that could go wrong, things that could be awful. It sounds dramatic, and even in the moment I felt foolish for being so nervous. I couldn’t help it! I knew a big part of the activities planned for this trip required us to step outside our comfort zone. Who wants to willingly do that???
But I got on that plane, hoping for the best.
BY DAY 3 I DIDN’T WANT THE TRIP TO END.
I mean duh. I was in this incredible country with incredible people. Teaching yoga in an adorable hut surrounded by tropical birds. We spent our days exploring the jungle, eating plantains and laughing. And at night we watched the most magnificent sunsets.
The panic faded. The bugs stopped bothering me. It didn’t even bother me that the AC in my room was broken.
I realize everything would be okay.
I started to savor each moment in Costa Rica. Fall in love with this gorgeous, sloth-filled, country. And I thanked my lucky stars for bringing this opportunity into my life. I do not take for granted how lucky I am to have been invited to attend and teach as part of this, despite my initial fears.
My comfort zone is really small. And sometimes that’s okay.
But truth be told, I’m usually SO happy in the end when I decide to take a chance, take a leap and do something outside my comfort zone. Be it audition for a yoga studio, cold email someone I want to connect with, or go to Costa Rica for a week to co-lead a retreat.
LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Ugh, what a cliche saying. But it’s also so true. And something I need to constantly remind myself. The good stuff happens when you get uncomfortable.