We just returned from our last two retreats in Goa, India. It was such a special time in a beautiful location - spent with past guests and new friends. Our FORM+FOCUS collaborator, Julian of EASEL&LENS, co-led these retreats and so we thought it would be nice for you to read a bit of a recap of the experience in his own words!
POST FROM JULIAN:
This is my chance to say a huge thank you to both the groups who have just returned from our two retreats in Goa, Southern India. Not just for their contributions towards our Give Back partner working with children in the area, Magic Bus, but for all the fun, laughter and shared experiences we shall never forget. These weeks in India have been so rewarding, we are already planning more for next year!
It’s difficult to sum up a retreat like this in simple words as the experience of new continents, cultures, people and religions can be a little overwhelming, but the daytrips we took during each week gave us a real flavour of some of the best this region of India has to offer. Sacred cows and stray dogs, luxury spas and traditional henna, Indian nightlife and lazy afternoons on the beach, palm trees and hot sand between our toes were just a part of the experience. Some of the best restaurants in the region punctuated each week as well as a day trip to discover the world of Indian spice, the city of Panjim and it’s old Portuguese quarter, colourful beachside markets and gorgeous boutique stores dotted all along the coastline, and ending a day with a truly magical sunset over the warm Arabian sea starts to give you a flavour of it all.
And that’s without mentioning the morning yoga and art classes we all enjoyed together. I was really impressed by the amount of time (and overtime) everyone spent working on their travel journals, filling them with their beautiful photographs, paintings and drawings, reflecting their time and experiences in colourful, exciting visual ways.
As a gorgeous setting for the morning art and yoga, we enjoyed the hospitality of Coco Shambhala for both weeks and their care for us in all areas was a real treat - nothing was ever too much trouble - and the attention to detail from special Goan breakfast treats and fresh pressed juices to our personal drivers who took care of us all week, right through to the spectacular candlelit dinners, all served with daily grace and charm by the staff. Shagun, the co-owner, gave us all a culinary masterclass and an introduction to the world of Indian wine with a wonderful tasting class.
These are unforgettable trips - they require a lot of preparation and travelling time to get there, but the rewards in the end are pretty special, and were loved by all.
A huge THANK YOU and lots of love to the groups that made our weeks in India so special.
(Check out the video below for a peak into our time in Goa!)