When Frances first asked me to co-lead a retreat with her, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was excited at first but as we began to plan the retreat, it started to sink in that I’d never done this before. I had no idea what was expected of me and I, myself, had never attended a yoga retreat. Every single aspect about this experience was a first. From the planning, the promotions, the marketing, the teaching and the leading - it was all new.
Even as I landed alone in Nicaragua, I was gripped by fear because I still felt like a fish out of water. We had a wonderful group of people attending, yet I felt like I’d be completely unable to handle the pressure of teaching students in a space outside of my comfort zone.
However, as soon as we arrived at Coco Loco everything seemed to fall into place. I hate to sound cliché but it’s true. Close your eyes and imagine this scene. We arrive at our beach house late in the afternoon. The sky is sun-kissed with the warm colours of dusk, I’m looking out between palm trees towards the ocean and out of the blue wild horses gallop through the yard towards the beach. What a sight. My heart skipped a beat and I knew that everything would be more than fine from then on.
I was right. Everything was perfect. From the people we shared the experience with and the Coco Loco staff, to their amenities, the surfing at 6 a.m., and the delicious multicultural food, we couldn’t have asked for more. The resort was so amazing at helping Frances and me plan and schedule our days; they made sure to accommodate anyone who might have dietary restrictions; and they were so open to our requests and questions.
The best part about Coco Loco is that it’s an eco-resort very much in tune with the community in which they’re located. They employ locals, they’ve founded a non-profit organization called ‘Waves of Hope’, and give back to the community at every chance. While we were there, we had the pleasure of helping to refurbish one of the classrooms for an elementary school in the area. I personally believe it’s important to travel sustainably, and if possible, give back to the community you travel to. We were so fortunate to be able to do just that.
It saddens me to say that since the political upheaval in the country that began as we were leaving in April of 2018, Coco Loco has had to close their doors for a long period of time as the tourism industry was one of the first things to crumble. The Karma class Frances and I are giving on the 30th of November is to raise funds for a place I wouldn’t hesitate to call my home. Because that’s what it felt like.
We’re hoping to be able to re-create that same sense of community and family on our next Yoga and Surf Retreat, which we decided to relocate to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. We’re both looking forward to the new memories and adventures we’ll get to experience with a new group of people. If you’d like to know more about that, you can click here. Or, if you would like to register for our karma class, you can find the link here.
We would love to see you!