I know that everyone is having their own unique experience with Covid right now. For me, I’ve actually been fine with the new reality of Covid (I mean, I detest having to wear a mask but in general I wasn’t too surprised by a pandemic and I adapted quickly). But every now and then I get this creeping anxiety that I can feel simmering below my skin. Especially after George Floyd’s murder and hosting our PRIDE Day street clean-up, I feel like there is so much work to be done in this world and I always feel like I need to do more. I ask myself daily, “what more can I do?” Truth is, there is always more that we as individuals can do, and its good to keep asking that of ourselves.
If there’s anything I’m feeling right now it’s that I need a vacation (don’t we all). My husband and I had to put our honeymoon plans on hold due to the virus and with nothing to look forward to, no escape into nature, I’ve been going a little manic (on the inside). And while I know it’s not a great time to divert attention from all the major things going on in the world, I am very, wildly, overwhelmingly excited to announce that cinder + salt is hosting an eco-retreat to Costa Rica in 2021!!!!!!
I had mentioned in my last blog post about moving the print shop, that I had spent most of January re-working our business plan. A huge part of that re-envisioning was offering MORE ways to engage people with nature, and eco-retreats were a big part of that.
So, what is an eco-retreat? It’s a fully planned and guided vacation package centered around volunteer work, or giving back to the environment. You will have the wonder and excitement of traveling to a beautiful and exotic locale but also be expected (is “required” too harsh a word?) to volunteer a few hours a day. In your free time you can hang at the bar, lounge by the pool, kayak waterways, hike the rainforest, do whatever the heck you want, but for a few hours each day we all get together and help rescue sea turtles! Woot woot! Best of all, everything is taken care of. Just sign up, buy your airfare and once you arrive you won’t have to worry about a thing. (In-country transport, meals & all the logistics are all handled for you.)
This type of trip can be as action-packed or as relaxing as you want to make it, but no matter what, it will be rewarding AF because you get to see the little baby sea turtle hatchlings crawl to the ocean. (squeeee!!!!)
Just thinking about this trip gets me a little choked up. I’ve been to Costa Rica twice (you can read about my last trip here) and there is just something about the country that calls to me. My husband and I are planning to buy a home there eventually (hopefully in 5-8 years?) and everyone can come visit and vacation with us, I promise! The bio-diversity, the pristine environments, the #puravida spirit… it’s just so different from the United States. It’s what I’ve always been looking for.
I initially planned our first vacation to CR as a surprise for Adam, it was his Christmas gift one year. All I knew was that it was affordable. I really had no idea where we were even going and I was STUNNED by the country. I mean… FLOORED. It was better than anything I could’ve ever imagined. There’s this great mix of hospitality, solid infrastructure, a very blurred line of where nature meets civilization. Sometimes we were driving down these perfect paved roads and then it would just become a glorified cobblestone path through the jungle that looked straight out of Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, and then ya know you turn the corner & there’s a little Dutch bakery overlooking a huge mountain lake with world class espresso and baked goods. Like, wut? Where even am I right now?
Costa Rica is magical (to me) and I want to share it with you (and everyone and no one at the same time). I know from my previous experiences that I feel most safe & happy in the world when I’m in the presence of wild animals which is why I am so grateful to have 8 days to walk the beaches and interact with sea turtles. They are gentle giants who need our help, and I can’t wait to be there for it!
We are booking this trip through Holbrook Travel. They have been amazing to work with while organizing this event. Since it’s our first eco-retreat and my first time leading a trip like this I thought it’d be best to leave the logistics to professionals. But rest assured I’ve been using duolingo every day since Covid had us homebound and I am 1000% there for this trip.
If you're interested, here are some handy links to get you started.
A brochure about the volunteer trip!
A brochure about our optional add-on - (that's right! If you want a few days to really relax after all your volunteer work you can add a rainforest extension to the trip which will have you deep in the jungle, listening to howler monkeys, marveling at toucans and being mesmerized by Blue Morpho butterflies as they flutter by.)
You can find all the info here, and begin the booking process.
More info about Sea Turtle Conservancy - a portion of the ticket price for this trip goes to STC to help with all the work they do.
And a direct link to Holbrook Travel where you can reserve your spot. We can only take 12 people with us and we do expect to sell out because, hello, sea turtle hatchlings!!!!
Consider joining us! I know for certain that it will be a trip of a lifetime and you won’t regret it. (Well… as long as you like turtles or travel or adventure or a mix of the 3!) Costa Rica has the MOST PRISTINE environment I have ever seen in my life. I once sat on a piece of driftwood next to a 3 foot long iguana and then some monkeys ran past us. That shit doesn't happen in the States. Oh, and we were near a grove of Rainbow Eucalyptus trees - cause that's a real thing! If you really want to immerse yourself in nature and get up close to some incredible wildlife, CR is the place to be. I can't wait to show you!