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What I Learned From Going On My First Solo Wellness Retreat

When you love what you do, sometimes it can be hard to stop working. And it doesn’t help that working from home has caused many of us to work twice as much as we used to. But, heading into 2023 with the height of the pandemic seemingly behind us, I’ve made it a goal of mine to find more of a work-life balance; to carve out more intentional time for myself and my wellbeing, in hopes of forming new, healthier habits.

While formulating this goal, I began to think about the fact that I had never been on a solo trip before. I had always heard friends rave about how beneficial this type of travel can be for self-reflection and relaxation. During my last-minute search for places to go that weren’t too far from NYC, I discovered that The Lake House on Canandaigua in New York’s Finger Lakes region had recently opened its spa, Willowbrook. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get away and have some much-needed self-care time. And it was. It felt good to have time to move my body, journal and even take myself on a solo dinner date without any distractions or anything that would give me an excuse to not make time for myself. I’m already ready to plan the next one. 

If you’re solo trip-curious like I was, and a bit unsure what to expect or whether it’s right for you, I’ve broken down some of the things you can expect on a wellness retreat for one — as well as the things I wish I’d known — plus the takeways I hope to incorporate into my everyday life back in New York, below.

By Akili King

‘I’m just as important as all of these other obligations I’ve said yes to.’

By Akili King

"I’m definitely a self-care lover and this certainly reminded me of the benefits these rituals provide ..."

By Akili King

Spend time near water

In NYC I don’t spend enough time near water, because most of the beaches are quite far away. But water is something that’s always been soothing for me, and going on a retreat on the shores of Lake Canandaigua was a lovely reminder of this fact. In addition to doing yoga and cycling on the waterfront, walking along the dock and taking a boat ride on the lake were also meditative experiences.

By Akili King

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