From trepidation to exhilaration and why there's a fine line between 'fear' and 'excitement'...
Millie joined us on her first Wild & Free Adventure in June and shared her journey from surfboards to soul searching. She takes you on her journey from trepidation to exhilaration on this all-women retreat and gives an honest account of her favourite bits, challenges and how catching her first wave felt! As well as the surfing and yoga to how her mind has opened to a plant-based (vegan) diet and the transformative effects the 'Women & Water' retreat had on her... enjoy!
A Warm Welcome
Retreat Day 1
My journey began on a warm June evening, as I arrived at the luxury yurt village that would be my home for the next five days. Upon arrival at the yurt village at The Park in Mawgan Porth, the soothing sounds and smells of the sea air instantly put me at ease.
After a little tour of this magical site, we were shown to our yurts, where we had a Wild & Free goodie bag, which included lots of lovely gifts, including a Wild & Free t-shirt. As we were now all looking the part, it was time for our first yoga session led by the very knowledgeable Amanda. As an intermediate yogi, I was met with patience and encouragement. The session unfolded and with each pose, I could feel my body and mind opening up to the adventure I was about to have.
Following yoga was our welcome meal and cocktails! As we took our seats we were greeted with a delightful welcome drink of Aluna Coconut rum mojito made by the cocktail connoisseur Joe and more importantly… puppy cuddles from the Wild & Free mascot Flo. Nikita (also known as Vegan Wise) was our chef for this retreat. We were served dinner, bursting with vegan flavours that I had never experienced before. As a self-proclaimed meat eater, the culinary offerings challenged my preconceptions, proving that a plant-based diet could be both satisfying, nourishing and super yummy.
Learning to Ride the Waves
Retreat Day 2
The second day marked my introduction to the world of surfing, as a complete beginner, the idea of riding the waves both excited and intimidated me. I have grown up bodyboarding local Cornish beaches but never quite made it to the surfboards. Under the guidance of the expert instructors from King Surf, I was initiated into the art of balancing on a board and riding the waves.
The initial trepidation was replaced with a surge of exhilaration as I successfully caught my first wave, a moment that would forever be etched in my memory.
Once back at the yurt village, we spent our free time relaxing and easing our muscles in the private hot tub. Returning to the yoga mat in the evening, Amanda skilfully guided us through a series of poses that complemented the physical demands of surfing. The fusion of yoga and surfing became a metaphor for my own journey, where balance, flexibility, and surrender emerged as essential components.
Nourishing our Bodies
Retreat Day 3
As the retreat continued, a sense of camaraderie and unity enveloped the group.
Unfortunately for me, I had injured my ankle so took the morning out to rest, but the rest of the group enjoyed Amanda's morning yoga session to wake up and stretch through the sore legs and arms from our first day on the waves.
For breakfast, Nikita whipped up some of the most amazing vegan breakfast waffles with apple butter (I think these might have been my food highlight). The other ladies them embarked on a walk down to king surf to pick up their surfboards before another day out on the waves. Flo and I hobbled down to watch the fun. The afternoons activity was an ayurvedic spice workshop with Nikkita, a very informative session where we learned about how and what we should be feeding our bodies and how their correlates to the time of year.
Retreat Day 4
By this point, it was the penultimate day of our getaway. We had all become accustomed to the yoga, surfing and the yummy vegan dishes. In the afternoon a soak in the inviting hot tub was a perfect way to unwind after another day of surfing and yoga.
The retreat's emphasis on self-care extended beyond the mat and the waves, creating opportunities for authentic connections and shared laughter among the women who had embarked on this transformative journey together.
In the evening we set off for the ultimate experience: a wild swim in the ocean, we waded into the water, feeling the cold waves of the sea against our skin, embracing the unknown with a sense of liberation.
The Last Hurrah
Retreat Day 5
As the final morning of "Women and Water" dawned, I felt a bittersweet mix of accomplishment and reluctance to return to the real world. The morning yoga practice served as a poignant farewell to the retreat. After a hearty vegan breakfast that had become a cherished routine, it was time to leave these luxury yurts, the sandy beaches of Cornwall and the newfound friends who had shared this incredible adventure.
My Wild & Free Adventure summed up:
The "Women and Water" retreat in Mawgan Porth had proven to be more than just a getaway; it was an immersion into the realms of surf, yoga, and personal transformation. As a meat eater, I had discovered the beauty of a vegan diet and its ability to nourish both body and soul. While I initially approached the vegan meals with reservation, they turned out to be a highlight of the retreat. The talented Nikita transformed locally sourced ingredients into culinary masterpieces, bursting with flavour and vibrant colours.
The fusion of yoga and surfing taught me the art of balance and presence. Amanda’s passion, patience, knowledge and calming ways left me with the ‘yoga bug’. I left Cornwall carrying the lessons of "Women and Water," ready to create a positive change in the world around me.
I would highly recommend a Wild & Free Adventure with Amanda and Joe (& Flo of course), In a world bustling with distractions, the retreat had provided a sanctuary for self-reflection and growth. Whether you’re a newbie to yoga and surfing or a total pro at both, this retreat is for you. I made new friends, was pushed out of my comfort zone, learned new skills and found two new spots which I learned to love.
Millie S // Women & Water June 2023
Excited to embark on your own retreat adventure?
You can join us in September on our next Women & Water Retreat 8-12th
(4 nights, all inclusive). We have but a few spaces still available on (both a Private and Shared Yurt), click on the button below for more details!
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