Cowgirl Yoga’s 2018 Travel Trends

Hola! Just back from our Cowgirl Yoga retreat in Costa Rica, feeling refreshed and tan. As always after CR, I’ve got some good travel stories that blend a bit of Indiana Jones with pura vida. And I’ve been musing about travel trends, since not only have I been traveling, but I’ve also been reading about travel and planning other peoples’ travel (as we flush out the exciting details of this year’s retreat schedule).

I’ve been thinking a lot about my own personal travel philosophy, and how our yoga retreats have become an extension of that. As someone who studied abroad as many times as I could, who majored in languages, and who worked for international companies, I’ve always viewed travel as a life experience vs. getting away from my life at home. A time and place to enhance and expand my worldview. From every plane ticket, I’ve wanted something I could bring home…a piece of this planet that becomes a piece of me.

Here’s my take on how all of the above translates into what we do on retreat. And fits quite nicely into this year’s travel trends.

Me and Rambo on Playa Pelada, Costa Rica.

Active Adventure Travel. “Wellness trips will become more active”, says Intrepid Travel in 10 Travel Trends for 2018 (#3). Back in the day, I worked for a cosmetics company and forecast health and beauty trends; I always, always played the spa card, and “spa travel” was one I was fond of. Who wouldn’t want to go on a trip and come back feeling better, more healthy, more fit? Or find inspiration to become more healthy and fit at home? I saved money so I could go on a cycling trip in California wine country in between grad school semesters. I viewed travel as an opportunity to explore and be active; sitting on a beach all day or on my butt in a café didn’t have the same appeal. The great news is, exploring and being active can go hand in hand. On our Cowgirl Yoga retreats, you will practice tons of yoga, ride horses, and take in your surroundings from the saddle. On our Yoga and Hiking retreats, you’ll do yoga, hike miles and soak up sights you wouldn’t see (like moose!) if you didn’t lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail. And our most active and adventurous retreat this year combines yoga, hiking and horseback riding, on the new Cowgirl Yoga and Hiking in Patagonia in March (3 spots left!).

From PopSugar’s 10 Travel Trends on the Rise in 2018 (#9, Adventure Travel):

The average bucket list used to consist of mostly the classics: the Eiffel Tower, the Greek Islands, Times Square, etc. Today, that list is so much more diverse, with more heart-pounding activities than ever in the must-do category. Combining nature, culture, and activity has never been more popular as travelers look to have experiences in places off the beaten path.

IMHO: yoga, horses and hiking go way beyond the average bucket list! So make your bucket list above average.

Furthermore, says Intrepid Traveler, “Adventure travel will cater to experiences” (#7):

According to a recent study by the Adventure Travel Trade Association…the definition of adventure is changing. Risky adrenaline activities are favored 45% less than “experiencing a new culture” in the definition of adventure travel.

I’ll go out on a limb and say our retreat horses, hiking and yoga are NOT “risky adrenaline activities”…but they definitely will get your heart pumping and prana flowing. Or how about learning to fly fish? Not an adrenaline rush, but a surge of mindfulness can for sure be found on our new Fly Fishing and Yoga retreat in June. And about that “experiencing a new culture”…have I mentioned Argentina? Or Italy? (read on for more on Agriturismo, that’s not on the typical Italy bucket list!)

Yoga & Vineyard Tuscany retreat.

Food & Wine Travel. From PopSugar’s 10 Travel Trends on the Rise in 2018 (#10, Wine Destinations): Wine country: the rolling hills, stunning landscapes, bountiful history, and, well, the wine. Travel should be about eating and drinking well. And healthy, to boot. Building on the active travel trend: why would you want to go home after a vacation and feel like crap? On all our retreats, we take time to enjoy our food and each other’s company…and to fuel our active adventuring with fresh, healthy and local fare. Wine becomes part of the foodie experience, with an emphasis on quality over quantity. Food and wine are to be enjoyed, and make you feel good. Not like crap. We want you to ask for the recipe and the name of the wine.

Italian Agriturismo captures this perfectly. Agriturismo, a combination of the Italian words for “agriculture” and “tourism,” is a style of vacationing in scenic rural farm areas. Agriturismo is food, wine, and farm oriented. The big sightseeing checklist of churches and works of art are not on the agenda; this is an authentic travel experience designed to show you where all the amazing Italian food and wine comes from. There aren’t any long lines to wait in, tickets to buy, or crowds to navigate. You can slow down and truly feel a connection to the stunning surroundings.

Our Yoga & Vineyard Tuscany is the ultimate vino + vinyasa vacation. Wine, pasta, and yoga?? Yes! You can have it all…as in, a wellness retreat and an indulgent foodie vacation combined into one. I believe that food is a beautiful part of life, and we appreciate the Italian food philosophy. I also believe that being active and practicing yoga is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating good food, drinking wine, and being healthy are not mutually exclusive. We’ll kick off this retreat with a led discussion on eating and drinking mindfully.

P.S. – Also new this year is our Culinary Cowgirl Yoga retreat, for foodie cowgirl yoginis – but it’s sold out, so put it on the radar for 2019!

Women retreaters: coming alone to come together.

Solo Women Travel. According to Intrepid Travel, there’s been a 40% increase in solo passengers on group trips over the past five years. PopSugar says solo travel is on the rise…especially for women. I just parted ways with one of our Costa Rican cowgirl yoginis who was staying on until the end of the month – and gleefully making plans. By herself. Women traveling alone aren’t renegade anymore. In fact, we crave solo travel, and I firmly believe it makes us better women. And better friends, partners, parents, professionals, and well-rounded individuals. My daughter and I went on a horseback riding trip to Iceland last year, and I’m already looking at one in Ireland for 2019. I want her to grow up believing that the world is a wonderful place – and one that she shouldn’t fear exploring.

But are you really alone…? “Solo” often means you are coming by yourself on a group trip, like our retreats. So truly, you end up with quite a few new BFFs. You are anything but alone. However, busting out to plan a trip without a companion, getting there on your own, and not being totally sure what awaits you on the other end – that requires being a bit of a badass. And the woman-as-badass concept is motivating – think Cowgirl Yoga. Because what could possibly be more badass than a woman who can ride a horse and kick asana?? Many women’s trips push against our comfort zones, and challenge us to grow in ways we never thought possible. And, in the end we come alone to come together.

I hope you will hop on these travel trends and join me on retreat this year. Yeehaw and Namaste.

Inspiring Reads:

Destination Earth: A New Philosophy of Travel by a World-Traveler

What is Agriturismo? on Trip Savvy

100 Places Every Woman Should Go