Retreat with Beautiful Nomad

Our Names are: Linnea Villegas Gilbar & Colleen Ferguson

We host: Creative x wellness retreats for women

What led you to start Beautiful Nomad? Beautiful Nomad was born during a year long trip in South America after we had graduated from college. We made a pact while on that sojourn that one day we’d start a business together that would highlight our love for travel, movement, creativity, and community. After years of continuous adventure and working hard to establish our own independent businesses in wellness, this desire to collaborate remained steadfast. After much plotting, dreaming, and teaming up with our best friend, Bonnie Crotzer of The Floss, we took the leap and went for it. We hosted our very first retreat in the mountains of Telluride, Colorado in the summer of 2018.

How have retreats changed your life ? Beautiful Nomad has been such a gift to us on so many levels. While planning and coordinating these retreats can be quite full on at times, having the opportunity to shake up our normal day to day and funnel our energy into such a dynamic and creative venture is so refreshing. And working alongside your best friend ? It just doesn’t get much better and very rarely does it feel like “work”. We pinch ourselves on the regular — and especially while on retreat, “Is this really happening ?! We get to do this ?!” We could not be more grateful for these gatherings and the soulful circles of women we get to host.

What does going on retreat mean to you ? Going on retreat allows for a shake up, a re-programming of sorts. It’s an opportunity to slow your roll, reflect, and restore. To reconnect with yourself while also making really beautiful connections with others. It’s inspiring beyond belief, each and every time.

What was the first retreat you ever went on? What modalities did they offer and what stood out for you ? In all honesty, we haven’t actually been on many retreats. We spent most of our twenties traveling extensively on shoestring budgets, seeking out creative opportunities to work and live in different communities all over the world. In this way, our retreats are a genuine creation of what fuels us and what we enjoy doing most.

As a retreat creator, what do you think makes a good retreat? It all boils down to the basics for us: Good people. Divine food. Incredible classes. Collaborating with local artists. A fluid itinerary with just the right amount of structure. A beautiful home with heaps of character and history. And most importantly, having a good time.

Why is going on retreat beneficial ? The benefits of retreat are many. The opportunity to step outside of your everyday routine and re-examine. To slow down, explore a new landscape, and make some really meaningful connections. There is something truly magical that happens when a group of women come together — a most sacred and powerful experience that can be truly life-giving for many.

What do people misunderstand about retreats most ? That all retreats are serious in tone and nature. Joy and ease are especially important pillars of Beautiful Nomad.

What are 3 things people should look out for when picking a retreat to go to ? Hone in what you are looking for and in need of — be it solitude in nature, a heavy focus on the arts, or days packed with movement and activity. One of our retreat policies is no cell phones in the public spaces and we have witnessed what a dramatic effect this has on the connection of the group and on slowing down our time together — so that might be a worthwhile feature to look out for as well. It is remarkable how much longer and more wholesome our days become when we are disconnected from our devices.

How can people integrate what they learn on retreat into their daily lives ? This is a question we pose to our guests in our closing circle at the wrap of each retreat. Many respond with their desire to slow down, to integrate more mindfulness practices into their lives, to journal and move their bodies daily, to not get caught up in the “pushy rushy” pace that we are so accustomed to. Carving out this time to honor and integrate all that has shifted and learned while on retreat is of utmost importance.

Recommended books/videos/resources to learn more. Some resources we turn to time and time again are Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, poetry by David Whyte, and Krista Tippett’s podcast On Being.

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