Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to attend one of the Bare Soul Retreats on the sunny Vanuatu island of Bokissa. The retreat is run by Simone Jeavons who is the founder of the Bare Soul Retreats. Simone is an organisational psychologist who is an extraordinary retreat facilitator a professional executive coach, 200RYT Ashtanga Yoga teacher, meditation teacher, ka huna massage therapist and all round positive influence on the world.
Here is my recount of the retreat:
12.30 pm flight from Brisbane to Espiritu Santo arriving at 4.15 Santo time. After a quick shuffle through customs and step outside Freddie is ready to deliver me to the boat, we load my luggage in and naturally I try to get into the drivers side. After a quick ride in the old hi-ace, no seat belts – no worries, he drops me off at the jetty which is completely vacant… No one around, no boats, no signs… am I even in the right place?? A few minutes later a few ladies are dropped off with boxes and boxes of food, two minutes later a boat arrives – Looks like I am in the right place.
The boat ride is breathtaking, crystal clear water, a volcano smoking in the (far) distance as we skirt our way around a few tropical islands before pulling into the Bokissa jetty (again with the beautiful clear water, visible coral underneath and abundant fish everywhere. We are off to a good start.
Simone, meets me at the jetty and we head up to the bar for a few drinks and dinner with the other retreat members – incredibly we are the only guests on the island!
After a terrible sleep (could hear the waves rolling in all night), its time to roll out of bed and trundle down to the beach for a yoga lesson followed by a guided meditation and then breakfast.
Once breakfast was done a group of us decide to kayak around the island, 15 minutes in and I am regretting the decision as the lactic acid kicks in, not long later and it wears off and we all settle into a good pace, back in time for lunch.
Afternoon consists of a quick swim, a massage and then a values session beside the pool with Simone.
Dinner was lobster mornay – I am honestly considering going back just for this…
Slept much better thanks making it much easier to roll out of bed for our morning yoga, guided meditation and breakfast. Today’s adventure is the Malo river cruise and kayak to the blue lagoon – Amazing, simply stunning. A few of us decided to test ourselves and climbed the tree overhanging the blue lagoon and dropped the 6 or so meters into the blue spring water below. BBQ lunch on the beach followed by a snorkeling tour. Later that night we went coconut crab spotting.
Morning yoga, guided meditation, breakfast – the usual routine followed by snorkeling the coral off Bokissa island where we ran into a few local turtles and loads of fish then a massage before one of the best salt and pepper calamari’s for lunch – tough life…
Afternoon consisted of a one on one coaching session followed by a fishing charter where I managed to bring home a decent sized yellow fin tuna.
Yet another amazing day.
Unfortunately this is my last day of the retreat, same usual routine of yoga, guided meditation, breakfast, massage, swim in the ocean.
Absolutely no anxiety about leaving, the retreat has been amazing and I know I can always come back.
The boat picks me up at 3.30 and returns me to the jetty where Freddie is waiting to take me to the airport.
Well there you have it, what an amazing experience! I cant thank Simone and the staff at Bokissa enough for such a fantastic experience. There is so much more that I haven’t included – you will just need to go along yourself to discover!
In case you are wondering, the retreat cost $3,900 all inclusive (the fishing charter was $60 extra) plus your return flights to get there and back (I flew air Vanuatu return from Brisbane for a bit over $450)
Check out the Bare Soul Retreat Website here: