Self-Care: Habits for Wellbeing

Self-Care: Habits for Wellbeing

Self-care is a fundamental pillar of the Wild Wellness Travel philosophy, and an essential component of health & wellness. Without care for one’s self, there is nothing left to offer others.

What is self-care exactly? If you’re new to the practice, you might think self-care is the lesser-known Care Bear from the popular 80s cartoon. We’d tune in for that! However, self-care is actually a learned, purposeful and continuous practice - with the goal of preventing stress and ailments, while nurturing your spirit.

Every self-care practice is unique to the individual. That’s the beautiful thing! You can design your own version according to what fills your cup.

Meditation, mindful eating, adequate rest, positive thoughts & affirmations, physical movement (yoga! yoga! yoga!), personal grooming, interaction & integration with nature, and an element of play – these are some of the self-care components that we strive for.

While we recognize the importance of everyday practice, we wholeheartedly believe that taking time to fully envelope yourself in wellness is critical to reboot and rebalance. This complete immersion is what inspires us when designing each and every retreat.

We carefully select celebrated instructors and practitioners to guide you on your journey of care and cultivation of self in a comprehensive sense – with exclusive opportunities to work one-on-one.

Our unique five pillar formula is unparalleled in the luxury wellness community, providing our guests with exclusive insights that will support your everyday practice.

We invite you to join us on a journey to greatness.

Other people will sacrifice health for material goals. But it all catches up to you one day and health is the priceless commodity that cannot be begged, borrowed, bought or traded. Your life and health are a statement of your self-worth.

~ Kino MacGregor

Let's celebrate Global Wellness Day Everyday

I bet that if you’re like me when you think of wellness and what you need to do to be “well” you think, “I need to eat better” followed by “I need to go the gym” followed by massive feelings of guilt because you are doing neither of those things.


As the 3rd Annual Global Wellness Day (June 11) approaches I started to think what does wellness really mean?

I think when we think wellness, our mind immediately goes to the physical, and I mean the superficial physical. It’s all about being thin if you’re a woman, or buff if you’re a man. Sure we want to be healthy and free of disease, but most of us are more concerned about how we’re going to look at the beach this summer. If we look great in our suit, we must be well. Right?



Wellness is about so much more than how we look. In fact, wellness is so much more than the physical. I can be a size four and able to run a 10K and to the outside world, I am the poster child for wellness, but if I’m a stress ball, sleep four hours a night, rely on coffee to power through my day and am dealing with a turbulent marriage, am I really well?

Hmmm, maybe I’m not as healthy as I think.

I realized that there is a difference between looking good and being well, and also a difference between fitness and wellness.

Looking good, being fit, eating well and feeling centeredand balanced are all components that make up wellness. To be well, you need to have them all. Ugh, now it’s about even more than just getting my butt to the gym and choosing a salad with light dressing for lunch!

Because wellness is composed of so many things, it’s hard to find only at a gym, or only at a spa, that is why a wellness retreat is so beneficial.


At a wellness retreat, like those offered by my company Wild Wellness Travel and our partner Retreats Unlimited, programming is offered to address all the different aspects of wellness. There are yoga classes that work the body while calming the mind, fitness classes and hiking to get your heart rate up and torch calories, meditations to bring balance, spa treatments to soothe sore muscles and healthy food to fuel your body and your moods. While Wild Wellness Travel retreats are usually focused on a theme, they all offer elements for every component of wellness. And most importantly, they provide tools for you to take home so you can continue the wellness journey.


As we celebrate Global Wellness Day, I invite you to think about what wellness really is and if you’re as well as you want to be. And if you want to use Global Wellness Day as the day you commit to becoming well, I invite you to check out the special early booking discounts Wild Wellness Travel and Retreats Unlimited has on all of their retreats.

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Canyon Ranch injects fun and innovation into your health

Personalised life-changing health journeys

Canyon Ranch needs no introduction; the health and wellness brand has been lorded over in films and TV for many years. What many people don’t know though, is the brand’s whole-hearted commitment to offering guests a truly meaningful, effective and life-changing health journey. Choose from individual spa treatments or fabulous customized spa packages that include sublime massages, body treatments and facials. Jumpstart your fitness program, fortify your spirituality, try the high ropes course, take a healthy cooking class, hike a woodland trail, go mountain biking, or just sit back and relax.

The Canyon Ranch Story

You can expect genuine authenticity from this world famous brand. Founder Mel Zuckerman was frustrated with constant weight struggles, so in 1978 he checked himself into an overweight camp, and after just 10 days of physical training and healthy eating, he was overwhelmed by how much better, happier and healthier he felt. The very next year, he and his wife Enid opened the first Canyon Ranch destination resort spa in Tucson, Arizona. Whatever your story, Canyon Ranch has a program to fit your needs, just as Mel found a program to suit his.

Tucson Canyon Ranch

Healthy lifestyle and weight management

Expert chefs create sumptuous healthy dishes to inspire you as you embark on your wellness journey. It’s not just about eating though, Canyon Ranch helps guests understand the power of food, and its ability to optimise your energy. Consultations with open-minded nutritionists help you understand how you eat, and give you effective, useful strategies to help you eat to optimise health.

Canyon Ranch SPA means Special Personalised Adventure

Far from a traditional spa adventure, Canyon Ranch is known as the world leaders in spa wellness thanks to their ability to offer customised spa treatments. Expert Program Advisors help you enjoy your very own personal experience suited to your interests, pleasures and wellness goals. They’ll help you plan you luxurious SPA adventure, whether you’re at the breathtaking 100,000 square foot spa complex, at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub aboard a cruise liner, or planning on heading to the new Kaplankaya spa in Turkey that opens in 2016.

A truly holistic world of health and wellness

Holistic wellness is an understatement when it comes to Canyon Ranch’s health offerings. At these inspiring wellness destinations, you’ll find the support you’ve always needed; respectful, collaborative and integrative medical professionals who utilise knowledge of both Western science and effective alternative therapies. Canyon Ranch offers you a rare opportunity to enjoy 50 uninterrupted minutes with a physician to help you achieve your health goals. Whether you need to lose weight or you need help with other concerns such as bone density, functional medicine, menopause, sexuality, health heart or ways to optimise your aging, Canyon Ranch goes above and beyond wellness to provide effective, respectful health services. 

A truly inspiring, effective and innovative brand for health and wellness, Canyon Ranch bring fun, freshness and vitality into your life with their programs. With clever partnerships including the linen Canyon Ranch Collection by Frontgate, Canyon Ranch wants you to experience lasting, meaningful change in your life long after you’ve left their stunning spas. 

To experience Canyon Ranch, you can indulge in a spa treatment, a weekend or week away, or experience one of their upcoming, life changing events listed below.

Renew Your Spirit: Nov 1-8th 2015
Nourish your spirit with this inspiring week. Let Canyon Ranch experts take you on a spiritual journey perfect for people of all faiths eager to optimise their wellbeing. This eye opening experience takes place in our beautiful, retreat-like Life Enhancement Center® and is never to be missed.

Living with Joy: The Science and Skill of Happiness
November 11, 2015 to November 14, 2015

What does it mean to live a truly joyful life? How do we find and embrace happiness during our personal and professional journeys? Gary Frost, PhD, and author Doug Smith, lead an exploration of Positive Psychology, which offers intriguing ways to consider these important questions, with particular focus on the aging process and the impact of happiness on longevity and quality of life

Gotta Dance Week!
November 29, 2015 to December 3, 2015

One of the most popular events at Canyon Ranch, Gotta Dance Week is a fun, joyful way to rejuvenate your body and mind. No experience is necessary as fitness staff and visiting professionals inspire you with classes of hip hop, ballet, jazz, Bollywood, Broadway routines and much more. You can even get onstage for the grand finale – a guest performance that knocks the socks off the audience every time.

If you’ve never been to Canyon Ranch before, you’ve been invited to enjoy a special offer of 20% off for a minimum 4-night stay. 

Now through December 23, 2015
January 1 - February 29, 2016
April 1 - December 23, 2016

Now through December 23, 2015
January 1 - December 23, 2016

Wild West Coast Escape

I had the privilege recently of attending the Wickaninnish Inn at Chesterman Beach on the wild, west coast of Vancouver Island.  It brings a whole new meaning to the term “wild”.  Located in the Pacific Rim Rain Forest with miles of sandy beaches and rugged coves, there is something magical and spiritual about the land.

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This amazing inn of rustic elegance perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean is the perfect place to rejuvenate, relax and refresh. Whether you are looking for an active adventure, a romantic getaway, natural elements, or simply a place to unwind, Wild Wellness Travel will create a getaway tailored to your needs.

The West Coast of Vancouver Island is remote yet accessible and of course unspoiled, pristine and yours to discover. From extreme to extremely laid back, there are activities here for everyone during every season. Other than a camera, all you really need to bring is a relaxed state of mind and a sense of discovery! 

Storm Watching


Did I mention it can get stormy here? With nothing between the inn and Japan, you can imagine the spectacular shows that Mother Nature puts on from November through February. Whether you take it in from your fireplace-warmed suite or don a rain slicker and take your experience to the beach, this is the most incredible introduction to the wild, west coast.


Ancient Cedars Spa

Time to cleanse your body and soul - and enjoy some “me” time at Ancient Cedars Spa.  Nestled into the Ocean level of the Pointe building, the Spa is sheltered by the forest fringe, adjacent to the wave dashed-rocks looking out to the open Pacific. Here, our spa practitioners and estheticians provide a journey into a sense of well-being, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation, inspired by our natural surroundings. Wake up and loosen up with a  Hatha yoga session in our beautiful Rainforest Haven room. Classes are semi private (maximum five participants) - designed for all skill levels - so individual attention is guaranteed. Indulge in a relaxing eucalyptus steam in the newly renovated steam cave prior to your one-hour treatment.



Gourmet Getaway

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Experience the culinary magic of The Pointe Restaurant's kitchen brigade. . It is one of Tofino's top restaurants and a must-go-to Vancouver Island dining destination. With over 240 degrees of Pacific Ocean viewscape welcoming your arrival, it may take a few moments to focus on the menu. Bring your appetite and prepare to be spoiled!  Or enjoy “Forage & Feast”, and learn where your food on Vancouver Island's West Coast comes from in any season with this delicious (and educational) package featuring dinners, guided nature walks and botanical gardens!

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ROMANTIC getaways


"I Do" Elopement Package

A package created for two - Exchange or renew your vows intimately amidst the timeless beauty of the rugged west coast. Simplify your planning, and let us coordinate the details so the two of you can enjoy this special day worry-free.



If you want to just relax and wind down, your idea of "activity" might be to pull up your balcony chair and listen to the intoxicating symphony of our omnipresent surf.

And that's OK! But no matter what the season, there is always a multitude of things you can do in and around the Wickaninnish Inn and Tofino.

·       Bear Watching

·       Birding

·       Cultural tours

·       Fishing

·       Hot Springs Cove

·       Kayaking

·       Nature and Hiking Trails

·       Stand-up Paddle Boarding

·       Surfing

·       Whale watching


Wild Wellness Travel would be honoured to create an amazing West Coast adventure for you.  Contact

Nicaragua magic



Hello beautiful souls. If you are looking for an amazing surf and yoga retreat this winter look no further.  


My my talented dear friends at Papaya Wellness based in stunning Nicaragua host some bad ass retreats.  

For a sneak peak of what to expect check out this awesome video! 

Here are all the details. Email for booking information. 





FEB 27TH – MARCH 5TH, 2016

MARCH 12TH – MARCH 19TH, 2016





This is a 7 night/8 day All Inclusive Luxury Yoga and Surf Retreat at Mark and Dave`s a luxurious beach front surf lodge in the sea-side community of Hacienda Iguana. Relax in the ocean front pool between surf sessions at Panga Drops, and watch the un-ridden waves roll by. Practice yoga and pilates twice daily from the ocean side platform. Learn to surf in a fun and supportive atmosphere with other beginners at the mellow learning wave Los Perros. Indulge without guilt in healthy, fresh and nourishing vegetarian and seafood fare. Explore the surrounding communities and get to know Nicaraguan culture, let go and unwind with a relaxation massage, take some time for yourself, connect to yourself, get inspired, and take a week to just ‘be’.

A highlight video of the resort, surrounding areas and the variety of activities outside of surfing in Nicaragua...


  • Airport shuttles 

  •  7 Nights accommodation in a luxury beach front. All rooms with air conditioning,  private bathrooms and showers, and two full size pillow top beds

  •  3 Nutritionally balanced and inspired vegetarian and seafood meals daily

  • 1 Surf lesson and excursion with lunch included

  • Wireless internet

  • Fresh fruit smoothies, juices, local fair trade coffee and filtered water
  •  2 Daily yoga / pilates lead by an experienced instructor

  •  1 Complimentary massage and pedicure
  •  3 Surf lessons at wave out front `Los Perros, includes board hire

  • Complementary wine, beer and delicious sunset cocktails
  • Karma Yoga day. Get involved with the local community, have fun through cultural exchange-  local cooking class, community surf lessons, beach clean up etc!  (Activity will depend on what is happening in the community at that time)

  • IPod Hook up (Rooms and The Hacienda area)

  • Bicycles, Stand up Paddle Boards, Horseshoes, Volleyball net, snorkeling gear, fishing lines


 Tipping for on site staff and services ( a standard tip is 10%)

Additional spa services (available upon request)

For Hire:

Motorbikes, Taxi vans, Short board rentals (a full selection of “Firewire, Channel Islands, Rusty, and various other”  Short and longboards)





**Inquire about group pricing. If you reserve before July, 2015 we will offer you a $200 discount! 





The Ranch 4.0 - Four days to transformation

As promised the Ranch at Live Oak / Malibu also offers a shorter program! Check out the wonderful facts below and for more information or questions feel free to reach out to Cait at Wild Wellness Travel.


R4.0 is a shortened version of the acclaimed Ranch at Live Oak / Malibu weeklong program. This is a luxury wellness and fitness retreat taking place at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village and California Health and Longevity Institute. R4.0 supports guests through intensive outdoor physical activity, exercise sessions and a structured nutritional diet of fresh organic vegetarian fare. This retreat allows guests to take a break from their hectic daily schedule and focus on their mind, body and spirit while they cleanse, detoxify and shed unwanted pounds.   R4.0 was designed as a jumpstart program for guests unable to take a week off and for those who need to stay more connected during their stay.

With a “no- options” philosophy, the highly effective program includes 8 hours of exercise daily, with challenging physical activities that prove rewarding and fun. A dedicated and experienced staff tends to your every need. While at R4.0, guest’s time will be spent in low impact constant activity, rather than short bursts of intense, injury- prone activity. Each morning, guests awaken at 5:30 a.m. for morning stretches, followed by a four- to five- hour group hike winding through the Santa Monica Mountain terrain. With 200- plus trails varying in levels of difficulty, guests are treated to varying hikes each day. After lunch, guests are delighted to nap before an active afternoon filled with core and ab work, weight training sessions, daily massage, and group yoga and stretching.

Through the California Health and Longevity Institute all guests participate in VO2 and Bod Pod testing to further educate themselves about their current baseline with regards to fitness level and body fat composition.


The Ranch’s highly knowledgeable staff supports and nurtures its guests, while guiding them toward achieving the personal program goals they each set upon arrival. The Ranch is all about stimulating mind and body through sustainable exercise which will enhance metabolism, cleanse and detoxify the body, allow for a healthy loss of fat, and offer a heightened sense of mental clarity and serenity. Guests desiring to lose weight, routinely shed some unwanted pounds and inches, emanating a vibrant, heal thy glow, and getting a dramatic head start on maintaining a path of heal thy living.


All guests have their own private room which includes a king bed, shower and bathtub at Four

Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. Guests have access to the award winning spa area during any downtime in the program where they can enjoy the sauna, steam room, meditation area and indoor and outdoor pool. We have removed the coffee makers and mini bars so that no one is tempted during their stay.


A 1,400- caloric daily diet consists of gourmet farm- to- table fare with French and American influences.

Flavorful and healthy, cuisine emphasizes fresh, organic ingredients designed to sustain and detoxify.  No alcohol, caffeine, or processed sugars are served, and special diets and food allergies are accommodated.

Dining at R4.0 is communal in our Ranch Greenhouse on property at Four Seasons Hotel, Westlake

Village. We offer a cooking demonstration on Monday mornings where guests interact with our chef and learn how to create some dishes at home.


The program begins Thursday at noon through Monday at 10:00AM and includes all meals; daily hikes; fitness classes; daily massage (Friday- Sunday) ; cooking demonstration and nutrition information; transportation as required throughout guests stay; and transportation from Westlake Village to LAX on Monday departing at 10 am and arriving at LAX by noon.

Ranch 4.0 is an all- inclusive rate, excluding gratuities, which are discretionary. A 30- day Pre- arrival  itinerary of exercise,  diet,  and wellness tasks is sent to guests and is recommended for the most effective results. The Ranch also  supports  and  accommodates  takeover  group  weeks  and  specially  tailored  corporate  retreats. Please email Cait at Wild Wellness Travel for more information on pricing and how to find yourself in this transformational program.


I’ve grown in so many areas in the past ten years but did not feel my body reflected my soul. I needed a breakthrough! The Ranch exceeded ALL my expectations. It did exactly what I wanted. They pushed my limits in a beautifully nurturing way. I learned so much and leave feeling aligned, supported, loved and with a new sense of purpose. Alex, Sue and the great staff have created something very special.

Mathew Upchurch –  Founder/CEO Virtuoso, Ltd.

It’s not just about the week one spends at The Ranch, it’s the effect it has when you leave. I have continued to lose weight WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING AT ALL. It is almost as though it has changed my set- point. It’s like it resets your metabolism. I was so sure, having hit 50, that those few extra pounds were something I had to accept. Not so, not so at all. The joy at not feeling lumpy over

Christmas is a priceless one. Thank you again, guys.

C.S. – London, England

Just back from the incredible new Ranch at Live Oak “boot camp” in Malibu 10 pounds and 9 inches lighter! I started preparing 4 months ahead and in total have lost 30 pounds and almost 20 inches.  It is amazing! I need a whole new wardrobe.  The best part is that my body is still in burn mode and I am losing more weight. It is really incredible!!! This is perfect for anyone who wants to get in shape or spend a week focusing on themselves, challenging their limits and growing their physical and emotional fitness level.

J.E. – New York, New York

It has been over 6 months that I visited the Ranch, which changed my lifestyle and indeed gave me the techniques and discipline to keep my weight down. I have now lost 32 lbs and received all high marks at my recent annual physical exam. A million thanks and my regards to all.

C.C. – Hong Kong

Feeling fit and gaining traction for a fresh start is invaluable. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t need that. You have created an incredible place providing life- changes for people. Now I just need to book my next visit.

J.S. – Los Angeles, California

I am a Board Certified MD. Of note, as I mentioned, I think the pre and post numbers I had were

very enlightening.  Here are the highlights: Weight loss 8 lbs, Total Cholesterol from 202 to 173,

HDL’s jumped to 50 and LDL’s went from borderline high to normal, C Reactive Protein went to normal. This is actually relatively powerful since I had tried for about a year before the Ranch using a knowledgeable basis and trying things like Fish Oil, Oats, and other ways to naturally decrease my cholesterol.   The point here is that there is very likely some tangible empirical evidence that the Ranch, and maybe more importantly, a “Ranch- like lifestyle” could have real impact on areas like Cholesterol, Diabetes, Hypertension let alone longer term issues like cancer, aging, etc.

C.K. –  Chicago, Illinois

You have created a world class retreat, which I hope to visit regularly throughout my life to recalibrate my mind and body. It’s a tough program that challenged me each day and made me realize how strong I really am.

J.M. – Toronto, Canada