Ruby Numinous shares an excerpt from her upcoming book, Material Girl, Mystical World — titled How To Survive and Thrive on a Radical Wellness Retreat. If "retreats" are the new vacations, where do you go to disappear from the world?

In the Now Age, retreats are the new vacations. Why spend all that money on a regular holiday, when you could travel to the exotic location of your dreams, soak up some rays and sample the local cuisine, but with an order of high-vibe personal development on the side? And often in the company of whichever guru, teacher or guide is currently rocking your world.


There’s a retreat out there for whatever Now Age practice floats your boat – from yoga and meditation, through astrology, shamanic journeying, Goddess worship, and healing with psychedelic plant medicines. Or perhaps you’re in the market for a tantric immersion, a permaculture course, or a Venus-themed weekend deep dive into love and relationships. You name it - it’s very likely somebody’s doing it. My advice for choosing a retreat for you? Simple: you should be practically leaping out of your chair with excitement (which may well be disguised as nerves, be warned) at the prospect. Anything less, and your money may be better spent elsewhere.

Because in my experience, I’ve come to understand that the word “retreat” can be extremely misleading. It suggests a degree of relaxation, an opportunity to recharge and regenerate as you switch off and withdraw from the world. And while most retreats can certainly offer all these things
(particularly in the case of the 10-day silent meditation retreat known as “Vipassana”, where participants express not one word, not even in written form, for the duration), please don’t ever been fooled into thinking you’re not here to WORK. Work on yourself, that is, because retreats are often where shit gets really real.

It’s no wonder that most spiritual traditions embody the concept to a degree—whether it’s hermit monks, or Zen Buddhist centers offering practitioners a place to retreat and meditate on life. (Art: Victor Moatti)

HV recommends "The Moon Magic" retreat at Maha Rose North (July), hosted by Moon Club founders Ruby Warrington and Alexandra Roxo.