our 2018 Belgian beer holiday

in October, eighteen of us took a Balance & Brews beer holiday to Belgium. we practiced yoga, we drank beer, we found a strong unity in our travel pack, and we allowed our experiences to change us as we explored an evolution of Belgian beer and culture.

this is my highlight reel of the moments and experiences I’ll always remember. a link to our full holiday album is below.

photo: Shelby Kulick • wanderlust at Brussels Beer Project

 

was this Brussels Beer Project glassware made just for us?!


our travel began in Bruges. we stayed at a simple, charming eco-hostel with a great Belgian beer bar and plenty of chill space for the group to get to know each other.

every day of our adventure was filled with blue skies and delicious beer, but what made me even happier was watching some fast friendships develop.

Bruges is shockingly beautiful. we learned a lot about the town during one of our brewery tours, like how it was spared the destruction that most other cities in the region fared during the world wars, allowing it to still stand beautifully in it’s old world glory.

from Bruges, a group of us took a bike ride through the Belgian countryside to visit Damme, a small town to the north. we saw all the standards you’d want to see on a trip like this: the autumn leaves falling, a Dutch windmill, the black sheep rebelling from his herd to be in our group photo.

our first yoga and beer practice in Belgium was at Brouwerij de Halve Maan (Half Moon). still a really proud moment in my career: from following through on a bold idea, this became our reality.

our practice at Halve Maan was in the morning. that afternoon, we noticed the half moon in the sky. this wasn’t arranged- my mission in scheduling this day was just to collaborate with a brewery in Bruges, on a day they could host our group. the literal aligning of the lunar cycle with our itinerary just proved the strength that is doing things with pure intention.

photo: a kind stranger. • our entire B&B group with our Halve Maan tour guide (front row, to my left)

from Bruges, we also visited a Trappist brewery! we ventured to Westvleteren to taste the brews direct from the source. it was another beautiful day and a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience.

the second leg of our beer holiday took us to Brussels. our first group outing was a Belgian beer tour. we ranked beers, learned even more about the local beer culture, and practiced perfect pours.

our yoga practice and tour in Brussels was with Brussels Beer Project- a full shift in evolution from the old world brewery roots we experienced in Bruges. BBP brews in an experimental fashion, similar to American craft brewing styles. staying true to their mission of growing forward, brewmaster Dimitri practiced yoga in his brewery with us, and hung out with a few of us who stayed in Brussels an extra day after the retreat. I had asked him to take us to one of his favorite local places - he suggested we hang out at the local BrewDog- another revolutionary international brewery!

the vision of this trip was to explore evolution via a path of Belgian beer.

‘become who you are’ was the final takeaway from the ode to exploration that was the decor of our hostel in Bruges. I think you find who you are when you explore. when you are open to change. when you have enough trust in the support of others to get out of your comfort zone. when you are open to connecting to anyone, anywhere.

through all these shared experiences, you become who you are.

need to see more than the highlights? our full holiday album is below- from Bruges to Brussels and everywhere between.

want to be a part of the next adventure? the 2019 trip is live NOW. join us october 6-11, 2019.


find out more about this yoga & beer community- get on the Balance & Brews list below.

six travel tips for responsible roaming.

living like a yogi doesn't end when you roll up your mat. follow these six tips to incorporate your yogic lifestyle into your travels. 

off the mat yogi tip #1 | be present.

no matter where you go, it’s impossible to see it all and do it all. the only option? surrender to that reality! don’t cram. don’t make inaccessibly huge 'must-see' demands on yourself. set and control expectations within your financial and time budgets, then be completely present in every land, with every person, place, and thing.

off the mat yogi tip #2 | be flexible.

things change, even the most carefully executed travel arrangements. remember that you can only control the things you can control - but you have the power to let go of the rest. when plans change, be flexible, and find trust. trust that you’ll end up somewhere equally (or even more) awesome.

off the mat yogi tip #3 | be open. 

you say you want to travel for the cultural experience. now that you’ve said it, you need to do it. 

do your homework before you go. educate yourself. and when you get there, engage with all your senses. start conversations. ask questions, and truly listen to the responses. educate yourself with first hand accounts. promise, you'll fill all that open space with more experiences, connections, emotions, and knowledge than you dreamed possible.

(want a first-hand account of the magic of traveling with an open mind and heart? glimpse into my once-in-a-lifetime cultural travel experience in cuba.

off the mat yogi tip #4 | be your intention.

intentions aren't just the words your instructor offers at the start of your lunchtime power flow. intentions should be going everywhere with you. especially when you commit to travel. do you know why you're going where you're going? there's no right or wrong, but it's a question you need to be able to answer. 

after you set your why, set your budgets, and make sure you allow space and money for spontaneity. because the things that fit your true intention are going to find you. and you’re not going to want to miss them.

off the mat yogi tip #5 | be responsible.

we’ve roughed up this world, friend. and we collectively have to take responsibility. the small changes add up, including learning to travel with care and respect. travel lightly. literally. don't travel with crap you don't need. every excess pound of 'stuff' uses precious resources to haul around. and every creature comfort you leave behind provides you an opportunity to grow- and remember, it's all only temporary, anyway! 

exploring group travel is another way way to save resources AND money - while gaining all the amazing personal growth benefits. when you travel with a group you can share rooms, transportation, AND experiences - those priceless souvenirs that don't add any weight to your luggage!

off the mat yogi tip #6 | be worth it. 

that's not an ego statement, it's root chakra basics: your right to be. you're worth the experiences you dream of having. measure your worth in the intangible things you value. consider your investments. and when you commit, COMMIT. go all in. because, you’re worth it. you have the right to be. 

wanna roam responsibly? hit the google. find a trip that makes the butterflies in your belly start to flutter, then reach out to the organizer and ask all the questions to make sure it fits your needs and is worth it for you. 

wanna travel with me? check out my upcoming travels here, then ask me all those questions, too! hit me up via email or with a comment below. 

^ for responsible tips, straight to you inbox.

do it. or not. and here's some reasons why you should(n't)

the 2018 firefly trips to latin america are rolling up quick- and with the 2017 cuba excursion being only a month away now- i was thinking about how we make these big decisions. decisions to boldly say yes to this kind of life-changing travel. i bet the questions and answers that rolled through my mind in the planning and committing phases of these 2018 trips were similar to the ones that might be rolling around in your brain now, so let me share 3 reasons TO go on a yoga retreat and 3 reasons NOT TO go on a yoga retreat.

3 reasons to go on a yoga retreat

1. to find clarity. the answers to all your crazy life questions are already there. and you'll be amazed at how quickly they start appearing when you step away from distractions and put yourself in a whole new corner of the world, where you see the inner and outer view through a new lens. 

2. to find yourself in nature. nature invites that inner wisdom we just chatted about. adult recess is key to your vitality, soul, qi, prana, whatever you choose to call it. it also instantly boosts your mood and erases fatigue. and, it kinda does all of that about 6000% more when you take daily recess on group yoga travel to an exotic location...  

3. to find connections. it all starts when we can connect to who we really are. we build that strong root, and then we grow connections to everyone and everything around us. this is truly where you find your purpose.

3 reasons to NOT go on a yoga retreat (answered by a yoga retreat) 

1. you can't afford it. yoga retreat's response: perhaps, right now, you truly can't. and that's ok. but in the grander scheme, living life with money as the only currency of your existence is what you can't afford. travel and experiences cost a chunk of change, but the return is priceless. for an adventure now, or just for the future, sketch out a list of things that take your money but don't give that type of priceless value. i promise they're there. you just have to want to see them. 

2. you might be a little afraid of this. yoga retreat's response: GOOD! if you didn't sense that something huge could shift from an adventure like a yoga retreat...it probably isn't for you. this is the kind of fear that you look in the face and walk towards, because deep down you know it brings evolution and opportunity. it's the stuff that makes you really strong and ready for everything else.   

3. the time isn't right. yoga retreat's response: time is a glorious luxury. it has finally claimed tops over money as the most important thing for so many of us. we can't make up for losses of it, but with the right perspective, we can control how we relate to it, how we spend it, and, with good choices, we kind of can make more of it. what if your mind has spent your whole life just telling you that the time isn't right? that's a fear. see reason number two not to go. and you can't change that history, so let that thought go NOW, and claim your time. weigh your values. it's your life, it's your decision. 

inspired? find your glow: 

^ purpose-filled adventure