Last summer my sister and I were trying to organize a cool vacation together. You see, my sister and I are very different people with different tastes and we have lived in different countries for 6 years so it’s not exactly like we hang out as much as we used to. But we love each other and finding something for both of us was something important.
I am a dancer and for me a dream vacation can be a peaceful Yoga retreat, or just going to a different city to try a dance intensive course while at the same time getting to know a new place. My sister, on the other hand, works in Finance and her idea of a great trip is more of a relaxed one. She loves to have everything planned and organized and I love to improvise and make decisions as I go.
What do you do when you want to make a trip with someone who is so different? We ended up having our best Yoga Vacations ever, but it wasn’t so easy to get there…
What do we have in common?
OK, so besides being sisters, we had to come up with something that we had in common in order to build a solid plan that we could both enjoy. We both had to compromise a little, but we didn’t want a situation in which one felt uncomfortable.
We brainstormed and we both agreed that the beach is an awesome place that we both love. Having the idea of a location simplified everything. No mountains, no big crowded city, no cruise ship, just the ocean!
Great. Now, which beach? Which country? That one came easy, I was living in Lisbon at the time and the south of Portugal has amazing beaches that are so worth going.
We also agreed on that we would include some sport activity to the mix, we were both opened to trying something new and that we were not going to go to an extremely fancy resort. We were on our way to meet each other half-way!
Differences along the way
As the date was approaching, my sister, that loves to have everything planned with lots of anticipation, started sending me all these ideas of itineraries and places that we could visit, places where to eat, special packages for tours along the Algarve, all amazing stuff. But it was just way too much information for me to process so early.
Whenever I travel, I like to decide what to do on the spot, if I make plans I run the risk of finding something different to do that feels like a better idea and then I have to worry about reservations or prepayment. I am a pain in the ass for anyone who is like my sister!
And I completely get it.
There is no right or wrong way to travel, but when two personalities as different as ours come together it’s really important to be careful and find a way to compromise so we can both share a good moment without hurting anyone’s feeling.
We both wanted to try surfing and do Yoga!
In one of our Skype calls I mentioned that it was a pitty to be in one of the most famous surf spots and not take at least one surf lesson. She agreed, yes! Finally!
I knew that she had tried surfing some years before but I wasn’t sure if she would consider the idea of doing it again.
And then she said something that I never expected to hear from her…
What about a Yoga retreat? I’ve been doing some research and there are some trips that include both Yoga and Surfing.
This was all new to me. You see, all the Yoga retreats I’ve done are very focused on meditation, connecting with yourself, pranayama sessions before sunrise, all that Namasté stuff that I love but I understand it’s not for everyone.
How did the surfing fit in this equation? It didn’t. It was a completely different equation, and that made it all so much more exciting!
A Surf/Yoga retreat?
After she caught my attention with this idea of a retreat that also involved daily Yoga lessons and Surfing classes, she sent me a link she found in BookYogaRetreats.com. I’d never booked anything through them before but it looked very nice and the site had nice reviews.
There were a few different interesting options for the Algarve, in Portugal, and they all looked like so much fun!
We ended up choosing one that included two daily Surf sessions and one restorative Yoga session in the afternoon. There were some planned group activities besides the lessons but we also had a lot of free time for us to do whatever we wanted.
It was a perfect balance between someone that wants everything organized and scheduled and someone… well, someone like me!
It included Yoga, which I love and I am passionate about, and surfing lessons!
It was settled in a beautiful house in Luz, an amazing little town with a beautiful beach and the surfing lessons were in different locations along the coast.
What could have been a chaotic experience between two very different women ended up being a beautiful, bonding time one of the most lovely places I’ve ever been to!
In case you didn’t know, Surfing is freaking challenging, but also a lot of fun… Thanks for those brilliant restorative Yoga lessons that helped our bodies recover and get back into the water.
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box
This wasn’t a trip that I would have planned by myself, it was a trip that my sister would have planned for her either. But it was a perfect trip for both of us and we ended up having so much fun!
It didn’t feel like a Yoga retreat either, although it was listed as one. But it was just what we needed.
What I learned and I think could be valuable to anyone is that if you ever find yourself in a situation in which more than two people have very different interests, it’s best to think outside of the box to come up with a whole new idea that is the best for everyone.
There are infinite possibilities, you just have to look for them. If a Finance expert and a dancer found their way through a the best Yoga Vacation ever, anyone can!
Have you ever been in a situation like this? Do you have family vacations coming up and you have no idea of what to do?