Befriending a stranger over plant-based burgers. Dancing with your fellow wild women in a black-lit dance party. Enjoying a well-earned savasana after your first go at AcroYoga. Gazing over the mountain as you soak in the beauty of the present moment. This is Wanderlust. Join us this festival season! For more information, click here.
Last July, I was fortunate enough to attend Wanderlust at Squaw Valley. It was an epic journey: four days of a wellness wonderland with some of the best teachers I’ve ever met. The hardest part was deciding where to begin. A Kundalini class atop a mountain? A guided musical hike with one of my favorite bands? A cacao ceremony? The possibilities seemed fantastical, too dreamlike to be a reality.
And yet the festival was one of the most down-to-earth experiences I’ve ever known. For four days, I connected with total strangers through a series of brilliantly-executed programs, all designed to encourage presence, awareness, and compassion. We were invited to hike, flow, meditate, experience, eat, dance, breathe, and enjoy. It was fun we could feel good about, as the festival was curated in a way that created as minimal waste as possible. The food we ate was created with respect for the land and the animal. The leftovers and serving utensils were composted. Wanderlust was a learning experience, in so many different ways.
But no worries. Even if you’ve been before, there’s more in store this year.
New Season, New Experiences
According to Wanderlust Festival co-founder Sean Hoess, when it comes to crafting Wanderlust, it’s broken into five core pillars for inspiration: practice, listen, learn, taste, and explore. The trick is to constantly allow for re-evaluation and figure out which pillars can be improved. This process also includes communicating with the attendees and finding out what they think might be expanded.
The „Taste“ pillar is getting a major overhaul this year, with the “Find Your True Fork” stage. Modeled after the Find Your True Fork initiative at Wanderlust Hollywood, the stage is designed to provide guests with hands-on cooking demos and how-to lectures, enabling them to take some of the holistic recipes and cooking techniques back home. Teacher lineup consists of top chefs, wellness practitioners, and nutrition experts, ensuring that you’ll walk away with some valuable information.
More valuable information is one thing you’ll walk away with this year, but you’ll also be privy to some bonus activities from local and national craft vendors. According to Sean, in 2017 Wanderlust is stepping up the surprise-and-delight game with free holistic experiences. Essential oils, henna tattoo, and sound baths are just some of the things guests can expect to find sprinkled throughout the grounds.
“We’ve grown a tremendous amount in the last two years, and with that, our minds were focused on the logistics, creating a tightknit staff, and the nuts and bolts of execution,” Sean explains. “We’re proud to be one of the best-run transformational festivals out there. But with that done, there’s more space to focus on art, touch, experience, surprise and delight. That’s where we hope to see significant changes.”
He also alluded to space for potential surprises to pop up throughout this year’s festivals. Regardless of the location, Sean is confident that 2017 festival-goers will find plenty of opportunities for unique and mindful experiences.
First-Time Wanderluster? Here’s Some Simple Advice.
“Listen to your body!” Sean says. “You’ll be so excited and you’ll try to push yourself to do everything. Remember to stop and chill.”
Luckily, Wanderlust provides plenty of opportunities to help visitors check in and recognize the beauty of the present moment. And while it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the wide range of exciting options, there’s no such thing as a “wrong” Wanderlust experience. Simply bring a bottle of water, maybe a journal to jot down memorable moments, and open your mind to a new experience.
We’ll see you on the mountain!
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Amanda Kohr is a 24-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the Internet via her blog at cozycaravan.com.