Spa Girl Abroad: Kalani Oceanside Retreat

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Greetings from Kalani Oceanside Retreat

A hidden haven on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawai’i, Kalani Oceanside Retreat is nothing but a pure escape to the jungle at it’s finest. And your off-the-grid experience can be as luxury, or as rustic, as you’d like it to be .

From modern cottage to treehouse to big ole’ hale (Hawaiian for ‘house’) to glamping with wi-fi, Kalani has it all.

Indulging in massage, sauna, a full schedule of mind-body activities, plus wandering an endless jungle trail surrounding the property makes Kalani one of the rare places on earth I’ve never wanted to leave. What’s great about Kalani is you can be as social or introverted as you wish…the community feel is thriving, yet plenty of solo time can be found to write, reflect, meditate. It’s a writer’s paradise, quite literally.

The food you ask? Incredible. The kitchen caters to everyone from vegan to paleo to the kid who loves Lucky Charms (you’ll probably find the organic version here, though ;). Three times per day, a conch is blown which lures Kalani guests and their hundred or so volunteers head to the most beautiful buffet that rivals Whole Foods (get in line early or show up on the late end to avoid waiting long). Plus, you’ll undoubtedly graze on tropical delights such as guava and starfruit that fall from trees here.

I was first introduced to Kalani when I attended a 30-day intensive yoga teacher training at the retreat center. Kalani’s feels much like a second home to me, and has been my go-to getaway spot on the islands ever since. E como mai (welcome) to my one of my second homes 🙂

Would love to hear about your experience at Kalani, and/or retreat centers like it, fellow Spa Girls and Guys! I LOVE discovering new retreat spa centers. I’m heading to Bali next month…send me your tips!

Mahalo (thank you) and Coconut Kisses,

Beach Girl Abroad

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Where’s Buddha? Bongeunsa Temple Exploring

Visited Bongeunsa Temple in the center of Gangnam, Seoul after school last week. My new goal is to explore more after work. I’ve become used to the job and am not nearly as tired as I was at first. In the beginning, teaching kindergarten was so exhausting that I barely had enough energy to go to dinner after work!

The reason I wanted to teach abroad was to travel and explore, so duh…the only answer is to get out and do it! I dragged along 3 friends and we had a great time wandering and taking pictures.
The Buddha at Bongeunsa is supposedly the tallest in Korea. I was in awe and took a seat to meditate for a minute on the beautiful marble floor in front of Buddha. When I took off my shoes and stepped on the marble, I was delighted to find it was warm! Ondol marble floor outdoors in front of Buddha….taking a mental note of that one. This will definitely be one of my top spots to come back and visit during this year in Seoul.
Check out how this beautiful temple is situated right in the middle of crazy urban development (see skyscrapers in the background). Just when I thought again that Korea had lost it’s nature, well it smacks me straight in the face that they do in fact have it right…nature and peace right in the middle of a crazy busy city!