Glow Camp Retreat: Koh Samui
I’ve been happy sighing since 2 weeks ago when I arrived at the Glow Camp Retreat. I knew from the moment I walked through the doors of our pristine ocean front villa that this was going to be a week I’d never forget.
There is a storybook magic to warm days in Koh Samui, Thailand when fiery rays of sun dance against the breeze of the ocean’s waves. It’s the magic that wanderlusts seek. As we traveled down winding, dirt roads in this Buddhist village towards Villa Malouna, the location of our Glow Camp Retreat, I finally felt like I could catch my breath and enjoy a deep sense of relaxation.
After following former makeup artist Martina Fink, who is now a health & wellness coach, for quite some time (Oh, the power of Instagram & Social Media) I was so excited to attend this retreat she was hosting and guuurl it was everything I’d dreamed it would be and more.
From sun up to sun down, from the biggest moments to the tiniest details, Martina and the team behind this inspiring retreat left no stone unturned. The result was 6 women from all over the world deliriously joyful, grinning faces, each of whom left with cherished memories, a renewed sense of creativity, healed from old stories that no longer served us, and enough inspiration to last us at least a year.
There was a sheer diversity of the group and it was admirable how everyone from everywhere including Brazil, Switzerland, New York, and Portugal shared a common passion of wanting to dive deep into our souls, heal past wounds, and turn those old stories into inspiration for new ideas for our brands/businesses. I have been on past retreats before (You can read about here) and it always amazes me how friendly, welcoming, inspiring, and fun these ladies are.
Day 1 at Nikki Beach: This is where our luxury retreat began. I was so excited to attend a fun
brunch here in Koh Samui with my new friends! I have been to the Nikki Beach parties in Cabo San Lucas and Miami Beach, now I could add Koh Samui to the list. The buffet food was delicious and I was pleasantly surprised that they had avocado toast (not easy to find in Thailand). The theme of the party was cowboys and cowgirls. The beats were rolling in and I couldn’t help but dance my way to the ocean. After our brunch and dance party, we were picked up by a private transportation to our private luxury villa.
From the moment we arrived, you can feel the positive energy from the setting and the genuinely kind staff. The villa was minimalistic, eco-chic, and immaculately clean. The Villa is secluded into the tropical garden with sounds of birds from paradise. My favorite part of our rooms was the spacious rain showers that opened up into a private back garden. Martina had fresh iced tea, cold towels, goodie bags filled with rose quartz crystals, notebooks, pens, sage, organic makeup remover towels she had customized for us on Etsy, and makeup/skin products. She also had a professional photographer awaiting our arrival to catch our reaction shots upon entering the first ever Glow Camp Retreat. Bravo, Martina for choosing a spectacular place!
I immediately found myself in a dreamy state of nostalgia experiencing ultimate luxury without pretension and a feeling of escape without losing a sense of home. Villa Malouna is nested on the most beautiful private powder-sand beach in the island. You can spend your free time on the beach with a fresh coconut on an oversized bean bag overlooking the surrounding islands while enjoying a good read, journal time, or just to reflect. Just a few feet away rests the salt water and eco-friendly infinity pool that we did our morning laps in. All can imagine how of the retreat attendees returned to a slower, simpler, and more relaxed way of living almost immediately. This was the perfect place to unplug. Unplugging is absolutely vital to your creative output. Most of my days are spent doing makeup onset or behind my laptop. This was the perfect time to take a nature break. Breathe in the fresh air, really notice the world around me. There is beauty everywhere, as long as you give yourself the freedom to enjoy it.
While I knew the food at Glow Camp would be good, I still wasn’t expecting much. I even packed some snacks and breakfast bars just in case. But the food at this retreat wasn’t just your typical sit-down meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner was an elegant ocean view, candle-lit sit-downs with an outdoor table setting and scenery as beautiful as the plant-based food. Every meal has a variety of mouthwatering choices that were vegan, organic, fresh, and gluten-free. We had an in-house personal chef with exclusive culinary experience.
THAI COOKING CLASS:
I did not think I liked Thai food, simply because I never ate it before. After our first meal here I was hooked. I can’t believe I have been missing out on this delicious food for 28 years! You can imagine the joy I felt when Martina gave us the itinerary and a Thai cooking class was included. I volunteered to help make the vegetable tempura. I can almost hear my fellow retreaters laughing at me as they are reading this. After a quick 5 minutes in the kitchen, the chef took my cooking gloves away. LOL let’s just say I don’t do well with cooking in other people’s kitchens except my own. (If you know me personally and recall the “Hampton’s burning the kitchen down” story then you get it…)
Not only did I walk away with several new addictions to explore, but I was immensely inspired by the passion that our instructor had. Our knowledgeable yoga instructor who was also trained in Qi Gong brought such a powerful and calming energy (and she had a tranquil British accent) to the retreat that you couldn’t help but be moved by. We practiced Yin and Yang yoga which was a perfect fit for everyone’s needs. Yin is more internal, cooling, and downward while Yang is more external, warming, and upward. We held poses for longer than 5 minutes (which is not easy) and mainly worked on the lower parts of our bodies such as the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, and lower spine. I felt so connected to our instructor and urged her to PLEASE make an Instagram account so I could continue to follow her or set up Skype sessions and continue to practice with her over the web.
Every day we had workshops which focused on letting go of old stories that no longer served us. Martina led us through her customized workbook every afternoon for several hours, which allowed us to write down all ways to become more mindful, healthy, and confident in our businesses and personal lives. We dug deep into our desires and new thought patterns around what we wanted. We all shared our experiences and had transformative conversations in a safe and judgment-free space. Martina led us through a lot of high vibrational journaling exercises that helped us focus on designing our dream lifestyle and ways to create healthy new habits. She also provided us with a fresh coconut every day to sip on as we wrote down the lifestyle we want to manifest.
Martina guided us through several meditations a day. She focused a lot on Chakra clearing mediations. For each meditation, we used a different essential oil every time. This was a nice change for me since I typically focus on breath work meditation. She explained to us fully what each chakra represents and how it is connected to your mind, body, and soul. There are 7 energy centers located along our spine called Chakras. When you deepen your chakra meditations, you experience more health and more truth. This initially may be a simple exercise but balancing your chakras could form the basis of an entirely new path of enlightenment.
Have you ever had a Thai massage? If you have not, then I suggest looking into it. Typically, I get a relaxing sweetish massage, but when in Thailand you opt for a Thai massage. My massage therapist laid me on a mat on the floor (not a massage table) and asked me which pressure I would like. I asked for a lighter pressure which was still pretty firm. Thai massages employ a lot of stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques which help relieve tension and enhances flexibility. The therapist used his hands, knees, legs, and feet to move me around and applied firm muscle compression. Thai massages also utilize energy work. According to Asian culture, Thai massage/energy work help correct blockages, imbalances, and is believed to improve health. Talk about a healing service!
I like 1:1 time. This allowed Martina and I to chat privately outside of the group. Martina gave me so many insights and ideas how to continue to live a more mindful and healthy life once the retreat was over and advice on how to carry all the magic I learned with me home.
How on brand is this?! Martina had a professional photographer stay with us to shoot the group and personal photos for us to use for personal or business use. Cherry, our photographer who is originally from Australia and now lives in Thailand as a photographer was simply a joy. She was so encouraging and inspiring to be around. Plus, I needed a new headshot so this was perfect. My friend Sarah and I are planning a collaboration in the near future and this was the perfect opportunity to get some professional photos of us together in the most beautiful setting. The photos should be posted within the next month. I can’t wait to share!
On our last evening, Martina held a very special celebration dinner for us all. She even had custom flower crowns made for us. Total high vision Goddess Vibes. We celebrated our breakthroughs, transformations, and our past accomplishments. We celebrated with delicious food and a bonfire on the beach. We burned letters that we wrote earlier to people who we needed to forgive in our past in order to let go and release any negativity or blockages. We listened to music, drank spiked teas, and laughed as we shared funny stories and discussed our goals, dreams, favorite travels, and more. We made smores and invited the local kids (who have never eaten marshmallows before) to join us and enjoy the simple pleasures of a toasted smore. We lit up sparklers as the sunset and ran into the ocean dancing with the waves. Ah, this is the life. We laid underneath the stars on top of our bean bags and each took several moments to soak in the beauty of mother nature. As the night came to an end, I took a dip in the pool and sat on our Unicorn float we named “Glowy” and I took in all the gratitude I felt from the past week. Pure magic.
Between the daily meditations, massages, healthy meals, supportive daily conversations & beach yoga practices, this retreat leaves you with a profound transformation of both mind & body. When you eat clean foods, breathe deeply, and implement these practices while surrounded by good energy, your body has the chance to heal itself on a physical level. Not only did my stomach bloat go away but I also felt light and renewed.
WHAT I TOOK WITH ME:
Besides all the amazing bonds and new friendships that were formed, I was reminded of something very important. To most people, success is mostly defined by one thing: money. Of course, money is important, and with hard work and dedication, the money will come. As a freelancer, we willingly sacrifice many of the comforts of a corporate job including salary, benefits, security - for things that, to us, are far more important. For me personally, success is no longer defined by a number. Success is waking up every morning excited and grateful. Success is about doing work that aligns with my soul, personal values, and passions. And being able to say no to the work and people that don’t align with me. It’s having the freedom to take a two-week vacation abroad, all without having to ask anyone for permission. And it's knowing that I'll never wake up one day, many years down the road, wondering why I wasted so much of my life doing something I hated. For me, success is measured in happiness, gratitude, travel, conversations, connection, nature, beauty, love, health… and that has no price tag.
I mentioned earlier that I randomly found Martina on Instagram a few months ago and I’m so happy I did. She is a former makeup artist who worked in the beauty industry and then transitioned to the health and wellness community. She is an online coach helping women feel confident about their goals, health, and businesses. You can follow her on Instagram
For this 5 day and 4-night retreat, it cost $3,000 per person. I think I just heard you say in your mind, “Wow, that’s expensive, never mind I’m not going.” & I want you to change your mindset immediately. Investing in yourself by investing in experiences. Set aside some money each month to spend on retreats, coaches, vacations, classes, workshops, anything that interests you to grow to live your best life. In order to make money, you have to spend money.
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
*Transportation to/from airport
*5 days at the most luxurious Villa in Thailand
*Brunch buffet at Nikki Beach and a private cabana
*Personal chef with healthy and gourmet food for every meal/snack
*Coconuts every day
*5 day intensive and transformative workshops
*Guided Meditations every day
*Thai cooking class
*1 hour massage
*Yoga in the morning with professional instructor
*Unlimited use of private beach and salt water infinity pool
*1.5 hour coaching call with Martina prior to retreat
*Glow School Membership
*Goodie bags with crystals, sage, notebooks, pen, beauty products, & more
*Meeting and connecting with new powerful ladies from across the globe
*A glamorous dinner celebration
*Customized Flower crowns (YES GIRL)
*3 months of coaching calls post retreat
*The most incredible experience in the most beautiful place on Earth
Truthfully, I think $3,000 for this retreat is a steal considering all that is included.
WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
Martina’s next retreat is this July in BALI. I’m already booked with makeup jobs but if I wasn’t then you KNOW I would be the first one signed up on her list. To look into her next retreat and sign up click here. Space is limited!
As a special offer for my clients, subscribers, and followers, if you mention my name when you sign up for the Bali retreat, you will receive a $300 discount on the retreat!