Last week I attended the TMRW TDAY Culture Fest in Jamaica where I was invited to share a 15-minute talk. I wanted to use this time to share some valuable information that I’ve learned along my personal transformational journey that would help others to “live their best life”
I’m happy to say it was very well received and several guests told me that it resonated with them. I’ve had a few people reach out to ask if it was recorded and if I could share it with them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so I’ve decided to share the notes from my talk with the intention that this information will continue to help others.
I’d like to say a big thank you to Andrew and Stacy from TMRW TDAY for creating such a special event. If you’d like to learn more about the festival visit www.tmrwtday.com
TMRW TDAY Talk
What does “living your best life” mean to you? Is it traveling around the world, finding your soulmate and getting married, having a successful career, or is it living a life of fulfillment?
Everyone has their own version of what living their best life means to them.
I’d like to know who here feels that they are living their best life?
Who would like to live their best life?
I’m happy to say that I’m currently living my best life. I live in Costa Rica, in a small beach town called Nosara. I start my days with early morning beach walks with my dog. I work where I want when I want with who I want. I can honestly say that I have my dream job, I own a transformational travel company where I get to host people on amazing trips around the world and teach them about wellness, adventure, connection, and self-development.
It sounds pretty awesome right. I have to admit that it is and many friends who know me say I’m living the dream, however, I had to wake up and create this life for myself.
What I’d like to share with you today is what I have learned over the past 5 years and how I was able to create a new lifestyle and career for myself and walk away from the things that were holding me back so I can truly live my best life.
Before I share this with you, I’d like to tell you about how this journey started for me.
I’m an entrepreneur from Toronto, and over the past 20 years, I have opened over 12 successful businesses. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, a spa, hair salon, music festivals… I’ve lived a fascinating, dynamic, luxurious life and many would tell me that I was living “the life” then. Fancy cars, famous friends, beautiful women…
However, despite all of my superficial success, I woke up on August 17, 2015, my 40th birthday and faced the harsh reality that I was not where I wanted to be personally, professionally or financially.
See I thought by 40 I’d be married with kids, and I was still single, no girlfriend and never been in love.
By 40 I thought I would be out of the nightlife business and doing something more fulfilling. I didn’t love my career anymore and felt stuck and didn’t know what else to do.
By 40 I thought I would be well on my way to financial freedom, but I was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. No matter how much money I made, I always spent more than I was earning.
So on that day, I knew that I had to change things up if I wanted to create different results for my life. I made a commitment to myself that by 45 I will not be in the same place, feeling the same way.
So began my journey of self-discovery and self-development.
I consider myself an authority on transformation because I have done a full 180-degree shift in my life professionally, mentally, physically, energetically, spiritually and even geographically.
I’ve spent the past 5 years learning from some of the most brilliant minds, attending courses, forums, and summits. Like workshops that Peter Oppermann leads.
It’s vital for me to share what I’ve learned because I believe that you are here at TMRW TDAY to learn, grow and expand. I know some of you are going through your own transformation and are looking for answers to the questions you have.
My intention to share this with you is what I’ve learned along my journey because I believe it can help you manifest your best life.
I was at the Archangel event in Toronto last year, and I heard the modern day guru Dandapani shared something so simple yet profound that I wish I had learned this sooner.
He shared how to create the life of your dreams, and it resonated with me so profoundly because the process he explained is precisely the journey that I have been on
Dandapani broke it down in a 4 step process and hope that you also benefit from these simple yet powerful lessons.
These are 4 critical steps to manifesting your best life:
Purpose – What does Purpose mean to you? One’s Purpose is a personal thing, and everyone has their own interpretation of what defines Purpose to them. There is no right or wrong answer.
What Purpose means to me is having a cause or a goal that you genuinely believe in and stand for. Having something important to you, that’s bigger than just you. Tapping into your Purpose and living in alignment with what you stand for gives you a tremendous amount of fulfillment. It also gives you direction and boundaries.
If you’re in a place where you may not yet know what your Purpose is, I invite you to start thinking about what impact do you want to make in the world, what change would you like to happen and how can you support that change.
When I discovered my Purpose of sharing my journey with other people that I can help them find out what’s possible for their lives, my priorities in life completed shifted.
When you are living on Purpose you are living intentionally, you are working towards a goal that is personally significant and rewarding. Living and being from this context is a game changer and is the first step to living your best life.
Now once you have discovered your Purpose or are on the path of creating this for yourself, step 2 is crucial.
Focus – Energy flows where attention goes.
If you want to manifest your best life, you must be fully committed and focused on your goal. You have to wake up thinking about it and when you fall asleep, dream about it.
When you begin your path of Purpose, you need to continually check yourself to make sure you are making decisions that are aligned with that vision you have for your life. An idea without a plan is just a dream. Maintaining this focus will be the key to achieving the results you want for your life.
There are so many distractions life that we waste our time on. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, it’s up to you to use these hours to create what you wish to achieve.
It is imperative that you cut out the unnecessary things in your life so you can optimize your focus on the things that support your Purpose and the life you want to create. What you can do to increase your focus is Simplify.
Simplify your life is step #3
You have to cut the distractions out of your life. Get rid of the things that do not serve that higher Purpose that you are committed to.
Take a look at your life and ask yourself what is no longer necessary, what can I get rid of to make my life less complicated.
For me, part of it was getting rid of my luxury car and my designer clothing. When I took a hard look at my life and where I was spending the most money, I realized that some of my most significant expenses weren’t important to me anymore. Because I’m committed to something bigger than my image and ego, I was able to let go of the things that didn’t support what I am creating for my life.
Now I know some of you may think that’s a crazy idea, I know many of my friends did, but I have to tell you that it feels so good to have so much less stuff to worry about anymore.
The ironic part about all these things we purchase and collect is the objects we own end up owning us. When you can let go of the items that actually are useless to you, you will have more time, mental energy and money to focus on what’s really important.
I can personally share that I have never felt so free, fulfilled and happy in my life and I own less than I ever have before.
Now simplifying and letting go of things can be very hard. Because some of these things really mean a lot to our present identity and this is where the 4th and final step is required.
Sacrifice – Now, this last step is the hardest because it is going to require you to make some tough decisions in your life.
There are things in your life right now that you believe to be very important. And some of these things are actually in the way of you living your best life.
It could be your career, your friends and even where you live. For me, it was all 3 of these.
See when I realized that my Purpose is to inspire, educate and empower people to live truly fulfilled lives, and I chose to make this my top priority, I had to make some significant changes in my life.
I knew that I couldn’t own the companies I did and focus 100% on my transformational travel company, so I chose to close down my restaurant Blowfish after 15 years and walk away from $1 million of my own money. I also said no to some new business ventures so I can say yes to what was aligned with the life I want to live.
I also chose to start spending time with people who inspired me that I could learn from and let go of my friendships with the people in my life who are living at a low vibration. Sometimes we outgrow certain people and these relationships, and it’s okay to let go and move on.
I also knew that to create what I want for myself and others that I need to live in an environment where I felt like my best self, so I left my hometown of Toronto to live in Costa Rica where I can be surrounded by nature and high vibrational humans who support me in what I’m creating.
These were not easy choices, and it was painful at times, but the outcome has all been so worth it.
So what is it that you will need to sacrifice, give up, walk away from? Maybe you know the answer already but have been holding on out of loyalty or fear of what might happen if you let go.
If you are fully committed to what you want to create for your life, just trust that now is the time to let go of what doesn’t serve you any longer.
Purpose, focus, simplify and sacrifice. This process may take years to implement, and it will be hard as hell, and the reward is you will enjoy the rest of your life as your absolute best years in life.
Now you may be thinking, that this sounds like a lot of hard work. Why do I really want to live my best life? My life may not be the best, it’s pretty okay.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to live an ordinary life. “Living my okay life” sounds like a lame hashtag if you ask me.
Why is it important to live your best life?
Living your best life isn’t just about your own life. It means being the best version of yourself, so you can be happy and ALIVE and be a contribution to others to help them rise up.
It’s important to live your best life because I believe that the more people who are living their best lives means we have, the higher chance to have the best Earth for all of us.
I believe that this is our collective Purpose, to help our fellow humans, our beautiful animals, and our planet.
I hope what I have shared has been valuable to you, and you have learned something that will help you on your journey to living your best life.
If any of you have any questions about my journey or would like to know more about the trips I run with the ALIVE Experience I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
This March will be 1 year since I launched this transformational travel company. Starting a new business is never easy, especially when it also involves a complete shift in mindset and lifestyle. Of all the businesses I’ve created, this has been by far the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I have ever done.
We will be hosting our 5th transformation vacation March 9th – 16th and I am confident to say that this will be the best experience yet! Each trip gets better and better as I learn from each experience and develop myself to lead at a higher level.
These trips would not have the impact they do if it were not for the incredible coaches and teachers who support me and share their knowledge and personal genius with my guests. I am humbled by their generosity and I am truly grateful for their contributions to my guests.
I am proud to share the line up of awesome humans who will be leading powerful workshops during the next ALIVE Experience as well as the full itinerary.
For thousands of years, humans have longed to live a longer life. With medical science advancing, this dream is becoming a reality thanks to new biological and nutritional information as well as the latest “bio-hacks” available. The idea of living a healthy, long life to 100 seems unimaginable, however there are “Centenarians” who are alive and kicking in several places in the world known as Blue Zones.
Maybe you’ve heard of these special places? Not many have so I’d like to share what I know about them as I happen to be lucky enough to live in one, the Nicoya Peninsula here in Costa Rica.
What’s a Blue Zone?
Blue Zones are areas of the world in which people live exceptionally long lives (100+ years). These regions are home to some of the oldest and healthiest people in the world. The 5 designated Blue Zones in the world are:
- Okinawa (Japan)
- Sardinia (Italy)
- Loma Linda (USA)
- Nicoya (Costa Rica)
- Icaria (Greek Islands)
Residents of these places produce a high rate of Centenarians, suffer a fraction of the diseases that commonly kill people in other parts of the developed world, and enjoy more years of good health than the rest of the population.
So what’s their secret and what are they doing or not doing that the rest of us could learn from?
Studies have found that genetics only play a 20–30% role in longevity so clearly there are some key lifestyle factors that are contributing to their long, healthy lives.
The people inhabiting Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity. The Venn diagram below highlights the following six shared characteristics among the people of the Blue Zones.
Although their lifestyles differ slightly, they mostly eat a plant-based diet, exercise regularly, drink moderate amounts of alcohol, get enough sleep and have good spiritual, family and social networks. Here’s the full list of the most common lifestyle practices found in Blue Zones.
- Regular physical activity
- Life purpose
- Stress reduction
- Moderate caloric intake
- Plant-based diet
- Moderate alcohol intake
- Engagement in spirituality or religion
- Engagement in family life
- Engagement in social life
How many of these 9 practices do you implement into your lifestyle? Implementing these key lifestyle factors into your life is easier than you think once you have the knowledge and structure.
Understanding and appreciating the importance of these, we have designed and structured our programs at the ALIVE Experience around these important lifestyle practices. During our transformational trips we share information and coaching so that our guests can learn to live the Blue Zone life when they return home.
If you’d like to know more about the program that we offer at the ALIVE Experience please email us at email@example.com
What goals and aspirations do you have for 2019?
Often we have big plans for what we want to create for the new year and within a few months or weeks, those goals get pushed back and forgotten about…
If you’re interested in creating something new in the new year, we have assembled an All-Star team of highly trained coaches and facilitators to share their knowledge and personal genius with you. These generous humans live and breathe transformation daily and have prepared powerful workshops to inspire, educate and empower you to truly be ALIVE!
Marcos Tolu, better known by his stage name, Marcos Mendosa, is known by some as a solutionist that uses his creativity and self-expression to invent innovative solutions towards building online businesses. To others, Marcos is known as an inspirational wordsmith that writes compelling speech content that he shares with his global audience across his Facebook accounts that have impacted over 300,000 people to date.
With a background in Audio Engineering and a graduate of the Toronto Film School, Marcos has been known for his talent as a Public Speaker that fuses Music with Motivational Speaking at his acclaimed “Performance Seminars and Edutainment Workshops.”
In 2014 Marcos won 1st Place at the Dynamo Public Speaking Competition. Since then he has been speaking at schools, corporate offices, community centres, and seminars across Canada spreading the word about how to develop the qualities that can help a person live out their best qualities.
His speech, ‘I.M.P.O.S.S.I.B.L.E. – THE 10 ESSENTIALS TO REACH YOUR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL” gained him the privilege of living up to such an esteemed title as “1st Place Dynamo Public Speaking Champion”.
In June 2015 Marcos was introduced to Satish Verma, the President of the Think and Grow Rich Institute. Throughout his position as the National Operations Manager and Instructor at the institute, Marcos lead the team that developed the infrastructure that has now provided Canadians with access to learn how to apply Napoleon Hills worlds practical philosophy of success.
On Sunday November 1st, 2015 Marcos and the Think and Grow Rich Institute combined their efforts to produce his largest performance seminar to date. The I’M.P.O.S.S.I.B.L.E. Performance Seminar was a success, and operated as a catalyst to enrol thousands of students into the institutes courses.
Today Marcos has applied his experiences at Think and Grow Rich and built an entrepreneurial launch company called, The StartUp Boutique.
The StartUp Boutique caters its services to entrepreneurs that aspire to build and launch online businesses, while also providing a unique business proposition that has companies put the boutique in charge of all operations besides delivering the service that each company provides in and out of itself. In 2017, The StartUp Boutique launched 24 companies and is scaling as one of the industry’s leading startup entrepreneurial companies.
As the success of Marcos continues to escalate, you can find him online inspiring hundreds of thousands of viewers with his spoken word content that is shared through video platforms at his Facebook page.
Marcos will be sharing his workshop called Modern Meditation. With the use of carefully selected music, poetic instructions, dynamic breath work, and physical movement, a Modern Meditation session surrenders the soul to all feelings that are held by resistance and ignites ambition, passion, and imagination. Your ability to manifest thoughts into reality is bridged by the occurrence of self-expression and emotional guidance. Modern Meditation experiences are driven by Guided Spoken Word Lyricism that carries you through 4 phases of Personal Expression.
Prepare to Release.
Lindsay is a transformational leadership coach, yoga teacher, writer, wanderluster, and mama of four amazing kids. A regular Huffington Post blogger and often featured as a speaker and expert in the media, she is obsessed with guiding global game-changers to becoming fully Alive + Awake. She is obsessed with guiding global game-changers to becoming fully Alive + Awake. Lindsay is a certified professional co-active coach (CPCC) with CTI and a certified vinyasa yoga teacher. Lindsay has been a speaker and teacher at Afest, the Bliss Project, and many other leading organizations. She is often featured as an expert in the media and was also a columnist in Canadian Health and Lifestyle Magazine for six years.
Lindsay will be leading 2 powerful group workshops focused on Passion and Purpose. During these sessions she will guide each participant in discovering what they truly care about and what contribution and legacy each has to offer.
Purpose: In this talk we explore the concept of purpose and meaning, integrating research on meaningfulness, longevity and positive psychology. Inspired by Viktor Frankl’s work on Logo Therapy, based on his research in the concentration camps of the Holocaust, we explore the importance of having a clear sense of purpose as the key ingredient to living longer, healthier, happier and more productive lives. Participants will leave with a clear life purpose statement and a new appreciation for the potential for aliveness that exists in each day.
Passion: As much as research shows that having a clear sense of purpose and practicing servant-leadership helps people to thrive, there is always a risk of burnout, particularly when leaders are so mission-driven. In this talk we integrate research on positive psychology, flow, and practices of ancient wisdom traditions to help participants reconnect with the things that fill them up, so they may use this never-ending source of energy to fuel them in their work. We explore the principles of tapping into stillness and contemplation in order to tap into inner wisdom, and then using intuition to inform which people, places, things and experiences will bring greatest joy and, therefore, vitality to each person’s life. Participants will leave this session with an accounting of their core values and passions, and, through the partner coaching session, they will leave with concrete accountability to immediately integrate more of their passions into their daily lives.
In her talks, Lindsay will share her findings from her research and experiential work with thousands of elite leaders in top-tier organizations, including CEOs, C-suite executives, start-up founders, athletes, academics, artists and philanthropists. She has created a powerful framework to elevate elite leaders to their highest potential, so they may direct their time and talent towards having an even greater net positive impact in the world. She integrates research on flow states, meaningfulness, optimism, positive psychology and mindfulness, with tools and insights from ancient wisdom traditions and philosophies. The evidence is overwhelmingly clear – people who are aligned with a clear purpose and living fulfilling lives are also significantly more focused, productive, creative and adept at big-picture thinking and complex problem solving. This is the path to creating positively disruptive change in global paradigms and leadership.
Lindsay has the ability to bridge the gap between seemingly disparate fields, including business and spirituality, modern research and ancient wisdom. She integrates complex ideas from far-reaching fields and articulates them in a simple, concise and practical way. Sharing stories and findings from her work as a transformational conscious leadership coach to global game-changers, to illustrate what’s possible when people are living purpose-driven, passion-fuelled lives. She aims to leave people not only with newfound wisdom and understanding, but also with powerful, practical tools to not only inspire growth, but to transform and immediately change their lives. The outcome is a growing tribe of leaders who are, by their example, showing others how to be fully ALIVE + Awake.
Founder of Mind Body Reset, David is highly effective at hitting the reset button on life. He helps high performing people discover the power of who they really are.
David has positively impacted thousands of lives as a senior program leader at one of the world’s largest personal and professional growth, training and development companies. Recognized nationally by Keller Williams Realty as Top 25 in Canada David is the embodiment of performance and firmly believes that how you show up in your spiritual life is how you show up in your health, with your family, in your business and your bank account.
The moment, in December 2015, David received the email recognizing him for being a top performer in the highly competitive real estate industry was one of the most deflating times of his life. He was crushed inside while his bank account was full. This was a pivotal moment in David’s life and where Mind Body Reset was born.
Having dealt with being lonely, emotionally broke, depression and overweight for 20+ years it wasn’t until David went inside to investigate, meditate and renovate where he found the answer. He is a sought after speaker in bridging the conversation between spirituality, performance and health.
Speaking at numerous engagements across North America, David leads a powerful and insightful conversation around aligning your mind, restoring your body and resetting your life.
David will be leading a powerful and insightful workshop marrying the esoteric and often confusing conversation of spiritually and presenting a clear access for answers that you’ve been looking for. The emphasis of the Workshop will be on your personal performance and health/well-being.
He breaks down the existing paradigm of thinking that inhibits your performance and health. Do you feel like you’ve hit the glass ceiling in an area of life and business? You will be left free to create a new paradigm for your life. You will discover your personal power in a whole new way that will dramatically impact your current levels of performance, health, self love, abundance, and fulfillment.
This workshop will be delivered inside of the RESET360 Mind Body Reset framework that has benefited participants in ways such as:
- Dramatic weight loss
- Massive increase in income
- Authentic sense of happiness and fulfillment
- Fulfilling on dreams that have been dormant for years
- Connection with people
- Increased levels of performance in career
- Discovering a greater purpose in life
If you are ready to RESET on an area of life or many areas this workshop will be a profound experience for you.
Chris is a Métis – Cree Canadian is originally from Northern British Columbia yet now calls Costa Rica home. He has been cultivating his spiritual practice for 20 years now. His journey has lead him all across the world and through many disciplines. His multifaceted approach to personal growth and consciousness is received very well by those undergoing the awakening process.
Over the last six years he’s been working with the sacred plant medicines of the amazon, drinking with: Taita Juanito a traditional Inga – Doctor of the indigenous community of the Colombian Amazon and also with the Santo Daime tradition of Brazil. He is honoured to be leading introductory classes to the Breathe, Meditation & Sacred Plant medicines.
Chris will be leading a workshop on altering your mental and physiological state through breath work as well sharing information on mindfulness and elevating consciousness.
As the former CEO (9+ years) of a leading Canadian media company and employee in fast-paced Silicon Valley before that, Julian understands the importance of owning anxiety and nerves both professionally and personally. Over 10 years ago when he created Notable Life and the Notable Awards, Julian experienced severe anxiety for the first time and became determined to naturally deal with it. This led him on a path where he simultaneously managed and grew his former business while exploring empowering natural lifestyle enhancements like holistic health & wellness, self-care, spirituality, yoga, and positive psychology. Julian’s book 99 Ways to Own Anxiety will be available across North America next year.
Today he helps people all over the world #OWNANXIETY by guiding them toward empowering, natural tools from his upcoming book combining medical research from the West and holistic philosophies from the East. These tools, which are the foundation of the Own Anxiety method led to a redefined relationship with anxiety taking it from negative and debilitative to positive and facilitative. As an international keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, coach, teacher, and healer Julian aims to leave every person he connects with ready to not just own anxiety, but to holistically own themselves just a little bit more so that they can truly own their lives.
During Julian’s workshop you’ll be taken inside his Own Anxiety system to begin your awakening that anxiety is your greatest gift and superpower. You’ll learn how to change your relationship with it immediately, meet other successful people in your group with anxiety, and leave inspired to explore.
Rethinking anxiety is the beginning, learning the tools to enable you to own anxiety comes next. You will learn research-proven tools, bridging Western Medicine and holistic Eastern Philosophies, to rapidly change the state of your body and mind the moment anxiety flares up.
You will gain the tools to help #OwnAnxiety when it shows up in your personal and professional lives. Julian is determined to make sure every one of his workshop attendees leaves empowered, confident, and ready to thrive with anxiety.
Zark is a serial entrepreneur who has created over a dozen businesses in the entertainment and hospitality industry. After a 25 year run, his career path is now headed in a new direction. He is combining his expertise in events and marketing with his passion for travel and self-development to bring like minded people together for the ALIVE Experience.
Turning 40 was a major turning point in his life where he realized that he wanted to be more than a successful entrepreneur, he wants to be a successful human living a well rounded life and being in service to others. Since then he has been on a journey of self-discovery and self-development. With all that he has learnt he is committed to creating businesses that have purpose and a very positive impact. He enjoys sharing the lessons he’s learned through his various personal and professional experiences and will be leading a workshops on contribution and how to give back to help others and enrich the quality of your life.
If you feel you can benefit from our workshops and you’re ready for a transformational vacation, then we invite you to join the January ALIVE Experience taking place January 11th – 18th, 2019. Please contact us at travel@TheAliveExperience.com and we would be happy to provide you with any information you may need.
“Align yourself with people that you can learn from, people who want more out of life, people who are stretching and searching and seeking some higher ground in life.”
Last month Vibe Tribe Wellness interviewed Zark Fatah for their podcast. He shared his journey and why he walked away from $1,000,000 to move to Costa Rica.
During this interview, Zark shares information on:
– The importance of hustle
– Not letting financial situations define us
– Why you should invest in mentorships
– Leadership conferences for personal growth & development
– Why it’s OK to follow your heart and change course later in life
– Why he created the Alive Experience
Click the link https://vibetribewellness.org/podcast-zark-fatah/ to listen to the podcast.
In the last couple of years, there’s been an increasing amount of buzz about something called “transformational travel.” Take last year’s buzz about experiential travel and then take it deeper, to a place where you can return with a changed world view following self-reflection and interaction with a new culture and nature. At least, that’s how I see it. It’s loosely based on the teaching of the thinker and writer Joseph Campbell and I first encountered it in the Seattle area with a young guy named Jake Haupert, the Founder of Explorer-X, which offer small group and private tours in the Western US, Canada and Alaska. Haupert is also the Co-Founder of The Transformational Travel Council (TTC) , along with Michael Bennett of Muddy Shoe Adventures, Kurt Kutay of Wildland Adventures and Don Mankin of Adventure Transformations. In short, he’s the ideal person to shed some light on this movement.
Interview with Jake Haupert
What exactly is transformational travel?
The Transformational Travel Council defines Transformational Travel (or TT) as any travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their life.
We’ve conceived a book/journal, HERO “A Seeker’s Guide to Travel” that guides the work and reflection travelers can do from pre-departure, during the journey, and through the weeks after their return. This includes a framework for travelers to process their experiences and turn their thoughts into purposeful action, by Traveling like a HERO. A Hero “Travels With Heart, Fully Engaged, Practicing Resolve, And Wide Open To The Unknown Within Every Journey.”
So how did you get involved with it?
Thanks to my globetrotting grandparents, nurturing dad, and Reiki master-mom, I’ve always sought out the unknown. That’s resulted in an inside/out approach to my travel practice where the mystery of travel satisfies my curiosity and the inner journey feeds my soul.
A few years ago, when faced with an extremely challenging time in my business and life, there were a series of events, eye-opening experiences that forced some introspection. With that reflection, I realized that had lost connection with my inner compass, my soul’s purpose. My business was no longer fully aligned with what I care most deeply about or why I fell in love with travel in the first place. That led to a climb up Kilimanjaro and a safari in the Serengeti that ultimately reconnected me to my purpose.
And then something magical happened. Along with my best pals, upon reaching the summit, we broke down crying, and that crying turned into an inconsolable sob. We couldn’t quite understand why it was happening, but it was, and we rolled with it, and it just went viral in the group, one after the other. For whatever reason, we all released. After reflecting on that moment, the clarity I was seeking came shining through. It was a glimpse into why we travel and what we’re ultimately seeking when we embark on a journey. Since then, I’ve made it my life’s work to facilitate and support seekers in discovering, unlocking, and living the transformational power of travel.
What is the role of the teachings of Joseph Campbell?
More than anything, Campbell’s book, “The Hero’s Journey, is about growth and passage. The journey requires a separation from the comfortable, known world, followed by an initiation into a new level of awareness, skill, and responsibility and then a return home. Each stage of the journey must be passed successfully if the initiate is to become a HERO. To turn back at any stage is to reject the need to grow and mature.
At TTC, we believe in and embrace The Hero’s Journey as the path and process that we all go through when we choose to break out of our comfort zones and travel the world. We feel called to adventure. We set forth into the unknown, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. We experience challenges and trials and tribulations. We learn and grow and shift our perspectives as a result of our travels. As a result, we transform who we are and how we are living.
But isn’t all travel transformational to one degree or another?
No, travel is not transformational. Just by relocating yourself from one point to another doesn’t transform you. You’ll have experiences, you may or may not learn something new, but until you’ve applied meaning and taken action, you have not changed.
Transformation requires that we explore ourselves even as we explore the world. When we recognize that our perspective defines our experience, our participation matters, and by setting intention, being mindful, reflecting, and applying the benefits back home, travel becomes transformational.
Give me an example of a transformational travel trip.
The transformational travel experiences that we covet cannot be designed or sold as such. It’s not something that can be planned for or contrived, it’s an intensely personal experience, one that often surprises us. That’s what makes it so transcendent.
That said, based on the research and framework provided by the TTC and Evergreen Escapes, our new brand, Explorer-X, is the first travel company on the planet to be entirely built to support travelers in their pursuit of transformation. We’re integrating the TTC Guiding Principles, engaging clients more holistically, providing them with a HERO Guidebook, and ‘consciously-designing’ itineraries by slowing the pace. We’re giving time and space for unplanned exploration, integrating timely peak experiences, restorative wellness activities, and ceremonial or celebratory beginnings and ends to the journey. It’s our expectation that by committing to this framework, our custom-crafted trips will amplify the possibility of transformation.
We created an itinerary called “Life in the Bush – An Immersion into the Communities and Conservation of Zimbabwe’s National Parks.” It really embodies what we’re trying to achieve with our transformational trips: deep cultural experiences, active & remote excursions, and thought-provoking interactions.
But the itinerary is only one part of our transformational travel process. We strive to inspire transformational experiences by engaging our clients before, during, and after their actual trip. This includes helping them set intentions for their journey, challenging them to get out of their comfort zone, and guiding reflection after they return, so that they can integrate their discoveries into their everyday life.
We also incorporate “Calls to Adventure” into each of our custom itineraries. These “Call to Adventures” or CTAs, are designed to encourage our clients to explore their destination in novel ways or to provoke deeper thought about the places they’re experiencing. For example, here is a CTA we included for a recent client’s trip to New Zealand’s Mt. Aspiring National Park: “Challenge yourself to learn and be able to identify three new plants, and three new birds in your destination. Knowledge can be the key to understanding, and understanding the gateway to connection. Once you connect with a place, a little piece of it stays with you. For a more tangible souvenir keep a journal list of regional flora & fauna. You can draw, take photos, or maybe press a leaf or flower if the park rules allow it. Please remember to be courteous to the land and leave it as you left it or hopefully better.”
Where do you see this fledgling transformational travel movement heading?
We sense a fundamental shift in how we travel and we’re daring to disrupt, game change and revolutionize travel. Travel, at its purest, shifts perspectives, unleashes imagination, inspires understanding and cultivates empathy, which in turn promises peace. These traits are what the world needs today and by bringing travel to life we will shift, and empathy, understanding and enlightenment will sweep across the planet, one HERO at a time. We’re not inventing anything new, we’re just reclaiming travel and that means we need to look back to look forward, learn from the indigenous, the mystics, the explorers that blazed the trail before us, dare to look inside/out, find new meaning, bring back the mystery, guide and support our travellers in their journey of self-discovery and reveal how personal transformation results in global transformation.
It’s an incredible feeling to develop an idea into a tangible action and have it come to fruition, then watch others experience it and see the impact it has on them. It truly is a magical feeling, and this is why we as entrepreneurs, do what we do despite all the crazy ups and downs of owning and running our businesses.
Over the past 20 years I’ve created multiple companies, each has been fulfilling and rewarding in their own way. They have served a purpose and provided me with many rewards and lessons learned. I am so grateful for each and everyone one of them. And, it’s time for the next chapter to begin…
Last week I hosted a group of new friends and old friends for the very first ALIVE Experience. It was an awesome week that I carefully curated to share with them the very best that Costa Rica has to offer. It was amazing to watch each person in this group have their own unique first time experience and see how lit up and alive they were. Some people conquered their fear of heights, some learned to slow down, relax and be present and all of them opened up, shared and connected with one another.
I had an intention and a desired result for this trip, what it produced and the impact it had on not just the group, but also myself, far superseded my expectations. To say it was a great success would be an understatement! It was awesome in so many ways and I truly believe and know that this is the impact that I want to have on people.
This photo was taken after we wrapped the the Passion workshop during the ALIVE Experience. You can almost feel the happiness and positive energy through the photo and smile
I will be hosting the next ALIVE Experience in Whistler BC, June 29th – July 6th. If you are interested in joining and would like more information visit www.thealiveexperience.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s hard to put into words the vibe and energy of Costa Rica. I guess the best way to describe it is “pura vida”. If you’ve every been there you’ve heard this said over and over again and I’m sure you will also agree. I have compiled footage from my 3 trips to this amazing country to capture the vibe, culture and people of Costa Rica. Watch the video here.
Of the 60+ countries I’ve visited, Costa Rica is definitely at the top of my list for favourite places to visit. From the first time I visited, I knew I’d be back many times again.
It’s truly a special country where the people are friendly, the country is safe, the food is healthy & delicious and adventure is everywhere. Zip lining, diving, surfing, hiking volcanoes and swimming in waterfalls, there is no shortage of awesome things to experience.
I love the raw beauty of Costa Rica. I enjoy the fact that it’s still a developing country and many parts still feel untouched. Over the past 2 years I’ve visited 3 times and have explored the country from coast to coast. There are many difference sides to Costa Rica and each town has its own vibe and attraction. Some parts have become very touristic like Tamarindo aka Tamagringo and Jaco. These places have become quite commercialized and don’t have the same vibe as other towns like Samara, Nosara and Santa Teresa.
Samara is a small beach town with a very chill vibe with lot’s of North American expats who have traded city life for beach life.
Nosara has an infamous stretch of beach that has perfect 4 foot waves rolling in from sunrise to sunset. It truly is a surfers paradise with dozens of hotels and hostels lining the beach front with lots of great restaurants and bars to enjoy post-surf.
Santa Teresa is actually my favourite place to visit in Costa Rica. It really offers the best of both worlds with beautiful, secluded villas with perfect unoccupied beaches near by in Hermosa and many great restaurants and beach clubs located on the one road that runs through Santa Teresa. Many people say that Santa Teresa is what Tulum was 10 years ago. (I really hope it stays this way).
All these towns I’ve mentioned are on the Pacific coast in the Nicoya Peninsula. The other parts of Costa Rica I’ve visited and recommend are Monteverde, Rio Celeste and Puerto Viejo.
Monteverde is located in the middle of the country and is referred to as the Cloud Forest for obvious reasons. The town is located at a very high elevation, literally in the clouds. To reach there you have to drive up through winding roads that cut through the dense jungle. The climate is dramatically different from Nicoya, it’s much cooler and often very wet. The view from the top of Monteverde is absolutely spectacular and it offers a unique experience from other parts of Costa Rica (check out the time lapse of the Cloud Forest I shot during sunset) I highly suggest you try the zip-lining while there. They proudly boast that they have the longest zip-lining runs in all of Central America. True statement, I tried it and half way through the longest one I had more than enough time to think about how long it would take my friends to find me if the cable snapped. Good news, it didn’t.
If turquoise waterfalls are your thing, make sure to add the Rio Celeste Falls to your list. The water is literally turquoise. The water is this colour due to the algae from the river water and the mountain water mixing together. To get to the falls it’s a 30 minute hike in the Tenorio Volcano National Park and once you’re there you can walk the path along the river through the jungle crossing a few bridges (great photo opp).
Puerto Viejo is located on the Caribbean side and offers a different experience. It is about an hour south of Limon airport and only a couple hours north of the Panama border. The town has small stores and restaurants and lower priced hotels and hostels. Personally I prefer the vibe and experience on the Pacific Coast but I do suggest checking it out if you want to see both sides of the country.
I first heard about Costa Rica from my friend Linley Edwards when we met in Miami back in 1997. Years ago I remember him telling me about the magic of Costa Rica and how he spent a month there every year, surfing and living on the beach enjoying the pura vida life. He recently moved to Santa Teresa after spending over 2 decades living in Miami, running some of the top venues in South Beach. Linley decided that he wanted his kids to grow up on the beach so he packed up his life in Miami, built a house in Santa Teresa and opened a beach club called Rocamar on Hermosa beach. While I was there we had the chance to hang out and he told me about the magic of Costa Rica and why he made the move.
Did you know that on our planet there are 5 places that are designated Blue Zones, where people live past 100? The Nicoya peninsula is one of these rare 5 places. What makes this part of the world so special? Maybe its the incredible weather or the lush rain forests?
Maybe it’s the abundance of nature and healthy food? Or maybe it’s just the pura vida energy. I encourage you to find out the answer for yourself and visit this amazing country, I promise you won’t regret it.
I’ve included some travel tips and recommendations for you in the blog article below. I hope you find it helpful and you make it to Costa Rica.
And if you do stop by Nosara, make sure to drop by the Jungla House and look for the silver haired surfer and tell Jimi that I sent you and ask him to make you a Jimirita ?
How to get there:
To experience the Pacific side I suggest flying to Liberia, rent a car and drive down the coast. It’s easy to get from town to town and if you want do a day trip to the Rio Celeste Falls or hike a volcano in the Arenal National Park, you’ll need a car to get there. From Liberia to Nosara or Samara (yes skip Tamagringo) is approx 3-4 hours.
Another option if you want to end up in Santa Teresa (which I highly recommend), is to fly to Liberia or San Jose and catch a quick flight on local airlines Sansa or Nature Air to Tambor , from there it’s approx a 45 minute drive
To visit Monteverde the shortest route is to fly to Liberia and drive approx 2.5 hours from there.
To get to Puerto Viejo you also have to fly to San Jose and you can catch a quick flight to Limon and then drive south for an hour. We rented a car and drove 5 hours from San Jose to Puerto Viejo. *A word of advice, if you are going to do the drive you definitely want to leave in time to do the drive during day light. The highway and winding roads are filled with transport trucks on route to the industrial town of Chiquita (yes like the bananas). We left late and had to do half of the drive in the dark and got caught in the rain.
Where to stay:
Samara – Casa del Halcon
Nosara – Jungla Beach House
Santa Teresa – Mystical Green Properties
Hermosa Beach – Villa Rancho Cielo
Monteverde – Hotel Belmar
Rio Celeste – Rio Celeste Hideaway
Places to eat:
Samara – Luv Burger
Rocamar Beach Club *Make sure to check out their Sunday sunset party
Nosara – Beers & Burgers