travel

Free People Escape to Malibu

Magical evening spent touring a local biodynamic farm, harvesting herbs w/ @jessicamenda, and dining in nature eating the most delicious organic dinner by @honeyhi made with ingredients from the very soil it grew from 😭🙏🏼🌿✨Thanks @samshendow for letting me know about this event and grateful to @freepeople x @girlsinc for creating this elevated #fpescapetomalibu experience!


Original post via Instagram @kristine.lo

Escape to Two Bunch Palms

It's been a few months of staying grounded in LA. By grounded, I mean no international travel since my solo spiritual retreat to Taiwan in January. Not traveling feels pretty strange this year considering I've traveled outside of California every month for the past 2.5 years since leaving my last 9-6 pm agency job in 2016 to pursue this very fulfilling sometimes challenging career as a conscious photographer and consultant. After over two years of traveling to dreamy destinations, I've learned this year to chill and save those airline miles for more intentional trips. Also, living in the golden state offers diverse landscapes and day trip destinations that doesn't require the hassle of checking-in a luggage and flying uncomfortably for several hours. So, I was excited when my best friend invited me to escape to the desert for a weekend of wellness at Two Bunch Palms.

I first visited Two Bunch Palms over 4 years ago. Since my first visit, they have expanded to include beautiful mineral pools and wellness offerings. 

 

We arrived in Desert Hot Springs around dusk. Since we arrived in the evening, we decided to take a nighttime dip in one of the many mineral pools. Looking up above the star-filled sky while floating was pure magic. 

The next day we had a quiet tea ceremony before breakfast listening to the soundtrack of birds chirping and mineral waters running. The property includes several accommodation options, wellness spa, Essence restaurant, hiking trails, a pond with small rabbits running around and different mineral pools. As part of our stay, we could sign-up to any of the wellness activities available. We took the 'Art of Creating Abundance' class which was held in the Glass House. It involved intuitive art and wine tasting. Highly recommend to anyone who might be interested in something like this. In the evening, we attended a sound bath which was a really amazing. I slept like a baby that night.

 

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I've been very fortunate enough to experience a lot of different wellness modalities. From Ayurvedic and Holistic sessions to wellness massage in Tulum and to experiencing this amazing luxury wellness day in Taiwan. I share these trips to inspire investing in experiences that nourish your physical and spiritual. 

Two Bunch Palms Spa offerings include Ayurvedic sessions, facials, energy healing, water and massage therapy. I opted for the Desert Detox massage which left my skin and hair feeling very nourished while I floated on a calm cloud the rest of the day.

What I really loved about my experience at Two Bunch Palms is how you feel very much taken cared of at the resort. The service provided by the staff is above and beyond. We didn't even leave the resort from check-in to check-out to maximize our wellness reset.

 

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As I've mentioned many times over, being in nature practicing self care is always the best medicine. If you are seeking a reset, I highly recommend visiting Two Bunch Palms. I've linked a few of my travel essentials for this trip below.

SHOP WHAT I PACKED FOR THIS DESERT ESCAPE:

Wellness Diary: Wulai, Taiwan

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After a beautiful ten day tea + zen retreat in Taiwan, I gifted myself a luxurious wellness experience to gently integrate back to the real world. As I've mentioned in my Tulum Wellness Travel Diary, gifting myself with the experience of travel is the ultimate act of self care. Traveling solo has become my annual ritual. Being able to create space for myself has been a beautiful expansive journey to strengthen my intuition, deepen my connection within and nourish my creative spirit. My intention is to share how I create this sacred space through my recent wellness experience in Taiwan.

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After researching several enticing destinations in Taiwan, I decided to explore Wulai Hot Springs for its close proximity to Taipei. I made my 24-hour adventure in Wulai worthwhile with a visit to one of the most beautiful resorts, VOLANDO URAI SPRING & SPA RESORT. I had afternoon tea and a light lunch the day I arrived and got to experience a beautiful sound ceremony by the river. Two artists performed on a platform elevated above the pool that overlooked the lush mountain side backdrop. The ceremony was performed in harmony with nature with the visual elements in synchronicity with the natural sounds of water, wind and rain. Across the river echoed sounds that also became part of the drumming ceremony. It was magical. Coming from a spiritual retreat with heightened sensitivity and a year-long journey connecting with nature, this visual art + sound experience resonated so much with my creative spirit.  

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The next day I indulged in a wellness session at Volando's Dasha Spa. I booked a massage with a hot spring bath. The spa room was so dreamy with a stunning view of Wulai river. Helen, my lovely practitioner, gave me an intro to Chinese medicine's 5 element theory (Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, Metal). I picked an essential oil based on my 'intuitive choice' (eyes closed) which my inner LA Hippie appreciated. I started with a foot soak, then relaxed in the most luxurious bath that drew water from springs. I definitely felt a little extra during this self-care session but I always practice gratitude for these special experiences I receive. I could have stayed in that room forever but I had a 14-hour flight back to Los Angeles the next day. 

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If you are traveling in Taiwan, I highly recommend visiting Volando resort in Wulai. As mentioned on my previous post, I will be consistently sharing my work, travel and wellness journey on this VISUAL DIARY with the intention to inspire conscious expansion through travel, wellness and experiences.

SHOP MY CONSCIOUS WARDROBE

SACRED MOMENTS.

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I have done a lot of things in the past few years that I’ve labeled as 'spiritual' but nothing in my life has been more divine than this day on a tea + zen retreat in Taiwan. This was the view as we hiked up and down a thousand steps to gather water from a temple while practicing noble silence. 

It became a practice of meditation as I carried the water jug, trying not to complain and possibly tainting the purity of the water. I recited the mantra 'my mind is pure, my mind is pure' with each step down. My body and spirit was so aware. In tune with everything. It opened me up. It got me feeling all sorts of feelings. Positive and negative. I cried into my bowl at a tea ceremony and had waves of uncomfortable, beautiful, pleasant, imperfect and emotional moments during the remainder of the retreat. Reflecting back, the lesson is that every moment difficult or pleasant is a chance to practice mindfulness. This experience has profoundly given me deeper meaning in my personal life.

There are so many sacred moments I prefer not to share publicly online because I believe in honoring some of our most precious moments to be experienced privately. I felt called to share this experience because I don’t want to paint a picture of my journey as all positive. The visuals are only slices of my real life. My life is far from perfect and not always positive - in case that is what it may seem. I create content and passionately document my work, travel, spiritual and wellness journey. Sometimes it feels so vulnerable to share moments of my life. However, I've seen the beautiful ripple effects that sharing my personal journey has translated into meaningful connections in real life. My intention will always be rooted in what I consciously create and do that lead to genuine, meaningful contribution for the collective good. As part of my practice, I have set the intention this year to be more consistent sharing on my VISUAL DIARY- to deepen this connection to myself and to my community. I am in deep gratitude if you have felt any ounce of inspiration from my creative work or experience.