Urban Backpacker Travels: Wanderlust Stratton 2014

Hello and happy Wednesday!  Two more travel adventure posts, but then I'll be back to recipes I promise!

Two weekends ago I traveled to Stratton Mountain, Vermont for

Wanderlust

- a yoga festival, or as the founders put it "an adventure of the mind, body, and soul."  It truly was an incredible experience in so many ways.

So what exactly happens at a yoga festival?  I was a Wanderlust virgin, so I really had no idea what to expect from the weekend.  I actually considered dropping out last minute because I was super stressed at work and had to be in Chicago the following week.  Boy am I glad I didn't!  While it was a bit of a hassle to get to Stratton Mountain (subway > Amtrak > taxi > rental car),  once we made it there, we never wanted to leave.  My friend Kelly and I made the trek from NYC and met up with four of my girlfriends from my yoga studio in DC.  Kelly and I arrived around 10PM on Friday night, parked the car, checked in, and immediately joined the massive dance party that was happening in the main tent (coined "The Greatest Place on Earth").  There was live music and local beers, hula hoop-ers and electric body paint.  It was awesome.  We danced for a few hours, but headed back to our motel before too late because we were all signed up for an 8AM class the next morning.

Note on the motel:  We had originally planned to camp out, but when some of the girls arrived, the campsite was very wet.  It was also much colder than we had expected, so they found a cheap motel about 20 minutes away.  This was a little bit of a pain since we had to drive to the Stratton resort in the morning and home to the hotel at night.  Next year (yes, there will be a next year), we plan to get our acts together early and score one of the cheaper hotels on the mountain.

After only a few hours of sleep, we awoke to a beautiful but chilly Vermont day.  We piled into our car and headed back to Stratton.  The day went something like this:  8AM yoga class, 10AM yoga class, quick break to grab some lunch and sit in the sunshine, 2PM hike, 4PM yoga + dancing + meditation, more sitting in the sunshine and perusing the various vendors, wine and vegan pizza and deep conversations as the sun set, another epic concert + dance party until too late.  Sunday was pretty similar, except people started leaving early in the afternoon as it was the last day of the festival.

So what made this experience so great? First, there was the amazing yoga.  The classes were all taught by some of the top teachers, so not only were you physically challenged, but they also made you go deep into some of the other limbs of yoga (breathe, meditation, etc).  Then, all the other activities offered - an adventure race, hikes, runs, lectures, henna, massages... the list goes on.  Also, the food was first class - from smoothies to sushi to pizza to dumplings, there was a little something for everyone and it was all super delicious.   Oh and did I mention the live music yet?  Not only at night, but also during a lot of the yoga.  While all these things were great, the most incredible part of this weekend was the people.  Everyone was so happy and positive and open and you could really feel this energy. 

Sunday afternoon came way too soon.  It was not even a question as to whether we would be going back next year - we all agreed that we would be back, and this time for the full 4 days of the festival.

This is what we arrived to Friday night.

wanderlust+lawn.JPG

Hang out area

Hiking up the mountain

wanderlust+chairlift.jpg

And riding down on the ski lift

Amazing local food

The Greatest Place on Earth

The group

Until next year...

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