Wander Women Wednesdays are back! This mid-week feature is all about highlighting an upcoming Wander Women Retreat, or a new aspect of our retreat business we’re excited about. We have just one spot left on our first retreat of 2022!
While my post about everything I have planned (ha!) for the year is coming up on Sunday, consider this a little preview — my first international jaunt of the year is bringing me back to my new amor, Mexico.
Ironically, my last post before my unexpected blogging hiatus was one announcing my first retreat of 2021, an aerial arts retreat to Martha’s Vineyard. And this, one of my first posts back from break, is announcing the last spot in my first retreat of 2022, an aerial arts retreat to Tulum right around the corner from February 4-9th!
This trip is really meaningful to me for a few reasons. First, it’s my second collaboration with my friend Brenna Bradbury, who I truly adore — aerial has brought so many incredible people into my life. Second, and still to that point, it’s really a tangible result of all the time and energy I spent in Mexico last year making connections and exploring a potential base there. While I didn’t find a place that felt like home, I found an incredible community — one I’ve tapped to make this retreat so special! And finally, third, it’s my first aerial retreat since my really debilitating shoulder injury last summer (which I’m sure I’ll write more about, someday.)
Plus, um, do we all need some sunshine right now or do we all need some sunshine right now?! (Readers in Florida and other semi-tropical climates, please keep your comments to yourselves. We in the great white north are very, very cold.)
So suffice it to say we can’t wait for this six day aerial arts and mermaid (!) retreat, based in the infamous bohemian beach town of Tulum. We’ll practice aerial silks in a beautiful jungle studio with Brenna, head to a cenote to transform into magical mermaids with my friend Carmen, attend an aerial festival on the beach with my girl Colleen, try SUP yoga in a private lagoon with the wonderful Mila, and even take in Mexico’s sole Cirque du Soleil performance. And heck yes we’re doing an aerial photoshoot in the jungle — mermaid tails optional (…but encouraged, of course).
I’ll be digging deep into my months of Tulum research, above and below sea level, to show off my favorite street taco stands, chic rooftop bars, barefoot beaches, secret cenotes, and smoothie bowl spots. Tulum is so popular it’s easy to just have a surface level trip there — so I really wanted this retreat will give you an insider’s peek at Mexico’s epicenter of design and adventure. Read on for all the deets!
Please note that while this retreat is open to a variety of levels of aerialists, you must have a passion for aerial arts and a base-level of skill in silks before enrolling. Please see the FAQ on our sales page for more details and feel free to contact Brenna or me to discuss your situation.
The dates of this retreat February 4-9th, 2022. Pricing starts at $2,600 — more details below.
• Five nights luxury accommodation at a chic Tulum retreat center
• Five breakfasts and an opening and closing dinner
• Two aerial silks workshops with Brenna, an acro-workshop with Acro Travels, SUP yoga and aerial play with SUP Tulum
• A ticket to Daydream Aerial Arts Festival by Lucid Aerial Arts
• A Mermaid For a Day experience with Tulum Mermaid
• A ticket to JOYA, Mexico’s first Cirque du Soleil show, with a half bottle of champagne per mermaid
• A professional personal aerial photoshoot with Lucid Aerial Arts
• Professional group photos of the entire retreat
• Welcome bag
• All local transportation in Tulum
What’s Not Included
• Meals not included in the itinerary — we’ll head to restaurants as a group, though, or be happy to make recommendations
• Alcohol not included in the itinerary
• Transport to and from Tulum
• Mandatory travel insurance
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Arrive at Holistika + unwind by the pool! Kick off your aerial adventure and get to know your fellow mermaids with an acro yoga class with Acro Travels, Tulum’s favorite duo. After, we’ll head out for a welcome dinner on the beach.
Day 2: After breakfast, jump into an aerial silks workshop led by Brenna at Holistika’s own dreamy aerial studio. Later, we’ll head into Tulum Centro for delicious smoothie bowls and an afternoon of mermaiding with Tulum Mermaid at a beautiful local cenote. For dinner, we’ll head out for street tacos followed by a visit to Alex’s favorite churro stand.
Day 3: Today, we’re in for a treat! After breakfast at Holistika, we’ll head down to the beach for a full day aerial festival, Daydream. Hosted by Lucid Aerial Arts, Tulum’s aerial epicenter, your ticket will allow you to choose your own adventure and take the workshops that most appeal to you — past offerings have included silk sequencing, handstand fundamentals, hula hoop flows, conscious flexibility and more. Need a break between workshops? The beach is steps away! After the closing cabaret, feel free to stay at the beach for dinner.
Day 4: Following breakfast at Holistika, we’ll dive into another silks workshop with Brenna. Next up is lunch at a favorite local taqueria, followed by a truly unique Tulum experience! We’re heading out to Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, where we’ll have a beautiful lagoon all to ourselves. After Spanglish SUP yoga with Mila, a local instructor and aerial performer, the space is ours to mermaid, fly (there’s an aerial silk hanging from an outdoor palapa!) and frolic. That night, we’ll stick close to home for dinner at a design-mag worthy restaurant walking distance from Holistika.
Day 5: Lights, camera, action! It’s time for an aerial photoshoot with Colleen from Lucid Aerial Arts. After nabbing the jungle profile picture of your dreams, we’re off to the beach for a final swim in the sea. That night, we’ll glam back up for the ultimate aerial send off — a night at JOYÀ, the first Cirque du Soleil resident show in Mexico! A half bottle of champagne per person is included — a nice respite from tequila, by this point.
Day 6: After a farewell breakfast + closing circle, it’s time to head home… until the next adventure!
Where We’ll Stay + What We’ll Eat
We will be staying at the wellness boutique hotel in the Mexican Riviera, Holistika. Enter stress-free living in the middle of the jungle, art deco rooms and multiple shalas for our practice. We will nourish our bodies every morning with an onsite breakfast from Tierra, which creates toxin-free plant-based meals infused with the best flavors, local ingredients and love. When we are not swinging from the rafters of our Instagram worthy aerial space or relaxing poolside, why not treat yourself to some pampering at their own site spa or wander through the famous Jungle Art Walk.
Shared rooms have two queen size beds. Of course you can room with a friend but if you’re traveling solo, fear not, so are most of our guests! We’ll do our best to pair you with someone we think you’ll click with based on your intake forms — and we’ll all be besties by the end anyway. If you prefer to have your own space, book a private room with a single king sized bed and a balcony overlooking the pool!
We’ll bring you to and suggest at a wide variety of restaurants throughout the week — from local taco joints, to hip and critically acclaimed destinations. Expect tacos and tamales alongside more elevated expressions of Mexican food. Vegans and those with food allergies can be accommodated throughout.
WTF Is Mermaiding?
We didn’t choose the mermaid life, the mermaid life chose us — and we are so excited to have you join us, under the cenote! Long story short, mermaiding is the practice of wearing a mermaid tail and swimming in it.
Over the years it has evolved to be SO much more than that; it is a combination of technical swimming skills, acrobatics, breath holding, artistry and costume design. We are thrilled to be working with Carmen of Tulum Mermaid, who combines her passion for freediving with her former skills as a New York stylist to help humans transform into merpeople!
In addition to the Mermaid For A Day Experience, you’ll have an option to buy a custom tail and top set created just for you by Carmen herself, or rent some of hers for our photoshoots and other opportunities to splash around!
Travel With Us
On this trip you’ll be traveling with me and High Flying Retreats founder Brenna Bradbury as your hosts.
Brenna Bradbury has performed as an aerialist and dancer with an assortment of entertainment companies in New York City, and as a specialty artist at venues such as The Box, The Slipper Room, The Diamond Horseshoe, Galapagos Art Space, and House of Yes. Off-Broadway, she performed aerial moon in “Speakeasy Dollhouse: Midnight Frolic” at the Liberty Theater. Brenna won 2nd place in the 2015 U.S. Aerial Championships, Silks Division, and was selected as a finalist in the 2016 U.S. Aerial Championships, Lyra Division. She has her 200 hour Vinyasa TT from Atmananda Yoga Studio, her 50 hour Aerial Yoga TT from OM Factory, and her 25 hour Flexibility TT from Elevated Education, through Body & Pole.
Health + Safety
All mermaids must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to join us. Thank you for understanding! Brenna and I are both fully vaccinated and boosted.
US Citizens must take a negative antigen test before re-entering the United States. These are easy to obtain in Mexico for around $35USD. We will arrange this on your behalf and make sure you receive your results before your departure.
How to Get to Tulum
There is no international or domestic airport in Tulum. The closest airports, both of which have regular direct flights to the US and beyond are Cancun (CUN), which is a two hour drive to Tulum, or Cozumel (CZM), which is a forty minute ferry and one hour drive to Tulum.
If you’re flying into Cozumel, take a taxi to the ferry terminal and a ferry, which run about once an hour, to Playa del Carmen. The ferry disembarks next to the ADO bus station, from where you can take a bus $7, taxi $30, or private transfer $50+ to Tulum.
If you’re flying into Cancun, you have several options, from an ADO bus $15 to a shared transfer $35 to a private transfer $100+. Taxis are not allowed to enter the airport. As always, we’ll be thrilled to connect you with other guests to coordinate arrival and departure and share transfers.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email Brenna at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex at email@example.com with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. We’d love to chat!
Questions? Concerns? Ready to slip into a mermaid tail and hit the beach? Let’s hear it in the comments!