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Today I’m smiling ear to ear — because I’m announcing my second Wander Women Retreat! Planning these retreats and connecting with the chicas who sign up for them has been such a joy, it’s hard not to imagine this will become a regular new part of my world. Everywhere I go now, I see potential retreat destinations.
But first, I’m starting with the places that are so much a part of who I am, I can’t imagine life without them. Join me for a four day yoga and photography retreat in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts from September 27-30! This retreat is based in one of my favorite places in the world — my colorful family cottage in the historic Oak Bluffs gingerbread houses.
I’m really excited about this retreat in particular because it offers two things that you guys have long been asking for: a financially accessible way to visit Martha’s Vineyard solo, and a chance to learn first-hand about my photography style, and how I shoot and edit. Plus some super kick ass yoga every day! This isn’t a hardcore yoga retreat or hardcore photography retreat. You don’t need to be able to do a handstand or have a tripod to participate. This is about fun and exploration.
Martha’s Vineyard has been my happy place since as far back as I can remember. My weeks in Martha’s Vineyard every year feed my soul and make me whole! I love helping friends and readers plan trips here, and now I’m absolutely thrilled to be sharing this dream weekend with what is sure to be a kick-ass group of women.
We’ll practice vinyasa yoga daily and drop by local island studios and hotspots for special private classes in aerial yoga, SUP yoga, and sangria sip + salutations yoga.
When we aren’t on the mat, we’ll be behind the lens with quaint towns, dramatic cliffs, charming lighthouses and rugged beaches of Martha’s Vineyard as our subject. I’ll run editing workshop showing my personal photo editing techniques and systems, and we’ll do a group yoga photoshoot so everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves in their favorite asanas.
With the weather still gorgeous but the summer crowds dissipated, September is a beautiful time to visit one of the East Coast’s favorite islands. The shoulder season is my favorite time to visit!
I have a Martha’s Vineyard shaped imprint on my heart and I want you to love this island as much as I do. I am so excited to meet you.
Please note that this retreat is open to all level of yogis and photographers, from fresh beginner to long-time enthusiast.
The dates of this retreat are September 27-30. The early bird cost is just $850.
• Three nights shared accommodation in an exclusive Oak Bluffs gingerbread cottage
• Three breakfasts and three dinners, plus plenty of snacks and surprises
• Four yoga classes with our private instructor
• Two special yoga workshops in aerial yoga + SUP yoga
• A USB of professional photos and workshops in personal photography
• Welcome bag including surprises and a special gift handmade on Martha’s Vineyard
• All on-island transportation
• 5% profit donation to local charities
What’s Not Included
• Lunch — we’ll head to some of my favorite island restaurants for lunch at own expense each day
• Alcohol, aside from our sip + salutation sangria, of course! Though a post-savasana champagne toast here or there may be be thrown in… and by maybe we mean definitely… so okay, yeah, some alcohol is in fact included
• Transport to and from Martha’s Vineyard
• Travel insurance
After a childhood spent visiting this idyllic Massachusetts island via a series of rental houses, in 2012 my mom and I returned for a nostalgic vacation and went on a walking tour of the historic Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association (MVCMA) in Oak Bluffs. On that tour, we spotted a for sale sign, and the rest is history. Our sweet yellow cottage was a bit of a fixer-upper, and my mom and her fiancé have worked tirelessly on the house for the past six years, doing the bulk of the manual labor themselves. Today, our cottage has been featured in Yankee Magazine, and will be showcased in an upcoming Small Houses publication.
The MVCMA is an incredibly unique place to live. The three hundred houses that make up the Campground, as it’s known, were built in the 1800’s and now sit on the National Historic Registry. Strict regulations on renovations and ownership ensure that the houses maintain their original charm and the community remains tight-knit.
The houses are also a popular island attraction, which means you get to wave at a lot of tourists who peek into open doors and windows. We enjoy the conversations we have with those walking by who are curious about life in the campground, though our house is off the main promenade, so we have some privacy as well.
Remember, this is an intimate retreat in a historic home! The house has three upstairs bedrooms (two with one double bed, and one with two single beds) that share a renovated full bathroom and one downstairs bedroom with a full bathroom. There’s also a cute garden, a rocking-chair covered porch, and a cozy living room to relax in. Please come prepared to trade some privacy for charm, and some personal space for sleepover vibes!
How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
The easiest way? Fly into the island’s own airport, MVY! You’ll have stunning views on the way in to what is just about the world’s cutest airport. If you chose this option, airport transfers will be included. There are direct flights to New York, Boston, and beyond.
The cheapest way? Fly into Boston. From there, you can take a $35, 3 hour Peter Pan bus directly from the airport to the Wood’s Hole ferry terminal, where you’ll get on the $8, 45 minute ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. I’ll be waiting on the other end!
The no-flying way? Of course, you can always drive to Wood’s Hole, Massachusetts, and park in the Steamship Authority lot for $13 per day per day, and take the $8, 45 minute ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. Again, I’ll be waiting on the other end!
Oh, The Places We’ll Go
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s what I have planned for you guys!
Day 1: Arrivals + a chilled vinyasa flow at the Oak Bluffs Tabernacle. Welcome dinner at the cottage followed by a late-night ice cream and donut mission.
Day 2: Early morning yin in Ocean Park followed by brunch at the cottage. SUP Yoga class followed by lunch at a surprise scenic location. In the afternoon, a photography walk around Edgartown + a visit to a local brewery. Editing workshop in the evening.
Day 3: Morning yoga photoshoot before hitting the road for an Up Island Day. We’ll stop for an aerial yoga class at the beautiful Yoga Barn before visiting the Aquinnah Lighthouse and cliffs. We’ll have a sunset picnic on the beach in Aquinnah, and then head back to Oak Bluffs for a silly sangria sip + salutations yoga session.
Day 4: Early morning vinyasa flow at Inkwell Beach followed by free time to explore the island towns, take a bike ride, or relax in the cottage before a late Sunday brunch and departure at your leisure.
This retreat has extremely limited space and is likely to sell out quickly. Prices will increase June 1st. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot and payment plans are available. For FAQ’s and to learn more about me, check out my retreat sales page. Can’t make this one? Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats!
Remember, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. I’d love to chat!
I can’t wait to show you all this special island!
If you’d like to see Martha’s Vineyard through my eyes, my family’s historic Oak Bluffs gingerbread cottage is available for weekly rentals. We renovated each room by hand and I’d love to share its magic with you!
Just curious, obviously your retreats are aimed very strongly at women, seeing as they’re your primary readers I’m sure, but would males be allowed to opt to come along if they wished?
Hey Sarah! I explained it a bit in the FAQ on the sales page, but so far these have been women only for a few reasons. For the diving retreat, I really want to target women since they are often the minority in the dive world and getting to dive with a full boat of other ladies is a rare and wonderful treat! Plus, with both retreats, I’ve chosen accommodation that involved sharing beds and bathrooms with strangers. So, I think everyone will be more comfortable this way.
Should I host retreats in the future in a hotel or resort, for example, or co-led with a guy — both of which I’m actively exploring! — I’d probably make them mixed gender. Hope that explains my thinking!
Ahhh sorry I hadn’t checked the FAQ page, being a numpty who asks questions that are already answered is never good…
Thanks a lot, that all makes a lot of sense 🙂
No worries at all Sarah! Always happy to explain 🙂
Ahhh it sounds so incredible Alex! I’m hoping in the future the dates will workout for me!
Sorry to hear this one won’t, Caroline! Would have loved to have had you.
Hey Alex, should we have our own DSLR cameras to participate in this retreat? I don’t own one yet but I am thinking of getting one. Or can we shoot photos on our iPhones? Thanks!
Hey Alyssa! Great question. dSLRs are totally not required, and I’ll definitely be happy to share my recommendations for my favorite point and shoots (which honestly, sometimes have as great image quality as dSLRs these days.) Personally, my strongest photography skills are composition and editing, and you can incorporate those even with iPhone-ography 😉 So if that’s what you chose to bring, that would be fine with me! I would encourage anyone serious about photography to consider investing in a good point and shoot, though.
Awesome, good to know! I’ve definitely had my eye on a few point-and-shoot cameras.
Also just wanted to share that I’ve been a reader of yours for a long time (I found out about Roctopus from your blog, which led me to getting scuba certified in Koh Tao in 2015 and I’ve returned twice since then — for my love of Koh Tao and diving!) and I love that you have started hosting these retreats. I definitely plan on attending one in the future (would love to attend this one, but with 3 weddings in September, I need to work around those dates) and I appreciate how on point your pricing is and that they are female-focused retreats. The second one of your retreats works out with my time off, I’m in, so please continue to plan and post your retreats as you finalize them. 🙂 It’s also cool to see you branch out in this way. Keep it going!
Thank you so much Alyssa! This comment made me super happy — it’s always great to hear words of encouragement when starting a new venture! I really hope you can join one someday son 🙂 This will be the last one for 2018 as I’m hearing from a lot of people that they’d love to participate but their vacation time is up for the year. However, I definitely have my eye on 2019 should these two retreats go well!
Thanks Jo-Anne! Really excited and can’t wait to meet the crew <3
This retreat sounds so amazing Alex! For me personally, the photography aspect is especially appealing. I’ve been saying this for years, but I really want to improve my photography. And I’ve always loved your style! On another note, enjoy Egypt. I’m beyond jealous looking at all of your incredible Instagram photos!!
I’d loooove to have you on one of my retreats someday Justine 🙂 And thank you, Egypt is INCREDIBLE!
This sounds like a great retreat! I am not a yogi but it would be fun to visit Martha’s Vineyard and improve my photography.
Anyone can be a yogi, I think 🙂 You’ve just got to find the style and a teacher that appeals to you!
EEEEEE! Alex, I LOVE this and I’m so IN! Yoga + photography on Martha’s Vineyard = What Could Be Better?! I’m a novice at both, but I’m getting that’s okay, yes? Just recently got a Cannon Lumix LX10 point & shoot! 🙂 Yay! Can’t wait!
Hey Carrie! Absolutely! Novices at both are more than welcome 🙂 Like I said, this isn’t a hardcore bootcamp in either topic — it’s more about a weekend of fun and female friendship <3
YAS!! Hoping I can clear this with my work soon enough to grab a spot!
Hey Jill, shoot me an email! Would love to welcome you to Martha’s Vineyard 🙂
Wow, looks great. Wish to have the money and time to join, but I am a bit sucked out from traveling Asia for 7 months in a row right now. Honestly, feeling like I would need a retreat like that right now:D
Ha, that’s always the way Katie! When I get back from a big trip, I say I need a vacation 😛
Alex, this sounds amazing! I would have loved to join you as this is a trifecta of loves for me: Yoga, photography, Cape Cod! Alas, this is the weekend of my first wedding anniversary. I will, however, be on the neighboring island of Nantucket the weekend before! Hope to join you (and finally meet you) on a future retreat!
Jen, I’d love to have you. These retreats have become such a magical time for me and I have LOVED connecting with the the women who join them!
Ooooh, this looks fantastic! Definitely will love to join next time when hopefully the dates are better for me.
I hope so! Email email@example.com to be added to the mailing list that’s the first to know when new dates are released <3