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Wanderlust by Michelle Donice Gillis, Ph. D.

Updated: Jan 4

(Photo Taken San Jose Costa Rica)

As someone who has always had a strong sense of wanderlust, traveling has been an integral part of my life. Ever since I was a little girl, there was just something so rewarding about discovering new people and places. It wasn't just the thrill of being in a new location, but also the opportunity to learn and grow through these experiences.

In fact, I have always believed that travel is the best education one can receive. Many, many years ago, I took a year off from college and worked as a flight attendant. I saw so many beautiful places and met the most incredible people. I learned firsthand that when we travel, not only do we learn about other cultures and people, but as Mark Twain famously said, "travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." When we are exposed to new perspectives and ways of being, it becomes nearly impossible not to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for others, loving compassion for ourselves, and gratitude for our own lives.

Unfortunately, many of us do not prioritize or make time for travel in our lives. With busy schedules and responsibilities, it can be difficult to carve out the time and resources needed to explore the world around us. However, I firmly believe that traveling is an essential part of personal growth and development. That is why I've scheduled the Amorgas, Greece Retreat for a year away. I often joke that people can afford anything on layaway, so why not travel? The best part is that if you pay the deposit by November 30th, you'll receive $200 off the trip and you'll have an entire year to pay it off and make the necessary plans to be away, undisturbed, for a week! I promise that when you return, you will be rested, rejuvenated, and better for having spent the time away!

Another thing that I've learned about travel is that when we venture outside of our comfort zones and immerse ourselves in new environments, we are forced to confront our preconceived notions and expand our perspectives. We are able to break down barriers and connect with people from different backgrounds, ultimately -- I believe-- leading to a more understanding and empathetic society. Not only that, we also learn so much about ourselves. When we unplug from social media and the worries of our everyday lives, we can get clarity on exactly what brings us joy and we can relax and reset for any future challenges that may (or may not) come.

The North Star Retreat, September 29th thru October 5, 2024 includes:

  • 6 nights accommodations

  • 3 meals (excluding alcohol) per day starting with dinner on the first night and ending with breakfast on the last day

  • Group ground transport to/from the port on Amorgos to the retreat center (Participants must make their own ferry arrangements for arriving and departing Amorgos Island.)

  • Daily yoga practices and meditations

  • Personal retreat time ( to nap, to explore, to hike, to read, to swim, to dance, to get a massage, and to just be)

Our Retreat space is nestled on the cliffs of a quiet and peaceful Greek Island, which is conveniently located near a bay and within walking distance of sandy beaches. Every room has a simple, elegant decor and boasts views of the sea. The staff is incredibly friendly, welcoming, and super helpful and most guests leave feeling like they have made new friends, and our chefs are prepared to provide healthy, gourmet meals that incorporate fresh organic produce from their garden. Plus, they offer full services, from spa to gym to pool.

I hope you will embrace your own wanderlust and embark on this journey of discovery through travel with me and The North Star community. Remember, the world is full of endless possibilities and there's always something new waiting to be discovered.

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