Today, all I want to do is ______.
It’d be too easy to put “eat pizza” or “stay in bed” here. But if you’re passionate about being active, you should be able to fill that in with your dream day in a heartbeat (an elevated one, at that.) “Yoga on the beach.” “Finally learn how to climb.” “WOD so hard where no one can find me.”
You’re not alone in wanting to get away from everyday normal and devoting yourself to a cardio calling or movement muse. There are people like you, and luckily, camps, retreats, and adventures—we’ll call the “immersive experiences”—that bring your fitness fantasy to life.
Whatever you do, just don’t call it a vacation. Pack your bags and get ready to work!
Camp Grounded is the perfect lead-off to get you in the right frame of mind (for this post, and in life). We’re adults, right? We have responsibilities, and stress, and work emails. At some point, though, we lost touch with our “camp kid”. Camp Grounded recognizes that and offers adult summer camp for the carefree, mindful self we left behind. At this 2,000-acre camp on the edge of Jackson State Forest in Mendocino, CA, you’ll part with your electronics in favor of all-nighters with your bunkmates, swimming holes, ropes courses, laughter yoga, skits, and campfire songs. It’s all part of rediscovering something called “community.” (And it feels awesome.)
Now take that same vibe and pump in a ton of yoga. That’s Camp Yoga, a weekend getaway in destinations across Canada, plus here in the States (CO, CA, NY). Expect incredible yoga classes and workshops, like black light flows and AcroYoga. But also expect bunk beds, arts + crafts, outdoor adventures like rock climbing or rafting, kettlebell classes, DJed dance parties, and wine (perk of being an adult now).
While the first two might feel more like a hippie commune, SEALFIT’s Kokoro Camp is more like hell on Earth. At least, that’s how it’s designed. Modeled after US Navy SEAL Hell Week, an intensive, body-breaking week of mental and physical challenges, Kokoro promises to toughen up your mind, body, and spirit so that you never quit — not here, not ever again. You will have to come into the Temecula, CA camp in excellent shape (there are some exercise prerequisites), or you may be dropped from the course. But if you do pass the three-day beatdown, you can pretty much do anything you set your mind to.
Nerd Fitness built its following on helping people of all abilities and experience “level up” their fitness goals. And their Summer Camp, this past year held in the mountains of Georgia, saw five days of fitness, fun, and sweet, sweet nerdiness. The camp invites “Headmasters”, health and fitness experts and game-changers, to teach you the force…or at least how to deadlift properly. During camp, you’ll learn mobility, primal movement, powerlifting, nutrition, sword fighting, and so much more. Sure, you’ll start as a mere Padawan, but you’ll leave as a Jedi.
The Ski Week is a party in your ski boots. No, really — from the time you finish skiing, you get the après-ski (a fancy word for ‘ski rager’) of your dreams. It’s like if 2 Chainz had a music video at a ski resort. People from all over the world vie for a spot at TSW’s destinations all over the world — like Aspen, Austria, Japan, France. So obviously, you get world-class skiing. But you also get the pond skims, night skiing (while holding a fiery torch), open-air communal feasts, beer, yoga, beer, snow fort parties, and the collective atmosphere of people from over 35 countries who are just like you.
Combining fitness and travel? (If you’re a millennial, you’re probably already packing your bag.) It’s former CrossFit Games Competitor Blair Morrison’s brain-child. Though he helms two Anywhere Fit boxes in Sacramento, he isn’t always going to be there. He wants to explore…but also stay in shape. That’s why he’s inviting you on an outdoor adventure with WODs built in. They’re called Anywhere Trips, and like CrossFit itself, they’re constantly varied and functional. Meaning you could bike in Moab, swim in Greece, climb trees in Thailand, or deadlift boulders in the Grand Canyon — it’s all part of the adventure.
Yoga is rewarding; we all can agree on that. But you probably won’t realize how fun it can be until you take a trip with Yoga for Bad People. Despite their name, Heather and Katelin are actually pretty likable humans. The “bad” refers to their imperfect, unconventional, and fresh style of yoga, filled with their wisdom, laughter, and an incredible soundtrack. See, being bad is really good. And there’s no better place to be bad than when you’re dancing on the beach, at an authentic Italian dinner, or cruisin’ on a freakin’ boat. Yep, YFBP will whisk you off to places like Brazil, Portugal, Jamaica, Sicily, or Cuba for flows and fun.
Say you’re the type that says ‘yes’ to anything active. From aerial yoga to a muddy tackle Turkey Bowl, you live for anything fitness. Then we’d have to recommend Ketanga Fitness Retreats. They ship you off and set you up with activities like Pilates, yoga, and hiking; or a boot camp on the beach with some surfing. But for you, fitness junkie, we’d have to recommend their Be Bulletproof summer getaway in Colorado. You’ll mix HIIT, mobility work, and yoga with the natural hiking, rock climbing, and craft brewery tours of Denver.
Hawaii doesn’t just produce pineapples, macadamia nuts, and some killer poké bowls; this is where athletes are built. Kona, on Hawaii’s biggest island, is famous for hosting the annual IRONMAN World Championships, the pantheon of triathlons. And “The Man”, Dave Scott, (sorry, six-time champion Dave Scott), will make an Ironman or woman out of you just up the beach at Four Seasons Resort Hualālai. You’ll get five days of expert, sport-specific training with Dave, some new gear, and let’s not forget, you’ll be beachside in Hawaii.
Mammoth Lakes, California is like the Mt. Olympus of running. All the running gods (read: elite runners and Olympians) hang around for the altitude, beauty of the trails, and challenge of the terrain. And one of those runners, Olympic Medalist and American record holder Deena Kastor, wants to welcome you to their playground for an epic escape. Filled with carefully selected group runs, gourmet meals, healthy snack workshops, and even a trip to Mammoth Brewery, Deena will show you what a view from the podium (and stunning mountain peaks) looks like.
Let’s just stop to review the daily schedule at the Shaka Beach Retreat surf camp: Snack – Surf – Brunch – Yoga – Dinner. You have to be jealous of the surfer lifestyle — you get fit, you eat, you kick it on the beach. But there are some finer points to this five- to seven-day retreat. For starters, you’ll be learning to catch waves from a cast of instructors on Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. Those meals? All sourced locally and catered by the resident chef. And Yoga Steve makes sure you’re ready for the following day of gnar. If it sounds like paradise, it’s because it is.
For the worldly yogi, it doesn’t get much better than a retreat from International Yoga. You get 10 days in places like Bali, Mexico, and Thailand where you’ll be immersed in the local culture (that includes food), daily exploring, and two classes of yoga per day that allow for self-exploration. It’s surely an experience you will never forget, and you’ll probably need convincing you’re not dreaming every morning of this worldly wanderlust.
If you’re not familiar with the sport of cycling, you probably won’t know the term KOM (it stands for “King of the Mountain”). But if that were the case, you probably also wouldn’t enjoy this tour of Le Tour de France. Thomson Bike Tours hosts the KOM Challenges in concurrence with the world famous race through the Alps and Pyrenees Mountains, getting you into VIP viewing areas for key stages, outstanding accommodations, and three daily rides (choose from 30km to 180km) on the prestigious course.
If you were like “Pssshhht. Roads. Hah!” to Thomson’s tours, you’d probably be more at home with the rugged offroaders of Sacred Rides. Their Getaways pop up all over the world (from Spokane to South Africa), conquering the mountains, trails, and forests by mountain bike. These multi-day adventures feature on-mountain lodging, locally sourced healthy meals, and euphoric supported group rides that more-often-than-not end with a cold beer. They’re for everyone too; no matter if you can bomb a downhill single-track or just shucked off the training wheels, MTB adventure awaits.
If you want to discover or excel in Muay Thai, it’s best to go to the source. Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand prepares those looking to enter the MMA fighting circuit, but also those just looking to get insanely fit without the high-kick in the face. Visiting their training center isn’t really ‘visiting’ at all; it’s like taking up residence with Mr. Miyagi. That is, if Mr. Miyagi had a full weight room, an on-site, healthy restaurant, a cast of world-renowned, sport-specific trainers, and WiFi. Book a weekend for a taste, or book three months for a journey.
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