You all have those women in your life that you meet and are completely in awe of, right? That was Nicole Hudson for me. Nicole is kind, patient, even-tempered, wise and has such a beautiful spirit. I met Nicole in Puerto Viejo a couple years ago through Avani of OM Yoga. Nicole is the founder of WanderFreely. As a liaison between facilitators and venues, WanderFreely organizes retreat and training details. Everything from researching to promoting to marketing. After a few years and a series of events, Nicole and I came together to create our own retreat.
We are super excited to announce that it will be held at Samatahiti in Puerto Rico next March 2016. Check out our interview with Nicole and get to know the creator of WanderFreely.
1. What is the story behind WanderFreely?
It's funny really, WanderFreely was originally the name of my Etsy store for the jewelry I made for fun, a creative outlet. I had no idea that the name would later inspire me to start a company that offers retreat and yoga teacher training services. After completing my 200-hour yoga teacher training in fall 2014 I began to dive deeper into the yoga community. I knew that my training had profoundly changed who I thought I was and how I wanted to interact with those around me, but I didn't know exactly what that meant just yet. I knew that I wanted to combine my love of yoga, travel, and community, but how? After speaking with friends and fellow teachers I realized that while many teachers wanted to share their knowledge with a larger group of students, planning a retreat or training was too much to add to an already full plate. I came back to the name WanderFreely and realized that was it! My dream is to help others with the logistics so that they can have the freedom to focus on their teaching and students.
2. What is the mission of WanderFreely and where do you see yourself in the future?
The mission of WanderFreely is to continue to build a community based on love, compassion, respect, and discovery. The practice of yoga has changed my relationship with myself and with those around me and I want to help those in a community that has opened my eyes to a new way of living. By providing support for teachers to grow, I hope that more people around the world will have the opportunity to explore this amazing practice of yoga and to find a new-found freedom. To quote B.K.S. Lyengar, "Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life. Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed." How beautiful is that!
3. What gets you out of bed every morning?
Opportunities to grow. Every moment you have is an opportunity to grow. I am still learning, and will always be learning, how to grow from different situations in life. Each challenge we face, no matter how big or small, is an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves and maybe help those around us learn from our past.
4. How do you cope with bad days?
It's not all sunshine and rainbows even when you're a yogi and traveling to beautiful places. There are days when I don't want to do anything! These are the days that I know I need to get on the mat and practice, both asana and meditation, more than ever. I've never finished a practice and thought, "well that was a waste of time." I also remind myself that I have an incredibly loving and supportive family, partner, and group of friends that help lift me in my darkest moments.
5. What is the best advice you have ever received?
Reach out and ask for help when you need it. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a bit of a control freak and can sometimes get overwhelmed with what needs to get done. Whether you need help with a project or just need to chill with a friend and vent - ask. More often than not the other person will be happy to help and may even feel honored that you have asked.
6. What is some advice you can give to young women pursuing their dreams?
Take a deep breath! It's going to be scary and you're going to second guess yourself at times and that's ok. If it were easy we wouldn't appreciate the journey. I can only speak from my own experience, but I know that I would rather make the leap and fall short. Even if you fall short, you're still further than you were when you began.
7. What are you most looking forward to on our retreat, WanderFreely + TuCamino Travel in Puerto Rico?
I'm really looking forward to meeting the students and adding nine more amazing women to the community. The surfing, yoga, and beach doesn't sound so bad either ;)
8. What is your motto?
Do What You Love!