Before signing up for the Pangea Dreams retreat I Googled and I Googled hard. I searched for the reviews, testimonials and comments. I wanted to know everything! The only problem (which was not really a problem) was that all of the information I found was positive and complimentary to say the least. It was too good to be true! We live in a time when people complain about everything so how was it possible that I found a retreat that all women described as live-changing in the best possible way with no complaints to be found?!
I discovered Pangea Dreams on the 3rd of November 2017. The reason why the exact date is important is because now, just under a year later, I am officially a Pangea Dreams alumni!
But let’s get to the point – was participating in the retreat worth it? Did I get my moneys worth? Was it everything I imagined it would be? The answer is no. I got SOOO much more than what I bargained for and could have ever expected. Read more to find out why.
The retreat to me was all about accomplishing 3 things:
#1 traveling alone for the first time
#2 learning the tricks to the trade from the best in the business
#3 taking some amazing pictures.
The good news, I checked all of the above from my list and got so much more.
To all of you who think the Pangea Dreams retreats are only for bloggers and influencers – they are not. Whether you’re into blogging, instagramming, photography or just would like to get to know yourself a bit more – this is the perfect place for you.
I signed up for the Bali, October 2018 retreat with my Instagram profile just hitting 1500 followers, my blog being recently published in June 2018 and having a pretty strong sense of who I am and what I want. I mean, I always considered myself to be a strong person with my two feet on the ground and not showing to many emotions to other people.
That literally changed the 1st day (THE FIRST DAY!) when I cried in front of 20 women that I just met, talking about what scares me, what I’m afraid of and what destroys me every single day. Before I could finish my sentence all girls were crying as well. I quickly found out I’m not alone and that we all have the same fears. Am I making the right decision? Should I be doing this? What if I fail? Maybe this is not for me? Finding out that for ONCE in my life not one single person in the room was judging me was an unfamiliar breath of fresh air and I didn’t know how to handle it.
But what else
The retreat was packed with information, workshops and activities. We had barely any time to just chill, which was a bit tiring at times but we all knew that there was to much to learn and tried not to complain about no time to sunbathe 🙂 We had about 3 workshops a day and each one of them was more interesting than the other.
From photography lessons with the truly incredible Sam Kat to SEO workshop with Lauren. It was a lot, but then again if you ever felt like maybe skipping a workshop to just relax or hang by the pool, it always turned out to be so helpful, informative and interesting, I couldn’t stop listening and asking questions. I wanted to soak up all the valuable information I was being taught.
There was a lot of time for awesome photoshoot opportunities. From private luxury villas with floating breakfasts and flower baths to the famous Tegalalang rice terraces, there were so many beautiful opportunities to create content. So if you’re worried you won’t have the time to work on your content, don’t worry, I promise!! I returned home with over 3000 pictures.
And now a little bit about our hosts
During our retreat we were mentored by 5 incredible forces of nature.
- Tracy Komlos – the owner of Pangea Dreams and a total babe boss. Tracy was always there when we needed her. She made sure we felt right at home every second of every day. Teaching us about working with brands, creating our own media kit and so much more. I often fear that people in real life are not what they seem to be on Instagram. With Tracy you get an incredible and beautiful soul inside and out. I had the pleasure of having some 1:1 time with her and just taking in her strength. Sometimes I find it difficult to take in the advice “strangers” give to me but somehow everything Tracy told me just stuck with me so deeply. And I am forever grateful to her for changing my live and giving me her time.
- Sam Katz – when thinking about Sam all I can say is she’s a force of nature. Energetic, electric, powerful, and just beaming with energy. I tried shadowing her whenever she took pictures of other girls claiming I wanted to learn more, but the truth is, I now know it was just her energy that was drawing me in. I simply couldn’t stay away. She sees beauty in everything around her and will help you to discover it within yourself as well. I look at life in a different way thanks to her.
- Lauren Pelkey – together with Carly they were the first faces I met when I arrived at the retreat. Tired, sweaty and probably looking my very worst they didn’t care and literally opened their arms to me. With the biggest, most sincere hug I had ever gotten from someone whom I just met, they made me feel right at home from the first second. Lauren is a true firecracker. She has a constant smile on her face, personality that draws you in, knowledge that just sticks and provides so much support which – believe me – you’ll need after those more empowering spiritual workshops.
- Carly Nogawski – a true cheerleader. I honestly believe the retreat was running so smoothly thanks to her. A smile that could light up the sky and an incredible spirit. Thanks to Carly we knew where to go, what to do and how many minutes we could be late 🙂 Like the sister we all needed she was always there to lend a helping hand constantly giggling in the process. I still wake up at night hearing her laugh 😀
- Deddeh Howard – the goddess herself and the face behind the Black Mirror Project shared her time, story and knowledge to us. With a powerful message and story behind her success, she empowered us from day one. She spent some 1:1 time with all of us, told us about her journey, took incredible pictures of us and – most importantly – thought us to love ourselves. She gave us the strength we never knew we needed.
So what did the retreat give me? Much more than just the knowledge on how to create my media kit and take beautiful photos. That was a given. I took home lifelong friendships and stories of incredible women who I now look up to. Who I know will always be there for me. From the founder, to the hosts and my fellow alumni. They all inspired me more than I could have ever expected.
I always felt alone in my battles, I never thought that others were going through the same problems, struggles and obstacles until the retreat. I finally feel like I’m not alone in this world. Meeting the other women and seeing that they once were in the same spot that I was, and yet they made it through to the other side, stronger than ever before empowered me and showed me that anything is possible.
I can honestly say that I love each and every one of the women who joined me on this magical week together in Bali on the Pangea retreat. To all the ladies, I cannot wait until our paths cross again!! I know they will, I’ll make sure of it!