Are you like us and go on holiday to take some much needed time off, but end up speeding through Vietnam (flailing on the back of a scooter) from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi in a week, stopping everywhere in between?

Do your holidays make you want to take a holiday?

If that sounds familiar then maybe it’s time to consider a retreat. One that’ll actually help you recalibrate. Yes, we know the hard travel slog is worth it for the stories alone! But, it’s also OK to just make it about you sometimes.

We’ve done the research and found three great retreats that you’ll still want to write home about. Of course, what we mean is post a thousand photos with #offthegrid.

However, if you’re truly committed to a digital detox, maybe switch of your phone for a few days. Fine, a few hours.


1. Talalla Retreat, Sri Lanka

This little gem has three kinds of retreats focussed either on surfing, yoga or wellness.

The surfing option is great if you want to stay active on your holiday, plus being out on the water is, of course, good for the soul. You don’t have to be an expert. The coaches promise you’ll leave “a more confident, independent and stoked surfer!”.

Seven day yoga retreats are available at the Talalla Retreat every month and naturally they’re combined with fresh food.

If you’re looking for more, there’s a wellness getaway which is a “holistic health experience focused on improving your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing”.

Our recommendation is the surf and yoga retreat. The best of both worlds.

2. The Institute of Code, Bali

If you want to check the box of learning a new skill while you’re away, then this coding retreat could be for you. Time to turn the computer back on!

The IOC crew will “take care of everything for you the minute you step off the plane so you can focus on learning and relaxing”. You’ll be surprised how much the brain can absorb if you’re not battling with the distractions of daily life.

Spend 10 days in a beautiful resort in Bali or Mexico learning the language of the internet and how to build websites. Don’t be afraid. It’s easier than you think.

When school’s out, you’ll either be surfing, stand up paddle boarding, practicing yoga, exploring rice paddies or chilling by the beach. Did we mention there’s an in-house chef?

3. Mudita Health Retreats, Byron Bay

This one is a little closer to home, but it’s appropriately tucked away in the hills of northern New South Wales. At this healing retreat you’ll relax while improving your digestion, strengthening your immunity, increasing energy and reducing stress.

It’s centred around Ayurveda which in Sanskrit “translates literally as the science of life”.

The team that runs this retreat explains Ayurveda as “the oldest, most comprehensive medical system in the world”.

Here you’ll indulge in a “transformative week of teachings, rest, relaxation, healing Ayurvedic food, cooking demonstrations, daily meditation and yoga and therapeutic treatments and consultations”.

Whichever retreat you choose, just remember to actually take a break, you don’t have to do everything in the brochure.