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For many of us, the thought of living without internet for five days is anxiety-inducing. We are told to ‘unplug, unwind, reconnect’, ‘be mindful’ and ‘switch off’ – everyone has heard this advice, tried to apply it for a few minutes and likely caved, checking their Instagram five times in five minutes. We are, after all, addicted to our digital devices. But how many of us are wise/disciplined/brave enough to put it into practice – to take the plunge into digital rehab?
What if digital detox was not a lonely personal journey, but the most unbelievable adventure? What if it entailed travelling to an exotic country and sleeping in comfort in a handmade tipi under the stars? When digital rehab is Restival, it takes away the pain of not having your iPhone and replaces it with life-changing experiences.
Restival is the beautiful lovechild of a retreat and festival coming together. Set in unique environments around the world and inspired by the ancient cultures in those countries, it is an intimate experience designed to help you reconnect with yourself, other people and the earth.
The idea was conceived a year ago by founder Caroline Jones, who was very familiar with both meditation retreats and music festivals. She was looking for something without the isolation of the former and the hedonism of the latter and found there was nothing of the sort. She wanted to channel the sociable, fun and familiar vibe of a festival into the intimate and mindful nature of a retreat, and Restival was born. It took place in Morocco, with like-minded travellers coming from all over the world. This year it will expand to both Morocco and Arizona.
Each Restival trip is an intimate gathering of just over 100 people, combining different activities, installations, treatments and meditations which are all geared towards helping you disconnect and reconnect. There are workshops by leading mindfulness trainers on love and relationships, daily yoga classes, sound healing specialists, storytelling sessions and astronomy classes. “It’s for those who want to dance, drum, write, rest, practise yoga, listen to ancient stories, create art, connect with the earth and experience indigenous cultures,” says Caroline.
The gatherings occur in off-the-grid locations, chosen to help you reconnect your mind and body. But this isn’t a tent in the woods – think beautiful handmade tipis and white tents filled with Berber rugs and Moroccan cushions.
They partner with indigenous cultures, whose practices and traditions guide the activities and treatments that are available. By engaging with their culture you are encouraged to look at the world and your life from a different viewpoint.
The first Restival this year is located in Arizona’s Painted Desert, which the Navajo tribe call their spiritual home. It is held from September 8 to 13 and September 16 to 21. Restivallers will wake to a phenomenal landscape, with a view of James Turrell’s famous artwork inside a volcanic meteorite crater. Along with the various treatments, gong baths, yoga and meditation, this Restival will include a traditional Harvest Festival, a Full Moon Ceremony and a Navajo Closing Ceremony. The Navajo have embraced Restival and are opening their doors to their sacred world.
The second Restival will take place in Morocco, over the Atlas Mountains and deep in the Saharan desert into the land of the Berber nomads in February 2017. Here tribesmen will sing and play drums and guitars around a nightly campfire, while an astronomer details the planetary system above. A nomad family will create a small village where they will make traditional bread and share their artisanal crafts and skills with campers.
There is no agenda at Restival – whether you want to practise yoga at sunrise or sleep in with no alarm. The idea however is to return home rejuvenated, recalibrated and reconnected with yourself and others who have shared the journey. Don’t take our word for it, here are the words from Restival’s photographer, Lord Ashbury, after Morocco: “The thing about Restival was that it’s not real-life; it is more of a blueprint for what real life should be.”
Right now you’re either booking your ticket or rolling your eyes but whichever type of person you are, you’ll love Restival.
Book your tickets at: restival.global
This article was written in collaboration with Restival.
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