Surf Goddess, champions of women only surf retreats, are now adding Snow Goddess trips to their repertoire, starting this winter in the magical powder haven of Hakuba, Japan. Woooo! To celebrate we invited their (grown up job title alert!) business development and marketing director Michelle Varga to chat life & new destinations
Travel has been a huge part of my life since I was little – I’d go so far as to say it’s genetic…
I was born and raised in Scotland, and then moved to the USA at the age of 5 followed by Japan until I was 15 – it’s safe to say that’s where my love affair with Asia was born.
At the age of 21, I left the UK for a one year trip through SE Asia and Australia – that was more than a decade ago and I never did make it back! I did happen to pick up the best travelling companion ever – in the form of my Australian husband in Bali (that’s another story)!
After 8 years in Sydney the travel gene kicked in again and Bali was the next destination that we called home.
I was lucky enough to join the Surf Goddess team 3 years ago in Bali as a Retreat Manager where I enjoyed 2 amazing years of hosting inspiring Goddesses from all over the world on our year round retreats. It made me so proud to be able to introduce our guests to my new home and especially to surfing in warm tropical waters! Definitely no wetsuits required!
Surf Goddess was born in 2002 when surfing was very much still a male dominated sport and we were the true original “ladies-only” surf retreat in the southern hemisphere. What started with just a couple of goddesses quickly blossomed and over the years we have tweaked and perfected our experience, having hosted thousands of women from all corners of the world.
We even added “Bali Goddess” for those who weren’t keen on surfing but wanted to experience the unique culture of Bali with some awesome twice daily in-house yoga added in.
Our retreats are designed to be relaxed – we don’t believe in the boot camp or detox approach – after all, you are on holiday! Rather we provide delicious gourmet meals prepared by our in-house chef, fresh tropical fruit available 24/7 and our now famous homemade cookies! All of our activities are optional too as we know that sometimes you just need to stop and take a breath from a busy life.
More importantly we provide an environment which encourages women to support and confide in each other. There have been countless strong, beautiful friendships born over the years. We strongly believe in the saying: Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another.
Around 12 months ago we decided to take a different (and slightly chillier!) route and began developing our brand new baby-sister retreat, Snow Goddess, which will commence in February 2015 in Hakuba, Japan.
With Surf Goddess we had already created the perfect getaway for busy modern women with a balance of sporting and cultural activities, decadent relaxation and pampering time, a supportive and social group setting which is always filled with friendship and laughter. Snow Goddess will host the same luxurious and unique experience in the breathtaking Northern Japanese Alps, with ski and snowboarding options.
Of course it also means another move for me which means that this nomad is on to her next destination. Always wandering but definitely never lost.
Michelle Varga is Director of Business Development and Marketing at Goddess Retreats. Her job is to develop the Surf and Snow Goddess products and research locations for new retreats all over the world, in addition to working with their marketing team.