Costa Rican Bliss: A Transformative Retreat into Nature, Wellness, and Community

Summer 2023 turned out to be a game-changer for me, all thanks to a random online connection with Dana Shalit that led to an unexpected invitation to her Nature of Living retreat in Costa Rica. What began as a business thing morphed into this eye-opening dive into nature, healthy living, and all-around well-being.

Picture this: tucked away in the mountains near Nosara, a lively beach town in Costa Rica, we called Tierra Encantada home for a week. This place, with its jaw-dropping views of the jungle and the sea, painted a lasting picture of Costa Rica in my mind.

The heart of the whole experience was the tight-knit group vibe – our "container." Strangers at first, we quickly became a support system. Sharing our stories, respecting each other's quirks, and just being there for one another made navigating a foreign country less nerve-wracking, especially for a Brit like me finding his way far from home.

Each day was like a well-crafted playlist of experiences, kicking off with a breakfast that screamed "Costa Rican freshness." From group activities like sound baths and meditation to off-the-grid adventures like hikes and kayaking, the schedule was a mix of good vibes and well-being.

Now, about the food – it was more than just fuel. Going vegetarian for the week was a surprise twist for me, but the burst of energy and the unexpected drop in anxiety levels made each meal a revelation. Who knew veggies could be this good?

Ann, the host at Tierra Encantada, deserves a special mention. Her stories and lifestyle insights added a personal touch to the whole experience, connecting our choices to our well-being in a way that made sense.

Reality hit hard when I got back to the UK. The calm rhythm of waking up and winding down with nature clashed with the chaos of everyday life. Suddenly, having meals served and activities planned seemed like a distant dream, replaced by the fast-food options and stress-fueled choices around me.

Sharing my post-retreat blues with Dana led to a pleasant surprise – she's all about improvement. The idea of post-retreat follow-ups and an ongoing support system made me feel like someone actually cared about making this experience last beyond the retreat itself.


Looking back, I'm shouting from the rooftops about Dana's Nature of Living retreats and Tierra Encantada. It wasn't just a vacation; it was a deep dive into a lifestyle that clicks with nature, feeds the body right, and feeds the soul. To Dana, Jess, Ann, Pablo, and Melanie – thanks for making this a trip to remember. Here's to Nosara, the blue zone vibes, and those early morning howler monkeys – etched in my heart forever.

Dean Stott (Founder of DLC Anxiety)