I once read that self-care is as basic a necessity as brushing our teeth. I’ve agreed with this for a long time, but it’s only recently that I’ve really felt it, rather than simply thinking it.
Sometimes my self-care takes the form of little things – a walk on the beach, a sleep-in, giving myself permission to spend all day in the kitchen cooking. Often it’s simply through saying ‘no’.
Every now and then I need a bigger dose of self-care, and that’s why I recently treated my partner and I to a few days at Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat, in northern NSW. It was absolutely divine.
Nestled in the Tweed Valley rainforest in between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is a luxury eco-retreat that caters to adults only. Incredibly romantic, it’s the perfect escape for couples.
Our bungalow was secluded and perfectly appointed, with a spa bath, fireplace, and full kitchen. Three walls were glass, offering uninterrupted views of the rainforest. But the true magic was in the details... rose petals strewn on the floor when we arrived, a complimentary bottle of wine, tealight candles everywhere (soy, not nasty paraffin), a fire built and ready to light, with plenty more wood chopped.
This is exactly my kind of luxury, combining indulgent details, seclusion, and connection to nature. I would have been happy to stay forever.
Since we only had a few days, we made the most of them by walking some of the trails on the property (bags of nuts are thoughtfully provided in case you need a snack); lazing in the hammocks suspended over the creek; and chilling out on our sunny balcony. During the evenings we checked out the glow worms alongside the creek, drank mugs of tea in front of the fire, and watched a movie (chosen from a library of over a thousand).
We chose to self-cater since cooking is something that brings me joy, especially when I have plenty of time. The kitchen had a stove, convection oven, coffee machine and even a dishwasher. But if cooking isn’t your idea of leisure, you can opt to pre-order from a yummy sounding menu.
If you were staying longer and eventually felt the urge to venture off the property, there are spectacular National Parks nearby: Springbrook, Wollumbin (Mount Warning) and Lamington, to name a few. Murwillumbah is the nearest town; a good spot to pick up groceries and picturesque. And if you feel the need for some hustle and bustle, the Gold Coast is only half an hour or so away.
After a few days being nourished by our surroundings, we left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. We'll be back.
Find the details here: www.ccrr.com.au
Years ago, I read an article which stated that all truly fabulous desserts contain three textures: creamy, meaty (meaning something you can sink your teeth into, not something resembling a carcass), and crunchy.
As someone who rates texture highly, I fully agree. An example might be a piece of cake – let’s pretend it’s a yummy vegan flourless orange cake (which is meaty) served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream (creamy), topped with toasted almond flakes (crunchy). The cake on its own would be delicious, but would it be quite as satisfying without both the ice cream and the almonds? To me, no.
It’s been a looong time between posts, and I’m not going to apologise for that. Nor promise to be better in future. Who knows what will happen, and I’ll write again when I feel like writing again.
After a year and a half in Byron Bay, I’m preparing to travel. The last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of work and packing up my house - working out what to take, what to store, what to sell, and what to give to whom. I think I’ve offloaded enough stuff to Vinnie’s to open a new store.
I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to feel anything. I haven't even begun to process the fact that I’m giving up this dream life (for a while - I'll be back at some point) of living in beautiful Byron, training the next generation of yoga teachers.
I sometimes feel like I’m part (a large part) bear, meant to hibernate from about now until the sun starts shining again and the birds start singing and the spring flowers begin to bloom.
So that I don’t fall into deep despair over the impending chilly months, I’m making a concerted effort to focus on the positives – because really, there are some wintery things to get excited about. I promise.