What to do when the Summer Sun Sets on LBI
Summers in LBI make it easy. Easy to stay in the present moment, easy to stay active, and easy to connect to our loved ones, the planet and ourselves. Each summer morning you’ll wake up to find hundreds of people across the island out on a jog, hitting up a beach yoga class or catching some waves. Our afternoons are filled with sandy toes and salty skin thanks to our glorious beaches and superb summer weather. Our evenings are filled with dining out with family and friends and challenging the kids to mini-golf. Saying goodbye to summer is always hard but once we do, we often find ourselves back to the daily grind of work, our kids’ extra curricular activities and everything else that comes with the pace of this modern life.
At some point we need to slow down, but when we do, today’s culture sucks us into meaningless distractions instead of the culturally, and environmentally rich ways of our ancestors past. Today’s down time is filled with Netflix and Instagram instead of connecting directly to the people and planet that are all around us. And with the weather getting colder and the outdoor opportunities seemingly shrinking, we find ourselves even less connected to all of the amazing things that this life has to offer.
So here lies the opportunity to do it differently. The opportunity to commit to disconnect from our modern lives, social media, and our to-do lists to reconnect to all the non-material things that enhance our world. To allow ourselves the time to slow down, listen, breathe deeply and see all of the beauty that is right in front of us! The time to choose how we will fill our worlds, limiting the distractions of the iPhone and the latest gossip on the social media tabloids, and filling that space with activities that will expand our worlds!
Here are a few simple ideas to help make that happen:
September and October are often referred to in LBI as “Local Summer”. The masses have all moved on, and those of us that reside here get to take advantage of our “indian summer” days where we get to enjoy the warmth of the ocean along with the quiet solitude of our beaches.
Just over the bridge there are so many opportunities to get off the beach and explore the forests. Wells Mills County Park, Wharton State Forest and Bass River State Park all offer great hiking trails and opportunities to connect with the forest, your family and yourself.
With winter just around the corner, next up are our winter sports including skiing, snowboarding, winter hiking and cold weather surfing. However, if you are one of those people that find yourself longing for the warm weather, sun and sand, an escape abroad may be the answer!
For some, this escape can happen on a dime, the cost of a plane ticket, a room in a hostel and a surfboard. For decades, islanders have worked tirelessly all summer just to afford to “wander hard” all winter long. You will definitely find our locals searching for the best waves, and calm vibes of various hot spots in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Indonesia and many other tropical destinations. But for others the thought of an adventure without a plan, structure, or modern amenities may be a little too much, and if that’s the case, joining a structured retreat may be the perfect path to find your way to a meaningful get-away complete with a safety net of a professional staff to ensure your time away is perfectly executed!
LBI GOES ABROAD:
This year, we’ll be spending our off-season seeing the world with a full host of opportunities to wander to the best of bucket-list destinations - each one with a yogic twist!
For example, this November we’ll be packing our yoga mats right next to our binoculars as we prepare to hit the safaris of Kenya! We will visit the famed Africa Yoga Project, visit orphaned elephants that we will “adopt” for the year, and travel to 5 different Safaris where we will follow the path to spot the “Big 5” - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino!
Just in time for the winter season to hit hard, this February we’ll be hopping a flight to Costa Rica. Getting through winter with a tan is always incredible and February in Costa is guaranteed sun and temperatures in the comfortable 80’s. This trip is another one for adventure as we take ATV’s to the famed Montezuma Waterfalls, take a boat trip to some of the most incredible snorkeling spots in the Country, ride horseback at sunset on the pristine beaches and get our beach days in with awesome surf out front and howler monkeys in trees above!
Come April, we are headed back across the Atlantic to the culturally rich Morocco were we will take a journey through the senses. From the colors and scents of the spices and perfumes—to the sounds of the mosques and local music—to the gorgeous landscapes—to the tastes of the tagines and mint tea—to the relaxation of local steam rooms and massage. Morocco is a country that will leave you spellbound in every way!
In May we venture to Greece to explore ancient history and unwind on the beaches of the Aegean Sea. We will spend two days in Athens trekking through the enchanting ancient streets of the Athenian Acropolis which boasts historical sites such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena and the great Theatre of Dionysus. After, we retreat to a luxury hotel with a rooftop restaurant and stunning view of the Acropolis. In addition, Athens is a bustling modern metropolis with incredible cafes offering the best of greek coffee, arts ranging from historical classics to modern interpretations, and of course active nightlife. From Athens we journey to the pristine island of Amorgos. As one of the lesser known Cyclades islands, Amorgos offers the similar breathtaking viewscapes of sister islands Mykonos and Santorini, without the audacious crowd. The views from any one of the yoga shalas are inspiring, of pure sensory wonderment and bliss. On this laidback abode, we will hike, seek out ancient monasteries, visit with the native essential oils chemist, indulge in the local nourishing food, and of course spend time beach side.
Life if Short and the World is Wide
There is a saying, that “life is short and the world is wide”, so why not spend your off season, expanding your world and perspective by taking a cue from the countless LBI locals that have discovered the perfect formula for an enchanted life? Work hard and wander harder! So whether you decide to hop a flight to wander to a new and exotic land or simply wander hard in your own backyard, it doesn’t really matter, as long an you just wander.
Katie Ribsam is a soul-searching, sun loving yogi, residing in beautiful Long Beach Island. You can find Katie teaching yoga at one of her two LBI yoga studios, Yoga Bohemia- one in North Beach Haven and the other in Surf City. When not in LBI, you’ll find Katie wandering hard and all across the globe on one of her organized retreats. For more information about Katie, go to yogabohemianj.com or call 609-389-9306.