Beauty Vacation Packing: What a Yoga Master Brings to the Mountains

Beauty Vacation Packing: What a Yoga Master Brings to the Mountains

Reach a higher elevation with an antioxidant-charged serum, natural bug spray, crystal-infused water and more…

In anticipation of doing yoga among the mountains — surrounded by epic peaks and crisp, fresh air — we’re counting down the days to our upcoming Glacier National Park retreat in Montana. The 5-night excursion will be led by yoga master and health coach Maria Margolies, who combines her understanding of Ayurveda, macrobiotics and mediation, among other studies, into her grounding practice. Here, we asked the wellness guru to teach us about her beauty routine and what she’s packing in her suitcase to keep her skin, hair and spirit in harmony with the mountain setting.

Photo by Enrique Aviles.

Raw Coconut Oil

I don’t go anywhere without it! It’s great for inner and outer beauty. I use the raw kind externally on my skin and hair to moisturize and cleanse. And I combine it with essential oils, such as lavender or frankincense as bug repellent, deodorant or just for pure relaxation. Internally, I put a bit of the oil in my coffee or smoothies for extra fats and to slow down the absorption of sugar. It’s also wonderful for oral health in toothpaste or for oil pulling, which is an ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil on an empty stomach for 20 minutes to draw out toxins.

DIY Superherb Blend.

I combine powerful adaptogenic superherbs to help boost my immune system, balance hormones and mood, combat the effects of stress and fuel me. I go for a mix of medicinal mushrooms, maca, ashwagandha, he shou wu, cacao and cinnamon. I add this to coffee, hot water, teas, smoothies, milks or juice.

Bug Spray

It’s important to me to find something that’s natural, great for the outdoors, moisturizing and smells divine.

Electrolyte Supplement.

This helps keep me hydrated after yoga, teaching, hiking, surfing or when ever I am very active. A supplement improves hydration, muscle recovery and performance and helps me burn energy efficiently.

Beauty Chef Dream Repair Serum

I love this oil. I usually make my own beauty products, but this one feels so incredibly rejuvenating after a long day outdoors in the sun.

Palo Santo and Cinnamon.

I always travel with some sticks for smudging and clearing space. Our ancestors used spices and common herbs found in gardens to clear space, cleanse, protection and increase vibration. Palo Santo is also used to repel mosquitos in Ecuador!

Water Bottle.

It’s a must! I carry one in my bag wherever I go, always. This way I make sure I keep hydrated at all times. Often when we feel tired, and in need of a pick-me-up, we are mostly dehydrated so instead of reaching for a coffee next time, drink a big glass of water! I’m obsessed with this crystal water bottle. The water feels so charged, energizing and purifying from the raw crystal that lives inside.

+ Put your packing list to the test! Join us on our last FP Escape of the summer — book here today

Free People Blog

FP Escapes: Chloe Kernaghan on Sardinia

FP Escapes: Chloe Kernaghan on Sardinia

As we take to the the Mediterranean seas this Saturday, yoga guru Chloe Kernaghan sheds some insight on the trip ahead…

Tell us a little about yourself — who is Chloe Kernaghan?

BIG Q! I’m first and foremost a mover. I joke that I speak in movement better than I do English. I’ve always been pulled towards movement: as a kid through dance, and now this world of yoga. I was born and raised on the island of Guam, a tiny slice of paradise in the middle of the Pacific. I was surrounded by an incredible community and was pretty much always dancing and performing. Upon moving to NYC, I started practicing yoga at studios around the village area as a way to complement all the dance and theater work I was doing at NYU, eventually leading to my first 200 hr certification. Two years ago, we started SKY TING YOGA…. So I guess if I were to compile all of that into a tag: I am a yoga teacher, a student, a small business owner and, most importantly, someone who lives to MOVE! 

Of all the paths within the wellness community, why yoga? 

I guess I didn’t even consider other paths as I began my yoga studies. I came to it because of the heavy emphasis on the physical (the asana practice) in group classes, which felt relatable with my movement background. But upon more in-depth studies, the greater questions and explorations that the practice brought up for me kept me wanting to go further, dig deeper. The braiding together and studying of the body, breath and mind continues to teach me on a daily basis. 

You’re about to embark on a seven-day sailing retreat with FP. What are you looking forward to most? 

Oh! So much!!!! What I am super looking forward to is just being on the water for 7 days. From getting up early to meditate and just taking in the expansive view, to falling asleep to the gentle rocking of the sea, it’s a real reset for me — a true break from city life! I also LOVE going to new places, and this trip is going to bring us to some incredible spots that most travelers don’t even have access to… small islands, secluded beaches, tiny Mom & Pop seafood restaurants… heaven!!!!! 

What are you most nervous about? 

It’s a funny thing to admit but, before every retreat, I always am a little anxious about meeting everyone! Basically we’ve all signed up for spending a week together on small boats traveling around foreign lands… and you have to wonder — will everyone like me?!? It always ends up great, but even as a teacher I want to make a good first impression! 😉 

How do you transition from teaching in the hustle of NYC to the open seas of the Mediterranean? 

The yoga locations on this retreat are way less formal than my studio in NYC, with some of the formality and maybe rigidity of a NYC class being taken away. We’ll still be practicing quality yoga, but there will be more room for playtime, workshopping a pose, asking questions, and gaining a greater sense of understanding for the practice. With this retreat revolving around water, I’m planning to incorporate how water can support a practice: in quality of movement, where the element of water is in the body, etc. 

What would you like our guests to take away from this retreat experience? 

I think every person comes on a retreat with a unique set of wants/needs/expectations. And generally, a retreat leaves you in a place you would never have anticipated. For this trip especially, I would love for everyone to leave with a greater sense of connection, maybe to the group of new friends they spend the week with, maybe with nature and our role in that system, maybe with the yoga practice itself, learning tools and techniques to bring home. This retreat will be intimate, so there will be lots of opportunity for exploring, sharing and relating — definitely some potent work to be done! 

What does free mean to you? 

I think, in some ways, we’re all part of systems and on paths that at times can feel inhibiting or limiting. One of the greatest lessons of the yoga practice has been understanding how to use the confines of a boundary to create more space and find more freedom. My teacher always quotes “paradise is a walled-in garden”, and I think there is power in using that to your advantage. When we surpass our own definitions of who we are and why we are and how we are, there is a one-ness that is unmistakable and liberating. However, we still have to exist on this Earth. So, to harness an inner sense of power over yourself, unlock any sort of limitation to use to your advantage! 

Be sure to stay up to date with Chloe and follow her on Instagram!

+ Looking to Escape? Join us on our next adventure in Glacier National Park this August! Book here today. 

Photo by Jana Kirn

Free People Blog

FP Escapes: Nicaragua in Review

FP Escapes: Nicaragua in Review

A look inside our latest FP Escape

This post comes from our Engagement Assistant, Emily Sellers

We’ve been on the road for a few hours, from the capital of Nicaragua to Maderas Village. As we maneuver each turn, our white pick-up truck is heading up a steeper, bumpier dirt road. I begin to question everything. Thinking “whoa, we are OUT here. This is so remote… where are we going? No one will be able to find us. What did we get ourselves into?”

Alas, we make it to the top of the final hill. Before us lies a jungle oasis that quite literally appeared out of thin air. Friendly, beautiful faces greet us at the lush garden gates of Maderas. Jaws have dropped in awe that this will be our home for the next 10 days. Every ounce of worry slips away.

This unique journey to Maderas set the tone for the week: stepping outside of our comfort zones, saying yes to the unpredictable, and transforming.

Each morning we awoke (and sometimes throughout the night) to birds singing, monkeys playing, and rain dropping on the dried palm roofs, and our bodies nourished with fresh tropical fruit, protein-packed vegetable dishes and the best avocados you’ve ever tasted.

Yoga practice was filled with playful, circular movements which helped validate the notion that nothing in life is linear.

And then there was the beach. A short – sometimes treacherous – walk down the hill revealed a quaint inlet of ocean framed by enormous rock formations. Everyone received a pair of Birkenstocks for the trip, which were ideal for our treks around the village. Safe to say we didn’t wear any other shoes. We surfed, we swam, we fell deep into reflection amidst the natural beauty of this undeveloped space.

Aside from the adventure, the beauty, and new experiences, it was the personal connections that will stay with us through our years to come. Every person arrived at Maderas Village for a particular reason, but we all left with a collective purpose; to live with intention and embrace growth.

Descending the hill as we left Maderas, we felt less hesitant and far more empowered.

+ Join us on our next FP Escape in Glacier National Park!

Free People Blog

The Explorer

The Explorer

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down. – Kurt Vonnegut

This post comes to us from writer Lauren Haule.

We all have that friend. The woman who never stops moving.

As eager to hop on a plane for a month and backpack through Patagonia as she is to try the new coffee shop downtown – she is curious, competent, and thrives on the unfamiliar. She is the Explorer.

Invigorated by the idea of a place she’s never seen before, a culture she’s never experienced, and the simple thought that the amount of new discoveries the world is capable of providing could fill up a lifetime, the Explorer lives in a state of constant motion.

She is one of those friends that you drop everything to see when she’s there, because her energy and intrigue are infectious.  Her style follows suit, reflective of the places and people she’s seen and have left their mark.  Just as she’s able to let her mind be encompassed by her surroundings, so her clothing seems to blend into the local fashion and look like she belongs.

Each trinket, each street-side painting on her wall tell her story, as their eclectic style reflects the influence of her travels.

What’s in her bag?

Full of equal parts style and function, her bag is always equipped with an extra pair of shoes, a dress, a swimsuit, the ever-reliable jumpsuit, a scarf, and a necklace. The Explorer is ready for whatever situation presents itself – be it a stroll on the beach, a night on the town, or a weekend camping trip. She can’t be too fussy about a beauty regimen on the move, and so she only carries the essentials. Her journal in hand, she passes the travel time writing of her world in intricate detail – both real experiences and the way she imagines it to be.

Where does she go?

I think it’s safe to say that she goes everywhere, but here are a few notable favorites:

Victoria Falls, South Africa – located at the southern tip of the Zambezi River, the falls are the seventh natural wonder of the world. Equal parts adventure, beauty, entertainment and relaxation, the falls will never disappoint when in need of an escape.

Sardinia, Italy – Spend one day on the Costa Smeralda (The Emerald Coast) and you will be eternally connected to this wondrous slice of paradise. Whether its sun, sand, history, or adventure you seek, Sardinia offers it all. Surrounded by idyllic turquoise waters nature thrives here, and there is much to discover along coastal hikes and shoreline caves, stretching deep into the island.

Nicaragua – Volcanos, colonial towns, forests, rivers, surf and sand – there isn’t much that Nicaragua doesn’t have to offer. With its colorful architecture and rich culture steeped in food and tradition, this South American getaway is a place where you can discover something new each time you go. To the Explorer, it is food for the soul.

Bali, Indonesia – while Hollywood may have put this paradise back on the map, Bali has always been the quintessential destination. The beaches, food, nightlife and agriculture are magical in and of themselves, but the Balinese people are what make this piece of Indonesia truly unique. As the Explorer revels in emotion and connection, she’d be hard pressed to find a better fit.

Whom does she admire?

The Explorer admires those who pioneered exploration and inspire others to do the same.  Women such as Gertrude Bell, who initiated the school of thought that relics should be preserved and kept in their home countries. Isabella Bird, who defied risks of women being able to travel alone. From Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic (among many other firsts), to Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space.

She sees the beauty in the diversity of the world. She looks to those who understand that our differences are what keep life interesting. Every culture in its style, its music, its way of life is one small intricate piece. The Explorer is always moving because, with so much to see, how could she ever stop?

+ For those of you who are ready to join our need for wanderlust, FP Escapes is for you. Come explore breathtaking landscapes around the globe and gain a sense of place from knowledgeable guides and gurus! Your next adventure is waiting.

Read more from Lauren here

Free People Blog

5×5: Boston

5×5: Boston

All the best hangouts, in all the best cities, from the locals who know… 

As a relative newcomer to the East Coast, there is a decent number of cities I’ve yet to explore, Boston being one of them. Intersected by cobblestone streets, historic neighborhoods and fueled by learning, Boston is tops on the list. Today it is among the most forward-thinking cities in the nation and boasts some pretty stellar food, sports, art and music. We reached out to five Free People store employees to learn more about this event-filled city and shed a little insight on what makes this place home.

Katherine Harrison: FP Store Stylist

@katherineharrison

Beacon Hill — Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108

The quintessential Boston destination. On the weekends, I love to peruse its narrow cobblestone, tree-lined streets and pick out which of the brick walk-ups I’d love to call my own (spoiler: all of them). Hop off the “T” – Boston lingo for the metro – and take a stroll down Charles Street. The real magic, however, rests in all of the branching side streets. Be sure to check out the famed Acorn Street and the incredible display of blooms outside Rouvalis’ flower shop.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum — 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115

Decadent yet haplessly curated, the Gardner Museum is an absolute treat — part art exhibit, part home, part garden. The greenhouse and central atrium seem plucked straight from a fairytale or, in the least, a charming European town.

Juliet — 257 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

Juliet feels as though it belongs on a quiet street in Paris. Serving lovely café and brunch fare during the day, Juliet transitions into a phenomenal chef’s prix-fix dinner destination come nighttime. Snag reservations if you can. The quotation on its wall from Bon Appetit gets the point across pretty well: “One thing is guaranteed: This will be energetic, personal cooking that’s truly one of a kind.”

Loyal Nine – 660 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

Another Cambridge locale worth making the cross-river jump for. Go for a morning coffee at the café and return for the incredible, locally-sourced dinner menu or the famed Sunday brunch. The colonial-inspired fare can’t be missed (and you’ll probably want to snag a few Instagram pics along the way).

Olives and Grace — 623 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118

Shop local: Olives and Grace is the kind of store where you walk in for a small gift and end up having a glass of prosecco with the owner. It’s best described as a boutique tchotchke shop. Olives and Grace contains all the best in locally sourced, artisinal goods, from cards to perfumes to trinkets to food. So much thought goes into each and every item displayed. It’s the kind of place where you wish all of your housewarming or christmas gifts came from. Bonus: the owners love the area and will direct you to all of the best locally owned and operated stores and restaurants!

Sarah Casto: Store Manager of Chestnut Hill

@sarahmcasto

The Charles River Esplanade — Along the Charles River

Hands down my favorite park in the city. This 3-mile stretch follows the south bank of the Charles River which separates the cities of Boston and Cambridge. It is always buzzing with people riding bikes, walking dogs or jogging, but it never feels busy unless it’s the Fourth of July. I most enjoy walking the length of the park, picking up somewhere around the Harvard Bridge and watching all the collegiate rowing teams gliding up and down the river. If you don’t feel like walking, just set up camp on one of the public docks and enjoy the sunshine.

Harvard Square, Cambridge — Intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street

Another Boston fav located in Cambridge that holds a special place in my heart. As I managed the Harvard Sq. Free People, this adorable area worked its way up to the top of my list of places to visit in the city. Summer in the square is an absolute dream. A hub of college students, corporate professionals, small businesses and stellar bars. Great food, great drinks, great shopping. Some of my top picks are Crema Café, The Beat Brasserie, Felipe’s, and Goorin’s Hat Shop.

Bagelsaurus — 1796 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

Anyone who knows me knows that I live off of breakfast sandwiches and, after 25 years of searching, I have finally found that that this tiny bagel shop in Porter Square has the. Best. Bagel. Sandwiches. Ever. Their unique selection of bagels are freshly made every day — you can choose from several of their acclaimed sandwich menu options or just grab a simple bagel+spread combo. My order: the Eggspanola on a Seasalt bagel – over-medium egg, feta, pimenton aioli, parsley gremolata, avocado optional. These delectable bagels are available from 7am to whenever supplies last, and they do sell out. So bike there, Uber there, ride there, and don’t be surprised to see a line out the door. I’m not a fan of lines but this place is worth the wait.

Babbo Enoteca and Pizzeria –11 Fan Pier Boulevard, Boston, MA 02210

This wonderful Italian restaurant by Chef Mario Batali, The Chew personality, Iron Chef, and one of the creators of Eataly, is one of my top choices for any birthday, anniversary, or date night dinner. I am a HUGE fan of charcuterie and Babbo really brings it. The menu of anipasti, pizzas, small plates, pastas, and gelati paired with an even larger menu of wine truly make this restaurant an experience to remember. It’s a large space that boasts three separate bars for pizza, antipasti and cocktails, located in the ever-growing seaport district on Fan Pier. Go to the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) and then hit up Babbo for a spread that will blow your mind. The truffle honey accoutrement that they serve is to die for.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum –25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115  (2 VOTES FOR THE GARDNER!!)

One of the most unique art museums in the city. It is located right near my alma mater, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, so one can image how many hours I spent here while in school. It started as the private residence and collection of patron to the arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and has grown into a noteworthy assemblage of historical and contemporary art. Major points of interest are the famous Sargent paintings, the four-story courtyard in the center of the museum, and the empty frames left as reminders of the yet unsolved 1990 heist in which $500 million worth of art works were stolen from the museum including pieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas, and Manet.

 Madison Warchol: Assistant Visual Manager, Free People Burlington

@Madisonwarchol

Hauswitch Home and Healing — 144 Washington St, Salem, MA 01970

Magical, Whimsical, Girl Power…..Just a few things that come to mind when I think of Hauswitch! Along with tons of natural light and good energy, this shop holds everything you need to bring magic and healing into your everyday spaces. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, they now hold amazing in-store events, such as “New Moon Guided Meditation” and “Tarot And Tea.”

Mill No. 5 — 250 Jackson St #402, Lowell, MA 01852

Set inside the fourth floor of a 1873 textile mill, that’s where you will find Mill No. 5. The recently renovated space holds dozens of boutiques and attractions tucked away behind salvaged architectural storefronts. With a vintage movie theatre, yoga studio, record store and much more, this is the perfect spot for everyone.

Pressed Cafe — 200 District Ave, Burlington, MA 01803

If you’re looking for locally sourced, light and delicious food, Pressed Cafe is the spot!  With indoor and outdoor seating you can enjoy a wide variety of sandwiches, smoothies, fresh juice and…breakfast ALL DAY… say no more, right?

Bruce Freeman Rail Trail — Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Chelmsford, MA 01824

It’s nice to get a small taste of nature without having to make a trip outside of the city proper. This fully paved trail is perfect for walkers, runners and bikers. It extends 7 miles through the woods, ending at Hearts Pond, the perfect spot to stop and watch the sunset. 🙂

Boston Rock Gym — 78 Olympia Ave, Woburn, MA 01801

I have always been afraid of heights, so rock climbing wasn’t something that generated much interest in me. But after a few visits to the Boston Rock Gym and meeting the amazing community of climbers that surround it, I was hooked! BRG is the oldest rock gym on the east coast and is open to climbers of all ages and climbing abilities. This is a perfect day or night trip to try something new with a group of friends.

Gabriella Zen: Free People Sales Associate

@gzenn

JUGOS — 145 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

As an LA transplant, I need my juice fix. Yes, my fresh cold pressed juice. And like all Angelenos, I was skeptical that anything could compare to my go-to juice place back home. But then I tried JUGOS. This tiny hole in the wall, right next to Back Bay Station, serves up unbelievably fresh and delicious treats. Whether you’re into juice cleanses, acai bowls, or something a little heartier (they have three kinds of avocado toast!), you cannot go wrong with JUGOS.

SoWa Open Market — 530 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118

You know it’s summer once SoWa starts up. Touted as the largest outdoor market in Boston, SoWa promises to fulfill all your farmers’ market dreams. And trust me, it delivers. On top of the traditional farmers’ market, SoWa also includes an art market, food truck bazaar and beer garden. Running every weekend for six months, SoWa presents the opportunity to try fresh locally grown produce, eat from your choice of deliciously iconic food trucks, and purchase handmade art. I don’t know about you but I’m itching for SoWa season.

Blackbird Doughnuts — 492 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116

I love doughnuts. My mom loves doughnuts. My grandpa loved doughnuts. As much as I try to resist it, doughnuts are in my blood. Thankfully, Boston’s donut scene does not disappoint. With several artisanal donut shops across the city, Blackbird Doughnuts hit the spot every time. As the only doughnut shop in Boston to bake on-site, Blackbird ensures freshness. They come out hot and ready. This South End bakery offers an array of both raised and cake doughnuts that are as gourmet as they get. Some of my favorites include the Rooftop Honey, Triple Chocolate, and the Everything Bagel Doughnut. Embrace your sweet tooth. The doughnuts are calling.

Tatte Bakery and Café — 1003 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446

First drawn here by their avocado toast, I fell in love with Tatte Bakery and Café’s unreal baked goods and brunch. I dream about their flaky croissants and mint lemonade, and don’t even get me started about their shakshuka. In the winter the cozy interior and their hot chocolate proves perfect refuge from frostbite. But as the days get longer and warmer, the outdoor seating area is a hot commodity. Bring a book, grab some grub, and soak in the sun.

Lookout Rooftop and Bar, Envoy Hotel — 70 Sleeper St, Boston, MA 02210

Sometimes when I feel like being an adult and the weather is just right, all I want is to get dressed up and go to a rooftop bar. The rooftop bar at the Envoy Hotel has the perfect combination of delicious cocktails and gorgeous views of the Boston skyline. You can sip and mingle while taking in the sights and sounds of other young Bostonians looking for a good time. Go during the day for a happy hour tan, or out late for a drink under the stars.

Falon Moran: Free People Store Stylist

@falonmoran

The South End — 539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

Brick brownstones and adorable shops and restaurants, i.e. the ultimate New England vibe. The South End is that perfect package. Spend an afternoon strolling this neighborhood and take in the unique architecture, parks and all it has to offer. Stop by Follain for beauty needs, Store Ore for beautiful selections from local jeweler Sophie Hughes, Barcelona for an extensive wine list, and Gaslight for the best French meal. Boutique shops dot Washington, Columbus, and Tremont Streets and some of the best cuisine in the city.

Redbones BBQ — 55 Chester Street, Somerville, MA 02144

BBQ may not be your first thought when you think Boston but, as a girl with a strong affinity for smoked meats and mouthwatering sides, I’ve found the best the city has got to offer. Tucked away in Somerville’s trendy Davis Square, this dive makes you feel right at home with authentic pulled pork, brisket, ribs and all the fixings. Do yourself a favor and get the corn fritters, too.

Fenway Park — 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215

Boston is definitely known for their sports culture and serves as home to the oldest ballparks in Major League Baseball. As a huge baseball fan, Fenway is by far one of the coolest stadiums I’ve ever visited and, even if you’re not in love with the game, there’s gorgeous views, lovely exposed brick, a strong history, and of course the ever-traditional Fenway Frank.

Bova’s Bakery — 134 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113

This 24-hour North End spot is tucked away from the crowds of Hanover Street, but at any given time, you’ll find a crowd. Inside sits cases of traditional Italian pastries, breads, arancini, pizza, and just about any other type of sweet dessert you can imagine, from canolis to cookies to cupcakes and even cheesecake. Not only are the selections and portions large, but they are delicious. Stop by here, anytime! You won’t be disappointed.

The Esplanade — 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02108

Perhaps one of the most iconic places in Boston, the Esplanade runs between the Charles River and Storrow Drive (basically the length of the city). When the weather is nice, it’s worth taking a walk over to enjoy the river breeze and scenic vibes. Take a walk, go for a run, rent a bicycle, or even just sit on the grass amongst the trees or one of the many docks and enjoy the afternoon while taking in views of Cambridge.

+ Traveling? Check out more 5×5 features here

Follow April on Instagram.

Free People Blog

Travel Tuesday: Lex Weinstein in Morocco

If you find the patience, the rewards are that of a dream…

This post comes to us from our friend, Lex Weinstein.

As I stood in the arrivals terminal at Agadir airport, I was asked a question that abruptly interrupted my contemplative daze, soaking in the elements, absorbing this unfamiliar desert landscape. “Would you like a cigarette?” A tall, thin, dark-skinned man peered at me inquisitively. Normally I would answer with disgust, but with a strange excitement I politely declined. Finally I had arrived to one of my life-long dream destinations and deep down, the lonestar, no-rules approach to living was exactly what I envisioned of the people in this rugged territory. We chatted briefly and after we bid farewell, I walked towards my taxi and whispered to myself, “Welcome to Morocco.”

Time in the desert moves at a different pace than the rest of the world, a blessing and a curse depending on which side of the coin you choose to hold against your palm. Traffic zips past at frightening speeds while the midday sun burns through the sky at a snail’s pace. My first encounter with this challenge was when the airline lost my luggage — 3 days without surfboards while the waves were pumping; head high swell, no wind, sun shining bright. Each hour I went without felt like an eternity, and I struggled with seeing the bright side of this misfortune. But Morocco has this incredible way of giving you a second chance to make the right move or find another path, and so I decided to use it as an opportunity to enjoy the other aspects of my surroundings. Amouage Surf + Yoga Hotel kept me plenty busy — their guides took me on afternoon excursions to exotic markets and ancient cities. We hiked at sunset, practicing yoga while brilliant colors set the sky on fire as the sun tucked behind the horizon. From every postcard corner you turn, there’s something to discover — from the warm, inner blanket of the local mint tea to the brilliant colored tile and architecture at every glance. Below are my Morocco musts for anyone looking to take on this dream destination. 

Where to: 

StayTaghazout is a small but buzzing little surf town on the southwestern coast of Morocco, with everything you want to experience from North Africa with a full coastal vibe. Surf Maroc is a one-stop shop offering an array of accommodations based on the experience you crave. Between Taghazout Villa (an upscale hostel experience), Villa Mandala (a week long yoga/surf retreat house) or Amouage (a surf + yoga boutique hotel) you can experience the best of surf, yoga and ambiance that this quaint Moroccan town has to offer, at any budget. 

Surf — The best part of Surf Maroc? The surf guides and group tours offered with your stay. Based on your skill level, you can join a group or get a private guide to take you to any kind of wave you want, from longboard peelers at Imessouane to overhead barrels at Anchor Point. There’s a huge variety along this stretch of coast so I recommend getting a guide to show you the in’s and out’s.

ShopTaghazout hosts an epic little market on Wednesdays, but the Agadir Market occurs every day and has a ton to offer as well. Also, do NOT leave Morocco without checking out Essaouria, a town adored by Jimi Hendrix when he visited in the 1970’s with a cafe created in his honor. Winding cobblestone streets and back alleys are lined with the most incredible clothes, bags, lanterns, leather crafts, crystals, homegoods….the list goes on. Worth the couple hour drive from Tag, for sure! 😉

See — Go to Paradise Valley and hike into a gorgeous, palm tree-lined canyon and have tajine by the river. Wander around Tag and drink local mint tea by the water, watching the fisherman go out on their colorful boats. Go to happy hour on Moroccan Night at Amouage and watch authentic drumming and dance as the sun sets in the most beautiful ombre of fiery hues you’ll ever see. Then take yoga at sunrise on the rooftop of the hotel or get a traditional Hammam massage to fight off the jet lag. There’s really no wrong way to experience Morocco, so just get there (with patience) and the rest will unfold in imperfect perfection!

When my boards finally arrived, an unexpected bump in swell had me in the water until the stars came out. The taste of my first sunset surf was sweeter than I could have ever imagined, leaving me with the question every traveller asks themselves — would I have had as much fun if everything had gone right? In Morocco the answer is simple: the lonestar, no rules approach must be embraced at full accord, and if you find the patience to look at the bright side in a Moroccan desert, the rewards are that of a dream.

+ Where’s your next adventure? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more from Lex here.

FP Me to You: Escape Within Your City

From tea houses to donut shops, Tonya takes us on her PDX adventures…

This post comes from FPME muse, Tonya.

I feel so lucky to live in a city where there are so many local shops and restaurants. It’s fun just to spend the afternoon walking around and seeing what new place I might find. 

Portland might be known for Voodoo Donuts, but there is another local donut shop that I love to go. Pips has the best bite size donuts and homemade chai in town! The atmosphere is super cozy and welcoming, it’s a great place to hangout and start your day.

There are SO many great coffee shops in Portland, so I couldn’t decide on one. But days when I want something different, I go to Tea Bar. They have the best thai iced tea and I always love to get boba! If you haven’t tried it yet…it’s a must.

Another must-see here in Portland is Pistils Nursery. I could spend an entire day there, studying all of the plants and getting inspired. It’s so refreshing!
If you want to get out of the city and into the wild, the Gorge is filled with so many great hikes and beautiful waterfalls…and only a 20-minute drive away. For a taste of nature without leaving Portland’s walls, hit up Forest Park, right in the middle of the city and filled with lush trails and perfect to get a breath of fresh air.

Follow Tonya on Instagram and check out her FPME profile here!

+ Come back next Thursday to learn more from Tonya

 Photos by Dawn Photo.

Escapes: Travel to Mexico Around!

Interest amigas! Nowadays we’re below to declare a brandname-new FP Escapes escape: to To-Dos Santos, Mexico, and we need one to include us! If you’re seeking balance the mind and to revitalize the body, then this week-long escape that is is for you. Join us + our buddies at Yogascapes for Restore, Reset, & Rebalance in Baja  this Jan.

Begin Your Year!

Journey Illustrates Include:

6 nights’ remain at Pachamama Mexico

Everyday yoga with Kate Mulheron

A Epidermis Meals-curated selection & natural splendor courses

Stand up Paddleboarding

Temazcal Service

$500 in Free People Item

Your personal set of Teva shoes

+ more

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For more information or even to guide your place, PROCEED BELOW

Location PNW Drive/Minute Beach

Where the coastline satisfies the path… our next payment in a set since the greatest walking locations within the Pacific Northwest. 

This article comes from nature Lauren Haule, specialist and Northwest indigenous to us.

One of Wa state’s undeniable organic glories is its shoreline. Although not easily available by typical requirements, the almost 3 hr travel from Dallas is just a character finder’s heaven and oh-so worth your own time, particularly the panoramic and tough Minute Seaside, situated alongside the city of La Drive. The city hosts the Indian Reservation, while offering panoramic sights of the David Area that is holy, in addition to places walk, to eat and reader -view.

Or even for that flood of vehicles left privately of the street the entry to Minute Seaside is humble and sneaks on you apparent. While you start the rotating 0.7 kilometer and sluggish -backpack towards the sea, although not yet noticeable, the humidity within the atmosphere is palpable. Being therefore near to the water, the breeze has evaporated away a lot of the dust in the foot of the spruce and red forest bushes, revealing their origins internally-like formations.  It’s not unlike roaming via a fantastical town, waiting to become welcomed with a fairy or troll at any given second.

After turning across the woodland, the path starts an immediate 200 foot good encased at the top of all attributes by lively vegetables towards the water under, nevertheless concealed from view.  a couple of times, peeking through the bushes, you obtain a peek of the huge stone structures or “ocean piles” protruding in the mud, ranking at focus on welcome you.

While you achieve the limit towards the seaside, skeletons of jungle conifers obstruct the journey long-since washed. Although producing the right path over and through the heaps of float records could be a small difficult, whilst the panorama makes full-view you’re drawn right into a globe where the ability of character becomes intimidatingly obvious, and all there’s to complete is stand-in amazement.

Make sure to wade through the wave pools that provide up a peek of nearby sea-life, and please take the time to appear up — it’s not unusual to capture a peek of bald eagles soaring overhead. Next Seaside, along with the similarly interesting First and Next Shores, additionally function as well-known campsites where daring spirits descend to state an area one of the float records for some times in summertime. Join them to get an hour or so – in either case or a week, I care one to leave from Minute Seaside unaffected and unmoved.

+ find out about different Pacific Northwest tracks below 

Location PNW: Franklin Falls

Lace-up your walking shoes and enter the Pacific Northwest’s fountain wonderland… 

This article comes from nature Lauren Haule, specialist and Northwest indigenous to us.

It s no real surprise provided the hill runs that are encompassing that there surely is a good amount of falls inside the Northwest. Several of those drops are easily unapproachable, but you will find more within than one may believe reach. Franklin Drops is one of my own favorites to get an enjoyable evening backpack, and one particular location.

Situated only 45 minute east of Dallas within the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie Forest & mdash Comes path is made for walkers of expertise ranges and all ages. At merely a 2- 400 foot height and kilometer round-trip, achieving the fountain is a lot less-strenuous than anticipated. Available year round, this backpack leads to items for several months, towards the amazing snow structures within the winter, in the relaxing splash swimming in the foot of the drops within the summertime. Comprising three sections totaling 135 toes, the biggest drop may be the only readable fall in the path, but in a magnificent 70 foot as you are able to get up to and it, even move underneath ’ s worth the stroll.

You’re instantly surrounded beneath a cover of aged cedars, and attracted in from the audio of speeding water upon entering in the trailhead. Within the third of the backpack the right path can be made by you right down to the fringe of the obvious creek consume the looks of character and to relax on stones.

As the other and maybe many astonishing section of decreased trees fills your watch on the way ancient woods depart you having a childlike feeling of question. Incorporating another coating towards the thick woodland, their moss-lined trunks merge and out-of view one of the deer ferns and skunk cabbage. Their weathered bark sets within the ground just like a gentle quilt, enjoying from the little dwarf dogwood sprouts, weeds and channels that look up from underneath.

While you meander through the properly- the water is never significantly, just like a calming sound leading the right path up the water. You will find image moments that were deserving while you rise greater to consume, all fenced and securely designated large falls along. The stroll is relaxing, fit-for a relaxing speed where you are able to identify the apparently limitless big leafed Demon’s membership among different indigenous crops. Although not indigenous, the neutralized foxglove develops near to the fountain, producing to get an amazing colour blast from the rugged ledge whenever you enter the primary function.

It s clear why this little retreat is really common while you create your ultimate descent down the spectacular actions quit slick in the misty drops. If only all nature & rsquo;s items were therefore quickly loved.

+ find out about different Pacific Northwest paths below