We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our friends at One Tree Planted, an organization aimed at global reforestation by planting trees around the world. For every booking made with Getaway, we plant one tree with One Tree Planted. In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, we’re planting 10 trees for every booking made.
Also dedicated to addressing deforestation and tree loss, Trees Atlanta works on the local level to plant trees, conserve nature, and educate the community about the importance of preserving natural urban forest.
The Charles River Conservancy works to protect and renew the parklands around the Charles River. With over 2,000 volunteers and a number of clean-up projects throughout the year, the conservancy is a great place to begin environmental volunteering.
The DC Environmental Network works to restore the Capital’s urban environment. With monthly meetings, the network’s members exchange educational information develop strategies to confront local environmental issues, including air pollution, neighborhood trash, and degradation of the Anacostia River.
Originally created the same year and with the same spirit as the first Earth Day, GrowNYC works to transform communities block by block into cleaner and healthier environments. With policy programs, educational resources, and garden building, the organization is a great place to volunteer or donate.
We know that with the hustle and bustle of city life, it can be hard for artists to carve out time to create. That’s why we started our Artist Fellowship Program, to give creatives uninterrupted time in nature to work on their projects. We love seeing what our artists make during their time with us, so we’re excited to share with you some of our fellows from this season.
Photographer Albert Groshenko knows how difficult it can be to find balance in his life. As an economics student at Columbia, Albert says he is lucky enough to draw inspiration from every street corner of New York City. He believes the sidewalk has become our culture’s “runway,” and loves seeing how artfully people choose to present themselves to the world.
Despite his love for the city, Albert still enjoys escaping to the woods. During his Getaway in Epsom, N.H., Albert took photos, cooked on an open fire, and slept amid the trees. While he loves working with his camera, Albert says he would love to one day create his own line of menswear, in addition to the finance career he aspires to.
Sophie Calhoun has been drawing for most of her life, but she had to take a hiatus from her art when life got too crazy. Once she graduated college though, Sophie rededicated time to her work and says she’s happy creating visual art again.
Sophie says she loves escaping into nature and gaining a fresh perspective, so she was able to spend some time creating illustrations while at Getaway Boston. Sophie says she usually gets her inspiration from a desire to visually represent complex concepts, like emotions. She loves storytelling and world-building and dreams of one day using her skills to create a graphic novel or video game.
Interested in becoming an Artist Fellow? Apply here.
Our Artist Fellowship program was created to give creatives the space they need for uninterrupted work in the middle of the woods. The hope is that artists can use the quiet and the natural beauty around our cabins to inspire their creative projects. We’re excited to feature several of our fellows from the past few months and the work they have created at Getaway.
Hayley Tanasijevich has been drawing for as long as she can remember and even studied graphic design and illustration at the University of Michigan. After college, she realized her passion for travel drawing and has found a place to sketch everywhere from Scotland to Southeast Asia. Most recently, Hayley escaped to Getaway New York for some creative time. Drawing her inspiration from a treasure trove of children’s books, Hayley says she one day hopes to make her own.
“I hope someday to have a little studio where I can draw animals with eyebrows wearing funny clothes as much as I want,” Hayley said. “For now, I take each day one at a time and keep drawing and improving to never stop creating.”
Ali Williams has been passionate about public art ever since she created her first mural in art school. Her dream would be to create a mural abroad with a mission she’s passionate about. In the meantime, Ali draws her main inspiration from her fellow women artists and celebrating their accomplishments.
She took to Getaway DC this winter to focus her creative energy and work on some sketches. When she’s not on a Getaway, Ali says she likes to escape to the ocean.
“I’m fortunate to live near the ocean, and I work remote, so for a quick get away I walk to the beach as much as I can,” Ali said. “Unplugging is still a challenge, that’s why I like yoga so much! But with good people around it makes it much easier to shut all that down and enjoy the present moment no matter where you are.”
While Joanna Guest has been artistic for most of her life, she says her current work is mostly driven by the deep love of art her parents, who met in art school, have always had. In 2017, Joanna began collecting all the notes her father had written to both her and her brother. Since then, she has been creating collages to pair with her father’s words and has been sorting them into a book set to publish in 2019.
Joanna recently took to Getaway New York to inspire some of her canvases. However, the Brooklyn-based artist tries her best to find ways to disconnect even when she can’t get to the Catskills.
“I like to go to Maine. If that’s not in the cards, I love to cook, with good music in the background and a glass of wine,” Joanna says. “There’s nothing ‘away in nature’ about that, but boy can it make this Brooklyn-born kid feel free.”
Anna Tullis has been all around the US. Born in Colorado, she moved to Kansas City to work for a non-profit before relocating to Los Angeles to attend college. These days, she finds herself in New York City, recently having completed a graduate degree at The Juilliard School of Drama.
As an actor, writer, and photographer, Anna enjoys crafting anecdotes about the people, passersby, and surroundings she observes. Informed by her photography, these ideas morph into short stories, vignettes, and poems that feed her expression on the stage and screen.
After four rigorous years of graduate school, she is mindful to allot time to escape it all. To get away from the bustle of New York City, Anna enjoys traveling upstate, visiting her home in Colorado, people watching in Washington Square Park, or sitting at home in her room and rediscovering serenity.
As an Artist Fellow, Anna integrated the solitude and peacefulness of our New York Outpost with its opposite: the constant, taxing presence and pressure of the crowds in New York City. One of her goals was to find inspiration and quiet in nature, to be still, listen, observe, and nurture her innermost self and refuel.
She produced a series of photos and written pieces formatted on her typewriter, capturing nature’s expressiveness through the stillness, aromas, animals, and colors of the Catskills and her tiny cabin in late fall. Enjoy one of her ethereal creations here.
In today’s world where we’re seemingly forced to stay connected and always ‘on’ – it’s hard to take time to ourselves. This is especially true around the holidays, when obligations tend to double and our social calendars are full to the brim.
We talk a lot about balancing our personal and work lives, but balance isn’t always a given within our personal lives themselves. We have to strike a balance between keeping up with personal appointments and duties and finding time to indulge in ourselves.
Spend Time in Nature
For those really needing to get away from the holiday stress this year, a great way to spend the holiday solo without feeling any pangs of sadness or nostalgia is to break out of your usual holiday setting.
Spending time in nature not only brings us back to the things that matter, allows us the time and space to reflect inward instead of prioritizing our availability to others.
Maybe spending time with friends and loved ones is important to you, and you just need to carve out an hour for yourself every day to maintain sanity.
A great way to implement this into your daily routine during the holidays is to start going for daily walks by yourself. Start your day with some alone time, or maybe just keep a mid-day walk as your back pocket option for whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed.
However you choose to disconnect from your setting and obligations, don’t forget to disconnect from technology as well. We may be physically removed from a space, but if our phone is blowing up, we are not able to fully take the time to ourselves that we need.
A great way to find balance during the crazy holiday season is to remember that you don’t have to participate in or agree to everything. With family coming into town, or stressful travel plans, or a different holiday party every weekend – oftentimes, our days get filled for us and suddenly the entire holiday is spent on things you feel you’re ‘supposed’ to do.
Everyone feels the stress of demands during the holiday, but it takes courage and dedication to ourselves to try and change it. Finding balance could also mean simply switching to a more peaceful activity, like staying home and learning how to make hot cocoa from scratch versus going out to a big event.
The most important thing to remember is that taking the time and space to prioritize ourselves and maintain balance during the holidays comes from a place of taking care of ourselves isn’t reflective of how we feel about our loved ones.
Falling on November 17 this year, National Take a Hike Day is all about exploring the over 60,000 miles of trails throughout the United States. We’re sharing our favorite paths from each of our Outposts. Wear some sturdy shoes, pack extra water and snacks, and bring along a friend to celebrate with us.
Hightop Mountain is a pleasant 3.2 mile round trip hike that offers a 180-degree southwest view of Shenandoah National Park. Follow the Appalachian Trail for a slow and steady climb with switchbacks that build anticipation until the end. Even in cloudy conditions, the view at the peak reveals layers of the Blue Ridge mountains extending into the distance. Especially beautiful during steamy sunrises or during autumn months, Hightop Mountain is one of those hikes that even the most experienced climbers return to over the years.
After a gradual 2.5-mile uphill trek, the skeletal ruins of an 1920s-era hotel await hikers before they continue towards the summit of Overlook Mountain. Breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley and infinite swaths of foliage await. If you’ve got the energy and your quads aren’t burning too badly, climb the stairs to the top of the old fire tower for an unobstructed 360-degree perspective of the surrounding scenery.
As one of the largest developed parks in New Hampshire, Bear Brook State Park’s 10,000 acres contain over 40 miles of trails at varying difficulties for every kind of hiker. Many lead to quiet summits, marshes, bogs, and ponds, where you can fish, swim, or boat. Mountain bikers and equestrians are also welcome to practice their sport. Our favorite path is Catamount Trail, about 2.2 miles roundtrip. It’s a difficult uphill climb along a rocky and steep trail. However, after winding through a red pine forest, the reward is one of the best lookouts in the entire park.
Backpack packed and boots laced? Book a cabin and explore these local hikes.
How would you feel if your next corporate workshop or training were on the back of a horse?
An entrepreneur after our own heart, Kristin Meek believes that getting out of the office and into nature is how to get the most out of her time with business and corporate clients. By pulling them out of white walls and fluorescent lights and inviting them to her ranch in Virginia, Meek finds that she’s better able to guide clients to clear their minds, identify their individual (or team) strengths and values, and strengthen them through her careful, nature-based curriculum.
Meek studied Psychology at Duke and went on to get her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania. Before founding WYLD, she was a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, universities, and public school districts – helping everyone from senior executives to elementary school kids develop talents and build a sense of purpose. Eventually, she left her consultant job and focused on bringing fresher air and fresher perspectives into her sessions.
We’re big fans of the work that Kristin and her team are doing and had to find out more.
Everything in the great outdoors is a metaphor for the lessons and paradoxes of life and work.
Tell us your story: I grew up incredibly blessed with a great education, great health, and wonderful friendships and mentors. Because of this gift, I’ve felt a profound responsibility to create meaningful experiences for people of all ages. Nature is our greatest classroom and I believe it is in the presence of the wilderness where we can learn best about our own true nature and “true north”. Everything in the great outdoors is a metaphor for the lessons and paradoxes of life and work.
My curiosity for psychology, ancient wisdom, and experiential learning were little signs to a bigger calling, which is now my life’s project and business, WYLD.
WYLD was originally founded as a side hustle on my family’s working cattle ranch in Wyoming in 2013. I thought it might be a cool idea to use the Wild West and ranching activities like fly fishing or herding cattle as learning modalities to teach people about their strengths and unique internal GPS as leaders, artists, and parents. Last August, I decided to hang up my consultant hat and give WYLD the full-time focus I felt it needed.
Nine months later, we have an incredible team across the US and our mission is resonating with so many: we guide individuals, teams, and businesses in the intentional design of how they spend their time. We use their talent, build their tribe, and personalize their environments. The way we do this is through consulting, experiential off-sites, retreats, and coaching. WYLD draws from positive psychology, neuroscience, Gallup workplace research, ancient wisdom, and ecopsychology to create customized learning experiences.
What occupies most of your time during the day? Typically, I’m coaching individuals or designing curriculum for different client teams. A lot of my day is spent playing and brainstorming with the team around various needs we have for the next three months. I also tend to visit my chickens to gather fresh eggs for my avocado toast.
I’d say our days are a split between being and doing — laziness and adventure.
What occupies most of your time during the weekend? My husband and I (and our black lab, Olive) live on a farm so there are a lot of chores to be done on the weekends. I’d say our days are a split between being and doing — laziness and adventure. I try to be outdoors as much as I can, which can be hard with the inertia of deadlines, books to read, or Netflix. Sam, my husband, lures me out of the house because he’s usually building or fixing something or taking the llamas for a walk. I also love taking baths, reading, and cooking yummy meals for friends.
What do you wish you had more time to do? Read and philosophize! Ideally in my bathtub or outside in the woods. Life goal: bathtub in the woods.*
*Editor’s Note: Us, too.
We cannot be in a state of flow when doing more than one thing at a time.
What do you wish you did less of? Multitask. I’m working HARD at a single task at a time but my brain can feel like kittens playing with yarn sometimes. I recently read Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life and it gave some compelling evidence about how unproductive and inefficient we are when we multitask. We cannot be in a state of flow when doing more than one thing at a time. This got my attention big time and now I bring this into my coaching and workshops… that said, I just opened 10 other tabs and answered a text, ha.
What is your favorite non-digital activity? Taking a bath.
What is your favorite tech or app that helps you balance your life? I love Inscape, which is a guided meditation, sound healing, and relaxation app. Typically I use it when I wake up to start my day and when I fall asleep.
I also believe we should work in ways that give us energy and work when we have energy.
How do you manage work-life balance as an entrepreneur? Ritual, practicing what I preach, being in nature, and trying to do one thing at a time. A favorite mantra I have is poco a poco, or little by little. It helps me slow down. I work to harness my strengths to manage my time in a way that feels good to me, even if it may seem crazy to other people.
I also believe we should work in ways that give us energy and work when we have energy. If that means 10 PM at night, cool. I try to remind myself and get reminders from others to take lots of breaks and get movement throughout the day. There’s a ton of research on how helpful this is for our wellbeing and mind.
If you could have a day off to spend anywhere with anyone, what would you do? I’d like my Grandma Jane (who’s no longer alive) to give me a tour of her hometown in County Cork, Ireland where she lived on a working farm and used to ride her horse to school every day.
What would you pack in a suitcase if you had to live with only those items for the rest of your life? The book Simple Abundance(part of my daily ritual), pictures of my friends and family, a never-run-out-of-ink pen and a massive journal, probably some avocados, a boho dress, and my glasses or contacts.
What do you think you’d be doing in a world without technology? Riding horses. Writing, reading, teaching, and sending snail mail letters all the time.
Who are your favorite writers? Mary Oliver. Anne Lammot. David Brooks. Dan Pink.
How do you create balance in your life? What is balance…a moving target, inner peace? I tend to listen to my body and go from there. She doesn’t lead me astray; I just have to listen. Learning how to listen, though, is what takes practice and time. Balance isn’t doing things at 50/50. It changes every day, just like doing my best is different each day.
Which living person do you most admire? Oprah. I even wrote her a letter when I was a child.