INTERVIEW: Papaya Wellness

Surf and Yoga Retreats was founded on the principal to inspire and share in a life of balance, adventure and purpose.  To be honest, we contemplated running our own retreats for a while, but then we realized so many amazing ones were already out there…why not try to connect people with the perfect retreat that already exists!

Papaya Wellness Retreat really resonated with our mission from the beginning.  These girls get it.  Take time for yourself, get in the right head space, and then you can take on the world.  We’re so excited to share our Interview with them that highlights what they really stand for, how their specific surf and yoga retreat is different, and who they are: India and Carly.  



SYR: How did you two meet and what exactly were each of you doing before Papaya Wellness was founded? 

Carly: India and I met in Nicaragua, in the quaint fishing village of Playa Gigante.

We both went there to follow our passions of surfing, expand our horizons through travel and experience new cultures, and live a balanced, mindful and connected lifestyle!

We were both teaching yoga, surfing and running retreats on our own before we joined forces to start Papaya Wellness!  


SYR: How do you choose the locations where you host retreats?

Carly: Our retreat destinations and locations are set in our favourite destinations in the world. Our retreats are hosted in places we would want to go on a surf trip or vacation ourselves. We love for our accommodation to be on the more luxurious end of comfortable so that when guests arrive to a new country after long travel, stepping into our retreat site is like a huge exhale. Phhhewww.. put your bags down, have a fresh juice, meet our family and start to unwind and relax. That’s the space we like to create!


SYR: How do you think your retreat and business fits into the local communities?

Carly: In our experience- beautifully! Running a retreat business with a focus on yoga and this sense of connection doesn’t end after the retreat is over.

The practice of yoga is an everyday on and off the mat sort of deal. We extend our awareness into our community and try to work effectively with the locals in the area we are in.

Hiring locals; sharing our knowledge of yoga and physical activity with free classes for women; and generally trying to be involved in the activities of the local community, supporting however we can, are all ways that we stay engaged and connected in the places that we run our retreats!


SYR: If your clients / guests could take away one thing only from the retreats, what would you MOST want it to be?  

Carly: Connection and balance.

Taking a week off for yourself and your own sense of peace and well being is a HUGE step! It is an act of self-care and love. We really support you to nurture that throughout the week to really deepen your connection to yourself.

From this grounded place it is a lot easier to become clear and inspired- where do you want to go from there? What do you want to create? What makes you feel most alive and inspired? We hope that you are re-energized and inspired to live from that space after a retreat with us!!!


SYR: What is your favorite part about hosting a retreat?

Carly: My favorite part about hosting retreats is the amazing people that we meet! Of course! We meet the most interesting and beautiful people from all over the world.

To come on a retreat you are probably open minded, excited about adventure and love to try new things.

This attracts a certain type of person! Within that, there are so many reasons why someone books a retreat. Often, it is to take a pause and reconnect to themselves. That is a really beautiful, pure space to meet in. We get to learn so many different life experiences and perspectives. We are able to connect in a deep authentic and supportive way after one week together in paradise!




SYR: Where can we find you when you’re not hosting a retreat?  What’s a “day-in-the-life” like for you between retreats? 

Carly: You can usually find me surfing! My life is super varied in-between retreats. I teach private yoga lessons and do surf coaching for private clients. I also travel a lot to visit family and study online in a transpersonal psychology counseling program. Otherwise surfing- a lot!


barrel, surfing, good waves travel


SYR: If you could meet and be friends with anyone in the world, who would it be? 

Carly: The people I meet today I guess! There is beauty, kindness, humour and warmth around us in every moment. We just have to open our eyes and hearts to receive it and be willing to share!


SYR: Surf and yoga retreats seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment!  What key features set yours apart? 

Carly: We are a family business which creates a special vibe and I think you really feel that humble, genuine, loving family vibe when you join us on an adventure.

We also started this business to be able to share our passions with interested people. The inception of Papaya Wellness came from a really pure, genuine stoke kind of place, and I think you can really feel that we truly LOVE what we do. Every day.


SYR: How long have you been surfing for?  What keeps you motivated to keep getting back in the ocean everyday?

Carly: I have been surfing for 11 years and my partner India has been surfing for probably 15+ years. The learning in the ocean is never ending. There is always more progression and flow in surfing. Every wave is different, every day and every swell. It naturally, inherently keeps me forever interested and forever a student. The motivation to progress comes naturally from there!


Sounds like pure stoke at Papaya Wellness.  Thanks so much, Carly, for contributing all of the beautiful photos as well as your time, to connect with Surf and Yoga Retreats!  


Check out detailed information about the next Papaya Wellness Retreat, coming up in the beginning of March in Mexico.


Please contact us for booking inquiries or to request a reservation.



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