E33 The Power of Community: Reflections from the Summit Retreat Part 3 ⛰️💞
Updated: Dec 9, 2022
We’re capping off our three-part Summit Retreat series with reflections from our last few Summit Retreat attendees at Steamboat Springs, Colorado!
In this episode of The Pollen Podcast, we discuss final reflections, experiences, and takeaways from the retreat. Alyssa, Katie, Tiffany, Tori, and Haley reflect on their favorite parts of the summit, the power of community, and the beautiful experience of connecting with fellow dreamers and creators. Each guest also shares their personal vision for future DDC retreats.
Tune in to this episode and see what it’s like to experience the power of community in a Diana Davis Creative retreat!
Create your own creative entrepreneurship story of clarity, professional confidence, and profit. Join Diana’s 90-day group course Camp Clarity and learn everything you wish you already knew, like how to land dream clients, harness the power of social media, and make the money you deserve. Learn more here.
🔥 Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:
How the power of community helps you open up and move closer toward your goals.
Discover the timeless, multifaceted magic of attending retreats.
The importance of connecting with others on similar paths and how it expands the way you approach life.
Join the waitlist for the Diana Davis Creative Spring Retreat on the island of Lefkada, Greece, from May 4 to 9, 2023! 🎁 Be the first to know when the doors open!
Here’s another look at what happened during the retreat!
E24: Reflections from a Magical Week at the Summit Retreat ⛰
E28: Summit Retreat Reflections Part 2: Transformations, Community, and Authenticity ⛰ 🦋
Connect with our guests!
Haley Midzor: Instagram
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🎧 Episode Highlights
[03:43] Alyssa’s Thoughts on the Retreat
Alyssa is a photographer, designer, and nomad. She loves being a creative person and connecting with people.
Living as a nomad is the vehicle for what she wants out of life.
Her first thought from the retreat is, “When is the next?”.
While there were people she didn’t know, having something deep in common made it easier to be vulnerable and connect.
As a solo traveler, she sometimes wants a hug from someone who knows and loves her. Receiving that hug summed up the feeling of the closing circle for her.
[12:36] Katie, the Teacher at Heart
Katie is a born teacher. She helps students and teachers adopt skill-based strategies to build confident, independent learners.
She has been in the classroom for 11 years and has recently celebrated her own tutoring business' first year.
Katie led the yoga sessions in the retreat. Teaching and seeing the connection between people was a beautiful experience.
The best part of the retreat was feeling the power of community with other brilliant women.
Katie: “Being an entrepreneur is so empowering but also can be really lonely if you don't reach out for community.” - Click Here To Tweet This
Her favorite moment was the closing circle, where everyone was just honest. It opened up a whole part of something she needed to move forward.
[19:24] How Tiffany Nourishes People through Food
Tiffany is a retreat chef. She loves nourishing people and storytelling through food.
Tiffany: “It's like you forget what color your hair you have until you look in the mirror. So I think it's helpful to have that mirror.” - Click Here To Tweet This
The menu was a reflection of Diana's upbringing and travels. Diana is a rancher's daughter — keeping this in mind, she chose Colorado steak as the first meal.
Food tastes a lot better if it doesn’t travel very far. It’s also a way of telling a story.
People can taste the love you put in the food. Tiffany fuses the love farmers and ranchers put in their food with her own for people to enjoy them.
Cooking in the retreat was so much fun and didn’t feel like work for her.
[29:13] Tori Experiencing the Power of Community and Retreats
As a person, Tori is striving to live an extraordinary life outside of the status quo.
She works with women in a functional nutrition setting because she wants them to feel empowered to do things differently.
Tori has attended and cooked for a lot of retreats. She didn’t want to miss out on the magic that comes from it.
Going to retreats always ends up shaking her up in a good way. She went into the retreat wanting some clarity, and that's what she got.
Her favorite part of the trip was being in community with other women and having moments with people she would have never crossed paths with otherwise.
[37:24] Haley’s Retreat Experience + Humanity
Haley’s honest answer to the question, “Who are you as a human?”, is that she doesn’t know. But she believes that she is an expression of unconditional love and she knows she’s an artist.
A lot of the suffering we experience comes from showing up in ways that we don't identify with. We're a blank canvas every second, and we can choose.
The most profound part of the retreat for her was the community and togetherness — swimming in each other’s channels and creating a collective channel together.
Being in a space filled with dreamers, creators, and innovators made her see a version of herself in tune with that community. It changed her.
Haley: “It was such a gift to me to experience the power of community and the way that that actually influences our consciousness and the version of ourselves that shows up. And when we walk away, we can remember that—energy is timeless.” - Click Here To Tweet This
It’s so powerful to be reminded of how much we need each other and show up in all different versions of ourselves.
About Our Guests
Alyssa Renee is a travel and brand designer and photographer. She helps create space for businesses to be seen, heard, and understood. She is also one of the brilliant retreat photographers who captured the magic of Summit Retreat! Check out her work on Instagram and her website.
Katie Arpin is a teacher and the founder of Katie Arpin Coaching. She helps students and teachers adopt skill-based strategies to build confident, independent learners. She also led Summit Retreat's beautiful yoga sessions. Check out her work on Instagram and her website.
Tiffany Swan is a retreat chef, food scientist, nutritionist, and the founder of Salt & Sage. She loves to nourish people's bellies and souls through food with thought and was one of Summit Retreat's epic chefs. Check out her work on Instagram and her website.
Tori Kornhaas is a functional nutritionist, retreat chef, event host, and lifestyle coach. She guides career-driven women in living a nourished life through functional nutrition and lifestyle support and was also one of Summit Retreat's amazing chefs. Check out her work on Instagram and her website.
Haley Midzor is a freelance illustrator, copywriter, and apprentice teacher. She creates digital graphics to tell meaningful stories and catalyze action. Check out her work on Instagram.
Enjoyed this Podcast on the Magic of Retreats and the Power of Community?
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Tori: For me, it's always just like being in community with other women. I mean, yes, going on a really fun hike is great. It's more like those little side conversations that you find yourself in the nook of a couch when we have free time, really connecting with someone that you maybe didn't know very well or didn't know at all before.
It was just little moments where you get to know other people that you would have never maybe crossed paths otherwise.
Diana Davis: Welcome to Pollen, the podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Diana Davis, multi-passionate creative, business coach, Gemini, manifesting generator, macha drinker, and travel junkie. I'm also the founder of Diana Davis Creative, where I went from a six-figure photography business to coaching creative entrepreneurs like you. If you want to have a career and a life you love, you're in the right place.
On this show, I'll be coaching on all things creative entrepreneurship, and you'll hear stories from fellow creative entrepreneurs that will show you it is possible to do life the way you want to. They'll share the nitty-gritty of their journeys, like the real shit, and how they are doing it differently. I'm stoked to have you along on this journey. Let's go. Oh my God, we are finishing off the retreat series with the last few attendees and their feedback and takeaways and magic that they do in their worlds.
I want to introduce you to all of these people, you need to know them consider this your networking event. But I wanted to celebrate before we dig into this last retreat episode, and it feels so right and perfect at this moment, that we have booked our venue for our next retreat and it is officially going to be in Greece. This is probably the first place you will hear about it, so you're on the inner circle. It is going to be incredible. We're going to be out on the water. We're going to be doing some hiking. Hopefully, some cooking classes.
It's a gorgeous, gorgeous place and I can't wait to share more of it with you. But for now, how you get first dibs on this, because it obviously is in-person and limited spots, is to get on the waitlist. So we will drop that below in the show notes or you can do that in the link in my bio on Instagram or on my website at dianadaviscreative.com. But I cannot wait to announce all of this. You need to be on the waitlist to be the first to know. Okay, we now have our second photographer, and not that there's first or second, but Annie was already on the podcast.
Now we have Elisa, who was one of the retreat photographers, as well as one of my clients who has been through Camp Clarity and Ascend. So we did kind of a hybrid of her attending the retreat and photographing the retreat, and if you haven't seen at some of her photos yet, just go check out her Instagram. It'll be in the show notes and go check out my Instagram because I've been posting them all over the place.
What's really cool and I love is, she's taking this podcast call from her van. So Elisa, Hello.
Diana: How are you?
Elisa: I'm great.
Diana: I wanted to start out by asking you, as I've asked many others, who are you as a human?
Elisa: I knew this question was coming ‘cause I listen a lot. What a question right?
Elisa: I find that I can define myself most easily as just a creative person, a creative soul. I am more defined as a photographer and a designer. I am a nomad. There's all these adjectives that I can use. But more than anything, yeah, I've just love being a creative person, and connecting with people in that way, and just being inspired; finding inspiration in everyday things.
Diana: Yeah, I love it. And you know, we're kind of on similar journeys. But you've been nomading full-time in your van for two years now, which is so cool. Her van’s name is Savannah, by the way. And it’s so cute. We actually got to meet up in Bozeman, right after the retreat, basically, and like hang out a bunch and go to Yellowstone in your van together, and all of that. So that was super cool.
But I think it's super fun to be able to be in a place and let this travel thing be part of your creative journey. Where it's like you're in a place and eventually, when you're done with the place, you just move on to the next place, and decide whether you want to go back or not, or move on. I love it.
Elisa: Yeah. I mean, when I started, I kind of had that pull towards, “Oh, maybe I could blog about van-life or be a van-life influencer. And over time, I just kind of discovered that this way of living is just my vehicle for what I want out of life. No pun intended. But it's really not about that for me and so I don't end up sharing that much about it because to me, it's just life, you know?
Elisa: It's a really cool way for me to live my life, and I love all of the things that it's brought to me and ways that it's challenged me, but it's not the hashtag that you might think that it is.
Diana: Right. Yeah. You're like– that's just the vehicle, like you said, and the photography and design, and all these other creative endeavors, are where it's really at for you, which is really cool. So being that it's been a little over a month since the retreat, which is crazy. Time flies, especially when you're traveling all over the world. What are your thoughts around the retreat?
What were your favorite parts? What's your reflections? How was it capturing these women?
Elisa: Yeah. First thought is, “When is the next?”
Diana: April or May.
Elisa: Oh, love it. Okay. It was so great. I was thinking back on kind of our closing circle and what my feelings were around that time. And I'm really an introvert at heart. I love my alone time, and sometimes, retreats, or workshops, things like that can be really challenging for me. And I've had to learn to give myself space but also lean in sometimes, and challenge myself but not stress myself out.
I felt, even from the very beginning opening circle, everyone was– one already felt familiar. I am in some of your programs with some of the women, so they were actually familiar, but there were also people that I didn't know. And it just felt like, whoever is drawn to you, I think we have something deep in common and that was already so evident and made it so much easier to be vulnerable and connect, and just loved being in that energy.
I'm in that energy with you over the internet, but being that way in-person– And I think I even mentioned, as a solo traveler, sometimes I just want a hug from someone who knows me and loves me, and saying goodbye to everyone at the retreat and getting just the best hug from everyone. It was just– that kind of like summed up the feeling for me.
It was really just a beautiful– I know the first one, but it was like– felt so perfect already. It felt so well and was so comfortable, and yeah, expanding as always.
Diana: And I think that's been such a theme on this podcast, is the community. It always is. It's like, any of my group programs– I feel like I should just start calling myself a community cultivator versus a coach, because, yes, we had a lot of breakthroughs, we did a lot of coaching, we did a lot of activities, but within that, the core, the ribbon attaching it all, and why it all worked so well is because of the people that were there.
Them being authentic and genuine and showing up as themselves and holding space for everyone else, which was just really beautiful. So–-
Elisa: Yeah, I agree. You had me and Annie there as photographers but, rather there being a kind of– the potential for a competitive or stepping-on-toes kind of thing. We walked away as friends. Now I want to go visit her in Chicago, and I feel like that was such a cool vibe as well. We just are all there to be open and vulnerable.
We all showed what– or talked about what may be hard for us, challenging us. So it's really cool to see all those sides of people.
Diana: Yeah, love it. So kind of just summing this up, and you have a different perspective than anyone because you'll probably be photographing it, hopefully. But where is the next retreat? What's the vote for you like photography-, vibe-wise, where would you want it to be?
Elisa: Oh my gosh. Well, I know you're already talking about Ecuador, and I feel like that is my hard vote. I visited a friend who met her husband in Ecuador and I stayed with them. They live in the Bay Area now, and they were telling me about all the magic that is there in Ecuador. So it was already high on my list, and I feel like that's gotta be it.
Diana: Well, that one is for sure happening in September. I mean, I say for sure and the universe has it's thing. So we'll see. But on my agenda, it is happening in September, so–
Elisa: Okay, okay.
Diana: Yes, that'll be–
Elisa: –another one before then.
Diana: So we will talk. Yeah. That'll be September, and hopefully, we'll be able to squeeze one in May in Europe. But yeah, we're figuring out the spot right now. So–
Elisa: You should do– there's the most beautiful place I've ever seen was like, southeastern Germany that touches Austria. That zone right there.
Diana:Yeah. Yeah, some mountains. Beautiful. Well, thank you for being here, Elisa, and everyone, shout out to her, connect with her on Instagram. And if you need a retreat that needs photographs in a beautiful, mystical way, reach out for sure.
Elisa: Thank you.
Diana: Okay, y'all, we had a lot of Kates, Kayes, and Katies on this retreat. This is Katie Arpin. She is here and she, well, wait– Do you have a different last name now?
Katie Arpin: No.
Diana: Good for you.
Katie: I didn't change it for you.
Diana: Okay, this is Katie Arpin. I love to hear it, to be honest. But what's really cool, as a big theme has been, is that a lot of the retreat attendees also collaborated within the retreat itself. Which is so just humbling and cool because the community that is cultivated in Diana Davis Creative isn't just photographers or graphic designers or Yogis, it's all of the above.
It's chefs, it's Reiki healers, it's Yogis, it's photographers, designers, artists, all over the board, coaches, all the things. So I give you, Katie. How are you?
Katie: I'm great. How are you?
Diana: Good. And I love like, we're literally, basically, blocks away from each other in Brooklyn right now.
Katie: So close down the street.
Diana: I know exactly where you're sitting because I've lived in your house for two weeks. So I would love for you to dig in just, first, of who you are because you have a really unique hybrid situation. So who are you as a human?
Katie: Yeah, so I am– well, I'm a born teacher. It's my passion. It's my purpose in life. But I help students and teachers adopt skills-based strategies to build confident independent learners. Thanks for helping me with that superpower statement.
Diana: Oh, yeah.
Katie: Yeah. That's what I do. I am a tutoring business owner in New York City, and I am diving into the world of professional development because, as a teacher for 11 years, I had been in the classroom as a classroom teacher, a literacy coach, a support system, learning specialist, and I just want to give back to really help students and teachers adapt these skills, and not worry about the content. Learn how to be a student. So that is what I do. That is my passion.
I left teaching after a decade and started my tutoring business last year, which is when I was in Camp Clarity. And since then, it's just been thriving. I love it. I'm so happy.
Diana: Making more money than you ever did, yeah?
Diana: The teachers and the classroom, too, but I think, you put in your time. And it's so beautiful to be able to expand others, to see what is possible in their business, and you're actually able to make more impact and give back more by doing what you're doing right now. Which is so freakin cool. So congrats on your one year. That's so exciting.
Katie: Thank you.
Diana: Then you're also a yoga teacher.
Katie: I am.
Diana: Which leads us to the retreat situation.
Katie: I know, and so, thank you so much for having me. It was so beautiful to be able to lead these women in such a heartfelt retreat. I'm also a yoga teacher. I don't do this as my full-time gig. It's my passion on the side. Teaching brings me happiness and joy, and I just love to do it when I can do it. I do teach in New York, but just here and there.
Teaching at the retreat was wonderful, because I got to see literal and physical connection between people, like, we were in our tree pose and everyone was holding hands. It’s so great. I mean, just overlooking the beautiful scenery. It was just a really beautiful experience to have with everyone.
Diana: Yeah. Go check out the Instagram post about the retreat and scroll through those photos because that view of yoga in the morning literally overlooking the Yampa Valley in Steamboat Springs was just unreal. So cool.
Katie: It was everything.
Diana: Yeah. So did you have a favorite part about the retreat?
Katie: Honestly, just the community. I had been craving community for a very long time. And when you posted about this, I was like, “Well, obviously, I'm going.”
Diana: No question?
Katie: Yeah, because being an entrepreneur is so empowering that also can be really lonely if you don't reach out for community, and that's something I've been craving to have more of this year.
Putting myself in that space, that was just the favorite part is having opportunities to make amazing new friends like, Kaye and I are now like thick as thieves. But also just to be around these really powerful women who made me, in turn, feel really empowered during the time there.
Diana: Yeah. So good. So besides the community, which has been such a thing, like such a theme, so important. Did you have like a favorite actual moment?
Katie: Yeah, I think our closing circle was really might have been like the– which is so funny to say, because we did so many cool things. Like, the hot springs were incredible, the yoga, the food, but I think the closing circle, because it was this time where everyone was really, really honest. We had gotten to know each other really well over the past few days.
We were able to be really true to who we were about where we were going, and where we were looking forward, and what we needed as entrepreneurs and as individuals. And I know, for me, that was really beautiful, because it opened up a whole part of something I needed for myself to move forward into, that I didn't even realize when I came into the retreat. So, yeah, closing circle; it was gorgeous.
Diana: Yeah, I want to share more about that because, I think, going into this retreat, for me kind of planning it and I'm very manifestor, generator, Gemini, all over the place, like kind of winging it, you know? That's just how we roll. But one of the big things I was thinking about was so many people saying, like, “Where's my next client? When's the next thing?”
It's like, I've been taught by my mentors, and I know this from experience, your next person is just an intro away, right? And here we have 15 epic humans in one room that we can truly tap into each other, not just like an hour zoom call, but like, truly tap into each other and be like, “You know what, Katie? I have someone for that.” Or, “I want to introduce you to this designer,” or, “this new best friend.”
Sometimes, it was literally like, “I have a guy you should date.” Anyway, so that was a huge part of the closing circle, of like asking for that support and what you needed from the group so that the group could actually give it and you receive it, which sometimes, we have such a hard time receiving.
Katie: Oh, story of my life. Yeah. Like, “Let me give you more.”
Diana: Oh, my God. For real. Okay, so being that you were a no-brainer, and you didn't really care where it was. You were just talking going on this retreat. Where would you vote for– It can be multiple places. We're taking all answers here. Where would you vote for the next retreat or retreats to be?
Katie: Yeah, see, this is the hard thing, because I know where one of the retreats are gonna be, and I'm talking about going there.
Diana: We’re already going.
Katie: Yeah, I'm super excited about Ecuador, here for Greece. I honestly– wherever this community goes, I'm down. If it's somewhere warm, that would be awesome, but also, just somewhere out in nature with this community. I'm there.
Diana: Yeah. Beautiful. Well, Katie, thank you for leading such a beautiful practice with us in the mountains, and I can't wait to just keep traveling the world with you. I think that sounds pretty fucking great.
Katie: That sounds amazing. I'm here for all of it.
Diana: Okay, Pollen, this is the last but certainly not the least. Actually, we have a couple more, but the last for today, of our guests. Tiffany Swan, who was our epic retreat chef during this experience, and she also attended as much as she could. While she was not doing her whole artistic, creative process in the kitchen. So hi, Tiffany. It's so good to have you.
Tiffany Swan: I'm so glad to be here. Oh, my goodness.
Diana: So good to see you. So, let's start out. Who are you as a human?
Tiffany: Oh, my goodness. First, I am tearing up just thinking about the retreat because it was so amazing. So just bringing back that energy and that feeling is just like, “Ah, I love it.” So that is not who I am, but it's part of who I am because I love nourishing people through food and storytelling through food and being in community with amazing humans. And I do that through retreat chef work and I'm about to write a cookbook.
In fact, I've started it already. So, I am a chef. But more than that, I love to nourish people, and especially, people in community and food lights me up so much. And it lights me up to feed other people, and especially those that I care about, like those that the retreats.
Diana: Yeah, I love it. And I just feel like it's worth mentioning that you live in Tahoe, which I think, says a lot just about your nature side. And also that you're like an avid runner, because even on the hike, you were like, “I'm just gonna run up the mountain, like, I'll see you guys on the other side.”
I feel like those are two things that should be shared, because it gets people to get to know you a little bit more; all the sides. But also, I just want to brag for you that you're not just a chef who decided to cook food lately. You have had like a run of cheffing in restaurants, in food science work, all of the above. And this is such a cool time to witness you in this evolution of really stepping into who you are as a chef without any limitations and red tape.
Tiffany: Exactly. Oh my gosh, and thank you for reminding me because it's part of my life. So I forget that it’s– It's like you forget what color your hair you have until you look in the mirror. So I think it's helpful to have that mirror up.
Honestly, this retreat has been a great culmination of working with you and helping create that clarity and helping figure out that being a chef doesn't mean– or food scientist, or working in food in general, doesn't have to mean working in food science, manufacturing, and a facility that's out in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the Midwest, and just working there and doing it because that's where the job is.
Or choosing the work in a place that I love in a restaurant but then being there way, way too much and not having time to enjoy the place I love. So being a multifaceted chef, food lover, food scientist, all the things, living in nature, trail runner, all-travel aficionado, all those things. It's all coming together now, and it feels really, really amazing.
Diana: Yeah, all of those things had their purpose to lead you right to this.
Diana: Which is so cool. So I'm a huge foodie. I've worked in food for a long time as a food photographer, and worked with an oil and vinegar company in Bozeman, Montana. I'm just a huge– I've always been a foodie, but there was a time when I was cooking dinner for my parents, just winging it out of the Fannie farmer cookbook, which you might know. Didn't know what a truffle was besides like a chocolate bowl thing.
But having that always in my bones, and then learning more and more, and like, Chef's Table is my favorite show in the world. And it just was really, really important to me to have the culinary aspect be part of the experience, and not just like calories. Not just like, “Hey, we got to feed you. Cool. Here's a sandwich.”
It was like, truly an experience. And I think, to paint the picture, you created this amazing menu that was so custom to our experience, so custom to Colorado. And even like the first night, we had probably the best steaks we've ever had in our lives. Like, I can't tell it. Can you tell us in a sexy descriptive way of what that first meal was?
Tiffany: Yeah. But to back up, and to share a little bit more about the curation of this menu, it was really a reflection of you and your upbringing and your travels. And so, every menu had something about Diana, and about– she'd been in Rome recently, so we made a Roman menu. And she had been in Paris recently, so we had a Paris breakfast, and things like that is– it's not just food. It's not just calories.
It's about kind of transporting and being in that space. But that being said, that with this retreat, being in a beautiful location in Colorado, and you being the daughter of a rancher, I made sure to have some beautiful Colorado beef as the first dinner.
Diana: It was the best.
Tiffany: It was– it's not just going and buying beef. I was talking to my vendors and sometimes, the vendors are Whole Foods, and I say like, ”Where did this come from? Can you tell me where? Is it Colorado? Do you know the farm? Do you know, the rancher?” And that sort of thing is so important to me, because, number one, if food doesn't travel very far, it's going to taste a lot better. Number two, it's telling its story, too.
I want to let it tell its story through us eating it and enjoying it. So really, in the simplicity of it is it was a steak, and I grilled it on a grill overlooking the lake and the Yampa Valley, and just couldn't be a more beautiful barbecue to work on.
Diana: Your energy was infused into the scene.
Tiffany: Exactly. But it's that love. And when I was in restaurants and leading kitchens, I used to tell my cooks that people can taste the love we put in the food. If you come into work angry or grumpy, you can taste that in the food. And so I try to find farmers and ranchers that put that love in their food. And then I put the love into the food. And then, when you enjoy it, you are receiving all that love but it also tastes better.
Diana: It does, and it tasted amazing. It had like this lemon gremolata situation on it, and then this grilled corn that was local.
Diana: Peaches and the zucchini and tomatoes, all of it. It was just so good. So good. I think the food was one of the highlights, for sure. And I just appreciate you so much because you worked your frickin ass off. I know that.
Tiffany: It’s so fun, though. It doesn't feel like work. I love it so much.
Diana: I love it. So if anyone out there is listening to this and thinking about doing your retreat, I've been on several retreats, and now have hosted my own, I can't express how important the food is and how much of a journey that can be as well. Hire Tiffany as your chef, that's all I'm gonna say. So, Tiffany, where do you want to cook next? Where do you want the next retreat should be?
Tiffany: Oh my gosh. I– Okay, I have the benefit of having listened to the other podcast where you interviewed the other attendees of the retreat, and I have to agree with someone. I don't remember who said it. But I'll go where you go. I love being in your energy. I love being in the categories or the containers that you create.
I love the things that you bring up in the retreat. You know, it's not just coaching. It's the cuisine. It's the yoga. It's the hike. It's the hot springs. That's the whole experience. I'll go wherever you go.