This is a guest post from Rebecca Coley of Drift Retreats (no relation to us). If the name sounds familiar it’s because we talked to Rebecca last year about her Kickstarter funded surf film “Nias – Point Of Change“. Links to more information about Drift Retreats at the end of the article.
I was born on the island of Jersey and like many people from a small place, an urge to escape and see the wider world overtook me and so I travelled and worked in London in the film industry for seven years.
It was the day I had spent six hours shuttling around the network of London’s public transport system chasing a futile agenda that I decided it was time. I had had enough. The love affair with London was over. My mind flickered with a montage of waves breaking on a distant shore. But here the only tubes I was riding were the ones full of sweaty and angry commuters.I needed to get back to the sea. It wasn’t just a little urge it was a yearning and a tidal pull back to my home island.
My mind raced, if I stayed on this train until the last stop I could be at Gatwick and in less than an hour I could be sat watching a spectacular sunset on a five-mile beach of golden sand.
That was eighteen months ago now.
I took the plunge and moved back. When the sun is shining Jersey is about as magical and beautiful as any other spot on the planet. But what would I do?DRIFT was born from trying to pull together the moments in life when I’d been happiest: managing a surf school when the beach was the office, running director’s labs at film festivals when filmmakers collaborate and everyone comes together to be creative, learn and share. I still love filmmaking but I wanted more from life and a lifestyle I actually loved. So I got together with two amazing friends and DRIFT was born.Gemma had set up Wild Health an amazing catering service specializing in everything as healthy, organic and wild as possible and Nat is an amazing yoga and surf teacher who cares passionately about conservation and the sea.We all agreed in a world where we are surrounded by digital, it had begun to feel toxic. We didn’t want to be addicted to checking how many likes or messages we had.
DRIFT is about simplicity: the relationship between us and our environment and each other, away from the clutter and noise of modern life. It’s about reconnecting. It’s about sharing healthy nutritious delicious food – good conversations and spending time on body, mind and spirit to feel rejuvenated.
We wanted a safe haven and so we searched the island and found the Kempt Tower lovingly restored by Jersey Heritage. It’s an iconic Tower made of Jersey granite that has lived through so many storms and invasions. It’s a strong secure structure that feels like a sanctuary, renovated with all the mod-cons, it feels very special and unique to be somewhere you could have been one hundred years ago.Life’s about balance and sometimes I miss the hustle, vibrancy and energy of the city. But sometimes the need to be still and escape for a while takes over.
Here we have no wifi or phone signal and that is just how we like it. This makes you take time to connect with nature in Jersey’s national park.The waves in Jersey are mostly mellow and fun so it is perfect for beginner to intermediate surfers. September – October does see the bigger swells coming in and we adapt the plans for each surfer’s need. We also offer video analysis for those who want to improve.
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We practice yoga twice daily and we always get in the sea, whether we swim or surf or SUP. We offer many optional extra activities from Raw chocolate making, Coastal foraging walks, some creative options and some mindful activities for yourself and your future intentions.
To find out more about Rebecca and upcoming Drift Retreats, visit the website.
Surfer in the photos is Natalie Fox, one of the Drift Retreats team…
Featured photo: Robbie Dark. All others: Natalie Mayer