One of my biggest inspirations for founding Cinnamon Mag was being introduced to the magical, mysterious world of travel writing. As someone who has spent the better part of the last decade writing about music and entertainment, trying my hand at travel was a suitable reminder: these things take time. But it reminded me of something else, too — it’s never too late to scrap your game plan and start again with something new; following your heart, come what may, is still the best way to create the life you really want, deep down.
No one knows that better than Jade Moyano and Erin Rose Belair, two veteran travel writers who recently made good on their own dream by launching the women-centered retreat Trust & Travel, a brand new intensive workshop and community-building trip that combines travel, adventure, creative writing, yoga, meditation — and even a poetry jam. When I got to my early thirties, I realized that plenty of companies were offering retreats geared toward women that focused on one of these things, but Trust & Travel is the first I’ve encountered that offers balance.
Yes I’m a writer, yes I love traveling, and yes I’m a yogi, but focusing on any one of those activities for several days in a row seemed daunting. Organizing a retreat that has many different components, just like day-to-day life, struck me as low-key genius. Their very first retreat is coming up in mid-October and features a five-day stint at a boutique hotel in Yelapa, Mexico called Verana. And though that inaugural journey is filling up fast, they still have a few spots available.
But getting to the heart of the story, and understanding why Jade and Erin created this retreat in the first place, is imperative to understanding how an event like this can function in the life of a young — or simply inexperienced — writer. Not only does it offer the focused, undivided attention of two seasoned writer/editors, the opportunity to publish on the Trust & Travel blog, and the chance to spend time in a beautiful, remote corner of the world, but it goes beyond that to address the emotional needs that come along with writing, needs that so often go ignored in the age of digital churn.
“Erin and I are both avid travelers, so we want to bring in an element of adventure to this experience, especially because it’s at the core of who we are as creatives,” Moyano explained of Trust & Travel’s mission. “The one thing we’re always told is that we need to just write, just do it. But there’s more to it — trust and community. Trust is about the inner knowing, listening to your voice and finding your strengths. Community is about finding the support you need and knowing you’re not alone.”
For Belair, offering a trip and creative experience that’s as varied and open-ended as the Trust & Travel model makes it a safe space for writers, or wanna-be writers, at any level: “This retreat truly is for anyone that has an inclination toward writing,” she affirmed. There’s a misconception among those who don’t have a portfolio or a work in progress that the privileges and pleasures of writing are not for them — this workshop seeks to dismantle that notion.
“You don’t have to be published or working as a writer,” Belair continued. “You simply need the inkling that there are words in you that you want to see on the page. On the other end, you can have all of those things and this will still be helpful and moving, still lead you to a truer voice, and still help you sharpen your skills. Even at this stage in my career, I jump at the opportunity to spend time with other writers, especially in such a thoughtful way. Point is, it’s for everyone.”
Part of where the trust factor of the equation comes into play is through Moyano’s own experience with the impact of intuition on her career, and in her life. While the trip isn’t necessarily tied to any one spiritual practice or teaching, an emphasis on mindfulness is an important part of their model.
“Trust and Travel is equal parts adventure, learning, and mindfulness,” Moyano explained. “The power of intuition is something that not only influenced my career heavily but also guides me in the creative process. So we will offer daily meditations and exercises to help writers connect to the inner voice, their unique abilities, and each other. Community is about finding the support you need and knowing you’re not alone.”
The event is women-focused — for now — and for those who are interested in that kind of supportive creative environment and emotional excavation, Trust & Travel is the perfect way to venture into the world of travel writing. Sometimes, the first step to creating the kind of life you want is discovering what you want in the first place.
If you’re interested in learning more about Trust & Travel’s inaugural retreat, or how to get involved in the future, head to their website or check out their FAQs here. Details are under wraps for now, but expect to see more collaborations between Trust & Travel and Cinnamon Mag in the near future.