Life is an adventure!
The goal: to flourish to our fullest potential.
Passionate about cooking, proud mum and amazing wife!
Terrible baker.
Special interest: gut health
Blunt and super honest.
Passionate about the Grampians.
In love with Molly the border collie pup
Grew up in Holland
Favourite country visited: Jordan

August 22 – Aro-Ha!


As I am writing this blog I am in a real catch 22, I am eager to share my experience at Aro-Ha, as it is the most wonderful experience I have ever had the privilege to experience in my 48 years of being here on earth, yet, it still is so raw and deeply personal, I notice internal resistance in putting pen to paper. It feels like percolating; the amazing enriching experiences, insights, and deep connections, are brewing and slowly finding their way into my day-to-day. Life will never be the same!

You may wonder how I found myself with Rohan in the far South of New Zealand at a wellness retreat. No, not just a wellness retreat, Aro-Ha, the second best wellness retreat in the world, according to google!

Let me take you back to a month or so ago:

We are in Darwin, a place we like to escape to on an annual basis, to soak up some much-needed VIT D. It had been a while since Covid and border closures had prevented us from traveling. I was looking forward! Downtime, sunshine, and connection with Ro.

Rohan on the other hand had departed a week or so earlier, as he had a horse running in the Derby! He and his “boyfriend” Dom went together and had the time of their life. The horse won with the result it automatically qualified for the Darwin Cup. I genuinely was so happy for them. To witness the utter excitement of your loved one kicking goals is extremely touching!

What I didn’t consider was that Rohan’s network of like-minded people had grown significantly and his main agenda was to enjoy the events surrounding the Darwin Cup. Fair enough! As he was looking for a morning run, slow sunny mornings, boozy lunches, and any festivities around the Darwin Cup, I was looking for long walks, sunshine, exploring the National Parks, connection, some downtime, a romantic dinner (with a glass of wine), and maybe a sunset cruise…

I sure was delighted when we got invited on a private yacht for a sunset cruise with newly made friends. It was pure bliss!

Yes, Rohan and I are opposites, no doubt about it!

So we compromised.

We hired a car and explored Litchfield for the day; we enjoyed our morning together. When I went for a big walk, he went running, we enjoyed breakfast, and most afternoons I would chill, and he would join his friends for lunch.

On the Tuesday before the Cup there were races. His friends had asked multiple times for me to join them and I didn’t want to be the cranky wife. I genuinely like their company, it’s just the races and the booze, which are not my favorite things. So I went. Although it was a lovely afternoon, it once again confirmed that horseraces and I just don’t mix.

As we woke up the next morning Rohan suddenly said “I am coming on a retreat with you, as you came to the races with me yesterday!” “What is the best retreat in the world?”. I mentioned Kamalaya in Thailand, and he responded, “A bit closer to home would be better”, as his eyes came across Aro-Ha on google the second-best retreat in the world. “Book it! Just book it. The sooner, the better!”.

I initially went numb in disbelief, then came to terms and booked.

I was embarrassed. In my journey of starting my wellness retreat, I never heard of Aro-Ha. As time went by he kept saying that he was more excited than me, but to be honest until we landed in Queenstown I wasn’t convinced he would pull through.

YET: He embraced every moment!


So, I flew home as Dom, who had been back in Victoria between races, flew back into Darwin. Unfortunately, they didn’t win the Darwin Cup, but they had a good time, and I was happy back home, with our 5 Border Collies.

Rohan returned, had one more race day on Sunday, and on Monday 15 August we started with our retreat preparation: no alcohol, no coffee!

YES, you are hearing me right!

And so we did, both 100% committed!

We kept busy during the day, had a sauna before dinner, ate early, and tucked in early… My gosh, the headache I had on day 2 was worse than my worse hangover! But we had a wonderful week, fully embracing the experience.

On 23 August at 12.30 am we set off on our adventure: Life changing and forever treasured!

To be continued …

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We bought Grampians Getaway