This month's feature is Katie Levatic. Katie is the founder of The Reset Ritual, a travel-inspired guide to mindful living with tips and tools to help you enrich your escapes and live a life well explored, at home or away.
Check out more about Katie in an exclusive interview below or grab our January Tea Club Subscription Box and learn how to create your own version of Katie's DIY Retreat.
We asked Katie some questions about enriching her escapes while traveling and at home and how that turned into her development of the The Reset Ritual.
Here’s what she had to say:
Tell us a bit about your journey, how did you come to incorporate "mindfulness" in your travel adventures?
My love affair with travel started when I was a dancer on cruise ships. Waking up in new places and living with people from all over the globe sparked a burning desire in me to experience as much of the world as possible.
Over the following years, I collected passport stamps and checked off must-see sights. My experiences were exhilarating in all the wonderful ways travel moves people: perspective-broadening, heart-breaking, mind-expanding. My eyes were cracked open.
But every time I’d return to “real life,” I’d feel more lost than ever, like I’d been shown new roads but was left without a map. I became so enthralled with experiencing the outer world that I didn’t know how to process what was shifting in my inner world and, most importantly, how to apply it to everyday life.
As I began exploring mindfulness, psychology and personal growth I realized what was missing from my first travel experiences: purposeful reflection, intention and simply being fully present in the moment.
So today, instead of crossing as many borders as possible, I aim to slow down and savor the journey in each place. It’s not always easy, FOMO often knocks at the door, but I know that experiencing travel more mindfully creates more opportunity for connection, meaningful memories and inspiring insights that remain long after the trip is over.
Travel is the ultimate reset button. It helps us reignite our innate wonder and curiosity, especially when we allow ourselves to go deeper.
Your work at Reset Ritual centers a lot around enriching your escapes, whether at home or away. It seems as if we don't need to go on epic adventures in order to have the transformation we desire -- why do you believe that DIY retreats can be just as effective as a global escape?
While travel will always be a unique and worthwhile experience, sometimes it’s not possible, or even the best way to spend our off time given the choice.
We live in an always on, be more, do more culture and it’s become harder than ever to disconnect from the day-to-day and reconnect with ourselves. We crave escapes to far-off places so we can rest and recharge, find adventure and discovery, and break from daily routines. However, in the midst of wanderlust it’s easy to forget that we can experience those things closer to home too—and without the typical stress and exhaustion that travel brings.
That being said, I like to think of DIY retreats as possible anywhere, whether at home, in a nearby town or while you’re traveling. The idea is to create the time and space to explore, reflect, seek new perspectives and, of course, truly relax.
What is your single best piece of advice to conduct a meaningful DIY retreat?
Treat your DIY retreat as if you’re taking an actual vacation! That means committing to a time and place, letting others know you can’t be reached, approaching it with a sense of anticipation and discovery, and creating a loose itinerary of intentional activities that will support your reason for taking this retreat in the first place.
What has been a surprising commonality among the 60+ countries you have visited?
I’m not sure if I would call it surprising, but I’ve found that there are kind people everywhere who are just as curious about your life as you are theirs. While xenophobia makes news headlines, it’s beautiful to remember that there are people all over the world who are eager to break down barriers, welcome strangers to the place they call home and share what they love about it.
On a more personal note, I think the common thread goes back to that saying, “wherever you go, there you are.” I love to dream of how much better life would be if I was always on vacation or if I lived in another place, and sure, there’s some truth to that, but humans are adaptable, eventually the novelty wears off and we’re left with the only thing we can’t escape—ourselves.