JOIN MODEL & RETREAT CURATOR MICHON VANAS ON HER JOURNEY WITH WELLNESS
The journey starts in The Netherlands. It’s then constant jumping around until … well, the present. My father’s job meant for a very nomadic childhood. I spent ages 3 to 18 moving across Eastern and Southern Africa: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Kenya. I spent the next five years in London at the London School of Economics, where I completed my BSc Environment and Development degree and started my modeling career. The latter being the reason for my move to LA and my current base in NYC.
Throughout this time, I gradually became more interested and involved in the world of health, fitness, and wellness. I soon began to attend, curate, and host retreats. Currently, I work with my Nava Haus Retreats team as the Chief of Partnerships and Client Success Officer. In 2020 I will also be launching two wellness retreats – so stay tuned for all the travel fun.
My experience with wellness began – as I’m sure is the case for many – from realizing I was living very unwell.
While living in London the hectic urban living (so long, Africa), demanding academic institution, and the pressures of modeling all started catching up with me. I’m sure my dedication to student nightlife – albeit fun – didn’t help. Moving to Los Angeles was a wellness slap in the face. I was exposed to all the latest wellness trends and tricks. It became a sort of game to figure out what worked for my body. I stopped smoking, toned down the alcohol, ate a Paleo diet, kept up my workouts, and included more recovery activities (massage, facial, infrared sauna). This is also when I became a health coach (IIN Certified) and even though I haven’t used it yet professionally, I really value the knowledge and perspective it gave me around nutrition and helping others in their wellness journey.
Currently, that recipe is a little different. I try to eat as intuitively as possible, so no more diet labels or restrictions. I have also introduced meditation into the mix, which has been a game changer. My experience with wellness has also been the driving force behind my entire transition into the retreat world. It has been very rewarding to reach a point in my wellness journey that I can start to share and involve others.
I’m a creature of change, so I actually don’t have a ‘favorite’ CARAVAN class. The precise reason I love this platform so much, is because I can do something different every day depending on what I crave. That being said, the current top contenders are: breathing classes, mindful eating series, and the events/panel talks.
The breathing classes taught me skills I now do as an alternative to meditation. I like to alternate between meditation and breathing as I find I slack on the meditation otherwise.
The mindful eating series is quick yet thorough. I have wanted to slow down my eating – old habits die hard – for a long time and this class has been very helpful.
The real CARAVAN winner however, is access to events and panel talks! They have been so interesting and give me so much inspiration and energy.
I’m operating at a much higher level: mentally and physically.
This has affected every aspect of my life: career, relationships, and overall happiness/mood. I have also met some of my favorite people through my wellness journey. It’s also been the inspiration behind starting my retreat company which I can’t wait to share with everyone in 2020.