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  • Writer's pictureNikki Martinez

Re-Treat Yourself

More hikes with the kids this year: The imposing Fortress of Verrucole sits on a hill above the village of San Romano Garfagnana.

I woke up this morning, as the sun was just attempting to rise, and recalled some of my most memorable travel escapes:

Sketch-journaling in Prato, Tuscany

An Ayurveda Weekend Treat at the Svata Katerina Resort in Czechia

Diving in Sangat Island, Palawan, with my husband, on our 2-year anniversary (Read the full story here.)

A chilled weekend with my baby son in Cebu

A wild night, camped within a Safari park in Uganda

That night alone on the Arno in Florence, with a room that overlooked the Ponte Vecchio.

…and so, so many more.

A Medieval Bridge in Tuscany. Travelling with the Kids a couple years ago.

When I think of my favorite moments, they were the trips I took to recharge, release anxiety, and play. The ones where I came home to my family feeling rested, re-connected with Self, and just blissfully at peace.

Those self-imposed, relaxed Retreats, you might say.

But after so many years of travel, the challenge still remains:

How do you STAY in that sacred space of wholeness, fullness, and PEACE when REAL LIFE is happening?

When it is...




A Wine Painting, "The Last Rose."

This is when your state of mind counts the most—the decisions you make in those split seconds. The energy you allow yourself to absorb through the day.

It could be the place you MENTALLY go when you are PHYSICALLY confined.

We each have our different ways of dealing with life. Over the years, I found it best to retreat to my art.

On days like those, I pull out all the tools:



Messy oils,

Unpredictable watercolors,

Pigmented pastels,

Unfinished sketchbooks,

Smooth gel pens.

And, I retreat. RE-TREAT.

Without needing to cross over to Tuscany, or fly back to the Philippines, I simply TREAT MYSELF again, to CREATING.

In this sacred space, it is important that I give myself permission to create, play, construct.

Or even, de-construct.

Without judgment,

And without a plan.

Yes, I do like to think of it as therapy. The space I go to, to vent, knowing that the canvas will accept all the mess I make on it.

It exists for me.

Here is one of my recent sessions at the canvas, while piecing together a commissioned Sleep Story, for another Wellness App I'm sooo stoked to be creating for this month.

It is a bedtime tale, set in Kidepo, one of my favorite places in the world. Can't wait to share the audio production soon with you.

"Sundown in Kidepo," Acrylics on Canvas. By Nikki Martinez

As you rest this weekend, try to truly rest.

Let your mind escape, your body relax. Enjoy the simple pleasures of BEING, WALKING, BREATHING.


May you treat yourself to something soothing today.

And then RE-TREAT yourself again tomorrow.

Wishing you space to play, and quiet to calm your journey today,



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