After a smooth flight out of Vancouver, we landed in Honolulu and headed directly north toward our destination for yogi-inspired fun. Wanderlust Oa’hu is based on the island’s famed North Shore at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku.
Having undergone renovation fairly recently, Turtle Bay Resort is a sprawling 880-acre property with an extensive shoreline and stunning 300-degree ocean views. With more than half the hotel’s rooms facing the ocean, you’re all but guaranteed to be falling asleep after a long day of yoga practice to the sound of waves rolling to shore. Can you think of anything better? No? We didn’t think so.
After check-in we did a quick tour of the Wanderlust grounds to get a lay for the festival land before making our way to the media room for an in-depth scoop. Wristband secured, it was off to try our hand at one of the more than 200 different activities, classes, adventures and seminars offered at the four-day event.
Wanderlust pretty much offers it all to any level and preference (believe us, you don’t have to be a hardcore yogi to attend). Be it an intro to stand-up paddleboard yoga you’re seeking, a casual horseback lesson, some Ashtanga, a HoopDance lesson, Surf session or a spin at Yin, it’s all at your fingertips.
In between attending and capturing classes, we had the chance to meet two of the festival’s founders, Sean Hoess and Jeff Krasno (Schuyler Grant was away), who shed some insight onto core values and inspiration that led to Wanderlust’s inception.
The two are long-time college friends who’ve been involved in various facets of business over the years, starting with co-owning a recording studio and successful record label. Having garnered a network of contacts, skills and experience, they saw a need to create a sense of community around mindful living and a reconnection to nature that went beyond your typical music or yoga festival.
Now with thousands of people attending each of their six multi-day festivals, they’ve continually returned and redefined exactly what Wanderlust is all about, honing the arc of each day accordingly in order to echo the flow of what attendees are seeking.
Looking for an activity that goes beyond a backbend, head to the resorts stables for a guided ride through the meandering palm laden pathways of the resort (that was supposed to have been a casino), get a lesson on the Ukulele or grab a bike and hit the trails. Wanderlust’s offerings clearly have no limits indeed.
Though you could take surfing lessons on-site, we opted to head on a bit of a road trip along the Kamehameha Highway for a private lesson courtesy of Button’s Surf School (launched by Hawaiian surf legend Buttons Kaluhiokalani). Located in the quaint and funky town of Haleiwa, it’s a great way to spend the day away from the crowd (and get one-on-one time with pretty hot instructors).
Back at the festival, nights were reserved for grabbing eats at one of the many themed dinners, like Wanderlust’s Sea to Table Dinner, before catching major musical talent like Moby and Donavon Frankenreiter take the main stage by storm.
Post-concert, festivalgoers looking to keep the party vibe alive headed to Surfer, The Bar for more musical fusion courtesy of DJ Drez and HyFi as part of a Sustainable Coastlines benefit.
Early risers had the opportunity to check out meditation classes, sunrise surf sessions or simply grab a light bite at the festival’s market (we loved the selection of locally-sourced bakery goods and Hawaiian-grown coffee).
With a steady growth in popularity and new festivals taking place throughout North America (their first Wanderlust took off in Squaw Valley), you can now go as far away as Chile to experience the event – with Wanderlust In The City set to pop up in Australia and New Zealand this year too.
Closer to home, young professionals can set their sights on several Wanderlust festivals on Canadian soil. Start planning your experience and grab tickets here for Whistler (July 31 to August 4th) and learn more about Wanderlust Tremblant coming to Quebec later this summer.
We’re definitely hooked on the Wanderlust Kool-Aid and think you should be too.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)
All images from Wanderlust