Rachel Hodder -
Retreat facilitator & owner of Vivid Coconut
After years in a job where I felt unfulfilled, uninspired and just bored out of my mind, I knew I needed a serious change. I wanted to feel passion and some kind of excitement about my day ahead. I was completely over feeling like a lemming. How the hell do you achieve that though? So I did what any person would do, I googled it! I did every passion test known to man, but felt meh by the responses.
I was a few months into seeing a guy & we were on our way to Bali together, when a few weeks out I realised I wasn't even into him. But being the 'ever-determined-to-have-a-good-time' kind of gal, I decided I would go any way. The next question popped into my head, what was I going to do all by myself? The travelling alone part was not an issue, I had done it tonnes of times before. But this trip was planned around having a great time with a man, now I had to change all of my plans.
I put my thinking cap on, what do all the cool kids do in Bali? Retreats! I decided that this is exactly what I needed, so I searched high and low for something that didn't sound too over-the-top and booked myself in. I chose a yoga retreat, what was I thinking? I hadn't even tried yoga before and the mere thought of squeezing myself into yoga pants sent shockwaves throughout my entire body. But I thought, suck it up, no one knows you and just get on with it. Off I went to Bali, my heart on my sleeve, thirsty for cocktails and yoga pants clinging to my big booty, ready for whatever challenges life was going to throw at me. I could never have anticipated the changes I was going to endure that have continued to rock my world.
The first few days in Bali I quenched my cocktail and bintang cravings many times over. Then the morning of my retreat rolled around, I had a pick up booked for 9am. Sitting outside in the Bali humidity, waiting patiently, 9:30am comes and goes. Thoughts running through my head were, "did I even check to see if this place was legit?", "did they forget about me?", "what if they took my money and are having a great time with it, oh god why did I do this? I could be still asleep in the air-con right now!". Then suddenly, my name is called from reception, I had a phone call. On the other end of the line was my retreat facilitator, "Rachel? I am so sorry, your driver is sick, but someone else is coming, sit tight, we haven't forgotten you!". Thank f*ck, is all I could think, this isn't a scam!
After a 3 hour drive to the other side of the island, we finally arrived in the north. A beautiful villa right on the beach. I looked at the other women, not one of them looked like a health nut who only ate a raw diet and did Pilates 6 days a week, they looked like me; tired, sweaty and hungry, yay!
The next 5 nights was spent laughing, trying yoga and evidently laughing, being vulnerable, exploring North Bali and just having a bloody good time with some awesome women! I actually felt energised, sure I was on holidays in Bali, swimming in the pool and having an amazing time. But I had been to Bali before, in fact all over the world. Something about this experience clicked inside of me. I felt lighter, I felt free, I was motivated to change my life and live a life I could be proud of. The day after I got home I was on it. I completed a retreat facilitator course where I realised all of my passions, interests and life experience could be used to help others.
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Rachel and I am a Mindfulness practitioner. I like to keep it real, I have been told I have an infectious laugh and a mischievous sense of humour!
Having always loved to help others & combined with my love of travel, becoming a retreat facilitator has been a clear career choice & passion for me. Most of my friends already ask me to plan their trips for them anyway. But, in true Rachel form, it took me 32 years to realise it!
When I say I love travel, I mean I LOVE it. I have absolutely no problem going to a foreign country alone (clearly!) and experiencing everything that it has to offer. At one stage I travelled to Fiji at least 4 times a year over a 5-year period! To say I know a bit about Fiji, might be an understatement. I have also travelled alone throughout Europe and parts of Asia. However, I can completely appreciate that this choice of travel style is not ideal for everyone. So let me be your travel mate and come on an adventure with me!!
10 Interesting facts about me:
1. I was born in Moree, NSW but grew up on the Gold Coast, QLD
2. My favourite chocolate is Lindt
3. Good coffee is essential
4. Reggae is my favourite genre of music
5. My goal is to visit 100 countries in my life time (minimum)
6. Giraffe and Turtles are my favourite animals and would love to go to Giraffe Manor in Kenya (hopefully soon!)
7. Enjoy cooking and baking, hate cleaning
8. I have never broken a bone and only went to hospital to have my tonsils removed when I was 21
9. I am afraid of heights, but am always trying to overcome that fear; like zip lining through the treetops in Fiji
10. I used to collect random animals and bring them home as pets. I once bought gold fish without even owning a fish tank/bowl (they lived in a pink bucket for 6 months), Guinea pigs without a cage(they lived in the laundry tub during the night and in an inflatable pool in the backyard during the day). My poor Mum!
The main reason I created Vivid Coconut was to allow me the ability to take women to destinations all over the world that they may have only ever dreamed of visiting. I create a safe environment for women of all ages and at all stages of life to travel and to feel inspired to step outside of their comfort zone. To share my passion for travel and soulful connections with you all. Importantly, I also wanted to avoid as many of the usual tourist traps, the major resorts and get back to what makes travelling so special, really connecting with others. You also have the opportunity to travel with an amazing group of like minded women who are also wanting an adventure. Balancing all of this I also ensure that we get the opportunity to give back to and honour ourselves.
Let’s go on an amazing journey together and have the time of our lives!