Have you ever looked back at something and thought “that was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done”? Well for me, that’s what hosting The Retreat was like.
The Retreat began as a way of helping others, one of the objectives we set out to achieve when we created our business.
It all began through a Facebook promotion, where people had to self nominate themselves and tell us why they deserved a free weekend including rustically charming accommodation, gorgeous country meals plus some amazing guest speakers. As the nominations rolled in, I realised it was going to be very hard to decide the 12 people. We are however fortunate enough to work closely with the team at CEDA in Palmerston North and together we decided the recipients.
As the weekend played out, the participants began to get to know each other but more importantly they got to know themselves and how to live their best life. In between lots of laughs and yummy food we covered how to deal with stress, goals/vision board, nutrition, exercise and mental health. Meals were made fresh from the farm and more importantly shared round the table where life long friendships were made.
It felt awesome to be merging my background in Education (Physical Education and Health) and Tourism together. It was amazing to know I had helped others go forward and live their best life. I can’t wait to host the next free 2020 version of The Retreat and already we have had other groups wanting a similar experience. If this sounds like you, get in touch. Or perhaps you would like to follow our Rangitikei Farmstay Facebook page to keep posted on the Wellness Workshops we will be hosting too.
In the mean time, don’t forget to make sometime for yourself. Take 10 minutes to go for a walk in the fresh air, maybe you will surprise yourself and go further. Did you know that exercise helps your mental health? If not, perhaps you need to come along to The Retreat next time.
“Move your body, shift your mind”
It seems crazy that Christmas is just around the corner again and another year draws to an end. It feels that summer on the farm has finally arrived unlike the last 2 years. Of course as farmers we are always complaining about the weather! It’s always too wet, too dry or too something! The reality is however, we rely on the weather for our livelihood. Anyhow for the meantime we are loving these warm sunny days and the opportunity to get outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings. Over the winter and spring, we had a lot of new babies arriving in between hatching chickens and pheasants and orphan lambs and calves needing feeding. At one stage we were feeding seven new born lambs four times a day/night which was like having a new baby again. As farmers we certainly spend our days caring for the animals and ensuring they have a good life here. On another note, we enjoyed organising and hosting The Mudder again this year. An annual event on our farm that consists of a lot of mud and people from all around New Zealand dressing up and having some good old filthy fun over our farm! If you have the time, check out the awesome photos on our Facebook page of the day. This year we had around 450 fun loving people enjoying the day and with such a wet winter there was certainly no shortage of mud! Winter and spring has also bought lots of guests from all over the world. We feel very lucky to meet new people nearly every week. They arrive as strangers and leave as friends. I love to hear about life back in their country. I often can’t help but feel lucky for the life we have in New Zealand and here in our little piece of paradise. Not only is New Zealand beautiful but it is also safe. I truly believe we live in the best country in the world. If you are thinking about a holiday to New Zealand, book those flights! I’m sure you won’t regret it! If you are looking for an authentic experience on a working sheep and beef farm, we hope you will join our family to share a piece of our paradise. Safe travels, Kylie.
As I sit and write this, a French family is packing up and about to leave the farm. They are a lovely family consisting of two super cute little boys but the trouble is, they don’t speak English and I don’t speak French! While it’s a little tricky, laughing and smiling is an international language so I think they have enjoyed their time with us. It has made me wish I listened more in Year 10 French classes! It is crazy to think another summer has flown by. While it has been terrible for going to the beach or being out in the garden, all of the wet weather has been wonderful for the farm! Our crops and grass haven’t looked this good for this time of year for over a decade. Growing grass is what we do in New Zealand but that can be hard without any rain. For once mother nature is being kind to us farmers! The farm has been a hive of activity with lambs coming and going. Our stock have a very good life on the farm and one bad day. Our 5 year old daughter was horrified when we told her where the truck load of lambs were heading to. We are all animal lovers here but it’s just what happens unfortunately. I tried to explain that our meat helps feed people around the world and that everyone needs protein in their diet. I hope we don’t have a vegetarian on our hands, because I sure have an animal lover. I am stoked our girls love animals like we do, I think it must be in their blood. That reminds me, I better go and feed/check some of the zoo of animals I have collected and say goodbye to our French guests, if only I knew the correct words! Thanks for stopping by!
The years end is fast approaching and like a lot of farmers and tourist operators it is a busy time. This morning 12 guests departed after experiencing what our farm has to offer over the past few days. Like many guests they told us on their departure, that they loved their time with us and the experience was just what they were looking for. A highlight for me was my 5 year old daughter playing on the tramp with their kids and coming inside for dinner saying “Mum I’ve just made some new friends”. We feel fortunate to give our kids the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world every week. Like us, they are then able to learn about how others live and that life for most, isn’t what they (we) know. Fresh air, green hills, bright stars, wide open space, fresh eggs, animals …. I think kids in New Zealand have the best lifestyle and we are only too happy to share it with other kids from around the world. In saying that I think some guests feel sorry for us, wondering how we get on with the shops and cafes 12 km away. I tell them this is close compared to some of my farming friends and they look at me like I am lying to them 🙂 Although it feels isolated to some with the hills surrounding us, we have everything on our door step and know that we are lucky to call this place our home. Have a safe and Merry Christmas everyone. Kylie x