Oh to travel again and go and stay in a wellness retreat!
Watching Nine Perfect Strangers on Amazon Prime has certainly reignited our wanderlust and accentuated the need to de-stress and focus on our mental health. And although the drama may be set in California, the series was actually filmed right here in Australia.
Starring Nicole Kidman, Asher Keddie and Melissa McCarthy, the TV show is based on the novel of the same name by Aussie author, Liane Moriarty, who also wrote Big Little Lies.
In the opening episode, the nine characters arrive at a beautiful, modern, secluded retreat to decompress from city life and heal their inner wounds.
Now city life may be something that many of us haven't had much opportunity to take part in recently but the need to unwind and relax with friends – or nine perfect strangers – is definitely something we could use.
And although we are just four episodes in, the magic of getting away and working on yourself is very enticing right now.
Set in the hinterland a short distance inland from Byron Bay, Soma provides the most luxurious home-away-from-home and you can hire the whole place through AirBnB to create your perfect getaway.
Whether it is a family get-together after so long apart, an organised retreat or just a group of friends trying to put a strange and difficult year behind them and reconnect in the beauty of northern NSW, you are really only hampered by your imagination.
The breathtaking 10-bedroom luxury estate boasts a warm yet modern aesthetic thanks to the use of natural timbers and floor-to-ceiling windows that bring the outdoors in.
Surrounded by bush and long vistas, the sense of open space allows you to breathe again and give a sense that there is a positive future ahead of us all.
Why not take in a little forest bathing while you're there (look it up, it's a thing!) as Soma is set on 22 acres of lush bamboo forest with thousands of varieties of plant species to help you reconnect with nature.
And there are also the little luxuries you wouldn't want to be without. Take advantage of the freshwater infinity pool, a communal fire pit, and the beautiful dining area that seats 16.
You can also choose from a range of extras including meditation courses, breath and bodywork sessions, Ayurvedic meals prepared by a specialised chef, housekeeping, pantry and fridge pre-stocking and airport transfers.
Byron Bay is only 10 minutes drive away if you want to have a day on the beach or indulge in the cafe lifestyle and pick up some boho souvenirs.
One place you'll definitely want to spend time in, perhaps for a little mindfulness or mediation, is the geodesic yoga dome. It is hard to miss the striking dome, especially the way it's portrayed at Tranquillum House in Nine Perfect Strangers.
The retreat was designed by acclaimed wellness and meditation practitioner Gary Gorrow and tech entrepreneur Peter Ostick as the ultimate sanctuary away from civilisation, where guests can optimise health and wellness – something we think they've done exceptionally well.
Let's just hope that lockdown ends soon and we can book our few days of peace and tranquillity - as long as it doesn't end in the same way as Nine Perfect Strangers (we've read the book and so we'll give no spoilers here!)
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