his past weekend, I had the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary (yet again). I packed lightly and headed to a place unknown. This wasn’t necessarily about visiting a new country or city, it was about discovering the magic of somewhere quite near. No itinerary, no expectations… and the most important thing I brought were my good intentions and sense of adventure.
Various studies show that travelers carry a special gene for adventure, which explains why the desire to explore the world is not something we can control once ignited. The yearning to see beyond what we have been taught and to dive into a world of mystery is apparently inherited. Hence why we feel a familial bond when we meet people on the road. Travelers just bond, they are connected in ways we can’t even explain.
Habitas, a new festival concept based out of LA, is the embodiment of what happens when bonding and like-mindedness come together in a beautiful setting. Suddenly, there is unbound trust. You pack your bags and fly to a remote area, with very little information about the place you’re about to enter.
While most festivals brand themselves on the concept of filling up agendas, Habitas feels more like a house party. No line-up, no schedules, no lines. When I received an invitation to attend, I was asked to bring an open mind and nothing else. Ever the inquisitive soul, I didn’t need more persuasion.
I was picked up by a fellow Habitas guest at the airport and together we drove north, past beautiful cliffs, hills, to finally arrive to our lakeside home. Welcoming smiles awaited us at the gate, and we were each given a hand-crafted necklace upon entry.
“What is this place?” I thought to myself, gazing over the hills where an orange-gold sky glazed the air with mysticism. I was led to my tent by the lovely Irina, who asked us not to converse and pay close attention to her instructions. The instructions were simple… Take care of your neighbors, cherish your home, and enjoy yourself.
My tent was already set up with a bed, rugs, lamps, and blankets and as I looked outside, another two dozen were lined up symmetrically, hugging the lake that we would end up canoeing across under the moonlight later.
As the weekend rolled on, a hypnotizing range of bohemian house music filled the air and our fellow Habitas attendees slowly began to emerge from their tents. While some enjoyed massages on an island, others experienced chakra activation sessions, swam and sun bathed. At the end of the day we all reconvened for a delicious gourmet meal.
Sitting side by side on moroccan cushions and bronze tables, it was evident that we were all there for one reason- to connect simply on our pure enjoyment of life. I am a strong believer in experiencing things wholeheartedly, in opening yourself to experiences and opportunities to become closer with one another.
We seldom give ourselves the chance to give unconditional love and I believe Habitas’ sense of purpose is an important step to transforming the way we interact with each other.
By creating a tight-knit community of people that appreciate life, love, and connections, founders Eduardo Castillo and Kfir Levy have set the tone for a new, non-commercialized era of festivals.
Their upcoming gathering will take place in Tulum over New Year’s eve, I highly recommend journeying with them.