7 Ways To Prepare for a Workshop or Retreat

7 Ways To Prepare for a Workshop or Retreat

In these final days leading up to the 10-day photography retreat I am producing with Douglas Beasley in Guatemala, September 13-22, 2019 I have been thinking about all the things that make for a rich and fullfilling workshop experience.

I’ve learned that setting aside time to focus on my creativity during a retreat or workshop is one of the best gifts I can offer myself, so I always want to make the most of it. One way of ensuring that this happens is to prepare for that time in an intentional way.

Read on for a short list of the steps I take to prepare myself for a week of in-depth creativity!

A POUR AS PURE AS THE PLACE: Copper Crow Distillery in Bayfield, Wisconsin

A POUR AS PURE AS THE PLACE: Copper Crow Distillery in Bayfield, Wisconsin

When my Open Air Places guests ask for the best place in town to enjoy a cocktail, I send them 4 miles north of Bayfield along Hwy 13, to the COPPER CROW DISTILLERY.

Located one block past Legendary Waters Resort & Casino, the distillery is a charcoal colored building, nestled into the pines.  The architecture aptly resembles a crow, soaring overhead with wings outstretched. 

While the distillery has only been established for several years, it looks as though it’s been at home here forever.

THE HARBOR HILL HOUSE: Bayfield Wisconsin's Finest Place to Stay

THE HARBOR HILL HOUSE: Bayfield Wisconsin's Finest Place to Stay

As I write this blog from the spacious porch of the HARBOR HILL HOUSE in Bayfield, Wisconsin the morning sun is turning Lake Superior into bed of shimmering diamonds.

The Madeline Island Ferry is making it’s morning crossing over to Madeline Island, and the air around me is scented with the sweet smell of the flowers hanging heavy in their baskets.

I feel lucky to be in this place, enjoying a cup of coffee with the splendor of nature surrounding me.

Nature's Studio at Little Sand Bay

Nature's Studio at Little Sand Bay

When I close my eyes and think about summertime, I conjure up warm afternoons on sparkling Lake Superior, complete with picnics, my camera and afternoons to while away. Bonus days include the promise of catching the sunset streaking across the sky of a hidden bay somewhere.

Since 2011 the community of Bayfield, Wisconsin has been a second home for me, and I really sharing with others how special this place is. Over the years I’ve perfected my list of hidden beaches on the mainland, and the Apostle Islands where I can find agates, or add to my collection of naturally occurring driftwood telescopes. Maybe someday I’ll publish my list, but for now, I just want to share one spot that never fails to inspire me.

Stunning Volcano Views & Endless Blue at Villas B'Alam Ya

Stunning Volcano Views & Endless Blue at Villas B'Alam Ya

Take the curving Pan-American highway north-west out of Antigua, Guatemala for about two hours, and you’ll reach Lake Atitlan.  Renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world it is Central America’s deepest lake.  Ringed with magnificent volcano peaks, the lake bed is an enormous, breathtaking caldera. The volcanoes skirt down to the water, where lush greens transform into verdant coffee and avocado orchards.

Another Reason to Love Antigua: The PALO SANTO HOTEL

It’s no secret that my favorite place to stay in Antigua, Guatemala is the magnificent MESON PANZA VERDE Hotel which I love for its unique elegance and ambiance. Are you just catching up to me now? Check out this blog for my collection of 50 colorful reasons to fall in love with this gem-like place.

Today I am going to give you another reason to adore Antigua. Meson Panza Verde’s sister property The PALO SANTO Hotel.

Read on for the details!

Open Air Places Palo Santo Hotel Antigua 29.JPG


Located on the quiet end of Antigua’s famous Fifth Avenue, PALO SANTO is right next door to the magnificent MESON PANZA VERDE HOTEL & RESTAURANT where guests can enjoy breakfast in the morning.

5 spacious and finely appointed rooms are centered around a gorgeous courtyard garden (which was set up for a dinner party during my stay). The rooms are decorated with fresh colors, local treasures and Guatemala’s famous handwoven textiles which add their characteristic warmth and ambiance.

Perfectly suited for hosting groups, retreats and workshops, I love the Mayan Temeskal sauna, swimming pool & airy yoga Shala on the rooftop terrace, with views overlooking Volcan Agua.

Open Air Places Palo Santo Hotel Antigua 15.jpg

I think this place is so perfect that I’ve scheduled a 10-day Photography Retreat to happen here in September, with my friend and photographer Douglas Beasley. If you want to book a stay, or schedule your own retreat, workshop or event at this location I’d love to help you with a block of rooms!

You can browse images and booking details for the rooms at PALO SANTO by tapping the button below.


Founder & Lead Travel Ambassador for OPEN AIR PLACES.  

The culturally rich city of Antigua, Guatemala has so much to offer travelers, and I feel lucky to share some of my favorite places to stay in this beautiful city.

This week I’ll be post more about my favorite inspirations in Guatemala. You can follow along on Instagram at @openairplaces or we can be Friends on Facebook where I enjoy interacting with my tribe of travel and art lovers.