INTERNATIONAL GAY RETREAT

2022 INTERNATIONAL GAY RETREAT
Joyful exploration, relaxation, fun and intimacy for GBTQ-men.
Co-created by GaySpiritFriends & Spirit Journeys. 
We invite you for our 10-Year Anniversary.

When: Mo 10 - Sun 16 Oct 2022
Where: Charneux, Belgium
Price: € 1095,- (Waiting List)
Early-Bird Price: € 1045,- (€ 50,- early-bird discount until the end of March, or until sold out)

You can also book the 'Intimate Connection Weekend', prior to the week, and with it, extend your stay from 7 days to 10 days. More info



The International Gay Retreat is built around four themes:
- Exploring the gifts in your shadows;
- Celebrating your unique talents and gifts;
- Seeking a new vision and setting new intentions;
- Integrating and implementing all of these new insights when you go home again. 
All of this in a supportive loving community of GBTQ-men.


YOUR WEEK INCLUDES

- 7 days/6 nights lodging in a beautifully renovated 17th century farmhouse, with 21st century comfort;
- Tasty breakfasts, lunches and dinners;
- Sheets and covers for your bed;
- Suggestions and help with travel arrangement;
- Inspiring fun workshops and lively discussions​;
- Lovely hiking trails through the wandering hills of the Belgian and Dutch countryside;
- Free time every afternoon and playful, soulful experiences with GBTQ-men from around the world;
- Steam Sauna, Wifi-connection and use of community rooms (with pool table, shuffleboard, table tennis).

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR WEEK

- Travel expenses
- Travel insurance and transfer
We recommend everybody to take a travel- and cancellation insurance.
- Costs for drinks and meal during the community day will be for own account.
These costs usually are between 20 - 30 euro, depending on how much and what you drink with your meal. 


WHY JOIN A RETREAT?
The magic of a retreat!
No matter how happy we are in life, a retreat offers us the opportunity to get away from the daily hustle of our lives and to distance ourselves from everything we think we know.
It offers the possibility to experience ourselves, others and the world in a new powerful way.
We create a safe space to re-experience what really matters to us, see our potentials and set new intentions.
With new intentions set, we can experience a new reality in our daily lives.


WHY A RETREAT for GBTQ-men?
Because we experience ourselves as gay, bisexual, trans or queer, we share certain themes that are important in our lives. These themes that can be very different from those that straight men deal with. Sharing our stories with others who share similar themes, hopes, dreams, and challenges can create a powerful experience of safety, belonging, and clarity around ourselves and our lives. 

A retreat for GBTQ-men is also a wonderful opportunity to meet gay, bisexual, trans and queer men in a whole different setting. Although we have more options to connect through social media and dating sites than ever before in history, the quality of our connections has decreased dramatically. 
For deeper, more meaningful connections we need a real social setting. At the retreat we have the opportunity to connect with our minds and hearts. A retreat offers a safe, fun and often magical setting. We will create supportive, loving community to understand and reclaim the gifts that each of us bring to this life. Whoever you are, this is a place where you can be yourself, the way you want to be!


THE PROGRAM

We offer a variety of workshop experiences during the week and a multidisciplinary approach. 
Some of the workshops that you will experience during the week will be described below. 

21st CENTURY
CONSCIOUS CONNECTED BREATHING

Our breath is a powerful tool for health, healing, and transformation.
At the retreat, Hunter will introduce you to 21st-Century Conscious Connected Breathing.
He will provide you with amazing insight into your own breathing patterns, exercises to free your breath and practical skills you can use every day for the rest of your life.
Drawing from the latest discoveries of interpersonal neurobiology,  polyvagal theory, sports physiology, and proven spiritual practices from around the world, the conscious breathing practices offered can set your breath and your life free.
With powerful conscious breathing, you can:
- Breathe easy, recharge, relax, sleep better, and feel more at ease in your body.
- Relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and the little traumas life brings.
- Cultivate awareness, self-love, authentic power, and spiritual connection.

NATIVE AMERICAN
SWEAT-LODGE TRADITION

Hunter will introduce you to the Native American Sweat-lodge tradition.
He has trained, been initiated, and been given permission by his Two-Spirit Native Elders to pour water for (to facilitate) this ceremony and share these teachings and has been offering profound and safe sweat lodge ceremonies for over twenty years.

Sweat lodges have been or still are a tradition in many cultures around the world, including here in Europe.
It is, among other things, a very powerful ritual for purifying body and mind, connecting you with your own truth, and revealing new possibilities in your life.
It has the power to transform you in ways you couldn't imagine.
Hunter will guide you through the process in a very gentle, loving, and expert way, with the greatest respect for everyone’s personal boundaries.


POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
The science of happiness, well-being and flourishing.
We implement new scientific tools for cultivating happiness, well-being, optimal potential, and the ability to cope with stress and problems more effectively and healthily.


YOUR JOURNEY ALSO INCLUDES:
- Beautiful rituals and ceremonies like an Ancestor Ritual and Traditional Trance Dance;
- Mindful and compassionate touch, movement, setting boundaries and community practices; 
- Yoga, meditation, psychodrama, and writing exercises;
- A beautiful hike in the hills and forests of Limburg;
- Lovely and nourishing meals;
- Relaxation, hugging, music, dancing, laughing and more than enough playfulness; 
The entire program and more details will be handed out on the first day of the retreat. 
Not knowing every detail of the program is part of the adventure.
We will also adjust small things depending on what the group needs.
Surprise yourself. 


FREE TIME
In addition to the workshop experiences, there will still be plenty of time to socialize and explore all corners of the attractive property Charneux or the beautiful surroundings. The property has several attractive spaces for you to retreat or socialize. There is also a 6-person sauna & infrared cabin, where you can relax.

LANGUAGE  during the workshops
The workshops are in English. If there are problems with understanding or expressing, then of course we will give you a helping hand. We can translate in Dutch or German, sometimes French. If you have any questions about this, please let us know. During the breaks multiple languages possible. 


TRAVELLING (plane, car, train)
We will help you with extra suggestions to plan your trip after signing up or after you contact us.
- Flight to Brussels Airport (Belgium) and follow-up journey by train, approximately 1 hour. 
- Flight to Amsterdam Airport (Netherlands) and follow-up journey by train, approximately 3-4 hours. 
- Flight to Cologne-Bonn Airport (Germany) and follow-up journey by train, approximately 1,5 hour. 
- We will create a carpool suggestion list once we have relevant sign-ups to make combinations. 
- Travel buddies can be a fun part of your journey. 
- The location is easy to reach by car and parking is free. 
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about travelling. 


FOOD
Healthy nutrition is central to our program, but we do not follow any specific nutritional philosophy. Our Burgundian local nature and way of life will be at the forefront. If there are any food allergies or special diet needs, please let us know when you book.
We will do our best to take this into account, within reasonable limits.

BEDROOMS
The group accommodation where we are staying offers wonderful authentic bedrooms.
There are 4, 3 and 2-person bedrooms.
The rooms are randomly assigned upon arrival at the house. We assume equality of everyone and an open attitude. Single rooms are not available. If necessary, room assignments can be adjusted. 

ABOUT OUR ACCOMMODATION

The old stone farmhouse dates back to + / - 1650 and originally served as a syrup distillery. Nowadays the farmhouse is used as a holiday accommodation after thorough renovation.

The accommodation is situated on a hill with beautiful views over the meadows. It is located in Herve, in the triangle Maastricht-Liege-Aachen. The accommodation has a large capacity and an interesting layout of rooms and floors. It exudes nostalgia and atmosphere and has many surprising rooms and corners to discover. The property also has a large attractive workshop space, where we will withdraw for the workshops.