Man plans and God laughs. This has been a favorite saying of mine and it rang true this past April. I have always believed in living well which includes beauty, travel, food and wellness. I feel I can conquer anything. But, when a diagnosis of hypothyroidism hit me I realized I may have been taking my health for granted. After months of feeling tired and knowing that something was off I paid a visit to my doctor. The standard test came back fine, but it was the endocrinologist’s test gave me a different diagnosis. There were many questions I had on how could this happen to me? I eat locally, I’m a yogi, and overall I have been healthy most of life. The only pills I take are vitamins. Queue crying and many “whoa is me” moments.
Then divine intervention happened. An offer came to experience Rancho La Puerta, the number one rated wellness resort in the world. Every travel magazine on the planet says so too. I knew it was just what my mind, body and soul needed. Rancho La Puerta was one of those spas on my “bucket list.” I have read about it, dreamed about it and my goodness I was on my way to experience Rancho La Puerta on the start of my own wellness journey.
The Ranch as it is normally called is located in Tecate, Mexico in the Baja California region of the country. Deborah Szekely and her late husband Edmond created it in 1940. At the time of its creation wellness was not a household name; Dr. Oz was not even born and Oprah was not doling out her daily wisdom. Rancho La Puerta was indeed ahead of its time. The concept of Siempré Mejor (always better) gives Rancho La Puerta its distinction.
What makes the Ranch an experience is not only the attention to the whole person, but the belief that healing isn’t just the body. It is the mind and the belief that clean eating and fitness are not mutually exclusive. I met many guests who were on their 5th, 10th, and 20th visit. On the first day I did not get it, but by the end of my trip I vowed to return every few years. After seven days on the property I felt like a new person.
Rancho La Puerta wants you to rest, restore, and unplug. The rooms do not have televisions or internet access. Internet access is available in the main lounge and there is a computer center. I understand now that this is must. Dining was a communal experience with new friends and it was nice to not hear a cell phone conversation and being fully present. I checked email daily, but it didn’t compare to how it is at home. I now take “tech detoxes” every weekend; no email, Facebook, or Twitter. I’m fully present to everything else. Now when I check email, I’m clear. I can focus and not scan an email but read it.
The property sits on 3,000 acres and every view is breathtaking. A stone on the grounds has a daily quote and is a reminder of what we need to do in order to heal ourselves. Szekely’s weekly speech is captivating and to see a mature woman rhapsodize on her Pilates class made me realize I need to step up my fitness game. A major takeaway for me was the labyrinth. I had heard the name, but to actually walk through a labyrinth was spiritual. The labyrinth is a replica in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France. It was more than a maze. Walking through made me feel whole, healed, and healthy.
P.S. I so enjoyed my stay at Rancho La Puerta that I will have posts on the fitness, spa, and food that the resort offers over the next few weeks.