Three Tips For Manifesting A Meaningful Wanderlust Festival Experience

Three Tips For Manifesting A Meaningful Wanderlust Festival Experience

By Rachel Nichols

Who is ready for mountain air, endless yoga and meditation classes, pool parties with sweeping alpine views, hiking, inspirational talks, music, dancing, delicious food, like-minded community and the highest vibes? It’s time to gather your tribe, pack up your car, create an epic, atmospheric road trip playlist and hit the road! Wanderlust Squaw Valley is taking place on July 19-22 in North Lake Tahoe—just a four-hour drive away from San Francisco, making for the perfect summer road trip with your favorite peeps! 

This will be my third Wanderlust Festival since 2013 and I can’t wait to head back and soak in the amazing vibes of this transformational gathering that aims to help you find your True North. Your True North, according to Wanderlust, is not a final destination but a path, a journey and a yearning to explore and connect to your life’s purpose. 

With an inspiring line up, and more experiences to choose from than there is time for in four days, planning for the festival can feel like a big task. So to make it easy, I am offering up three simple tips to manifest a meaningful Wanderlust experience. These tips are inspired by my more recent effort to practice the Wu Wei—a Chinese concept I recently learned about in Reiki training that translates to non-doing or non-action. It’s living in a state in which our actions are effortlessly in alignment with the flow of life.

Tip 1: Gather Up Your Squad … Or Create A New One
In my experience, Wanderlust is an incredibly connecting festival. Each time I attended, I gathered up a mix of friends who became bonded for life by the end of our long weekend of stretching our comfort zones together. When I first learned of Wanderlust, I was relatively new to yoga, and hadn’t yet built a community of peeps on the path who might be interested in committing to a full weekend of yoga; so I posted on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in coming with me. To my surprise, an old friend from the past who I hadn’t seen in years responded along with a couple other childhood friends, and we all booked our tickets as well as a room on the Squaw Valley property. 

Between trying new styles of yoga, sharing meals, laughing until our bellies hurt, gathering new insights sparked by Speakeasy talks, and soaking in days of positive vibes together, we made memories for a lifetime that we still reminisce about. While the classes and activities were a big part of what made the festival memorable, living in the moment and sharing in our unexpected experiences are really what made the trip so meaningful.

This year I am gathering with both Wanderlust veterans and newcomers to the festival and am looking forward to the unfolding of our experience together. We are staying off-site for the first time this year at a cabin down the road as the rooms at the Squaw Valley Village were already booked up. And while I loved staying on-site, I am excited to shake up the experience by staying in an adorable cabin tucked away in the woods this year. As I embrace going with the flow of life, I trust that it is just where we are meant to be. 
For more info on lodging options, including on-site camping, click here

Tip 2: Set An Intention … Without Attaching To Any Outcomes
Like we do at the beginning of any yoga class, I like to set intentions for my experiences—without attaching to any outcomes, of course. If you are new to setting intentions or need a little inspiration, here are some ideas to reflect on: What are you hoping to receive from the Wanderlust Festival? Do you want to try something new that stretches your comfort zone? What might that look or feel like for you? Do you want to expand your tribe and meet new people? Or perhaps deepen the connection you have with your current tribe? Are you hoping to find motivation and inspiration to live the life that lights you up? Whatever intention you choose for yourself, I would encourage you to also be open to whatever experience shows up for you without judging it. 

This year, my intention is to consciously be open to feeling and receiving positive energy, and to follow the spontaneous flow of energy for the weekend. My Reiki teacher and healer talks a lot about following our Spanda—the radiant, glittering pulse of the Supreme Light; our own personal spark that is part of the vast universal life force. My intention is to follow that spark—which my teacher says is a pulsation that moves as resonance—and to be open to where it leads me.

Tip 3: Choose Your Experience … Or Let Your Experience Choose You
At my first Wanderlust, I remember being a little overwhelmed with the number of activities to choose from at any given time on any given day. With all the interesting yoga classes, new teachers, wisdom talks, dinners and excursions, how could I possibly choose?! I had spent hours looking at class descriptions, teacher bios and lining up my schedule so that it was balanced and diverse. Once we got there, though, those plans completely shifted. 

I do encourage you to take a look at the schedule and map out a rough plan—especially because many of the classes will fill up—but also know that when you follow the flow of effortless doing, you may find that your plans change. Maybe you don’t have the energy to take that fifth vinyasa class in two days; and as a result, you may just end up wandering into an unexpected wisdom talk that offers up some insight that you didn’t know you were looking for. Or perhaps you wander through the Vendor Village and end up meeting a group of new people who you spend the rest of the evening with. To me, that is the best part about Wanderlust—there are so many surprises around every corner and  things seem to always turn out better than you could have planned for, just by following the energy of each moment.

For more info on ticket options—you can buy four-day, three-day or even weekend and single-day passes, click here.

The Truth North Path
When I asked some of my friends what they took away from their past Wanderlust experiences, almost everyone cited the palpable, collective positive vibes that seemed to infiltrate Squaw Valley during the festival. I find it very inspiring that more than anything else, people seemed to resonate most with how they felt during the four days—energized, yet peaceful, and completely inspired. In fact, one dear friend of mine left feeling so inspired that she went home and signed up for the next Yoga Teacher Training, and encouraged me to do the same. She quit her corporate job after completing the training, and has been traveling the world the last two years, and has been teaching yoga and deepening her practice ever since. 

While I didn’t quit my corporate job, going through Yoga Teacher Training did jumpstart my journey on the healing path, which has opened many other unexpected doors for me that I am so grateful for. This isn’t to say that Wanderlust will inspire everyone to quit their jobs or become a yoga teacher, but that opening to the flow of spanda can lead you to fulfilling your heart’s desire—whatever that may be for you!

As you know, SF Yoga Mag values Community, Culture and Consciousness and Wanderlust Squaw Valley is sure to give us a taste of all three and more. For more information, or to purchase tickets for Wanderlust Squaw Valley, visit:

And P.S. Make sure to add my favorite Wanderlust-inspired song—these guys performed at Wanderlust a few years ago— to your road trip playlist...I believe in the good things coming, coming, coming...

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