Janine (Jen) Hall - Founder and Chief Happiness Officer
Thanks for letting me share my story of what led me to set up Surf Haven and the evolution to Escape Haven on the beautiful island of Bali and now Byron Bay.
They say that life is made up of a series of chapter changes, when the tide turns and we find ourselves walking a new path, that's how we know we are experiencing a new one. For me this was true when I turned 30 and left London, hopped on a boat, set sail and ended up in the Caribbean.
It was under the Caribbean sun that a pivotal turning point happened and I fell in love with the laid back island style of living – barefoot, trouble free, water and sun abounding and lots of smiling faces. I decided I couldn’t image my life without it nor the watersports that I had come to love – surfing, diving, sailing. For when I was in, on, under the water, my monkey mind chatter stopped and what was replaced was a huge sense of freedom, inner peace and perspective. I knew then that life would never be the same. Shaking myself from my ‘pipe dream’ I returned to NZ and to the life I had known of climbing the corporate ladder. A life that had served me well paving an international career with senior marketing roles in Auckland, London, Sydney and Tokyo. I was doing the same thing as I always had but something felt different.
3 years on, whilst working in Sydney, the walls started crumbling and I realized that I had lost my sparkle. The gloss had worn off and somewhere along the way I had said goodbye to my dreams too. I took a few weeks off on a solitary holiday to Bali. It was here that I did yoga for the first time, not being able to touch my toes at first. I indulged in massage treatments and nutricous food and had a lot of personal time for reflection. During my time away I thought back to the transformation that was happening, how I was starting to feel re energized, lighter, more myself when I hadn’t fully realized that I hadn’t been. I knew then that my next chapter change was unfolding before me. On the back of a piece of paper after a yoga and meditation class, I put pen to paper of the idea that had been brewing – the birthing of Surf Haven Bali.
At the heart of it, I wanted to share this process of transformation with others. The art of being able to step outside the busy lives, put down the labels, the roles, the masks, the multi tasking that as women, we are so good at doing. And just be.
5 years ago I launched my dream. Since then over 1000 women have chosen to stay with us in Byron Bay, Portugal and Bali. It's my privilege to share this journey with so many other like-minded women and to bring them together to re-inject that sparkle and connection with themselves and each other.
I welcome you to experience your bliss at Escape Haven Bali, Portugal, Morocco or Byron Bay, one day soon.