Wanderlust: How To Make the Most of the Festival (and see Whistler)
Last summer was my first time at the Wanderlust Whistler Festival and it was bananas, like bananas hopped up on kombucha bananas. I was so pumped to try all the classes/workshops and learn from all the visiting yoga instructors that I made a total rookie error. I overcommitted and burned out hard by the end. I wasn’t alone in this mistake, many other festival goers got caught up in the excitement and over-scheduled themselves, too.
I’m fortunate because I can enjoy Whistler whenever but some visitors felt disappointed they didn’t have the time or energy to really see this beautiful place beyond the festivities. But with the right planning (or lack thereof), you can balance it all! Here’s how to have an incredible time at Wanderlust and in Whistler:
Go with your flow
Be conscious of when your energy normally fluctuates during the day, and schedule vigorous classes during your peaks (good morning Vinyasa!) and meditations workshops or restorative/yin classes for your down times. This way you’ll conserve enough energy to enjoy a dip in a cool mountain lake or go for a mellow afternoon hike after the day is done at the festival.
If you can narrow down what you want to get out of the festival you’ll have a lot easier time selecting your schedule. Want to connect with the outdoors as much as possible? Look for the SUP classes, hikes, runs and anything taking place on Whistler Mountain or in Lost Lake Park and Whistler Olympic Plaza (you can filter by venue in the Wanderlust scheduler). Or if you want to improve your understanding of anatomy and work on your teaching skills, look for workshops that will expand your knowledge and take classes from teachers you look up to.
Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun
Bring a reusable water bottle to Whistler and keep it on hand during your day, there are water stations throughout the festival so you’ll always be able to fill up. Not only will you be sweating from the activities but there are also classes that are out in the full sun at the hottest time of the day. If you’re sensitive to heat stroke try to select the early morning or late afternoon time slots for the outdoor classes. Don’t forget to throw a hat and sunscreen in your bag too!
Take a break
This festival is full of big moments, firework connections and maybe a few hard truths. Sometimes you need to go sit by a river or on a beach to let it all sink in. Embrace the spirit of wanderlust, grab your journal and see where your feet take you. The Valley Trail can be an excellent guide.
Eat well and often
You will definitely be working up an appetite but if you schedule your classes too close together it can be hard to fuel up in between. Not eating enough or subsisting on processed energy bars is a sure road to burnout. Keep some produce and nuts in your bag for when you feel a dip in your energy, you can stock up at the Whistler Farmers’ Market. My favourite vegan and vegetarian friendly places for grabbing a quick bite are Naked Sprout, Green Moustache, Moguls, Ingrid’s and Mount Currie Coffee Co. If you want sit down and savour a meal there are a few delectable farm-to-table focused dining options in Whistler; check out Alta Bistro, Araxi, Aura and Hunter Gather.
Go to bed early (or wake up late)
You won’t want to miss the incredible artists performing at the concert series. The acts wrap-up by 10 PM but it is very easy to get swept up into going out and dancing all night. Whistler has a diverse nightlife scene and if you’re into that just be real with yourself and don’t schedule anything for 8 AM the next day. No one wants to force themselves through a run or class that should otherwise be enjoyable. If you do have an early morning class the next day, try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you when it’s time to make your way back to your accommodation.
Stay an extra day or two
Give yourself the space to take your time, arrive a day early to explore or stay a day later to decompress and treat yourself to a spa visit. Not only will you feel more relaxed but you’ll also avoid the festival traffic. Don’t forget to leave yourself room for spontaneity too, the festival can feel scheduled down to the last minute so a bit of extra time can bring balance into your trip.
One last piece of advice: go to the last class! In previous years it’s been open to everyone (including the public) and has been all about the community feels and celebrating your entire festival journey. Needless to say, the energy is off the charts. Other than that, show up with a open mind, ready to practice non-attachment and you’ll have a great time in Whistler no matter what. See you at Wanderlust!
Discover more summer fun in Whistler over at Whistler.com.