Site icon Sarah Marandi-Steeves, LCSW, PLLC

The Glow Camp Retreat: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Never in my life did I think I would go to Thailand. Sure, it was always a place I dreamed of seeing but I never thought I would actually get there (largely because of the 20 hour flight situation, but I digress). Then one morning my friend sent me a text message that said, “Want to go to Thailand for a retreat?!” and so naturally I replied, “Yes!”, honestly not really thinking this would ever happen. Fast forward to present, and I’m now sitting in Thailand, one of the most beautiful places on earth, writing this blog post. (Ps: Everything in between the text message and “fast forward” will be in another blog post, so stay tuned!)

You’re probably thinking, “That’s fine and dandy but what the heck is ‘The Glow Camp Retreat’ and why do I need to know about it?” So I’m going to break down “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” for you so you can learn more about this retreat and maybe even attend a future Glow Camp retreat yourself!

The Glow Camp retreat is hosted by certified health and wellness coach, Martina Fink, whose mission is to support women in leading a more vibrant life. She promotes embracing beauty both inside and out, improving self confidence, as well as developing a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. Prior to learning about this retreat, I didn’t personally know Martina, but thanks to social media, I instantly began connecting with her further and we instantly connected. My personal definition of Martina is luxury meets zen, with a shit ton of fierceness.

Martina has created an incredible brand for herself. She is a former makeup artist who transformed her love for inner beauty into a wellness brand which includes mastermind classes, digital courses, 1:1 and group coaching, as well as hosting retreats. With a brand all about promoting self love, empowering women to be the best versions of themselves, boosting confidence, and celebrating the life we WANT to lead, what’s not to love about this woman?!


So the obvious is that it’s a retreat and if you follow my blog or social media accounts, you’re likely someone who values mental health, wellness, and self-care as well as believes in doing the work to achieve happiness, balance, and fulfillment in your life. Retreats do just that. You meet new people. You step outside of your comfort zone. You dig deep and tap into blockages holding you back whether it be personally or professionally, or both. You share your story and your journey. You reflect. You cry. You laugh. You hug. You support fellow attendees. You do some deep healing work. Shit gets real.

The Glow Camp retreat includes all of that and so much more. Martina is incredibly organized and efficient and this retreat ran flawlessly. Our retreat began at a luxury brunch spot followed by a private transport to our private luxury villa, equipped with a full staff, private chef, private beach, gorgeous accommodations, and views that don’t even look real. (Seriously I had to keep reminding myself this wasn’t a postcard!)

Upon arrival to the villa, we had goodie bags waiting for us filled with wellness goodies. We also had fresh iced tea, cold towels infused with essential oils, workbooks, as well as itineraries of what each day would hold for us. The days included yoga and meditation in the mornings, followed by an authentic Thai breakfast, all of which was gluten-free and vegan. Martina emphasized the power of nourishing our bodies with healthy, fresh, and organic meals as this not only supports our physical health, but our mental and emotional health as well. It’s incredible the impact of what we put into our our bodies has on us not only mentally but physically as well. Each one of the attendees commented on how great they felt just by making adjustments to their eating habits during the retreat.

After breakfast followed workshops run by Martina which focused on releasing fears and anxieties, increasing self confidence, creating positive mindsets, being more mindful and present in our lives, as well as integrating healthy routines into our day-to-day lives; mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There were also discussions about money-mindset, entrepreneurship and growing your business, the importance of surrounding yourself with a positive and supportive inner circle, as well as learning more about mediation and the chakras. Throughout the workshops, we had breaks for lunch (again, all authentic and healthy Thai food) as well as down time for relaxation, reflection, and journaling. The days always closed with an evening workshop, mediation, and delicious dinner!


After reading all of the good, you are now likely thinking, “SIGN ME UP!” so I will share with you the one *potential* barrier to this amazing retreat, which is the cost. I’ve been to a lot of trainings, workshops, conferences, and masterclasses as well as invested in my own coaching and the theme is always the same: these services are expensive and there is really no way to sugarcoat that. BUT! In the spirit of shifting your mindset, remember that an investment like this is an investment in YOU. As business owners, we know we need to spend money to make money and we often limit ourselves because of the dollar sign attached to things. When we limit ourselves, we limit our businesses. If you’re not a business owner and you are interested in attending for some self-work, the concept is the same. You are investing in YOU. It’s no different from paying for a therapist or coach. Also, Martina offers affordable payment plans as well which makes the cost of the retreat more affordable and less daunting.

Additionally, a lot of people asked me where the was retreat was located, as the physical setting looked so beautiful and inviting. This particular retreat was held in Koh Samui, Thailand, however, Martina’s unique style and love for travel means future retreat locations will continue to change. Also, remember when I said Martina is luxurious? This means wherever the next retreats will be held will be GLAM AF. Martina has an eye for picking glamorous venues and firmly believes that you can have it all in life, so she picks locations which allow her retreat attendees to manifest and envision just that. And trust me, doing work overlooking the ocean while a cool breeze blows by, while sipping on a fresh coconut makes it VERY easy to manifest this lifestyle. I mean, my office was LITERALLY a beach for 5 days. It doesn’t get better than that.

Lastly, since the retreats are held globally, this means you will also have to pay for travel in addition to the retreat. Since Thailand was literally across the world, my girlfriend Alex (aka my friend who sent the infamous text that changed my life) as well as our significant others decided to turn this into a vacation before and after the retreat. This was our personal decision whereas other attendees of the retreat came just for the retreat. (I will say that turning this into an opportunity for a fabulous vacation just added to the experience, so consider this when booking!)

Now, ready for the price? For the 5 day, 4 night retreat I paid $3k. Now, again before you freak out over the cost, let me break down exactly what this cost included so you can understand its value, as I personally believe this retreat experience was worth every penny, and probably more to be honest.


Ah, yes. The ugly. Anytime you are going to be digging deep and opening yourself up to do self-work, you are going to be vulnerable to all that comes with that. Digging deep, opening up old wounds, exploring fears and insecurities…and all in front of complete strangers can be terrifying. There were many breakthroughs during this retreat but there were also a lot of breakdowns. As a mental health professional, I do believe anyone attending a retreat of this nature needs to be in a healthy space to handle this type of work. Be in tune with yourself and know your limits. If the idea of being raw, vulnerable, open, and honest in front of others seems like it may be too much, then right now may not be the best time for a retreat. My suggestion would be start doing some work on yourself first before jumping immediately into a retreat. Still unsure? My recommendation would be to reach out to Martina directly to talk further about any concerns you may have around this.

Having this experience was truly life changing and I mean that in every way possible. I will be the first one to admit that as mental health professionals, we tend to be a bit more close minded in regards to retreats or workshops not held by other mental health professionals. We are so programmed to focus on our continuing education credits and evidence based practices that we close ourselves off to everything else. Also, let’s face it, we do this work for a living so we think we’ve got it all narrowed down, but the truth is there is ALWAYS something more to learn. Just because what we are learning isn’t something we can get “credit” for towards our licensure, doesn’t mean it’s not of value.

Also, mental health professionals typically do a lot of work on themselves too. Having personally done a lot of work on myself over the years, both personally and professionally, I am always a bit skeptical about what I will get out of something like this that I haven’t already gotten. I am more than happy to admit my skepticism was met with great surprise as I received more than I could ever dream of from this retreat. Seriously, the last time I felt this inspired and motivated was after the Gabrielle Bernstein Spirit Junkie Masterclass last summer. And yes, I just compared this retreat to Gabby Bernstein, my personal mentor/idol, because that’s how incredible I felt during and after the retreat.

I can’t even begin to describe the amount I took away from this retreat, not only personally but professionally as well. Had I listened to all of my fears and doubts about going on this journey, I would have missed out on so much. I had fears around travel, fears around money, and fears around taking so much time off from my business. I didn’t know if my business would be “ok” without me being physically present, but the funny thing is that my business flourished in ways I couldn’t even imagine because I put myself and my needs FIRST. I truly and firmly believe that doing the work on ourselves is invaluable. My business needed me to take this time off to regroup, recharge, and allow my brain to switch from the everyday grind mode to R&R mode. My personal life needed me to take time off to breathe and enjoy myself, without the stress of everyday obligations. I can truly say I have never felt more relaxed or more creative and innovative in my business and I have The Glow Camp to thank for that.

So, now you’re undoubtedly thinking that you too need to go to the next Glow Camp retreat, right? If you are someone who values overall wellness, mental health, self-love, and self-care then this retreat is for you. If you are an entrepreneur looking to start, grow, or expand your business, then this retreat is for you. If you are someone who needs a push outside of your comfort zone and is looking to connect with other like-minded individuals, then this retreat is for you. If you are someone who loves to travel and experience new places and cultures, then this retreat is for you!

Martina is a brilliant coach, badass boss-babe, and a beautiful person both inside and out. And are you ready for the best part?! Martina is already planning two more retreats for this year! One will be held in Bali in July of 2018 and the one to follow will be held in Greece in October of 2018. To learn more information about the retreats or to sign up for her Bali retreat, click HERE! ALSO! As a special offer just for my clients and followers, if you mention my name when you sign up for the Bali retreat, you will receive a $300 discount on the retreat! (PS: She posted some pictures of the Bali retreat villa already on her Instagram account and all I can say is WOW. Oh and spoiler alert, I got to see the Greece retreat location as well and I am already looking at my schedule to see if I can go!)

Space is limited as Martina believes in keeping the retreat small and intimate to really be able to absorb all that the retreat has to offer, so if you are interested, I would definitely sign up NOW! To learn more about Martina herself, click HERE. Also, you can follow and connect with Martina further on Instagram at @martinaglows.

Photo of: Martina Fink. Photo taken from:

Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Love yourself. Invest in yourself. If you don’t, then who will?

I would LOVE to know what spoke to you today and encourage you to comment below and share with me!

I am passionate about helping clinicians realize their potential and reach their dreams of owning their very own PRIVATE PRACTICE!! I would LOVE to support YOU on a deeper level in your business. Would 1:1 business support feel like something that would help you get to that next step a little easier? If so, I’d invite you to email me at with what you’d like support around and I can send you some options of how I can support you in getting there.

ALSO!…Click HERE to learn more about my PRIVATE PRACTICE DIGITAL COURSE!! This course is broken into a series of 8 modules which cover ALL of the basics needed for you to begin this journey towards starting your own private practice. These modules include training videos and worksheets to personalize for YOUR practice! PLUS, I added some special bonuses for you!!!

In the meantime, download my FREE Private Practice Decision Making printable! Just add your name + email address below and you will receive an email with a link to your FREEBIE!


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Be well my loves,


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