Photo: Elevation Barn

Why a High-Powered CEO Left the Corporate World to Create a Retreat in Bali

Bali Wellness
by Nickolaus Hines Mar 29, 2024

Wellness travel hit new heights in the years following the peak of the pandemic. Places that prioritize mental and physical health — or just that guests will leave with a new understanding about themselves — have been seeing a surge in people interested in full resets when they venture out into the world. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness travel sector is worth $600 billion, and will reach $1.1 trillion by 2025.

On the latest No Fixed Address podcast, host Michael Motamedi and producer Vanessa Salas spoke with Will Travis, one of the high-powered CEOs who left the corporate world to create an escape-from-it-all leadership retreat in Bali (with other locations around the world) called Elevation Barn. Ina wide-ranging conversation about the power of retreats and how they can help connections, they cover the power of fear, today’s confidence crisis, and why Bali is the ideal place to find purpose.

The Bali location is called the Jungle House. It’s located outside of Gianyar Regency in central Bali on a hill overlooking the rainforest and three rivers. The main house has a circular design with floor-to-ceiling windows to see the whole valley.

“The property is right above where a couple of rivers meet,” Motamedi explains, “and they say that in that meeting point, there’s a special energy, which part of why they picked the property. And you really do feel a sense of peace.”

Photo: Elevation Barn

Travis started Elevation Barn in 2017 after years of leading, starting, and selling brand agencies in New York that worked with companies like Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, and Facebook. He thought he’d retire in Bali, but life had other plans. Today, he’s found purpose in creating places where people can reset and connect without the constant drum of push notifications and overconnectivity.

“We create a safe space to help people from all walks of life,” Travis explains, whether that’s students, scientists, professors, or business leaders. “We help create a space for people to elevate their self belief and perspective on what they’re doing with their lives.”

Peaceful relaxation wasn’t the first thing that Travis turned to to get away from corporate life. He talks about pushing his limits doing things like swimming as far out into the ocean as he can, and walking with lions. In Bali, however, he found community and a way to reset more spiritually. His new definition of success? “Joy,” Travis says. “Just pure joy.”

Photo: Elevation Barn

The driving concept of Elevation Barn is the barn raising philosophy of support. It allows people to “be in a kindred quest together,” Travis says. Rather than job titles and salaries, people who attend the retreat are stipped of ego to work together and find true self.

To hear more about Elevation Barn’s approach to wellness and connection, listen to the full podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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