Advivum Journeys, Kent, UK

Powerful, luxurious life coaching retreat at an elegant manor house


The Radical Sabbatical runs for 5 nights once a year in Kent, usually in the Spring (May) or Autumn (October).

£3500 all inclusive per person for 4 days/nights, solo room, or £2800 all inclusive per person for 4 days/nights, shared room, including all meals, activities, at least 6 hours coaching each day, workbooks before and after the retreat and a private coaching session with Tania.

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Best for: Successful’ people with a niggling feeling that there’s more to life than this.

Not for: Those looking for just a light relaxing break or mental health counselling.

In a nutshell: One of many holistic adventures run by Executive Coach Tania Carriere around the world, this 5 day ‘Radical Sabbatical' life coaching retreat runs once a year at the elegant 300 year old family owned Goodnestone Manor in Kent. Tania draws on her background in psychology, coaching, theatre and travel to help already successful people reconnect with what they really want out of life, using group rituals, workshops and solo activities designed to get you to listen to the stories you tell yourselves and to realise the answers you seek lie within you. You’ll enjoy tasty healthy food and downtime in a gorgeous environment, and the retreat is open to women and men of all ages and professions.

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What’s Queenly?

Tania is obviously committed to each and every guest and has a deep empathy and ability to juggle varying needs. Bedtime treats such as chocolates, spring flowers and a rose body lotion lain on your pillows each night will help you feel deeply cared for.

What’s Lowly?

There is an intense, deep-dive element to this retreat that may feel uncomfortable to cynical Brits used to ironising their experience. Go with it.

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Caroline Sylger Jones reviews this Radical Sabbatical life coaching retreat at Goodnestone Manor in Kent led by executive coach Tania Carriere and learnt to trust her instincts again through rituals, workshops and walks.

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Retreat Activities


Pre-retreat workbooks and a private Skype session with Tania prepare you for the week, which consists of a series of inventive and varied group rituals, workshops and solo activities with at least six hours of workshop time each day.

Tania ensures that the retreat group ‘works’ is cohesive by interviewing people before they are accepted onto a programme. The retreat process is then a four month reflection process. After acceptance into the programme you will be supported with two workbooks (with reading, journaling exercises and packing lists) and a private coaching session with Tania. Community support is also offered through a private Facebook group. An additional workbook follows a month after your return home to support the integration of your experience.

Tania is deeply committed to being courageous and bold while answering life’s most important questions. Heartfelt, gracious and a believer in abundance, her passion is unlocking a sense of enchantment, discovery and possibility in just about everyone she meets. With over 20 years designing unique, transformational experiences for individuals and organizations, Tania Carriere leans on her degrees in psychology, coaching, change management, leadership and personal transformation and her experience in theatre and travel to create fully integrated, life provoking immersive experiences. She is known, above all, for her keen insights, deep compassion and willingness to walk with her clients wherever their paths take them. She also blogs at Celebrate What’s Right and Advivum Journeys and is always contemplating the next adventure. Tania also usually has a support coach with her to help participants through the process.

A series of interesting, engaging, personalised group coaching workshops are designed to get us to listen to the stories we tell ourselves and to realise the answers we seek lie within us. Self empowerment is key, and you’ll be encouraged to talk from the ‘second circle’ - projecting our voice and our power from an authentic place deep within us - rather than from the ‘first circle’ (weak and victimised) or the ‘third circle’ (loud and fake). Inspired by Jane Austen and her use of story to challenge the rules that limited her path as a woman and writer, you will also be encouraged to look at your own story and find the roles that you may wish to re-examine as you write your next chapter.

Each morning there’s a sharing circle under the Cedar of Lebanon, and each evening a polishing ritual to remind you why you are here. Community is built through shared meals.

Being in the gorgeous grounds and gardens here and going for guided and solo walks is key to your experience here. You’ll be asked to look for metaphors in nature that help you understand how you react to situations, and to reevaluate your values and dreams. A private tour of the gardens helps appreciate the history of the house and reflect on your own cycle of germination and growth.

Personal spaces

Bedrooms: Goodnestone Manor is a stately 300 year old home with gorgeously refurbished, hugely comfortable and elegant bedrooms of varying shapes and sizes. Some have ensuites, some shared bathrooms along a corridor, but all are comfortable, arty and inspiring places to be. Rooms are currently allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Personal spaces

Other spaces to be: The woodlands and gardens here are a delight. Sit by the pond, amongst pots of red tulips or on the bench under the Pear Willow in the walled garden, or head to a bench in the woodland for some more wild, creative spaces. Or head along the Serpentine Walk, which was created for the gentile ladies of old who wanted a taste of the outdoors without dirtying their dresses.

Insider Tips

Bring layers, and an open mind.

When to Go

These retreats are usually held in Spring or Autumn when the weather is warm and the surroundings pretty, but as this is England, bring layers, as you’re just as likely to get rain as you are sunshine.

Shared places

Goodnestone Manor is packed with beauty, from the wooden floors to the family heirlooms. Workshops and chats take place in a panelled, velvet-sofa’d library with a chandelier and shelves of leather bound hard backed books and a gorgeous multicoloured chaise longue, and a elegant drawing room, where grand 18th century paintings of the house’s previous inhabitants adorn the walls and there are expansive views of the grounds through giant windows. Be sure to take some time to chill in the Jane Austen room, with its pretty sofas and lovely outlook over the park. The 19th century novelist was a frequent visitor to Goodnestone because her brother married one of the family.

Sustenance

You eat around a circular wooden table in the lovely airy dining room, and in the formal dining room on the last evening. Freshly cooked tasty and delicious meals with meat, fish, vegan and veggie options are all put together with love by a chef specially selected for the retreat.

For breakfast you can expect a cooked option such as smashed avocado with nutritional yeast flakes, tomatoes and parmesan or scrambled egg together with toast, muffins, granolas, berries and yoghurts and freshly squeezed orange juice. Lunches might be foraged wild garlic pesto with home made flatbread and Tuscan vegetable soup or a comforting roast dinner, while suppers include shepherds pie or vegetable and nut sausage rolls with home made chutney. There’s a comfort station continually stocked with home baked biscuits, fruits, cheeses, teas and coffee. You can pre-order wine to drink with each evening meal if you so choose.

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Sustainability

All food is sourced locally, directly from local shops/farms where possible in order to reduce their footprint. The kitchen holds a zero waste policy. Participants are provided with reusable thermoses; plastic water bottles are not provided and are discouraged. All staff (including the butler and the cook) are considered a part of the facilitation team and are fully engaged in the process planning and execution. Advivum Journeys provides one scholarship position, available upon application, to each retreat thus making it available to those of modest income.

LOCATION

Goodnestone Park Gardens, Goodnestone, Canterbury CT3 1PL, UK

Airport: London Heathrow

Adisham or Canterbury West

Transfer time: 2 hours

5 Reviews
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Sherry Saevil

Going to England for the Radical Sabbatical would be the first time I would be travelling alone. I was apprehensive and had some doubts about catching the right train to reach my destination. The moment I landed, gathered my luggage and headed for the train the doubts washed away with a wave of confidence. I knew I had made the right decision to attend.
Upon arriving at the 300-year-old stately Goodnestone Manor we were welcomed by our retreat leader Tania Carrier. Tania introduced each other to the group while our concierge Ali brought our luggage to our assigned rooms. We were to get to know Goodnestone Manor as this would be our home for the next 5 days. As I explore the manor I imagined the numerous conversations that must have filled each room. From the huge dining room table that seats 24 or the drawing room and library would have been filled with whatever conversations took place in 1800’s. The 12 bedrooms were spread across the first and second floors with fluffy robes and towels added a luxurious touch to the bedrooms. Most of the bedrooms had ensuites and were all are attractive, with sumptuous beds, love seats and chaise lounges in heavyweight fabrics with satin curtains that crumpled artfully into shimmering pools on the floor.
At the bottom of the sweeping main staircase, a grand piano centered the house. Goodnestone had character, was very comfortable without losing something of itself, not an inch of fustiness. The only formality to be found is in the neatly-clipped, box-hedged parterre out in the gardens.
Now that we had got to know the house I was curious as to how our retreat would unfold and how we would be able to build trust in a short amount of time. Introductions were made and ground rules were established. We were there to create space outside our normal, to hold space for each other with no labels, and to leave our back stories at the door. This was to be an intuitive journey of self-exploration, questing of fulfillment, letting go of doubts and taking charge.
An interesting exercise had to do with a rock. We were to pick a rock in the basket and to write a burden that we have been carrying around that has been difficult to let go. Mine was “not good enough” as this is the story I have been holding on for a long time. Others had labelled their rocks too, insecurity, not being credible, too responsible, not feel safe and so on. It’s a story that we create and the burdens we carry can weight us down.
We were all to carry rocks with us wherever we went until we were ready to rid and release our burdens. But first we had to stand in a circle and state what we were questing and what our burdens were. “I am Sherry, I am on a quest of fulfillment and my burden is that I don’t feel good enough.” My rock gets past around as I face each individual while they look me in the eye and state; “Sherry, I carry your weight of “not good enough”.
Once I got my rock back I felt lighter and knew I needed to get rid this burden, reframe my story and acknowledge how closely linked it had become part of my identity. Others passed their rocks and shared their quests and burdens all the while making this experience authentic. It was an emotional exercise, which quickly created a bond with in the group.
The days were filled with meditative practices, sharing circles, hidden messages, workshops and walks. Messages in the beautiful gardens were reflective and reminiscent of growth and to allow growth to happen before cutting back what is not needed. Similar to an overgrown hedge, if not taken care of it will eventually get out of control and by the time you start nurturing it feels overwhelming, it has to be pruned watered, weed in order to flourish. Everything changes when you begin to take charge.
On the last full day, everyone was given a map, dropped off at different locations only to be picked up in a few hours. We are asked to consider what lessons we have learned. To take the time to see what is in front of us. As I walk I feel part of the landscape, something very familiar, like I have been here before. I see the beauty of the yellow canola fields that embrace me as I make my way down a worn path. I cross open fields and empty roads but confident I know my way back. I am walking in the footsteps of greatness; I’m reaching for new possibilities and to live my life with a sense of fulfillment. I am in charge of my own story.

Betty Anderson

It was a simple request from Tania, the leader of the Radical Sabbatical retreat I was about to attend: “Send me a picture of your younger self.” It sent me back into my old family photo album to find one of my favorite pictures and memories. There she is–on her 3rd birthday, sitting in a little chair just her size, holding a baby doll, stroller to the side, smiling freely and joyfully at the camera. This girl enjoys simplicity. She enjoys family and home and caring for others. She feels secure, peaceful and confident. I wonder, “What part of this girl is still alive in me?”. I muse that this girl will show up at the retreat with positive energy. She will welcome new, caring relationships with others. She will come with warmth and with gentleness.
I am not disappointed when I arrive at the Goodnestone Manor for there, posted on my bedroom door, is my 3-year old spirit guide welcoming me and assuring me: “Betty, you are loved. You are free to be fully alive in the moment–no worries, no fears, simply happy, joyful, peaceful. All is well. Engage fully in each moment, each experience, each person you are with. I am present; I am within you. Reach in to see the beautiful texture and wholeness of the life that is you.”
This guide was my inspiration as I engaged fully in the activities of the week. It wasn’t always easy, as Tania skillfully invited us to a new, sometimes painful, awareness of how we were living out our lives–the roles we were playing in our life stories, the false messages we were telling ourselves. She challenged us to let go of what was holding us back and to embrace life honestly and fully.
The power of a retreat experience such as this can often be measured by what remains months and years later. Having attended both “The Reimagined Self” retreat in Hawaii and the “Radical Sabbatical” retreat in England, I am doubly blessed. A genuine shift occurred as I released (“eradicated”) negative opinions about my body, leaving them behind in Hawaii. What replaced it was a deeper peace inside that enables me to focus on others. In England, I left behind my need to be perfect, embracing instead the unique texture of my life, the unique value of my voice. And when I start to slip, I am encouraged by an amazing group of women who shared this rich experience with me–daring to be honest, vulnerable, wise and loving beyond measure.
I encourage you to say YES! to these truly life changing retreat opportunities. If not now, when?

Lisa Larrabee

I attended Radical Sabbatical facilitated by gifted Tania Carriere in May of 2019 at Goodnestone Manor, Kent England. Let me begin with the end result for me: a renewed sense of thriving and purpose for my life. How we got there was one part magic and one part trust. The magic was in the place, the gorgeousness Manor itself: the historical building itself; the tended and loved gardens, and verdant surrounding fields that invited reflections and endless strolls. The spacious rooms with comforts of bed and bath, peaceful views and little treats every day. The living rooms for connections and dining rooms for nourishment. And the food, an all senses experience! Fresh, nourishing and just plain amazing. Just writing this takes me back! The other dimension as I mentioned was this notion of trust: trust in the facilitators, trust in the process, and trust in the other participants. The way were all able to shed our limiting belief stories from the moment we met, to the time we left was central to my growth and something I carry with me today. Some baggage is better than others! Seriously, though, the time was such well-planned, our exercises meaningful and shared experiences uplifting. I encourage anyone wanting to be explore their inner workings in a trusting environment with others on similar yet unique paths, take part in one (or many!) of Tania’s retreats. She helps you polish and shine into a new day! Sincerely, one happy Rad Sab Sister.

Alexena Collins

Advivum’s question “If not now, when?” resonated strongly with me. I knew what I wanted to do and to be, but I was also very conscious of an obstacle. But it was one, which I found difficult to define and therefore to address. With Tania’s exceptional coaching and guidance and the support of some really rather incredible and thoughtful women in the beautiful surrounds of Goodnestone Manor, I found that obstacle and addressed it head on. And as the name of the sabbatical would suggest, the way I think about and present myself now has radically changed. Tania and her team created the space, the right kind of energy and degree of structure to explore new ways of thinking about the world. I had some strong realisations about myself in the first few hours and through the tasks and activities and conversations in the grand rooms that would become our home for the week, I was able to evolve and refine my thoughts, learning through observation of nature, of literature and of the other intelligent people in my company. I felt and feel honoured to be part of such an impressive group and am still filled with gratitude for my beautiful room, the gardens, the countryside setting. There’s still so much I revisit and reflect upon from that precious week as I continue on my journey.

Lisa Johnson

We were met at the train station by a welcoming young man with personal tags for each of our bags. There were three of us traveling in from far away places and driving through the English countryside and were met by Tania and Fe at the steps of the most beautiful 300 year old manor with cookies in the library, it was clear that we -mostly strangers – were about to enter another world. My beautiful room over looking the gardens was my personal retreat during a week of quiet ritual, deep conversation and transformational growth. Tania gently held our space with simple yet powerful experiences that didn’t push but invited each of us to test our thinking about our own ‘rocks’ and stories that were keeping distance between us and the fullness the life we each wanted. No back stories just in the moment experiences together yet alone. Those strangers, three months later have now stayed in touch sharing powerful stories, photos, art and expressions of inspiration. When emails come through from our tribe of women I smile and appreciate the experience and bond with these intelligent lovely women.