Brassey Weddings Masthead

Finding Paradise in Sri Lanka

Molly McLaughlin

“picture Bali before it became so popular…there’s pristine beaches, the rich history with so many things to learn, ancient ruins and temples to be discovered. The food is amazing too!”

Most people only know Sri Lanka as a tiny island just south of India, but for Rachi Perera it’s home.

Rachi was born in Sri Lanka but now lives in Canberra, and has recently created a luxury small group yoga tour called The Paradise Retreat to share some of her Sri Lanka with travellers looking for somewhere new to discover.

“Sri Lanka is not a place many people know a lot about,” she explains. “I tell people to picture Bali before it became so popular. It’s a little country, but it has so many things to see and do. There’s pristine beaches, the rich history with so many things to learn, ancient ruins and temples to be discovered. The food is amazing too!”

The Paradise Retreat

Rachi and her friend and business partner, Ramone Bisset of Wild Sage Wellbeing, both have deep connections to Sri Lanka that have influenced the way they designed the Retreat.

“I moved to Canberra when I was ten years old but my parents took me back to Sri Lanka every year,” she says. “Although I didn’t grow up there I know the country very well. My dad has always been in the tourism industry so discovery has always been in our family. I can speak the language fluently and I know the cultural differences, but I also know what someone from Australia would be looking for when they travel, for example staying away from the tourist traps.”

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Rachi says when she first ran the idea by Ramone, it was immediately obvious that they were onto something. Sri Lanka’s natural beauty, along with its relatively tourist-free attractions, makes it a unique destination.

The Paradise Retreat _

“The Paradise Retreat started because two years ago when I was in Sri Lanka and I was posting photos on social media, so many people were commenting that they had no idea Sri Lanka was so beautiful,” Rachi explains.

“It really got me thinking, and after I did a yoga retreat myself last time I was in Sri Lanka, I realised this is an event where I can bring together everything I love. It seems like one of those things that was meant to be.”

The Paradise Retreat

A nearby beach

The retreat will focus on restorative yoga and meditation. It is open to any skill level, as well as those who want to experience local culture through activities like sightseeing and cooking classes.

“I love organising things!” laughs Rachi. “So I’m very excited. The aim of the retreat is to rest, restore and explore.”

The next Paradise Retreat starts on 18 September and Rachi and Ramone are offering $200 off bookings made by 1 June by mentioning HerCanberra. Check out The Paradise Retreat website for more details.

If you’d like to enjoy a mini retreat closer to home in order to get a taste of a yoga and meditation retreat, join the Yoga Boot Camp Weekend Retreat at Bawley Point September 9-11 with Wild Sage Wellbeing or the very popular one day Yoga Big Day Out at The Boat House by the Lake on October 23. 

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Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author