I would like to introduce to you the beautiful, smiley Erika Drolet.
This inspiring women has brought a whole new way of living through the Salty Souls Experience. Bringing together Yoga, Surf, Adventure, Connection & Nutrition to ignite people’s passion for life again. With concentrating on Yoga and Meditation, Erika’s goal through these practices is to help you get more in-tune with your body & mind, experience the sweet sensation of energy running down your spine and help you generate new flows of ideas. Above all, she has the profound desire to create this large crew of daring & adventurous chicas we’ve all been seeking !
Here we chat to Erika about life before Salty Souls, her wanderlust love, what makes her smile and what the future holds…
SSC: So lets begin with a little bit about you. How would you describe yourself in three words? What gets you up in the morning? And what things do you do just for you?
Erika: 3 words: Laughing. Out. Loud!
What gets me up in the morning? The fact I feel so free! When I open my eyes at the beginning of a new day and start thinking about what’s in front of me, I find myself smiling on the inside; it’s such a blissful thought to know I’m free to design and organise my day how I want it – pretty much every single morning!
Even though I’m a yoga teacher, and so it is big part of what I share with others, I would say my personal little daily yoga practice is that one thing that I do just for me. This is my time to be alone, to connect, to align, to just feel and be my own self. I need, even crave sometimes, to find myself in that bubble. It’s my “do not disturb” moment I allow myself each day.
SSC: Tell us about your inspiring and wanderlust filled company ‘Salty Souls’… where did the idea come from? What is the underlying essence of the company and what do you hope to achieve through your work with Salty Souls?
Erika: I think that the first spark came from doing a kite surf camp at Extreme Cabarete, Dominican Republic when I was like 22 years old. This hip and young place offered yoga, crossfit, jiu-tsu, trapeze, kite surfing, and had their own organic farm. We had such a good time! I thought the concept of having “active holidays’’ under the sun, with great food and likeminded people was just amazing!
On one hand, Salty Souls is a community that calls upon the audacious, ambitious and adventurous girls out there craving more out of life! On the other hand, what we are offering is exactly the kind of trip we would have loved to be part of: A unique travel experience that combines surf, yoga, self-development, healthy meals, adventure and meaningful connections!
The Salty Souls Experience is the opportunity to challenge yourself physically and mentally, deepen your practice, find your tribe and most importantly, unleash your full potential!
SSC: You haven’t always worked with Salty Souls, can you tell us a little about life before and how you go to where you are now? What was the process behind your decisions in following your dreams all over again?
Erika: I was still studying graphic design at university when I launched my first business, Jane&Rye, a jewellery company. It kind of all started really innocently, but things unfolded incredibly well for us. I ended up leaving uni, choosing to devote all my time and energy to this project, it was so fun and exciting at first. We were young and trendy, you know, vibing to the sound of the Montreal fashion scene! And above all we were learning so much about the entrepreneurial world every day.
But with time, I started acknowledging a growing feeling of emptiness inside my chest, and it was becoming really hard to ignore. What we were doing was super well received, but that wasn’t really what I wanted to share with the world! What my soul really wanted was to find a way to spend most of my time outdoors and unite travelling and healthy living for other women. I didn’t know how to make this happen yet… but what I knew is that I had this burning desire to buy a one-way ticket to an exotic location and experience what it was like to have absolutely no plans and return date. To just say ‘peace out world’.
And so I made it happen. I sold my shares of the J&R and took off to Indonesia. One thing lead to another, this created a new motion in my life and things started to unfold towards the Salty Souls project.
SSC: How did you deal with other people’s judgment of you walking away from success and pouring yourself into a whole new journey? And even how did you cope yourself with possible doubt?
Erika: To be honest I don’t really remember feeling like people were judging my decision. We spend so much time worrying about what other people will think, when in fact nobody cares about what you are doing…Everybody is way to busy worrying about their own things! The people that were really close to me knew exactly where I was coming from, that I was cherishing this desire since a while, why J&R wasn’t making me so happy anymore and I had always been the travelling one anyway.
Maybe it was harder for my parents to see me jump in emptiness, but I was like: Look Mom, I’m not even 25 years old yet, I have successful business in my back pocket, a head full of dreams and passion. I still have so much to learn, explore, discover. That’s just what I want to do now! Seriously, what’s the worst that can happen? Keep waking up to a life that doesn’t make you happy and doing nothing to change it, is actually the worst thing that can happen to a living soul.
We all have doubts, even the person we admire the most wake up afraid to be themselves some days. Remember that.
But I truly believe that our heart knows the way when our head doesn’t. Saying “listen to your heart” might be the most overheard thing, but at the same time there is no other way. Deep down, we all know what feels RIGHT, and if we follow this calling the universe will help you get exactly where we need to. But I feel like so many people tend to numb what their heart is screaming inside, because they are so afraid of change! Change is exciting! Life is about reinventing yourself everyday… It’s about chasing the wind!
SSC: What does success mean to you? And has this answer changed at all for you in the last 5 years?
Erika: I feel like we tend to see success as something far away, something we are constantly heading towards, a place we might reach someday if we work hard enough…
But for me success is simply waking up every day stoked about your daily life! All we truly have is now… It’s about being surrounded by people that are making you laugh out loud, it’s about having the time every day to do activities that make you vibe, it’s about having the feeling that you are somehow contributing to make this world a better place full of purpose and fulfillment. You are successful if you are spending most of your time doing things that you freaking LOVE! That’s it.
If my answer has changed in any way in the last 5 years, it is that my vision has become more clear and solid, now that I know that it is truly possible to walk away from the societal norms and live a life of passion.
SSC: Being in and amongst nature is very special to you; whether surfing the waves, walking in forests, kayaking the waters or yoga on the beach… Why do you believe being in touch with nature is so important and how has it helped you re ground yourself in the past?
Erika: Yeah, being outside is just the best thing! I feel so blessed to now live in places where I can walk barefoot all the time, swim in the almighty ocean, eat fresh local food, you know, we need this connection with Pacha Mama, Mother Earth.
Being in the nature is always so energizing, it recharges you, fuels your being! Everything is energy: the wind, the waves, the plants, the sun, and we can get in its flow. And the vastness of the outdoors always puts your problems in perspective and allows you to create some headspace! We are very small, and this world is very big and incredibly beautiful, everything is possible!
SCC: Travelling is such a magical experience and opens yourself up to so many wonders of the world… do you have a favourite place that you have travelled to and why? And why has wanderlust become so apparent in your life?
Erika: Aaaah jeez if you only knew. Sometimes I feel like travelling is a blessing and a curse at the same time. Discovering so many beautiful places and bounding with incredible humans, and therefore leaving little parts of your heart everywhere. It’s hard to explain, but I often feel like I’m alive in various parts of the world at the same time, never totally whole…
The places that hold most of my soul right now are:
El Salvador – where we are currently running the Salty Souls Experiences. I fell in love with the outstanding rawness of this country and the good vibe of its inhabitants! The waves are great, the water is warm, the boys are cute 😉 and the Hispanic culture is so welcoming! It is the simple and happy life here, and I often make me wonder why we always want so much more and more in our world! Why can’t we just live for surf, football, rum and reggaeton?
Indonesia – I lived in Bali for almost 10 months and I’m telling you, this place has an energy like no other island. We call it the vortex. You go for 3 weeks and you stay for 3 months. That’s just how it is. There is very large community of expats living in Bali, and it seems like everyone is bringing the best of their world to the scene, creating some kind of parallel universe… The island of your wildest dreams.
My personal journey in Bali has been mostly about yoga, there is SO much to learn and explore there in this field, so many incredible masters, training, workshops, you name it! But you also have incomparable surf, mind-blowing food, a beautiful youth, incredible landscapes, every kind of sport, co-working spaces, the list goes on! It is a very special place… And has its dark sides as well. To my idea the island has been taken over by all this madness / coolness, and is loosing its culture / rawness at a crazy pace.
Canada – I want to say more precisely the West Coast of Canada, for the incredible outdoors and the whole “green culture”. Everybody that goes to British-Colombia falls in love with it! Snowboard, ski, climbing, surf, hiking, awesome people, jaw dropping landscapes; it is a paradise for nature lovers! But truth is that I am from the East coast, the French part, Montreal, and even though I don’t think I could ever settle there again, it is my roots, it is my people, it is I place I will always go back to every now and then.
Other places that I’ve totally loved and where I would go back anytime: The Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Morocco, Australia, Spain.
SSC: What are your hopes and dreams for the future? What would you like to achieve in the next 5-10 years?
Erika: I would love to become a pro-surfer, but that might be too much to ask for this lifetime. Haha!
If I look back to the last 5 years, SO MUCH has happened that looking 10 years ahead is a bit overwhelming! My mom wants to make plans for next July and I’m like: Woah Woah I can’t see that far! 😛
Honestly, the Salty Souls Experience is not even a year old yet so I obviously want to keep growing this project, go deeper, offer different locations, many ‘levels’, and explore other related avenues. We already have so many awesome ideas and plans for the next year; we have an incredible momentum at the moment and are very enthusiastic! So I believe this is really what I foresee for the next 5 years. And then we will see where we are, who I am and what it is that makes me vibe. As long as I am free to live unbounded, I will be blessed. 🙂