Leo van Warmerdam
Life is an adventure!
From a very young age, I always wanted to travel. As a kid growing up on a farm in the central valley of California, I became an avid reader, and my favorite books were historically based. I especially loved reading about ancient world history, and I always wanted to travel to the places I was learning about.
When I was 20, I took a year off from college to figure out my life’s direction, and during that time I took my first international trip – in this case, to Holland to visit my extended family. During the six months I was there, I spent several weeks driving around Europe, and I loved every minute of it. My passion for travel was cemented for life!
Since then, my occupations have ranged far and wide, from farming and management work in the leather and engineering industries to counseling and management of residential drug-and-alcohol treatment centers. In between, I’ve even run a few businesses of my own.
Much to my delight, my early work also took me all over the globe, including lengthy stints in South America, Asia, the Russian Far East, and even Siberia when that country opened up in the early 1990s.
Then in 1997, I joined don Miguel Ruiz (author of the New York Times bestseller, The Four Agreements) for my first transformational spiritual retreat to the pyramid complex at Teotihuacan, Mexico. To put it mildly, that was an amazing experience, and it changed the direction of my life. Since that time, I have been on many more retreats with don Miguel and others.
During these international journeys, I have experienced firsthand the deep transformation that immersion in multi-day retreats can create that is just not possible during one- or two-day workshops.
I continued working with Miguel for the next eight years, the last five of which were dedicated to monthly three-day intensives that solidified the transformative magic of retreats in my life.
For most of the past 10 years, I worked in the addiction-treatment field, first as a counselor and group facilitator, then as a business manager, and finally running my own business helping people with the transition from residential treatment to supportive group living.
During this time, I taught and co-facilitated a number of retreats myself and did many more workshops based on the Toltec Wisdom of don Miguel. This decade solidified my love for teaching and helping others – a love that I’m now hugely pleased to be continuing in my work with Sheri and Meghan and the rest of the Wanderlust gang.
After all my varied experiences and world travels, I’m very grateful to be where I am right now.
In fact, when I look back all that’s happened (much of it seemingly random) and realize how perfect it’s all been – not to mention the fact that it’s put me in a position to revisit two of my favorite places on earth, Macchu Picchu and Greece – I can’t imagine having planned it better myself!