Paraiso Adventures is truly the brainchild of Nina Ornstein, Paraiso’s founder. So we want to know more about Nina, and more about her ideas of traveling, eating well, being active, and what she sees in the near future for Paraiso!
What’s new with you? I got engaged! On my last trip to Baja, on my birthday, Austin Liggett proposed to me on my favorite beach just outside of Todos Santos. It was a gorgeous proposal, very sweet and romantic. And the icing on the cake was that our families were waiting to celebrate with us the next day at the Las Cruces anniversary party. Austin and I met in Costa Rica in 2010, share a similar passion for travel, to understand culture and to live fearlessly with ambition and ease. We love adventure, Austin is an avid surfer, and we are both obsessed with being in, on and around the ocean. We will be launching his annual surf trip soon so watch out for some awesome surf destinations to be popping up in Paraiso soon!
What’s your favorite part about working on Paraiso? The people! I find myself inspired to the deepest level of my core time and time again. For me, it is very important to offer members of the communities in which travel opportunity. Not just for my chefs, but the families of my chefs. For example, our chef in Costa Rica is currently enrolled in English courses via a Paraiso scholarship. Nothing makes me happier than having the ability to offer opportunity through an organization I have created and built. Not only is my goal to provide life-changing travel experiences for my guests, but I want to help improve the quality of life for those involved in my projects.
What’s your food mantra? I’m a firm believer in finding that perfect balance, and everything in moderation. No day is complete for me without a green smoothie. I avoid gluten, dairy and soy products, but never to the point that my social life is hindered. I’m a huge fan of legumes, brown rice, quinoa, fish and all the veggies under the sun.
What are your favorite ways to stay in shape? I’ve been venturing out on my Citi bike, which is such a great way to get fresh air and burn some calories! I recently got really into Les Mills Bodypump, a weight training fitness class with low weights and high reps that is performed to music and lasts an hour. I haven’t really been much into weights since high school and I’ve been feeling really strong and satisfied by this work. I always have yoga in my weekly exercise routine for my mind, body and soul. I am a regular at Renee Veneziale’s New York Sports Club classes, she has a very special way of enlightening, uplifting and gently encouraging her students to try more! I also can’t get enough of Michelle Barge’s soulful Saturday yoga class at Golden Bridge in Soho. For some extra booty work, I’ve been trying to pick up Rachel Nicks’ barre classes at BFX in Chelsea. She has great music, attitude and sequencing that melts fat while toning!
What are your best travel tips? Stay well, comfortable and warm. I like to pack my own snacks. Staying hydrated is a big priority of mine, especially while traveling. It’s always important to get some stretching in asap after a flight for all my different joints!
What new retreats would you like to see in the next five years? Paraiso is on the move and there is an incredibly large globe for us to explore. We will be diving more deeply into our specialty retreats in 2016, launching an annual super-exotic surf trip as we chisel through my fiancé, Austin’s, surfing bucket list. Austin has his eye on some very intriguing world-class surf spots!