True Nature Team
Founder and Director
Joshua is the Founder and Director of True Nature. Growing up in Los Angeles, he was worlds away from the small village of La Florida, Costa Rica, where True Nature began as an Intentional Community and Retreat Center in 2003. Along with traveling the world while supporting and leading retreats, Joshua also is a teacher of Mindfulness Meditation, a writer, musician, and holds a Masters in Contemplative Psychology. In the past few years, his practice has shifted with a focus on the Yoga of Raising Family. Joshua lives in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina with his wife Luna and two daughters Jaya and Sasha.
Joshua’s True Nature
My True Nature lies in the depth of the present moment. Whether I am on a silent retreat, snowboarding a peak in the Sierra’s, engaged in a competitive tennis match, or dancing with my daughter; I am most alive, when I in the Here and Now, living my life.
Director of Operations
Kristyn relocated from the hustle and bustle of the city of Atlanta to settle among the beautiful mountains of Asheville. She has a passion for the travel and tourism industry and helping people connect with Self and others. She is excited to utilize her creative energy in her role with True Nature Travels to create space for people to play, explore, evolve, and build community. When she is not in service of others, Kristyn spends her time in the woods with her two adorable pups, Libby and Sage, practicing yoga, traveling, and dancing her heart out.
Kristyn’s True Nature
Exploration! Exploration of self, new places, cultures, communities. I love pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and creating experiences that make me feel alive and connected.
Retreat Operations Coordinator
I am a dancer at heart and a yogi by trade. Growing up in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC taught me to appreciate all that life has to offer. Before relocating back to my hometown, I lived in San Diego, CA working in marketing as an Event Producer. I loved my job but something was missing from my life. I had been practicing yoga for over a decade but wasn’t until I enrolled in a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training that I realized what I was missing, me. Through yoga, I was able to rediscover myself while learning to love myself inside and out. I have 373 hours of teacher training and am trained in Hatha, Raja, Nada, Gian, Bhakti, Karma, pregnancy, healthy back, and kids (ages 2-10) yoga. My goal is to incorporate what I have learned and my love for dance into classes that are fun and comfortable for all levels. For me, it isn’t about being the most flexible. It's about being able to do what is right for my body. When I’m not teaching yoga, I’m hanging with my 3 fur babies (Racc, Ludwig, and Shadow).
Tamara's True Nature
Being at one with myself through my yoga practice and meditation. Finding the beauty in all things around me while trusting the universe and its divine plan.
Director of Participant Operations
Prema's has years of experience in the travel and retreat industry including being a retreat reservations manager, business development director and destination representative. Her passion for handmade goods and appreciation for Mayan artisans is what ignited Deva Prema Designs; her design and production company for jewelry and bags. She has lived and worked in Latin America for over 30 years and currently lives on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala with her husband and son.
Prema’s True Nature
Creativity, jewelry design, cooking and planning community events are some of the ways that I like to express my creative drive.
Jessica VanDyke Grion
Participant Operations Coordinator
Prior to joining the True Nature Team, Jessica spent many years as the Operations Director for a nonprofit education retreat center in Asheville, North Carolina. Her favorite part of this work was the opportunity to support staff, clients and guests in discovering their own true nature. Jessica thrives on adventure and new experiences and was fortunate starting at a young age to travel and participate in many outdoor adventures. Jessica has a long standing love affair with photography and most recently has been exploring the world through her 1975 Polaroid camera.
Jessica's True Nature
Spending quality time with friends and family, gardening, cooking, dancing in my living room, onewheeling on a sunny day, planning the next fun adventure and living life with my amazing husband and stepson are just a few of the ways that I care for my true nature.
Director of Marketing and Digital Media
Charlotte lives to create and travel. With an extensive background in marketing, digital media, art, and design, she is always submerged in a project or three. Whether it is making sculpture, taking photos, formulating a new recipe, or running her design agency, she is always using her hands to create in some way. Charlotte loves the adrenaline rush of adventure. From scuba diving to trekking in high altitudes, she strives to discover new landscapes at every opportunity. Working with True Nature gives her inspiration to be able to share stories and connections made through seeing the world.
Charlotte's True Nature
It is intimidating to take a leap into the unknown, but you often learn the most when you don't know what to expect. I enjoy taking on new projects and venturing into new territories. If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you.
Global Outreach Coordinator
Alane is moved by Creation, whether through artistic expression, growing food or making connections between people. With a background in Design and Marketing, she strives to flow imagination into all she does. When she is not helping to expand the outreach at True Nature, she can be found in her garden or exploring the mountains she calls home. Despite her homebody nature, she loves to experience new places, especially as a chance to connect and collaborate with people from across the globe.
Alane’s True Nature
Genuine connections! I feel most in my element when I’m experiencing a one-on-one interaction with someone. I believe we all have amazing information and talents to share with one another which can open up a world of growth within us. Learning from others and sharing stories is the fuel to my fire and has acted as a major catalyst in my life.
Global Operations Coordinator & Trip Leader
Georgia believes in the power of human connection to create a better, more vibrant world. After years of living between three continents working for nonprofits dedicated to climate change adaptation with farmers and indigenous communities, Georgia now calls Cusco, Peru her home. A little more settled down than in days past, Georgia is passionate about getting others out into the world to explore new lands, new cultures, and new experiences, sparking that candle inside that brings out our best Self. When she’s not helping others find their True Nature with True Nature Travels, Georgia works with indigenous communities in Peru, bolstering their ability to thrive in an ever-increasingly interconnected world.
Georgia's True Nature
My True Nature lies in the power of human connection and cultural exploration. Whether on a boat in the Amazon sitting on kilos of plantains talking to an indigenous woman, hiking in the Andes learning about the worldview of the Incas, or sharing a cup of tea with an old friend, I feel most alive when I am connecting with others, and sharing our True Nature – a Nature that transcends background, borders and language.
Senior Abroad Leader
Raylene has shared the wonders of the world, aka science, with students for over thirty years in public education. She has lead trips locally and abroad that allow students to step out of their comfort zone, walk in the shoes of a scientist, ponder career choices, serve others, and experience new cultures. With a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master's Degree in the Art of Teaching, and a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification, Raylene embraces a life-long love of learning. She currently resides in Ohio with her husband Tim, Macks, (13 year old Australian Shepherd), and Ringo ( 4 year old Labradoodle). Her two daughters Rashell and Shaina live in the same town.
Raylene’s True Nature
Found in helping others discover their gifts and lovingly planting seeds of consciousness.
Senior International Guide
Jenny is a naturalist tour guide who loves her job and enjoys sharing her knowledge with new friends. Her love for nature, people, and languages has given her the opportunity to be involved in many people's experiences around the world. Her academic adventure in life started with her first major, which was a bachelors degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Costa Rica. Jenny enjoys spending time with her son, going to the movies, running, hiking, and traveling.
Jenny's True Nature
When I'm able to relax and enjoy the moment. I've learned that life is very beautiful if you just let go of your worries and trust that everything is gonna be fine. The universe has great things for all of us; we just need to be open enough to actually see it.
Senior International Guide
I am a naturalist guide in Costa Rica and have loved nature since I was a little girl. I love to share my culture with people and share those moments of discovery we all have when we travel. I love photography and high impact training as well as pilates, yoga, hiking, and traveling.
Marcela's True Nature
Comes from learning about native traditions and the beautiful way people live life and the connection they have with nature.
I like to take a little bit from teachings and traditions around the world, helping me to become a better person and to help others to feel good and happy every day.
Senior International Guide (Peru)
Julian is an Andean guide from Peru who has spent his life connecting with the spiritual wisdom of his ancestors and now shares those experiences with others. Growing up in a small Quechua village south of Cusco grounded him with a deep sense of community and a profound respect for Pachamama (mother earth) and the Apus (mountain spirits).
Julian's True Nature
Tending his family's land and exploring the healing potential of plant medicines.
IT /Web Developer
Mark is a full scale web developer from the coast of North Carolina. Mark started his career in Atlanta, GA and continued to develop his skills in Los Angeles, CA. Seeking a quieter lifestyle Mark returned to one of his favorite places in WNC to take up a more permanent residence and develop a more peaceful and calming spirit.
Mark's True Nature
Animal rescuer, fermenter, cheesemaker, amateur mycologist, brewer and new media enthusiast.