About Us

We are Carrie and Zach, a travel-obsessed couple always on the hunt for new adventures! Whether it’s a months-long camping road trip in the American west, riverboat hitchhiking in the Bolivian Amazon, rock climbing the amazing karst cliffs of Thailand, meditating with Buddhist monks, or learning about traditional healing rituals with witch doctors in Tanzania, we are always DOWN for an exciting adventure. If we get to challenge ourselves and learn something new along the way, all the better!

We’ve been traveling as much as possible during our 15+ years together, but life hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. We’ve both had our share of struggles with substance abuse and poor coping mechanisms which brought us to some scary places. After deciding enough was enough at different times, we both found new life through sobriety and a spiritual program of recovery which has included the 12 steps, Buddhism, adventure, plant medicine, and yoga. Yoga and outdoor adventures continue to be of huge importance in our healing journeys. We’re dedicated to breaking stigmas against addiction in this world and passing on the hope and freedom of sobriety to others with the same struggle. Thus, Bigger Life Adventures retreats are devoted to serving those in recovery from anything!

Bigger Life Adventures was born from a spark of inspiration to combine all of our passions and share them with our friends — travel, yoga, adventure, recovery “outside the box”, cultural immersion, and to promote sustainability and environmentalism along the way. Doing this work of enabling others to have a life-changing travel experience truly lights OUR souls on fire!​

We live in Williams, Arizona and run our retreat property, Grand Canyon Eco Retreat, from May through November. We still travel as much as we can, both while hosting retreats and for our own adventures! We are #vanlifers, campers, backpackers, hikers, trail runners, climbers, aspiring tiny house builders, and storytellers. You can read more about our travels on our blog!

Please, come join us on an adventure and discover for yourself how you can change your story!

Carrie Hoffman

Trauma-Informed E-RYT500, YACEP, Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Wilderness First Responder, Boss-lady

Carrie has been practicing yoga for twelve years, teaching for six, and can personally attest to the transformational power of the practice. She loves enabling students to explore yoga beyond the mat and discover a mind-body-spirit practice that works for them! In 2018 she obtained her Yoga Alliance RYT 200 from Quantum Yoga School under teacher Lara Baumann and in 2021 her RYT 500 from Lakshmi Rising School of Yoga and Wellness under Dr. Liz Lindh. She’s additionally trained in trauma-informed yoga, yoga for recovery, teaching yoga to teens, and yoga for mental health. She teaches at several studios in Northern Arizona, in juvenile detention centers and recovery centers, and loves traveling to teach special workshops and classes. She’s also an 800-hour certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor through Joyful Belly Ayurveda and offers personal Ayurvedic consultations and workshops. Aside from yoga, she loves traveling, trail running, potlucks with friends, chocolate, and petting everyone’s dogs.

Zach Minnich aka “Zach of All Trades” or “Zachalicious”

Vegan Chef, Meditation and Breathwork Guide, Reiki Master, Wilderness First Responder, All-Around Handyman

Zach is a plant-based chef and Holistic Nutritionist with a specialty in creating healthy and delicious vegan eats! His favorite cuisine is Mexican and he’s also a passionate “fruit hunter” so if you come on any of our retreats south of the border you are sure to enjoy his best menus! He also loves reaching alternate states of consciousness and has been studying various forms of meditation and shamanism for 6+ years. He specializes in guiding journeys of breathwork meditation in the Wim Hof style. He is also a Reiki Master offering energy healing sessions on many of our retreats. His other passions include rock climbing, playing piano and guitar, hiking, and building our sustainable off-grid kingdom at Grand Canyon Eco Retreat.

Zach is currently building our tiny house and finishing writing his first cookbook! (Pre-order here!)

Sydney Kleis

Trauma-Informed RYT-500

Originating from Grand Rapids, Michigan, this is Sydney’s second season working for Carrie and Zach with Grand Canyon Eco Retreat and Bigger Life Adventures. She has been a student of yoga for 9+ years and teaching for 3+. After earning a degree in Psychology with a minor in Dance, she didn’t feel ready to continue to graduate school and a few months later started her 200-hr YTT at Funky Buddha Yoga in Grand Rapids. Deepening her practice of yoga in this way bridged the way to fulfilling her call to guide people to lead their best, healthiest lives. In her studies, she was constantly intrigued by the connection between movement and yoga practices and mental health. This passion to help her own healing from an eating disorder and anxiety/depression, as well as help guide others in their own, led her to Mindful School of Yoga for her 500-hr trauma informed YTT. Through her role as a teacher Sydney hopes to lead others to grow in self-compassion and self-love using the modalities yoga has to offer for growth and healing. Generally when taking a yoga class with Sydney, expect a moving meditation with some fun dance-like movements sprinkled in!

In addition to working as a yoga teacher and general staff for Grand Canyon Eco Retreat and Bigger Life Adventures, Sydney is the owner of Sydney Raye Yoga where she offers various online yoga and meditation classes. When she is not doing yoga or working, Sydney loves reading, going to concerts with her partner Trevor, running, hiking, and becoming moss on the forest floor.

Where else to find us?

Check out our podcast, Yoga Is Now!, which you can stream for free on Soundcloud!

Listen to Carrie on these other podcasts:

Carrie on Beyond Recovery Podcast

The Outdoor Entrepreneur Podcast – Carrie Hoffman: Sobriety, Turning Travel into a Business, and Off-Grid Living

Guides Gone Wild Podcast – (Re)Treat Yourself to a Bigger Life

LoTech & Wild Podcast

RePod It!

Nature Untold Podcast – Seasons of Sobriety

Holistically Healing Anxiety Podcast – Anxious to Sober & Digital Nomad w/Carrie Hoffman

Find us elsewhere on the web!

Voyage Phoenix – Meet Carrie Hoffman of Bigger Life Adventures

Shoutout Arizona – Meet Carrie Hoffman

The Fix – How recovery prepared us for Coronavirus

Hostelling International – How to stay in a hostel sober

The Fix – How to stay sober at Burning Man and have the best Burn of your life!

SFGate – Burning Man without drugs: ‘The type of fun you have sober is on a different level’

Huffington Post – 19 Places to travel for non-drinkers

Huffington Post – The Best Types of Vacations To Take If You Don’t Drink

Matador Network – The struggles and joys of being a sober traveler

SD Voyager Magazine – Meet Bigger Life Adventures!

Of course, don’t forget to check out the Bigger Life Blog! where we have been writing about our travels since 2011.