Lindsey Bro with a GOODLAND Wood Fired Hot Tub

Interview: Storyteller & author Lindsey Bro

Posted by Charlotte Boates on

Writer and storyteller Lindsey Bro has always been curious about the things that we as humans are drawn to and why. A travel, food, and nature writer, she’s also the founder of popular Instagram @cabinlove (you may have come across her if you love a good cabin as much as we do). 

Lindsey is also the author of the recently published book Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths—dedicated to the pursuit of slowing down and bathing cultures around the world. A friend of GOODLAND,  we were excited to speak with Lindsey about her recent book, what drove her to dive more into bathing and saunas, and her perspective on slow living and appreciating the mundane moments of life.

Ever-thoughtful and mindful, Lindsey noted to us that only hot springs and spots that are publicly-managed were shared in her book, so as to protect and preserve more remote locations.

Lindsey Bro setting up a Wood Burning Hot Tub in Joshua Tree, California

Lindsey Bro at SpoRanch, California. Photo credit: Scott Sporleder

How did the idea for your book come about?

I really wanted to dig into why we are so universally drawn to heat and warmth. If you look across the world, there’s some sort of thermal bathing everywhere. It’s also something present in stories around the world—whether it’s fairytales, mythologies, or fables. I really wanted to know, what is it about this thing throughout time and across cultures that we’re always been so drawn to? What is it about heat and water?

Within that, I also wanted to explore this concept of slowing down and reconnecting. And when I researched why we're so drawn to heat and bathing, that was the answer that I got—it’s all about connection. Connection to oneself, to the past, to the collective, to history, and to nature. In all of my research, I also found that a sense of connection is really the healing factor. It’s a salve that will make us feel held, safe and regulated.

floating sauna at Nimmo Bay Resort
Nimmo Bay, British Columbia. Photo: Jeremy Koreski

What sauna or bathing experience that stands out the most in your mind?

While I want to answer with some big epic thing, for me it’s been this really quiet private almost mundane practice. There’s this sauna right next to my house, and the act of going to this place—whether it’s multiple times a week or a couple of times a month—and sitting in the sauna feels good and powerful. Those quiet, everyday moments have absolutely transformed my life. 

There’s so much magic in the mundane— it’s very Joan Didion, very Mary Oliver—how life happens in those quiet, tiny moments. 

Your book has so much beautiful imagery of incredible hot springs, saunas, and more. Do you have a personal favourite spot in the world?

My favourite one is probably SpoRanch out in Joshua Tree, which also has one of GOODLAND’s Wood Burning Hot Tubs. It’s in a secret canyon surrounded by these 300 year old Joshua trees in the high desert. It gets snow, it has thin air, and it’s just a very raw landscape.

When you look out onto the landscape with these otherworldly, crooked, and wonky Joshua trees, it looks incredible with the aesthetically clean lines of the tub. Experientially, you’re out somewhere where not much has really been built on that land yet, and what is there was really built in deference to nature. In such a remote place, the luxury of a warm tub is really nice. It’s also extremely quiet, so you really hear the fire, the well pumping up the water, everything—it's very immersive. 

Heating up the GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub in SpoRanch Joshua Tree

Lindsey Bro at SpoRanch, California. Photo credit: Scott Sporleder

What are your favourite parts of the book?

I love the introductions to each section because they deep dive and ground the chapter in this historical and cultural perspective. When you can have a sense of understanding for something and the breadth and history, you can have so much more appreciation for it. Place it within the larger context of humanity, you can have so much more grace towards the beauty of what it is.

I also love these little sidebars throughout the book. As an example, there’s one with Max Turk from Roots and Crowns in Portland, where she wrote a section about how to invite nature into a bathing ritual. Each one has little tips for incorporating ritual and slow living into your everyday life.


What does slow living mean to you? How can making time for bathing be a part of that?

I think the more we can put ourselves at the pace and rhythm of nature, the better. This world is very chaotic and hectic, but also in such a beautiful way. As much as I love moving quickly, I think if we can take these moments to slow down and move at the pace of nature, it can be extremely regulating. There is so much imperfection and magic in the world, and when we’re moving quickly, it’s harder to see that beauty in the world around us. 

A phrase that I say to myself a lot is this: the more grateful I am, the more beauty I see. The more that I can slow down and let myself have a practice of deep gratitude, the more beautiful this world is. And in my life, I’m overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounds me in my relationships, what I see, feel, what I eat, everything. As a result, I’m not looking at all of these things that I don’t have. It’s the idea that I already have so much more than I could ever comprehend, and that has made me incredibly grateful. 

An interior of Grotto Sauna in Georgian Bay, Ontario
Grotto Sauna in Georgian Bay, Ontario. Photo credit: Jonathan Friedman, PARTISANS


Do you have any ideas or inspiration on how people can incorporate slow living into their everyday life?

I find that people think they have to go from 0 to 60. But, it’s not everything all at once. It is really transformative to just pause and slow down whenever and however you can. People might think that they have to go off grid and grow their own food and things like that, but no. 

Instead, all it really takes is to take one inhale and one exhale where you’re actually aware of it, whenever you think about it—it doesn’t even have to be everyday. That is going to be revolutionary, and that will change your life. Maybe not in this epic way immediately, but slowly, little by little, it will. Over time, those thoughts, ideas, and actions all add up. And so I think giving power to those tiny little moments is one of the best ways to do it. 

What helps you realize that you are alive more in that moment? It might be smelling the smoke when you build a fire for the tub, it might be just being aware of the temperature of your shower. Realizing that you are living and experiencing life right now, and you are alive. 

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