Creating life beyond childlessness

Virtual Retreat for
Childless Not By Choice

“The ultimate opportunity to take some time for yourself and connect with others who understand the reality of involuntary childlessness.”

Being a woman who is childless-not-by-choice can be a lonely journey. You may feel like nobody truly understands you, and uncertainty about your future can leave you feeling like you’re just going through the motions. Although you know that something needs to change, it can be challenging when the outside world doesn’t recognise the complexity of your grief and not know how to support you. I remember those feelings so vividly.  

Now looking back.. 

I wish I had known earlier the importance of connecting with a community of loving and supportive women who actually understand where I was coming from. That’s why I’m so excited to invite you to this Virtual Retreat – a safe space to connect, share and feel empowered with like-minded women for a full weekend. And on top of that you’ll also have access to practical tools, and valuable insights to help you navigate this complex journey.

Each retreat is unique, yet they all share a common objective: to leave you feeling calmer, more at peace, and confident to carve out your own path, say no, take risks and to embrace new opportunities. Most importantly, you’ll come away with the inner knowing that you don’t have to face this alone. We’ve got your back!

After talking to hundreds of childless women I know what I DON’T want for the next 40-50-60 years..

  Feeling angry thinking: “Why me?”

  Feeling guilty thinking: “If only I had…”

  Feeling depressed thinking: “Who am I, not being a mom?”

  Feeling lonely thinking: “Nobody understands”

Been there, done that… 

Instead, I’m working hard on consciously creating my new (unexpected) future…

  Not FIND meaning, but CREATE meaning and purpose in my life, through initiating community empowerment projects.

 Not HOPE for the triggers to get less, but CREATE tools to cope with the daily rollercoaster of emotions.

 Not WAIT for people to listen and understand me, but CREATE connections with like-minded women who really get me, and inspire me.

It’s not easy every day… (grief is not something you ‘get over with’) but I believe that one small step can start a ripple effect of positive change in your life. Curious to learn more?

Step 1

Register Today & Reserve Your Seat

Step 2

Find a Hotel in the Area of Your Choice

Step 3

Pack Your Bags & Join Us Online!

Reset, Reconnect & Refocus - Together!

Have you ever heard of the term ‘Virtual Retreat’ before?

It’s like an online course, but way more interactive and collaborative. It’s all about sharing experiences with others!

I organise walking & hiking retreats around the world for childless women to come together and connect in a safe and supportive environment. But I understand that not everyone has the time or budget to travel and attend a physical retreat. And that’s why I created a Virtual Retreat, which you can now join from the comfort of your own country (or a tropical beach ;-)).

Sounds fun! How does that work?

You get to choose your own location that’s not too far away, but far enough to feel like a little adventure. Maybe aim for an hour’s drive or so, and check out some nearby towns or cities that you’ve never been to before. Look for a spot with some sweet nature nearby, like a beach or some hiking trails, and also make sure there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance so you don’t have to worry about driving everywhere.

During the weekend (May 19-21) there will be a variety of activities: group sessions, breakout rooms, and interactive events. In addition to the live calls, there are pre-recorded workshops (think: yoga, breath work, movement, creative arts, etc) from experts which you can access in your free time – so don’t forget your computer!

This CNBC Virtual Retreat provides a space for you to:

  • Develop new friendships and connections with like-minded women going through similar experiences
  • Learn practical strategies to cope with the emotional and psychological challenges of childlessness
  • Reflect on your personal values, goals, and aspirations and how they have been impacted by your experience of childlessness
  • Explore ways for effective communication with your partner, family, and friends about your childlessness experience
  • Reduce stress and anxiety, improve emotional resilience, and develop better self-awareness
  • Develop self-regulation skills to manage difficult emotions associated with grief
  • Share your stories and experiences and listen to and learn from others in a supportive and non-judgmental environment
  • Rediscover your creativity and engage in activities that bring you joy, such as drawing, writing, or other forms of artistic expression
  • Explore spirituality and mindfulness practices to find peace and meaning in your life

In short, this promises to be an exciting and engaging weekend where you can develop new friendships and connections with like-minded women who REALLY get you, and discover practical tools to navigate the unique challenges of childlessness.

Ticket: $199

In case you’re facing any financial challenges, please feel free to contact me. My goal is to make this retreat accessible to every childless woman who considers it a valuable investment in her mental and emotional wellbeing.

What Others Say About Their Experience

"This weekend transformed me in a way I can't quantify in words and helped start to heal wounds I didn't know ran so deep. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity."
"What an experience to be with other women who have struggled through infertility, women who empathise with my journey and actually understand where I am coming from."
"I am so grateful to meet such an amazing group of people!!! For the first time I can look forward to a future that seems so full of possibilities instead of being afraid of emptiness."

Our Program

  • If you’re in the European timezone this schedule might be a better fit.

Today’s theme is “Disconnect to Reconnect” – Disconnect from everything that doesn’t support your well-being and give yourself the time and space to recharge. Day 1 is all about deeply connecting with yourself and others.


3 pm: Check-in to your accommodation, make yourself comfortable, set-up your laptop, headphones, and some drinks and prep some nourishing snacks. And then.. let’s get this party started!!

4 pm: Session 1 (live on Zoom)

6 pm: Dinner & time to explore one or more pre-recorded workshops.

7 pm: Session 2 (live on Zoom)

9 pm: End of day 1 & time to explore one or more pre-recorded workshops.

Note: all timings are in USA Central Time.

Today’s theme is “Release & Surrender” – Notice your emotions, acknowledge your experiences, and allow them to move past you. Day 2 is all about emotionally letting go of negative emotions in a healthy way.


8 am: Breakfast & time to explore one or more pre-recorded workshops.

10 am: Session 3 (live on Zoom)

12 pm: Lunch & time to explore one or more pre-recorded workshops.

3 pm: Session 4 (live on Zoom)

5 pm: Dinner & time to explore one or more pre-recorded workshops.

7 pm: Session 5 (live on Zoom)

9 pm: End of day 2 & time to explore one or more pre-recorded workshops.

Note: all timings are in USA Central Time.

Today’s theme is “Rediscover Your Roots & Spread Your Wings” – Recreate a solid foundation. Roots form the basis of our personality, they define our being. On day 3 we rethink our life, and explore how we can live in alignment with our personal values and desires. 


8 am: Breakfast & time to explore one or more pre-recorded workshops.

10 am: Session 6 (live on Zoom)

12 pm: End of day 3, check-out & time to explore one or more pre-recorded workshops.

Note: all timings are in USA Central Time.

Meet Your Host & Guide Rianna Hijlkema

My name is Rianna, originally from The Netherlands, but currently living in Mexico. I’m a multi-passionate serial entrepreneur living a nomadic life for the past 12 years (7 of them with my husband). Traveling to 40+ countries and working on four continents has taught me to approach life (and business) with resourcefulness and resilience.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Yup, until infertility knocked on my door. The first 4 years I’ve kind of wasted my life (even though I was laying on white sandy beaches, hiking mountains and ‘living the life’) on the inside I felt so terribly lonely. Nowhere could I find friends who understood the challenges I was facing while going through IVF.

Over the years I became lonelier and lonelier. The constant uncertainty and waiting had put my life on hold and the emotional rollercoaster of infertility took over my marriage, my relationships, my work, my body, in fact, all of me!

We live in a society that glorifies the “never give up” mentality. We celebrate those who persevere through tough times and achieve their goals against all odds. We admire those who possess unwavering grit and determination, and often hold them up as examples for others to follow.

But there’s a darker side to this cultural value of persistence that we don’t often talk about.

When we prioritize grit and determination above all else, we can easily fall into the trap of neglecting our own well-being. We push ourselves to the brink of burnout. We forget that success is not just about achieving our dreams, but also about maintaining balance and taking care of ourselves along the way.

Quitting is not always a sign of weakness, but instead a sign of courage and self-awareness.

After 6 IUI’s, 3 IVF’s, ten thousands of dollars, relationship challenges, and being really close to a depression. It was enough… Quitting was my act of self-love. Trust me, that was the hardest decision of my life! “Oh, you didn’t want it badly enough!” – is what I heard last week and that stings. I don’t feel like I gave up. I decided that there was only so much that I could actually deal with.

If there’s one thing I know about being childless, it’s that it can be a wild ride. Unsolicited advice, pregnancy announcements, feelings of overwhelm, and questions about the meaning life. This rollercoaster of emotions is hard to grasp for the outside world. And making new friends as an adult is challenging. As childless women we don’t have ‘the school gates’, the birthday parties, or the swimming lessons to find each other.

That’s why… I started organising a monthly women’s circle and (in-person/virtual) retreats, to offer a safe space for childless women to reset, reconnect and refocus – together. And the funny thing? All of the participants are women I met on Instagram. Friendship is not about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said ‘I’m here for you!’ and never left your side!

 Those connections became a huge part of my recovery as I worked on my overall health and well-being. If I was a doctor I would prescribe friendships for everyone, but I’m not so… I provide opportunities instead!

And this CNBC Virtual Retreat is one of them!

The ultimate opportunity to connect with women (like me!) who understand the triggers, confrontations and other emotions that arise on a day-to-day base. Together, we are going to cry and laugh until our bellies hurt!


What Others Say About Their Experience

"I am beyond grateful for your quality time and effort to guide me. You've inspired me to follow my heart and intuition as of lately.

Thank you for pushing me to really evaluate what I wanted, it helped so much.

Also thank you so much for your insights. Your words mean so much to me and just being around your energy fills me up with inspiration."
Carolina M.
Student Master Therapy/Psychology
"I felt lost and emotionally out of balance. The support that Rianna gave me, was the perfect gift to help me move forward. The framework she is using clarified many things, which led to revelations during the week, which helped me make new decisions. Rianna guided me to open up the different layers and then helped me flip this information into something practical for the future. Rianna was a crucial piece in the transition that I was going through."
Laura - testimonial women empowerment coach Rianna Hijlkema
Laura Giosh-Markov
Positive Discipline workshop facilitator, Parent consultant, Counselor, and Music Therapist
"I contacted Rianna, because I was going through a deep down. I was feeling lost, I didn’t know where to start, I was overwhelmed with self-doubt and I had no clarity at all on where to go, or even to start. I resonated with Rianna and was provoked by her way of living her life. Rianna gave me the tools to sit down, work through them and understand why I feel a certain way. Rianna does an amazing way of guiding; very encouraging, supportive, but also challenging."
Maria Kacharava
Support Service Team Leader

"A unique and empowering experience"

Frequently Asked Questions

While this virtual retreat is specifically for those who are involuntarily childless, it is important to note that the group is made up of a diverse range of people with different experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. We have participants who are single, in relationships, married or widowed, and who come from all walks of life. My focus is on creating a supportive and empowering environment where EVERYONE can share their experiences, learn from one another, and connect with others who truly understand what they are going through.

Our retreat is not about dwelling on negative emotions or wallowing in sadness. Rather, we will be exploring ways to find meaning and fulfillment in life despite the challenges of involuntary childlessness. Our sessions will include mindfulness practices, creative activities, and discussions on topics such as self-care, resilience, and cultivating joy. We believe that this retreat will be a transformative experience for everyone who participates, regardless of their gender, age, or background.

Being childless-not-by-choice is not a one-and-done kind of thing. You don’t get over it and move on. You will still have times when you wish things had turned out differently. That’s ok. It’s ok to grieve the life you didn’t get. It’s ok to be angry. But remember, even though you have to do it all by yourself, you don’t have to do it alone. We’ve got you!

  • Are you going through the emotional rollercoaster of childlessness and find it hard to share your experiences, feelings and thoughts with your friends and family?
  • Are you done with receiving well-meaning but unhelpful (often even hurtful!) advice from your surroundings?
  • Are you feeling that other women are dealing way much better with childlessness than you do?

If any of these are true for you, I get it. Because they are all true for me too!

After talking to hundreds of women who are childless not by choice, I know now that not taking action can leave you stuck in grief for decades, maybe even your whole life. Just existing and not living can lead to anxiety, depression and loneliness. And I believe that life is too freaking short for that!

Increase your clarity and confidence alongside a tribe of inspiring women.

You can join this Virtual Retreat from whatever location you feel comfortable at, but I highly recommend to not stay home.

To be able to really disconnect an accommodation at least an hour from your usual surroundings would be best. 

This accommodation can be an AirBnB in your favourite city, a hotel room in the capital or a cabin in the woods (as long as you have internet ;-)). 

Ticket: $199

I believe that this CNBC Virtual Retreat is an investment in your mental and emotional wellbeing, and an opportunity to make many more new connections. No worries if you don’t have a friend (yet), this is the ultimate opportunity to connect with others who understand your journey and build lasting friendships along the way.

Note 1: Please read our terms & conditions at the bottom of this page.
Note 2: In case you’re facing any financial challenges, please feel free to contact me. My goal is to make this retreat accessible to every childless woman who considers it a valuable investment in her mental and emotional wellbeing.

We’ll have our first call on Friday May 19th at 4 pm (Central Time).

Make sure you’re in a place where you feel comfortable with a good working internet connection. Over the weekend there will be multiple group sessions, breakout rooms and interactive activities, next to the pre-recorded workshops from experts.

We’ll finish our last call on Sunday May 21st, at 12.00 pm (Central Time).

If you are interested, but can’t make these dates/timings, reach out to me (email: and I will keep you in the loop on upcoming dates! 

  • Passport and other travel documents (in case you’re planning to go abroad).
  • Bug spray and sunscreen/ first aid and medications
  • Toiletries/feminine products
  • Bathing suit (if there’s a sea/pool available)
  • Rain poncho (just incase)
  • Comfortable clothing (adapted to the weather in your destination)
  • Comfortable shoes for outside activities.
  • Laptop & phone with earplugs/headphones.
  • Book(s) to read.
  • Journal/pen

Having a travel insurance is highly recommended. 

  • 6x  live Zoom calls (2 hours each) – to deeply connect with each other
  • group discussions & break out sessions
  • journal & reflection exercises
  • multiple pre-recorded workshops from experts
  • 2% of your full payment will be donated to support girls and women empowerment initiatives in Nepal
  • Accommodation of your choice
  • Meals and drinks
  • Transportation to and from your location.
  • Insurance (health & travel) and visa.
  • Personal expenses

Questions, doubts or something else?

Making an investment in yourself is scary. I totally understand.

Please reach out to me at if you have any questions, or book a virtual coffee chat to get a feel of what it would look like to spend some time together.