I’m in Italy. It’s beautiful. It’s not an Eat, Pray, Love thing. There will be eating and yoga, but no official praying and not likely any love. I am on a group trip with mostly women and one man (who is part of a couple) and no cute guys magically appeared next to me on the plane (I swear that only happens in the movies!) I was introduced to this travel company (Escape to Shape) by a high school friend who knows the owners. I did my first E2S trip to Morocco 1 1/2 years ago and now I am in Sicily with 17 strangers (and Erica and Francesco who run the show and are the sweetest people and best host and hostess on the planet.)
I am way into the Escape part (and when I say “way in to” I mean terrified to fly across the world and spend a week with strangers but simultaneously excited about seeing new places and learning new things) and the Shape part is good for me and comes with the trip so I rise to the occasion. Today the occasion involved a 3-mile walk to a small-town food market and a 3-mile walk back followed by a 1 hour lower body boot camp class (yes, after 6 miles of walking). Before dinner we go back to the mat for yoga, then wine tasting, cooking class, and dinner. That will add up to more exercise than I have done in a month. I am a fan of moderate exercise but don’t have one of those “push yourself” personalities when it comes to working out. This week I will push it a bit and I am sure it will feel great (not during of course, but after.)
As you can imagine the trip attracts mostly single women, around my age (late 30s early 40s). Everyone is from the US and about half from NYC. Lots of interesting women that I would never meet in my current circle of life (which is not very big.) Magazine editor, casting director, financial planner, psychologist, professor, director of operations for the Alvin Ailey dance company, fitness company owner. A semi-diverse group (for white women who all have enough money to buy Lululemon yoga outfits and travel across the world.) It is a lot of time with strangers, which can be exhausting for an introvert, but also good for me and aligned with my goals to make my world bigger. Most people don’t know each other and everyone is friendly and chatty. I generally do more listening than talking with people I don’t know, but I have gotten in some words here and there. It’s only day 2 so we will see how it all pans out.
I am already sore from this morning’s workout and it is time to get ready for Yoga. I might need a little prayer to make it through this one.
Addendum: I survived yoga and Erica taught me this today: To get across the fire, you have to take risks, and the other side is never as scary as you think it is going to be. Awesome. Great mental and physical workout. That is what is awesome about yoga if you do it right. PS: Sicilian wine is delicious as was our “pasta alla norma” dinner followed by the best Cannoli I have ever had.