June 22, 2016

Italy Retreat Recap: Secret beaches, private sailboats, life-altering cheese, and that one time we all took our bathing suits off and swam naked just because we could.

“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” 

—Anna Akhmatova

For 7 days—along with 8 incredible women—I got to live inside the dream.

None of us will ever forget it.

Since returning home to Evansville a few weeks ago, people have been asking me, “What happened on your trip to Italy? How was the retreat? How did it go?”

What happened? Deep friendships formed at warp speed—like long-lost sisters who instantly knew that they loved each other. It was beautiful.

What else happened? Dreams were claimed. Goals were clarified and shared aloud. There’s a book being written. Multiple new businesses being started. One woman sold her house during the retreat and bought a new home in a new town the week after she returned. A romance blossomed.

We visited a secret beach that can only be accessed by boat.

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We had a private cooking class at Ristorante Max in Positano.

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We sipped coffee on a pink stone terrace overlooking the ocean.

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We ate burrata cheese with wild abandon.

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We swam naked in the pool.

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We walked—everywhere. Up into the hills overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Down into the winding streets of Positano. Along the beach. Across the villa grounds. (Italians only drive when it’s actually necessary. Everyone walks. It feels so good.)

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We created memories.

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What happens now?

All of my retreaters are back home, plugged back into their “regular” lives and careers, but the magic of Italy hasn’t worn off. We all feel “different.”

One woman is dressing differently, unafraid to express her personal style. Another is writing again after months of hesitation, overflowing with inspiration. Italy will do that to you.

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I was pretty stunned when 6 out of the 8 women from this year’s retreat signed up for next year’s retreat. Then 2 women from the previous year’s retreat signed up, too. They all wanted to come back. Italy 2017 is sold out—all with “repeat adventurers” who visited Italy with me, once, and couldn’t wait to experience it again. As a coach and retreat guide, that’s the highest compliment I can imagine. Grazie infinite.

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” 

—Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe: I feel you.

There’s no place like home. It feels good to re-settle myself back in Evansville with my husband and kids. Of course, I missed my family. Of course, I missed my daily run with my best friend Frances. I missed my pets and my green juice (liquid kale: not really a “thing” in Positano) and all the beautiful rituals and comforts of home.

And yet…

I am counting the days until my next adventure begins.

Because nothing recharges me, inspires me, and makes me feel completely awake and alive like traveling does.

Maybe I’ll see you at one of my upcoming retreats?

South of France: sold out. 

Amalfi Coast, Italy: sold out. 

The Dream Boat Cruise across the Atlantic to England: 2 spots left. 

Barcelona, Spain: 1 spot left (just opened registration for that retreat yesterday!)

Where does your heart yearn to go?

Barcelona with me and 7 amazing women? A train trip across the Gobi Desert? Solo-hiking up the Pacific Crest Trail, a la Cheryl Strayed?

Set your intention and make it happen. Don’t deprive yourself of one of the most powerful experiences you can have—and don’t wait until you’re “retired” to do it. Create the memories that you crave, right now, and believe me…

Your business, your body, your life…

Everything will be awakened.

Nothing will be the same.

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susan honnellP.S. Special shoutout to Susan Honnell for being our trip photographer and capturing these incredible photos of Italy 2016!

XOXO,
Susan

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