Nothing Changes When You Travel…

I just arrived home from my travels. Five weeks in bella Italia.


Partly for work (Boutique retreats in Italy that I design for women each year) and then, vacation, I flew my family in to enjoy some time in a country we all love and to celebrate my 50th birthday, Italian-style.

I came home to the same stack of mail
The same clothes in my closet
The same appointments on my calendar.

I went to the same grocery stores
Took my sons to the same music lessons
And my husband went back to the same job.

I stepped on the same scale
In the same bathroom
And was the same weight
(Thanks Be to All the Angels who saw how much gluten-free pizza and pasta with truffle cream sauce I ate while I was away…)

I walked right back into my life and everything was there just waiting for me.

When I was in Italy, I was ushered by tour guides through Montepulciano and Cortona
Sat in thermal spas in Rapolano
Climbed up the steep streets of Assisi
Rode the winding coast of Amalfi
And sauntered through the cobblestoned alleyways in Florence.

I drank wine from Umbria
Ate mozzarella from Tramonti
And gelato from every town I visited.

Sometimes, twice.

We had private drivers
And a personal chef for the retreat
And took a cooking class in Tuscany

Where we made our very own Tiramisu that I’m pretty sure was kissed by the Gods of Mascarpone Cheese, right before we ate it.

I hung out with old friends
Met family who I had never known
And made new friends along the way.

That was my experience
That I co-created with the Universe,
Otherwise known as: The Divine Source of All Things Groovy.

It was a rich, beautiful, adventurous, magical experience.

And experiences impact you.

They impact the way you see your life
And see other people
And see yourself.

They give you a pause to reflect on what you’re doing
And give yourself a chance to ask, “Do I still want and value that as part of my life?”

They give you an opportunity to look at your daily rhythms
And your relationships
And your lifestyle.

Things like the way you eat
And the time you give to yourself
And the people you spend time with.

They give you clarity on your purpose
And your judgments about others
And about that cranky, bitchy, critical voice that lives in your head.

Because no matter how overstuffed you’ve packed your suitcases
Or how far away you roam
That voice always seems to find just enough space to sneak into your baggage and take the long-ass flight across the Atlantic with you.

So, while I was away, I walked
And I journaled
And I made notes on my phone
(Which was stolen on the train in Rome, but thank God for the cloud and my husband who knew how to put everything back together again and bring me a new one.)

I cried
(Not about the phone. But the other stuff that was getting stirred…)
I argued with the voice in my head sometimes
And agreed with it other times.
And then, finally asked, “Who’s f…ing voice is that, anyway?”

I kept telling myself, “You don’t do this on vacation. You don’t always have to process everything all the time, Stacey. Just stop and enjoy.”
But I then remembered that I’m committed to grow and learn no matter where I am
So, it made more sense to be in process while on vacation and I settled into me
Being me
On location.

Sort of like how they make movies.
You know,
On location.

And I woke up to some things
And shifted about some things
And felt unsettled
And then, peaceful
And then, gracious
About some things.

And then, I came home

To the stack of mail
And the beachside apartment
And the list of things to do.

And, at first it looked like nothing had changed…  

But then I saw how I put away my clothes
And I picked out my groceries
And I sifted through the stack of mail
And I cleaned out the refrigerator
And I sat through my kids’ music performance…

I noticed how I was holding my husband’s hand
And hugging my boys
And not answering every email or text that came in
Even though it wanted my attention.

I noticed how I stood up for myself to the sassy butcher at Whole Foods

(Who’s sassy every time I see him, by the way, but I don’t say anything because I’m afraid he’s going to spit in my meat, because sometimes we don’t know the bounds of sassy people…)

And I noticed that I didn’t apologize a second later to the cashier who saw the exchange
And that I was able to walk away not hating myself for the thought that someone else might not be happy with me
At that moment

Or ever again.

And that’s when I realized that nothing changes when you travel

Except you.

And that, my friends,
And fellow travelers
And risk takers
And dream makers

Is precisely
What changes




Join me for next gorgeous, fun, and life-changing Italian retreats: May in Florence and October in Buonconvento. Space is very limited. Payment plans available. Your retreat starts the moment you say, “Yes. I’m going.” So, if you’ve said, “Yes” in your heart, let me know and we will get you all set up to go. Everything good is available to you. Your retreat starts now.