Travel at its best reminds us to be present where we are!

(September 2016)

For my third visit to Vis, I was looking at things anew wondering if I could spend an entire summer here as I’d previously hinted to the owner of SummerSalt Yoga that I might like to do. I was thrilled to be joining the team once more to teach a week-long yoga retreat but I knew that I needed to think a bit more seriously about how a week would translate into three months. Could I drink coffee at the same café in Komiza each week? Would the shine of the stunning Stiniva beach wear off after seeing it once a week every week? And what about when I fancied a good old fashioned, let your hair down, dance until the sun comes up night of revelry? Another yacht week party in Fort George? Perhaps! Of course my focus was on teaching, but when a job is also a lifestyle, there are of course other factors to consider…

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When I saw the villa where we’d be staying for the week, nestled in a quiet cove of the island called Uvala Milna, I thought, ‘YES! I could see myself here’. I was actually staying in a small apartment just a 5-minute walk from the villa so each morning I would wake early (much earlier than necessary) to savour a short walk down to the villa, sneaking into the house to pour a coffee and heading down the beautiful steps to the ocean for the final glimpses of the sunrise before it was time to set up for class.

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We’d run through a 90-minute class, the sun growing in warmth as we flowed, before sitting down to dine on a fresh array of breakfast treats and soon the chatter would turn to plans for the day ahead.

As ever, no matter the location, it’s the people that make the trip and this time I was lucky to be sharing the teaching work with a lovely American girl called Vanessa. We’d met earlier in the summer when I’d visited the island to sample her SUP yoga retreats but this time, without my friend Vicky to keep me company, we bonded even more and our friendship blossomed. Normally I’m the energetic little kid of the group but Vanessa’s energy is on another level and so I became the Yin to her Yang and settled into a more chilled out vibe for the week – funny that I was teaching the Vinyasa and her the evening Yin, but it worked and of course the roles were fluid.

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Along with Vanessa, the other women on the retreat were an inspiring and friendly bunch and I took it upon myself to spend a little time with each of them to get to know them on a more personal level. From my long walk with Kaitlin and Danae, I discovered that these accomplished ladies also ran marathons in their spare time, inspiring me to pull out the dusty trainers I’d brought along and at least attempt a jog one evening or two. Then there were the wine-fuelled (and cake stuffed) chats with the stunning Kristina, who left her stressful job with an unappreciative boss to set up on her own – food for thought indeed.

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Aside from the yoga, there was plenty to keep us entertained. Treks down to the gorgeous Stiniva beach (and no, I don’t think I ever would get bored of that view), lunch at Srebrena beach (not as much fun in the autumn when the bar is closed :-P) and of course, a visit to Vis wouldn’t be complete without dinner at Roki’s (amazingly good octopus and fish, with a well-deserved treat of tiny petit fours and a wonderful home-grown wine to wash it all down). But despite the beauty all around and my appreciation for the opportunity to experience it all once again, I found a part of me looking forward to heading home when the week was over, knowing I had a trip to Ibiza planned for a few weeks later, lunch catch ups with friends and their beautiful children, oh and a hot date of course!

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Don’t get me wrong, Vis is an absolutely beautiful island, the perfect spot for a yoga retreat, especially one where you really want to get away from it all. SummerSalt Yoga have raised the bar on running flawless week-long programmes but to stay there for a whole summer, I don’t know if it’s for me. You see, although I’m a beach girl through and through, I’m also part city-girl (I mean I’ve now called London ‘home’ for the past six years!) Hopefully I’ll be returning to Vis in 2017 to teach another retreat or two, but perhaps London will remain my home for a while longer.

And now, it’s time for a well-deserved holiday. Ibiza here we come!!

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