Life Lesson and the Best Souvenir

Nov 2, 2023

I just got home from an epic, first in my life trip to EUROPE! Croatia to be exact and before I go any further, I encourage YOU ALL to go!  The crazy part? I went all my myself. I learned a valuable life lesson while away and brought home the best souvenir.  Let’s chat, shall we?  Let me back up a little and tell you a bit about how this particular trip came to be.

At the beginning of 2023 I decided this was going to be the year of saying YES to adventure

Every year I pick a word of the year, or rather it picks me (more on that in a later post stay tuned), I discover a theme for the year, and from there I decide where my time and energy and resources will be spent. Let’s be honest, I know we would all love to do ALL the things and personally I have tried to do just that in the past, spoiler alert…It DOES NOT work! There is only so much time, energy and money that can be spent in a year my friends. I digress, the word for 2023 is DELIGHT, the theme is ENERGY and for me was the year to spend on my hormonal health and experiences that would not only delight me but also stretch and scare me.

This all came along after a couple long years of deep inner work, after so much loss and grief

The truth is I needed some serious FUN in my life again. So, I learned to snowboard this year. My family and I bought an adventure camper van and took a 7 weeklong summer road trip traveling around the US. I went white water rafting for the first time. I went mountain biking for the first time and had my first mountain biking accident, minor thank God. I went in a hot spring for the first time. I hiked, I biked, I cold plunged and/or swam in every single body of water I came across. I celebrated and danced. I laughed a lot. I volunteered. I accepted a position on the board of a nonprofit organization. I made some beautiful connections with some beautiful humans and…

I said YES to a yoga retreat in Croatia

Croatia was not on my bucket list. It was not on my radar at all really until my Embodied Living yoga mentor announced a retreat, she was hosting with Ritual Retreats in Croatia in 2023. This took a little bit of re arranging and planning with my family but after that it was an easy YES. I had my spot reserved within days and my airline tickets purchased by February. This year full of FUN and adventure flew by and before I knew it October had arrived, and I was on my way to the airport to head to Croatia all on my own. I am so grateful for friends who connected with their family over there and all the advice and tips I could ask for. I was nervous no doubt about it but also so ready to go.

The trip was beyond Incredible

I am still processing the magic. I am still in absolute awe of the beauty. I am still amazed at the humans I met and spent the week with, they are gifts. I am still pinching myself. It still feels like a dream. I know one thing for sure, every single moment I spent in Croatia will live in me forever. I also acknowledge the tragedy and devastation happening in the world right now as I write this, and the impact was felt deeply on this particular trip.  I learned so much during that week away about myself, about my relationships, about this life I am so privileged to LIVE, and I was reminded of this one thing…

Life Lesson: Savor the Moment

Watching and experiencing the life lived in Croatia for that one short week taught me that moments, even the tiniest of seemingly insignificant moments are worth savoring. Did you know I only saw a couple to go cups of coffee the entire time I was there, and I am pretty certain they were being carried by tourists. The simple daily act of drinking coffee in little, tiny cups is done slowly, deliberately and it is truly enjoyed.  Being from the coffee capital pacific northwest close to Seattle and Starbucks to go coffee is a way of life, drive through coffee stands and 24 oz cups are plentiful here. The grab and go, the hustle and bustle, the supersized more is better mentality, the extra packed schedules are the way of life we are simply accustomed to.  But what are we missing by rushing through the little moments?

I wonder, does it HAVE to be this way?

I wonder, what if we slowed down a minute and drank our coffee out of a real mug while looking out the window or chatting with a loved one? What if we just took a beat, took a breath and savored the simple act of drinking our coffee. What would it take…an extra 10 minutes? What if some days we made space to stretch that time out for thirty minutes or an hour and met with friends? What if we could create the space to look at our lives and our surroundings and savor the scenery and the people around us?

These moments are the ones that make up our lives

We tend to think that the BIG moments are the ones worth savoring, the ones worth documenting, the ones where memories are made that will last a lifetime. While yes big moments are all of those things, they are not the only moments that make an impact on our lives. It’s the small moments that live on, that get remembered and laughed about later, that get wished for on the death bed, that get lost if we are not careful.

One simple change

Since being home, I switched out my big coffee mug for a smaller one. I give myself some extra time in the morning to just sip and savor. I don’t get ready for the day or scroll or read or open my email. Just for that first small cup. I sit in silence, or I engage in distraction free conversation over coffee with my husband. It is a small change, and I can tell already it is a meaningful one. This is the best souvenir I brought back home with me from Croatia, savoring the moment.  I encourage you to take some time and think about one small change you can make to savor the moments that make up your life.  I would love to hear about it, please share!

Until next time friends. I cherish you and I am celebrating you.

1 Comment

  1. What a great read! I am going to copy you on that morning routine. I hit the ground running and it’s not good. I used to meditate for an hour every morning and I am way off track from that right now. But you motivated me to at least have that tea in the morning with amd just take it all in so I can begin my day calm and in the moment. I love what you wrote here my love ♥️♥️♥️♥️

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Melissa Garcia is the founder of Roots to Wings Collective, a 300-hour certified yoga teacher, and an eternal optimist. Melissa holds space for connection, creativity, and celebration, through movement, meditation, energy work, and intentional rituals. She believes in magic and that there is no such thing as too much glitter!

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