'Travel not to escape life, but so life doesn't escape us'
I want to share this experience because it highlights the importance of a few things;
How a place can change your perspective of things that really matter in life (I am talking materialistic here!) and engage in conversation with those who matter without distraction, the importance of switching off and disconnecting from the world (yes including all forms of social media) and instead, taking in the beauty that surrounds you so you experience it for all it has to offer rather than miss out on life.
And how you should remain curious of the unknown - never let fear drive you unless you are wanting to overcome it, always be an explorer, adventures are one of life’s joys however big or small they bring a you back to being like an excitable child at christmas and lastly, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone every so often can not only show you what you can do when you set your mind to it but also you might even, like I have found a new sport I have fallen in love with and plan to do a lot more when spring 2017 comes our way especially since, losing my beautiful horse, Otis back in July, who was my absolute world.
Back in June I was invited by Mich CEO of Bellagio Watersports to come and give a whole load of new sports a go out on the Lake and I admit, I have very limited experience however, I love the water and as you know I love to be challenged. Without any hesitation I accepted the offer and this is where the quote comes in ‘say yes, and you will figure it out afterwards’. The chance to not only be in one of the most beautiful places in Italy but to get me doing what I love, sport. It was an absolute no brainer!
Of course me being me, wanting to be the best I can be at everything I do (absolute perfectionist!) I was determined to be the ‘Pro’ before being the ‘beginner’. This meant, mastering the art of paddle boarding without falling off and standing up first time wake boarding and crossing the wake (which I have been told is tough to master first time) incase you wondered my inner competitive side took over and I can proudly say I did both of these and I have video evidence - which I will be putting together for YouTube very soon.
So my friend, Codie and I packed our cases and the GoPro and off we set to Lake Como not knowing what was ahead. But all I knew was I cannot wait to get out on that lake and experience all it has to offer followed by as much gelato as I could possibly eat as well as all the bread and pasta (because really, who doesn't love all the carbs eh?) and when in Italy, I am making the most of this.
We arrived and was greeted at the airport by a very welcoming smile and the most lovely Italian/english accent. Mich drove us back to our picturesque B&B and let us settle before taking us out onto the lake at sunset on a speedboat to us the sights, which was a surprise but excited doesn't cut how I was feeling (and me being me, obviously wanted to get my adrenaline hit in straight away. As soon as I could, I took over being captain, zooming around on the water enjoying every second and probably terrifying the others). He went through the weeks itinerary and what he had planned for our stay including being out on the lake, the must places to visit and of course, the best places to eat which I will list below in short form or this blog will be pages long.
I must say, I have not only fallen in love with the location of Lake Como it has stolen my heart, I have fallen in love with the lake itself and all it has to offer and the people are so welcoming and friendly - not to mention feeding me unlimited about of cheese, bread and gelato. I love the tranquility of taking in the breathtaking scenery while out paddle boarding or kayaking - clearing your mind and being present in the moment and getting the adrenaline hit from carving the water on a board, Davide Beretta my instructor at JRC Wakeboard your energy and enthusiasm is contagious and your absolute faith in getting me to board the way I did in 15 minutes, well you even made me proud of myself that day.
I will be back on the Lake for years to come perfecting my skills. I am already planning 2017. I now understand the saying ‘Everything changes when your board hits the water - take me to the lake’. Forever longing for that feeling as winter sets in aside from the feeling I get galloping around on a horse, this is now one of my favourite. Maybe I will take to the snow on a board this winter..
So this has taught me to always say yes, let the unknown excite you, switch off and enjoy the present (you don't always have to take photos of everything) instead put your phone on flight mode and really appreciate each moment and experience including fully enjoying being engaging in conversation rather than staring at a screen - never lose the art of that as it is too easy to do so. Never stop exploring the world - I love to travel, I love challenges, I love meeting new people and I love trying new things. They help you grow as a person, they enable to discover paths you thought you may never cross or experience. You will become refreshed, inspired, motivated and most of all you will find yourself again amongst this busy, fast paced life we all live in London. You might even surprise yourself and be proud of stepping out of that comfort zone.
Favorite places to eat:
- Balta Belvedere which is the most beautiful restaurant up in the mountains overlooking the entire lake, we watched sunset from here followed by a pretty amazing storm.
- Ristorante Alle Darsene in Loppia Hamlet Bellagio - an elegant restaurant which the most incredible and sophisticated menu (and the most delicious espresso and desserts!)
If you wanted to visit Lake Como please get in touch with Mich - he was the most wonderful tour guide on and off the lake. I cant recommend more: @bellagiowatersports
Make sure you check out trip advisor for his 5* reviews! You will not be disappointed.
*This is not a paid write up - I cant express in words how much i loved every part of this trip and I just had to share with you all!*
I wrote this entire post with a smile on my face, words cannot describe how much love I have for this place. It enriches my life and fills my soul. I cannot wait to be back on that lake. Live Life.
‘The best thing you could have given her is a lifetime of adventures…’
P.s not even going to apologise for photo overload - it was essential!
Below, sneak preview of my first attempts wake boarding.. outtakes to come!