Greetings from Prague!
Last week I shared some reviews from members on our recently completed Ireland and Greece programs, and then this week I received a note from Amber, our host for our current Amalfi program, with a fun story I just had to share:
Yesterday was Day 3 of our Amalfi LiveAway and our group was sitting in the restaurant of a family owned pasta company after touring the location where the owner’s family was making this same recipe of pasta, over 120 years ago.
Over one of the many courses of our pasta tasing and glass(es) of wine, Wayne, one of our members mentioned that he was looking forward to eating his first cannoli in Italy, but hadn’t found the perfect spot for his inaugural taste of this eagerly anticipated dessert.
This really sums up the joy and benefit of the Wheel & Anchor LiveAway concept. He has had the actual time to hold off and search out the perfect cannoli!
I am struck by how common it is when we travel to race and push to see so many things or be so many places, that we miss out on savouring the actual experience. Wayne's commitment to curating his cannoli experience really brought home the subtle difference of 'Living Away' vs a general sightseeing trip.
When I read Amber's note, my first thought was, 'did I make a terrible mistake?'
When I was in Florence in the spring, I employed an 'eat every gelato' strategy, which was as fruitful (intended) as it sounds and about which I have no regrets...but Wayne has now caused me to rethink my approach.
His strategy of careful curation, utilizing his intuition and daring the Universe to reward his discernment and self-control, is truly a sign of a refined and sophisticated individual. You can always pour one out for the cannoli's left uneaten later...if you really nail that first one, you'll never forget it.
The art of making memories involves all dimensions of experience, and tuning oneself to the subtle is indeed the way to find the really special things in life...I say bravo!
And to Amber's point, something as small as Wayne's pursuit of the perfect pastry does exactly encapsulate what we are trying to do with LiveAways - create the space and time for you to settle in to consciously immerse in a new place, and reap all the rewards of doing so.
A LiveAway is a subtly different way to travel, a different pace to explore at a different level than you will get find on a more traditional sightseeing trip. What you 'lose' by covering less ground you gain in time to go deeper...not better per se but different, breadth vs depth and the world of difference between them.
Ultimately I restored my mental equilibrium by reminding myself that they were not my first gelatos in Florence, and thus I think I can call my strategy justified.
But Wayne's appreciation for depth over breadth has quite delighted me, and freshly inspired, I thought to try out his approach here in Prague... until I realized I'd already sampled every Czech dessert when I lived here.
No problem, I thought - I'll do it in my next stop in Vienna...but oh wait...I've tried all the Austrian desserts too. It would seem my breadth of dessert experience knows few boundaries 🙂
Nonetheless, I am committed to eventually giving this a try, perhaps in my next stop in Croatia, where I'm certain there are tasty treats I've yet to sample. Why not add a little playfulness to life and see how the chips fall? This is, I think, the essence of why we travel to begin with.
So in honour of Wayne I encourage you all to have a discerning dessert this weekend, travelling or not, and consider how you might curate your own special experience the next time you venture beyond.
Lots more to come in the weeks ahead, including the release of our Silk Road program which should be out in next week's newsletter. Be well, stay tuned, and do get in touch should you have any questions or feedback.