A belated Happy New Year from me… apologies for my ‘missing in action’ but with a year of new beginnings ahead, I needed to disconnect and concentrate on some clear strategic thinking away from social media and the world of technology. And what a refreshing break that can be.
I got to the stage late last year where I felt like I was in a season of ‘Survivor’! Sydney’s social Christmas season combined with finishing a big work year off and trying to keep up a little personal fitness almost killed me! My sleep was crap, my voice was sounding more like a drag queens, my eyes were a constant shade of red and I was becoming very short fused… just ask those closest to me.
During this time I was chatting to my dear friend Lyndall Mitchell (our Balance coach who is coming on the cruise in France this year) saying I needed a decent detox week with built-in R&R and she immediately recommended getting on the plane to Thailand and spending a week at an extraordinary resort in Koh Samui called ‘Kamalaya’. It’s at the top of her list of favourite wellness resorts in the world and she’d know a thing or two given she owns THE best spa in Australia, Aurora in Melbourne, and spends many months scouring the world for the latest, best practices in wellness. I picked up the phone straight away and was fortunate enough to book the last room available over the Christmas break.
After a very long, fun-filled birthday lunch hosted by dear friends I poured myself onto the plane and 24 hours later arrived at this pure sanctuary of rainforests, waterfalls, and heavenly swimming pools with bungalows overlooking the ocean out to tiny islands on the horizon. I felt like I’d actually arrived on the set of the ‘Lost Horizon’, remember the 1973 movie with Peter Finch, Sir John Gielgud and Liv Ullmann discovering ‘Shangri-La’ …the perfect paradise? Well that was how I felt!
Lyndall told me the food was insanely good, so I opted out of the serious detox and went with the full a la Carte menu which is cleverly created around low fat, low sugar, organic produce with plenty of protein, especially fresh local seafood…I adore Thai food, so happy days for Deb. Lyndall also suggested I sign up for the Asian Bliss program which combines Ayurveda, Chinese medicine and Thai healing therapies. Basically it means I rocked up to the spa every day to indulge in some form of therapeutic massage, taking my time to hit the hot steam cave beforehand. I love hot steam and couldn’t get enough of it…I could literally feel my body saying thank you and bye-bye toxins!
Kamalaya has a well thought out daily schedule of activities which you can choose to engage with or not, it’s totally up to you. The day starts at a very leisurely 7.30am with different practices of yoga, Pranayama breathing or Tai Chi at the Yoga Pavilion situated high up the hill with a view to die for. It’s worth getting out of bed just to greet the day with that vista. After stretching and feeling like I’d done something good for myself, I’d stroll down to a delicious breakfast and then the day was mine to do as I liked.
That’s what I love about this place, you can go as hard-core fitness, and detox as you like or just lay on the beach and have a massage or two, and it’s your call. There is no one chasing your tail encouraging you to stick to some routine. For me, I needed rest and relaxation, no vino, no coffee, some decent sleep and to read a book…pretty simple stuff.
By the end of December I was so sick of the sound of my own voice that I was happy to travel by myself. I needed to do ‘nil by mouth’…and I wasn’t the only one, the resort had a fair share of both men and women taking some solo time out. The main restaurant has a communal table for those dining alone and after a few days of refilling my tank, I decided to socialise again and met some pretty cool people from every corner of the globe. Kamalaya is very much an international resort and I was amazed by how far and wide people travelled from and many for the third and fourth time. Says a lot about how good you feel when you leave there!
As the days went by, my energy returned, my body felt lighter and I felt myself emerge from a pretty low point, back into my old happy self. Bliss. Yes, Asian Bliss, Kamalaya style!
To finish off a picture perfect week I was so thrilled to be invited out on beautiful boat, a magical old Turkish ketch sailing around the islands for some snorkelling, a healthy lunch and even a massage on deck… does this get any better. Later that day, as I laid on the deck watching a huge red sun set into the ocean I decided that I needed to refill my soul like this every year if I can. We all do to some degree, we need some time for ourselves away from the madness and to refuel the tank.
I’m extremely lucky because I can afford to take the time off, head to a paradise like Kamalaya and do something wonderful for myself. What a gift. So thanks Lyndall… you prescribed the perfect tonic. Happy New Year!