For the Love of Game

Christine Drinan Falling Note

It is nice to be back on the routine, whatever that means for me. But seriously, to be home and regroup with friends, family, and work is a gift. That grace to enjoy the moment has been a 10+ year journey for me, shaped by the people and places I’ve traveled to, including SHA Wellness, which is our feature this week. And before we all go insane with the year’s end, I find October the optimal time to finetune and travel just for the love of the game. Of course, I have ideas for you of where to travel in October, which is one of the best months to travel almost anywhere in the world.

No Strings Attached

What I like so much about travel in October is that the world is your oyster. The traditional summer destinations of Greece, Spain, Italy and France are all still open. In fact, I think they shine at this time of year as those who can take this time off are usually some interesting characters. Also in most cases, the top hotels in these destinations are a third or quarter of the price that they were a month ago. So, there could not be a more perfect time to hop on a plane to Europe and get some real R&R in.

I do practice what I preach, as I’ve even been to the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc in Antibes in October. You know I’m busy when I race there before they close for the season, to squeeze in my two days, totally out of office. Like I would in during summer, I jump right into the Med. Yes, it’s a little brisk, but sometimes you just need to go for it. That’s what I hope you do too, and go for it just because you want to do something. Our where to travel in October ideas are packed with inspiration from everything to nearby leaf-peeping, to summer throwback destinations. We also cover cool cities like Berlin and Copenhagen that deserve a look especially this time of year.

The best part is no matter what plane, train or automobile route you choose, it’s no strings attached. You’re not traveling because the kids have weeks off school, or because you have FOMO seeing everyone else on vacation. There are no holiday gifts to buy, meals to prepare or a big to-do about anything. When  you travel in October, it’s for the pure love of the game.

Some Self-Introspection

As some of you know, we’re working on a travel show that’s in partnership with a production company out of Chicago. We’re in good company; they distribute Anthony Bourdain’s first season of his original show. So my travel this October will include trips to film in Chicago. One of the projects they tasked us with was revamping our YouTube channel, which you can see here. With 80+ travel videos it’s been an introspective look at the experiences I’ve had over 12 years. It’s also been a look at my wellness journey. I see myself on camera circa 2015 and it’s like I don’t recognize myself.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was not in top health, either emotionally or physically and the two are so intricately intertwined. It hasn’t been easy, but the major life changes I’ve had in the past 12 years allowed me to find a path to being my best self. The beauty is that it’s a life long journey to be my best self, and even the excruciating  parts have been worth it. I’ve been grateful for every moment.

A Little Help from a lot of Resources

There is a lot that goes into health and wellness, and my personal path hasn’t necessarily been so deliberate. It’s most like a hundred little things that equal a million, and it’s not what you always think. For example I always worked out, but I didn’t hit the right combination to achieve physical fitness. One of the most impactful experiences on my personal journey to health is my time at SHA Wellness. When I first arrived at SHA last year, my stress level measured at 90/100. This year, they tested my stress level and it clocked in at 20/100, which speaks for itself.

A Reset at SHA

However the past 18 months, a myriad of factors shifted my physical health. From hormones, sleep and a constant “vacation diet” with family and friends, a few pounds added up that wouldn’t budge off the scale. It’s not that this put me into any danger zone, but I wasn’t at my best self. At SHA, with the right diet, exercise and mind frame reset, I shed 7 pounds over the course of the past month and a half. This included eating my way through Europe for 3 weeks after SHA, but I did it much more mindfully. I still have a ways to go, but SHA also reset me to know that I can achieve my goals.

It’s not the scale though that matters in the end. Instead this means that I’ll have enough energy and muscle strength to keep up with my hectic schedule and all I want to achieve. I would say that the last time I felt this strong, healthy and confident was when I was 25 years old.  So if you can include wellness in your travel this October, it’s an investment you’ll never regret.

Wherever you travel this October, or not travel at all, I hope you do whatever it is you enjoy, purely for the love of the game.

Christine Drinan, Founder


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