A cup of tea with Naomi: My Italy trip!

By Naomi Whitfeld Seperating dot 05.07.2023

Articles featured image
I'm wanting to share something new with you this week.

A personal note - on life and learnings!

I've been inspired to share this with you today because I've just got back from Italy! I'm feeling so cold back home after the warm sunny days!

This trip has been on the cards since 2019, when we booked to travel as a group of cyclist friends to go back for our third year in a row in 2020- bike riding in the beautiful Alps in the mighty Dolomites.

Well.. We all know what happened in 2020… it didn’t happen!

I was so excited in the months leading up to this trip. My cycling training had lots of stops and starts- first with a bad flu and then Covid, then another flu.

Most of my training was done indoors because I had lost my nerve a little with all the traffic and potholes on the roads around here. To be honest I wasn’t sure how I’d go riding up the big elevations of the mountains when I got into the “real world”.

I did it!!

I even broke my record for my biggest day of elevation climbing, clocking in a day at 2,300 meters, then another the next at 2,550.

Very proud indeed.

But an even more profound experience of personal growth that I got from this trip was life learnings.

The biggest message I got was twofold- both related to "Carpe diem"- seize the day to enjoy every moment of life while you can:

1. Work with what you have!

2. Don’t wait for the perfect time- the perfect time is NOW.

I think ageing teaches us this message.

And the earlier we can learn this in life, the more we live a life without regret that we didn’t seize the day when we could.

In the months leading up to our trip almost everyone in our (very fit and healthy) group faced some sort of unexpected health challenge.

One of our friends had to have two surgeries, and up until just a few weeks before we weren’t sure if he would even be recovered enough to come.

Then, just days before we left, my beautiful friend (the only other girl in the group) had to cancel her plans to travel to Italy with us because of the sudden, sad news of the health of a family member.

So there we were- our group smaller than expected, and almost all of us facing some challenge or another compared to the last time we all rode together in Italy in 2019.

Some of the group had to pace themselves more- taking shorter rides, or rest days in between.

One of the days two of our friends (beautiful souls!) even drove one of our group halfway up a mountain, just so he could ride to the top and see the amazing view that was his goal to ride to that was beyond his limits on the day.

I had to push past my personal fear of descending the steep mountain climbs I would normally ride with the encouragement of my female friend riding with me, and find my own courage to ride them alone.

While it sounds as this may have had the potential for feelings of disappointment or loss, it actually felt like the reverse for me.
I feel like I gained a new way of seeing life.

Seeing our group pull together to support each other, and to help each other work with what they had made me feel so grateful for the unselfish love that comes from true friends- and the joy that comes from accepting your limitations and working with what you have.

The positive attitude of those facing physical challenges or unexpected changes in plans reminded me that the sooner we focus on what we CAN do, the sooner we get on with enjoying what we can instead of wasting time and energy lamenting what we can’t.
Even the friend who couldn’t make it to Italy last minute was able to join our WhatsApp group to see our group photos and read our stories and adventures that we shared with her each day. She couldn't be with us in person, but she could feel like she was through technology.

With each year of age I learn this lesson more.

Time goes fast, unexpected things happen- and it’s up to us to choose how we use each moment we have.

Some great questions to ask yourself..
  • What dreams do I have that I am holding myself back on by waiting for the perfect time?
  • What roadblocks are stopping me living these dreams right now?
  • Can a shift in the way I look at my limitations make it possible to enjoy my dreams sooner rather than later (or maybe, never)?
  • Do I really need to wait for the perfect time?
  • Or could the perfect time be now?
X Naomi

PS If you want to see some photos and videos from my Italy trip I've uploaded some on my personal Instagram page. Follow me here!  Go to the Italy Cycling story highlights at have a peek!
Want to see my must-have inflight ritual?

I’m so predictable- I always fly with the same favourites (and always get asked by the flight attendants what I’m using lol!)

Take a look below!
A cup of tea with Naomi

A personal catch up on life and learnings.

I'm inspired to share with you my life and learnings every fortnight because - learning never stops, and sharing my lessons with you all warms my heart!

Girl in a jacket