September 27th, 2012

Hello from Austria!

Spa, Travel 5
Viva Mayr clinic in Austria on Lake Worthersee

The view of Lake Worthersee from my balcony at Viva Mayr. I may or may not look at this view and pretend I'm Liesl running down to the gazebo to meet Friedrich.

My all-time favorite movie is The Sound of Music. (Unlike with McFly, I don’t even bother pretending that I have better taste. What can I say? I love me some singing nuns!)

So, when I was offered a last-minute chance to fly to Austria to visit and report on a spa called Viva Mayr, it was a no brainer.

Lake Worthersee in Austria

There's great hiking in the mountains behind Viva Mayr - I grabbed this snapshot yesterday of Viva, the church next door, and the lake beyond.

As you can imagine, since I’ve been here on the banks of Lake Wörthersee in Maria Worth–a lovely corner of southern Austria only 45 minutes from both Italy and Slovenia, in the shadow of the Karawankan Alps–I’ve been singing various songs from The Sound of Music to myself non-stop.

The song that plays through my mind most frequently is “I Have Confidence.” That’s your random Jolie factoid for the day.

Nadine Jolie in Austria

Posing on a hike in front of an apple tree, as you do

I’ll be writing more about Viva Mayr later, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a few photos from the trip. It’s stunning here!

Yes, yes, another boring scenery photo. But, c'mon. Isn't this beautiful?

Yes, another boring scenery photo. But I can't get over how beautiful this place is!

I’ve had a few “breakthroughs,” if you will, during my stay in Austria. While it’s been a working trip, it’s also been heavy on the relaxation…something that’s hard for me to do. It seems that the best way to get my mind revved up is to plunk me on a massage table: suddenly, my brain is whirring a hundred miles an hour, thinking of all the things I need to get done, all my failings, all my worries, all my doubts. Who am I? What am I doing with my life? Where do we go from here? More on the shoulders, please!

Maria Worth, Austria

One of the churches next to Viva. I love me some touristy churches.

It turns out my adrenals are overworked, which–according to a doctor I saw here–is directly related to my recent skin flareups, as well as to occasional digestive issues and my contact headaches and neck/lower-back pain. Luckily, my skin has been pretty great the past few weeks, and my various (mild) body issues have been almost nonexistent…but, of course, the past month has hardly been a taxing one! (I mean, if you go to New Zealand for two weeks and then you complain about being stressed out, you’re just a jerk.)

VIva group in Italy

We took a day trip to Italy yesterday, stopping at a cafe in the Lago di Fusini area. There was LOTS of intrigue: at the next table sat a man somebody from our group knew. The man was holding hands with a woman who wasn't his wife. Scandal!

I declared Sunday a computer-free zone–and I abstained for nearly 12 full hours before giving in. I don’t know when exactly I became such a crazy technology addict, but I’ve been trying my best this week to work in chunks, and when I’m away from the computer, let it alone. It’s helped with the stress, although I’m still constantly thinking about work I should be getting done.

hiking Lago di Fusini in Italy

Despite the rain, we hiked around Lago di Fusini in Italy. Here I am with a few of the other spa/travel writers from the group.

Three of my main goals for my 30s are to start a family, publish my damn book, and to establish a career for myself as a travel writer. Increasingly, it seems like spas are becoming my niche–a no brainer, really, since it’s beauty plus travel in one neat little package. 2012 has felt like a turning point for 30s Jolie, in more ways than one. Things are beginning to come together on every front: work, romance, finances, and my sense of self. I look back at the changes I’ve made in the past 4 years since Mama Jolie’s death rocked me, and I’m very happy about the direction I’m headed.

hiking Lago di Fusini in Italy

Viva l'Italia! (Despite having been a European studies major, I was shocked to learn that Austria is so close to Italy and Slovenia. Jolie fail.)

I feel like there are some exciting journeys in store over the next year (and beyond). Passport in hand, I’m ready!

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5 Responses

  1. Bora says:

    Envious!

  2. Jenny says:

    What a dreamy job you have! Always wanted to visit Austria. Great pictures.

  3. dana says:

    You can make it happen. My thirties were amazing and yours will be too. As a wise friend told me once….every decade she’s in is the best one. That gave me something to look forward to. My thirties had me married with a baby. I stopped working and was a stay at home mom—a huge adjustment to working full time. My forties is finding me working part time while still staying at home with my teenagers (who still need me). My friend is now in her fifties, is childless, works full time, and says is the best decade yet. She’s amazing, so am I, and so are you! Be who you are and all your hopes will fall into place. Maybe not in the order you want them to, but who cares?

  4. [...] few months ago, I went to the Viva Mayr med-spa in Austria…and promptly lost 15 pounds. (Don’t worry, I’ve normalized a bit!) Here’s [...]

  5. [...] to the Viva Mayr spa clinic in Austria last year? (If not, here’s a little refresher, and here, too.) It literally changed my life–not only did I lose quite a bit of weight, but I also returned [...]

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