Your Life. Your Path. Your Story
My name is Irina (one of quite a few Irinas in Raquel's group :-)).
I am a young-at-heart 51-year-old mom of two grown-up children, a lover of life, a worshiper of nature, a faithful patron of the arts, and working for a wonderful non-profit youth musical theatre company.
I saw a picture from the very first w.o.m.e.n event on the FB page of one of my friends and signed up for the second one. And what do you know? I'm still here many years later!
Of course, I love every single thing about hiking with this group, but mostly - the company.
No matter how many and who comes to the hikes, by some miracle, we suddenly become "one spirit" - fun and funny, vulnerable and raw, absolutely non-judgemental, and always supportive.
Raquel's food is always delicious and varies from event to event. Raquel knows how to take simple ingredients and create very tasty and mouth-watery presentable masterpieces. The amazingly tasty gourmet food at the end - is a perfect "cherry on top".
My favorite part of the w.o.m.e.n events is the communication with other participants, be it the quiet conversations about any subject during our hikes, or laugh-till-you-pee "spicy" revelations after we had one or so cup (yes, cup) of wine, or moving our bodies in a "cool down" dances after the hikes - it all perfectly combined and balances and feeds the soul and mind.
I consider myself an introvert, but during Raquel's events, I come out of my comfort zone and my shell unusually easily. There's no pressure of any kind in our group to be anything but yourself, to pretend or hold back. You feel accepted and understood no matter what. And of course, it made a difference in my life - I met a lot of wonderful women, some of whom became good friends, some taught me something and some (I hope) learned from me.
Irina's tip to you:
My "hiking hack" is pretty simple - enjoy every moment, because the hardest, weirdest, clumsiest (oh I know about clumsy!) moments become the greatest memories.
Irina fills in the blanks:
I would never go on a hike without bringing my sunglasses (yes, there is a story behind that) and my hydration pack.
Connecting with women outdoors has somewhat magical meaning for me - really feeling and embracing being a part of a "great feminine soul", to be the one with Earth and Mother Nature.
Spending time outdoors with other women has allowed me to expand "my tribe" and connect on a deeper level with its members as well as myself.
That day long ago when I met Irina, one of the many I know now but one that stands out especially. She was one of the first women that came to my events. She had that easygoing attitude, shy at heart but full-spirited. Once I got to know her, I got the depth of a beautiful soul that always fits and makes everyone feel comfortable. Thank you for your uniqueness of you. I appreciate your welcoming persona and attitude toward anyone around you. I am so fortunate to have you as part of our group; everyone else would say the same. Thank you- Spasiba! благодарю вас