Travel (and life) Tales: Vashti Whitfield
What are the three things that bring you happiness in your daily life?
- The ability to walk, run, ride and play under a big blue sky and sunshine with the city and the ocean at my disposal.
- My two little ‘cubs’ and their curious, gentle and gorgeous personalities that are evolving everyday.
- Talking, writing, laughing with friends, clients and people brings me to life!
Do you have a mantra or quote that resonates for you? If so, what is it?
‘Thank you for what I have and thank you for what I don’t have’ – both teach and inspire me to live, love and learn as much as possible.
What are your three best habits?
- I always look for what I can learn from a situation, a challenge or a disappointment and will always look at how I can turn any challenge into an awesome opportunity.
- I use fear as a bridge for learning something new, so when something scares me, I will habitualy take that as a green light for meeting it head on.
- That I make ‘me’ time or ‘alone’ time a priority so that I can re-boot and be even more available, loving and hopefully inspiring to my cubs, my friends, my clients and the Maybe McQueen community.
And your worst habits?
- I’m very impulsive and don’t always think things through.
- I don’t value my amazing body enough by not feeding it what it needs to be 100 per cent well and then I give it a really hard time for not looking or feeling the way I ‘expect’ it to. Crazy right?
- Prioritising the things that have short term gain and not making the really important long term stuff a priority, which may leave me feeling super productive short term but doesn’t actually move me forward with the bigger more important things.
If you could change anything about the world, what would it be?
That we work collectively to give all human beings the chance to thrive in a world that values human rights.
What is your favourite travel destination and why?
I will have to get back to you in about 20 years …but for a slightly predictable answer I would say NYC as it never ceases to inspire, delight and challenge me on so many levels. Food for the heart and soul that city!
What is the best meal you’ve ever had while travelling?
Recently in LA CAL at the Tasting Kitchen in Venice Beach. We had a dish of asparagus with pistachios and rosewater. This and everything we ate there was utterly delicious! We where literally rendered speechless and almost wanting to lick the plate!
And best kiss?
Once long ago, age 19, I was at my cousin’s place in Tuscany. It was a dark and stormy night with the rain pouring down. Huddled in the door way of a beautiful old Italian store, with cobbled laneways and no-one else around, is exactly where the perfect passionate kiss should have taken place BUT unfortunately I was sharing the door way with my lovely 17 year old gay cousin … and so it was just as my daughter’s favourite book is titled …The kiss that was missed.
Another time whilst visiting Italy, many years later, my late husband Andy and I where picked up by a friend of ours to drive from Florence to his olive oil and chestnut farm one hour south. The thing you need to know about my old friend was that he races motorbikes for a living. By the time we reached his house, one very long hour later, Andy had to literally yank our embedded fingernails out of the dash board. It was the most terrifying and, now in reflection, hilarious given Andy’s near violent explosion on getting out of the car, experience that I have ever had.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Love your body and yourself, because just as with your life, YOU ONLY GET ONE! Nurture it and appreciate it. Learn, as with everything, to appreciate what is unique and extraordinary about it/you. You are one, not separate entities, and the sooner you learn to work together, the sooner you will be in flow with what life has to offer you!
What kind of old lady are you going to be?
As disgraceful as I am graceful …
If you had to sum yourself up in three words, what would they be?
- Incredibly passionate
- Unimaginably strong
- Doggedly determined
What has been the biggest WOW moment of your travelling life? Where were you and what happened?
Exactly 10 years prior to my beautiful husband passing away, we where standing at the bottom of the Twin Towers in NYC. It was September 11th 2001 and the day before our clandestine Vegas wedding-to-be. We narrowly missed the devastation of the first tower collapsing. As we held each other amidst all the chaos, I knew that we, unlike so many, were being given the incredible chance to live and that we did, with as much passionate and fearlessness as possible. Letting my husband go exactly a decade later, left me with exactly the same feeling.
Vashti Whitfield is the extraordinary woman behind the Maybe McQueen blog. Go there for a dose of life love.