Water, Wine, and Wonderland: How Jamie Got Her (New) Groove Back

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.
— Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass and into a Tuscan Wonderland

Through the Looking Glass and into a Tuscan Wonderland

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?
— Alice in Wonderland

Down the rabbit-hole and through the Looking Glass, where down is up and up is down…

Summer, to many of us, means some form of escape, be it relaxation, adventure, or simply a staycation to purposefully lose your habitual groove.

While liberating, it can also create feelings of chaos, between the trips, social events, and general disruption of, well, grounding stress that, for better or worse, feels like home.

It requires adjustment, patience, and the ability to enjoy the present moments that offer themselves so generously if you only stop long enough to open yourself to them.

But is also rejuvenates like no other.

And, if you return to Manhattan after spending the past nine weeks in an Italian village of 98 people, newly engaged to the man (Dennis) who shocked the pants off of you by proposing during a picturesque trip to Cinque Terre (more on that later, because AHHH!!!), and moving in with him upon your arrival—not to mention, well, figuring out how exactly you will next proceed with career aspirations…Let’s just say that I decided to nix the whole, “Make one big life change a year” idea and just do it all in one fell swoop…

These next few months are all about getting my groove back.

Three weeks after returning from nine weeks in my own version of Wonderland, and it feels like a beautiful dream. Trying to sum up the experience of shifting from one life into another and back again, I return to two ideas that remain with me from across the sea: 

1. You can’t apply other people’s recipes to your land.

(This spoken by a biodynamic winemaker.)

Land is unique, and wine is unique. Just as people are unique, and space is unique.

When traveling, you do best when you simply embrace the experience, the culture, the day-to-day patterns and ways of being that surround you. You end up learning a lot about yourself along the way, here, on someone else’s land.

And now, that I am back on my own land, rejuvenated and reflective, I am slowly finding my familiar groove once again. It is a groove that I missed, at the same time that I treasured the opportunity to step outside of it and “disconnect” from accustomed routines and habits.

Upon your return, it takes time to acclimate. It takes time to clear the space of all of those waiting-in-limbo to-dos that weigh so heavily once you finally have room to cross them off the list. It takes time to recognize your own familiar breath, perhaps slightly altered for now or forever, and remember the innermost workings of your intuitive heart—what makes you tick, what has always made you tick. It takes time to sew on the new patches that you collect and build them into your life quilt.

But soon enough, you slowly return to the simple rituals that comprise daily life. You hold onto your roots and slowly rebuild the soil that best supports your growth. Because, ultimately, you know what you need to feel your best. You have changed, as we all do over time and through once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and you look forward to stepping into a life peppered with richer seasonings than before.

(Wow, I really ran with that…#2 will be short and sweet, I promise.)

2. It’s what’s inside (the bottle) that counts.

(This spoken by an America wine importer.)

First of all, way to twist that overused saying into a pretty fantastic idea. For it’s true: It is what’s inside the bottle that counts. I’m talking literally here. 

In terms of liquids, I generally stick to my top three: Water, coffee, wine.

And I love the idea of daily rituals. 

For instance, morning hydration is very important to me. It goes something like this:

Then, after my daily "cleanse", I move onto my one glorious cup of daily coffee/espresso: Strong and dark, black, with cinnamon. Usually brewed in a silver stovetop maker. (I did this before Italy, and it was one way that Italy immediately felt like home.)

Throughout the day, I carry my Motive Pure water vessel with me, which I carried throughout Italy as well. And, yes, I sometimes call it a water vessel. Because that's much more fun to say than plain old water bottle.

Now that I am back in my “home groove”, I make sure to add some Motive Pure to that water—especially when exercising, under the weather, or after those rare-but-we-all-have-them nights of relative debauchery when you wake up and realize that, no, you probably didn’t need that last drink. Summer in the city can also be wicked hot, so those extra electrolytes help in that department as well. I am SO excited to have two huge bottles in my refrigerator so that I don’t have to ration them, as I did with my precious small bottles!

PLUS, Motive Pure’s newest flavor is Pink Lemonade. I mean…Summer and lemonade, am I right? So refreshing, but without all of the sugary crap that you usually find in store-bought lemonade. (Yes, Dennis did make me homemade lemonade in Italy on the morning after he proposed, but honestly, how many of us make homemade lemonade on a regular basis—especially in the city?)

And, of course, vino. Much to my fiancé’s chagrin, I have no desire to drink bad wine. Not that I did before, but now it’s a heightened distaste. I refuse to be a wine snob, but suffice it to say that I will gladly spend an extra few bucks for a better bottle. Life is short, that’s what I say. So, I love to end the day with a glass of good wine.


In some ways, I feel as though I have taken a giant leap from one Wonderland into another more familiar landscape that has changed significantly. But some things remain the same, and all of those changes are at once thrilling and beautifully challenging, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

You take a leap of faith and leave the country for nine weeks, and you return engaged, with not one, but two new families.

I don't know about you, but I vote for leaping more often.