Redefining Luxury / by Cherryl Duncan

For those of you who know me well, know that I enjoy a touch (ok, more than a touch) of luxury just as much as the next girl.
You don’t spend as much time in Schloss Elmau https://www.schloss-elmau.de  as I do without a true appreciation for everything that the 5th star in a 5 star hotel gives you.

I consider myself to have lived a somewhat adventurous life so far, and I am lucky enough to say that I have also had my fair share of the fancy and the luxurious throughout my travels, mostly afforded by my job which, sadly (depends on who’s perspective) constitutes a luxury goods item.
 
Please do not misunderstand me, my life has not been one long 5 star ride, it absolutely has not, nor have I come even vaguely close to teetering on the edge of starvation and homelessness,  but I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy many wonderful places and would absolutely choose an upgrade (if offered/hustled) on a long distance flight as opposed to fighting it out with the people in economy as some statement against the wealthy.
 
I recently found myself seated next to a biologist traveling from South Africa to Switzerland, who, after I suggested they at least let the economy class folk in a door after the business class section (I didn’t think it necessary to see the life we’re missing out on) said, ‘I feel sorry for the people in business class because they have nothing better to spend their money on.’ Which for a scientist I thought was a quite frankly, a bad argument or at least a false statement.  I am sure there are many people flying business class who have great ideas on how to spend their money and a night of good sleep, no muscle ache and a decent meal in my mind is a great way to spend money, if you have it.
 
Which brings me to my point, what does luxury actually mean to me?
 
Have you thought about it?
 
Because, while I enjoy fluffy white towels and scented candle baths and good champagne and anything from Sandro or Maje, I also enjoy quiet, sleep, wholesome simple food, very clean drinkable water, space, nature, being warm, and large stretches of time; time in which to engage with the real pleasures of life,

which for me when I think about it, are actually really simple:
Reading
Writing
Yogaring
Being in nature (ok, do not think camping style for that would be a proper wrong view of what being in nature looks like to me )
And more recently, LESS AIR TRAVEL.

So regarding flying, luxury to me does not actually mean a business class flight (although I’d still choose it over an economy one), but rather it means not flying at all.
 
Where our planet is headed, and taking into account the dire situation regarding its natural resources, a new definition of luxury will and perhaps already is being imposed upon us; the luxury of air, water and fresh food.
This happens to mirror a lot of what is fast becoming my new definition of luxury.
Time, however, is not dependent on anything other than the choices we make on how to use what we’re given. Of course one could argue that time is the ultimate limited resource since we’re absolutely only given a certain amount, but that’s missing the point somewhat.
 
My recent visit to Eremito, the forward thinking design hotel in Italy, and where I will be hosting the Vintage Yoga retreat (together with wine maker extraordinaire, Mark Weldon of Terra Sancta Wines) was the inspiration for me to start thinking about what luxury means to me. It evoked an invitation to examine what it means to have a life that looks good as opposed to what it feels like.
Marcello, the owner of the hotel has done this too perfection.
Simply luxury without the over -the –top opulence, there’s an exquisite taste to starting to view the world in this way; and that is the taste of discernment.
 
When it takes a little bit from the side of the person enjoying the experience – a certain subtlety, a certain imagination, a taste for nuance and I hesitate to use this much overused term, but I will; mindfulness. When it isn’t thrown in your face with obvious extravagance, but takes a moment to notice it’s innate quality and beauty.

This is my new luxury and this is what my journey is about this year.
A smaller, bigger life. That means sensuality, a lot more time, slower, richer, deeper…
 
Join me at Eremito where my luxury becomes a reality.
You can read all about the retreat here http://www.cherrylduncan.com/events/2018/10/20/vintage-yoga-retreat-umbria-italy and email me here cherryl@cherrylduncan.com to book your spot.
 
Find me on Instagram where I’ll share a bit about my journey and of course all my yoga classes, trainings, and workshops and just about my life in general and my most recent move to Switzerland. 
https://www.instagram.com/cherrylduncan_yoga/
 
With Love
Cherryl