From London to Ibiza: My Story

Harmonic_Escapes_Founder_Cynthia_Micallef
 

Hailing from Malta, I am an island girl through and through. After 18 years of living in London, working in a corporate environment, my young family and I decided it’s time to follow our dream to check out “Ibiza living” for one year.

We have always been adventurous and although it was a big decision, we thought “if not now then when?” Four years on and we’re still living on this beautiful island with an amazing sense of community. The kids get to spend most of their time outdoors, winter and summer and the best bit is being 10 minutes away from Ibiza’s amazing beaches, not just for one week but also for the whole year!

 

How did my yoga journey begin?

So how did my journey from being an accountant in banking lead me to yoga, Ibiza and hosting retreats? Well….as you might expect, the corporate world ran its course. I was constantly coming up with new projects and businesses as I always felt that there is more to life than a finance career. However, every time I left a job to start a business or to go travelling, a few months later I found myself back at my desk. Many times for financial reasons, but also I guess it was ego, that thing in your head saying “But you worked/studied so hard for this!”

Yes I was looking for something more, but the path opened up in an unexpected way.

My yoga journey started in the city, being told by my personal trainer my body is crying out for yoga (he probably sensed my stress levels ha!). It was not love at first sight, not at all. My body ached all over, my mind raced, I definitely could not relax in Shavasana (resting corpse pose at the end of every class) and anyway what was that language the yoga teacher was talking? But I stuck with it  and being asked every week by my personal trainer did help

 

Fast forward and I was hooked on yoga!

Fast forward a few years and I was hooked. Yoga gave me better flexibility, it gave me self-awareness, it gave me self-enquiry and so much more. The thing is, yoga is not a quick fix, one has to be in it for the long haul. With yoga, my interest in nutrition and everything else that is wellbeing followed. My life became yoga, my weekends became yoga, the books I read, my holidays, I totally immersed myself in the world of yoga.

 

Opening a yoga studio and having a baby

I decided to leave accountancy behind by opening open a yoga studio in Canary Wharf in the City of London. I was pregnant during the planning phase and I ended up giving birth in the same week when the studio launched. Yes that wasn’t easy.

Unfortunately I had to close the studio but my love of yoga stayed. Closing the studio was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. I never expected to close it so quickly after spending so much effort, so much time, so much energy on creating such a beautiful space for busy city workers. However, sometimes you have to let go of whatever does not serve you. 

 

New baby, new country, new challenge!

We decided to move to Ibiza a few years later for no other reason than to experience living in another country. Ibiza was always somewhere we wanted to experience. We already had the challenge of opening and closing a yoga studio within one year; a move to a new country was just another one of our adventures.

Moving to Ibiza with my three-year old son and a one-month old baby was no easy task at first. A new country, switching to country-side living with no immediate family or close friends was a struggle. But the weekends at the beach for our first Ibiza summer more than made up for it. We started making new friends, connections, building community and the support network that we didn’t have in London.

 

Shall we stay or shall we go?

Ibiza has its challenges; it’s not all beaches and parties with a cocktail in your hand. It is school runs, lots of driving and yes sometimes island fever. But every time we think of moving again, the island gives us a sign that we should stay. In no other place have I felt so connected with the energy and I am now learning how to listen to it instead of ignoring it.

 

I love being a mum but I needed a new challenge

Harmonic Escapes (previously called Diosa Hayya retreats) was born out of wanting to do something else apart being a mum, to be active again, to use my brain outside of motherhood. Starting a yoga project with my school friend from Malta was the obvious choice and retreats brought all my interests – yoga – nutrition - wellbeing together in one place. Hosting yoga retreats connects all the dots, my passions and my desire to be of service to others.

 

What does the future hold?

I do not know where it will take me, I do not know if Harmonic Escapes will grow into something bigger. All I know is I am doing it now. I have taken action. I did not wait for the right moment to start (reaching 40 did help!). Taking care of two young kids is not easy as it is. Yes it does involve working late nights, missing yoga classes and sleepless nights but something keeps me going.

 

Finding the right balance is never ending

As a mum my quest for finding balance is never-ending. I am slowly learning to go to sleep earlier, getting back to practicing yoga so I can be a better mum and at the same time have more creative ideas for Harmonic Escapes.

 

I love empowering other people

One of the cornerstones of Harmonic Escapes is empowerment. Many of our guests are empowered after joining our retreats. Empowered to take that decision, whether changing careers, moving countries, getting married, whatever it is. Going on a yoga retreat gives one the time to stop and re-fuel your power to take matters into your own hands.

Thank you for reading my story and how I came to create Harmonic Escapes. I hope my journey will inspire you in your journey to create something beautiful, something that you believe will be of service to others.

Cynthia

xxx

For more information on the yoga retreats we offer, please click here.

 

 
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