This month, I took a much-needed break from my regular, workaday world and zigged from my usual zag of spending the weekend in Seoul. Why the departure? I and some girlfriends bought tickets to a yoga retreat at a spa resort. Squeee!!
Since January, I’ve been taking mini getaways through WinK (When in Korea) Travel, an excursion group that caters to expats. When one of my girlfriends tagged me on the yoga getaway, I had to do it.
The destination was the Cistar resort in Donggang, located in Yeongwol County in a southerly region of Gangwon Province. The weekend was going to include a seven-session marathon of yoga followed by a pool party at the resort’s indoor/outdoor pool park on Saturday and a bit of sightseeing on the way home on Sunday. Plus, me and my girls would be packing wine, cheese and snacks for enjoying in our comfy, condo-like digs at the resort. Double squeee!
It All Started So Beautifully
The Cistar is a beaut of a property, surrounded by breathtaking mountainside and overlooking a stretch of the Pyeongchang River. The accommodations were modern and new, and everyone in our travel group stayed in spacious, three-bedroom, two-bath apartments. While only one of them had a bed, the other rooms featured super-pillowy floor mats to sleep on atop the ondol (heated floor).
slept sat through a presentation preceding the yoga marathon (which was part of a larger yoga conference), then went back to our rooms to change into our yoga wear. After a buffet lunch, my friends and I couldn’t resist laying out in the sun for a while ahead of the yoga. This was the first day it truly felt like spring, so it felt absolutely wondrous to absorb some rays. Check out my joy here.
All in all, the yoga — interspersed with some sessions on mindful breathing and meditation — was OK; I’d say only one session really got me going. That said, I’ll take hours of restful body movement and breathing any day!
Where It All Went Wrong
And that was the end of the coherent and healthy part of my yoga weekend. From here on out, y’all, I was a ranking officer in the Poor Choices Brigade. Or, rather, the Mindless Choices Army. Yeah, I’ll go with that branch of the Moron Military.
Although I hydrated throughout the yoga marathon (not that any of it was particularly sweat-inducing), I was probably a tad dehydrated by the end of it. Upon joining my comrades in our room (my two girlfriends and I got chummy with the three other girls assigned to the apartment), I also joined them in starting to drink wine nonstop. I even glanced at my trusty water bottle and thought, “I should probably finish that up before moving onto vino.” But, alas, I never did.
I had probably downed a glass and a half before we ventured to the pool party. The Cistar resort has an awesome spa facility, featuring heated indoor pools with jets and fountains and outdoor hot tubs. We went straight for the outdoor hot tubs and kept the wine-sipping going. Who am I kidding — it was wine chugging. We played Never Have I Ever with our roomies and just had a terrific time. Soon, someone from WinK popped up offering tequila shots straight from the bottle. Good idea, right? The Mindless Choices Army said, “Roger that.”
All this while, I’m forgetting that the hot tub is literally sapping my inner hydration away. Soon my mild buzz was full-blown drunkenness, though it still all felt manageable.
Where It All Went Wronger
At some point, we left the hot tub and ventured to the dry sauna. And that’s where the Mindless Choices Army staged a coup of my faculties, because in my right mind, I would’ve seen that a sauna visit was the worst of so many ideas. I mean, I’d already sous vided the water right out of myself in the hot tub, now I was baking myself in a sauna. OY!
Needless to say, my last memories of the evening were facing a trash bin and then cowering in the ladies room until I heard the voice of one of my girlfriends, who’d come around looking for me. AMEN! Super-needless to say, the next day was horrendous. While I woke up feeling no pain, within an hour of sitting up, my body would punish me for the next 48 hours. And, to top it off, my pride was dinged. I felt such embarrassment at being the sloppy drunk I mentally finger-wag others about being. I’m too old for this shit! But believe it or not, this wasn’t the first time I’d gotten irresponsibly drunk on a WinK trip, sadly enough.
Chewing on it now, I think I was trying too hard to chum it up with the kids on these excursions, including my suitemates — the people who frequent WinK trips tend to be in their late 20s or younger, and you’d think it’d be enough to just be mistaken for being around that age. Nope. Something inside me needs to dive face-first into the punch bowl … and prove what? I guess to prove that I can still party with the young’uns …? Maybe this is my attempt at a middle finger to aging and a refusal to be pulled farther into the 40s? I dunno; I’m still hashing it out in my brain, but I hope in future trips to just keep calm and carry on … like the woman of a certain age that I am (which needn’t preclude having a blast). I guess I need to remember that I can project youth without making youthful mistakes. Lesson learned!