"Pay attention to the things you are naturally drawn to.
They are often connected to your path, passion, and purpose in life.
Have the courage to follow them."
~ Ruben Chavez
Hi, I’m Vicki Wilson. I live in a small town in Northern, California, where I'm surrounded by national parks filled with majestic redwoods and the beauty of the wild Pacific ocean. I’m so pleased that you are interested in A Woman’s Path. I’m excited to share my ideas, my passions, and my dreams! But first, I would like to share with you my story.
I’m an entrepreneur, proud mother, blessed grandmother, and woman of faith. I’m passionate about life, and compassionate and empathic about the lives of others. I’m a dreamer, a searcher, and a believer in possibilities! My life’s path has had many turns, detours, switchbacks, and even some dead ends! But, I believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I began to embrace changes in my life, starting in my fifties!
MY BIG MOVE…
In 2007, some three years after leaving a 28-year marriage, I made the decision to leave my old life, and move from one end of California to the other. I closed a successful catering business in Humboldt County, said good-bye to family and friends, and off I went! I remember loading up a large moving van, hopping in my car, and beginning the 14-hour journey to my new life in San Diego! Those 14 hours were filled with the kind of excitement that I imagined my children felt when they left for college – freedom, excitement, and the dream of a new adventure!
MY PERSONAL QUEST…
Along with embracing change, I was on a quest to understand myself as a woman, with a past, with a present, and with a future! I wanted to understand when, where, and why I became lost in my life. When did I decide that I had no voice? Where did the notion come from? Why had I put everyone else’s needs before my own? Why did I hurt myself and others, in order to be heard? I was not only embracing change, but I was seeking to understand and truly know myself, for possibly the first time in my life.
I read, I researched, I questioned. I spent time journaling, meditating, and I crying. I walked for miles, prayed for guidance, sought counseling, and (did I mention?) I cried! I was determined to find the answers to my questions, no matter how much it hurt. And in those answers, I discovered me: the beautiful me and the not-so-beautiful me. After, two very long years, it was time to move forward on my life’s path with peace, self-compassion, and a heart filled with excitement for all the possibilities!
MY PERUVIAN ADVENTURE…
By 2009, I found myself yearning for a travel adventure! So, I went online and signed up to go on a retreat, with 10 other women, to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. This was new for me! I didn’t know any of the women, but I knew one thing for sure - I had to go! The trip proved to be amazing! Not only did it begin my love of travel, but the trip helped to start me on a path of more discoveries. Not only discoveries about the amazing world we live in, but a deeper understanding of who I am in the world. My eyes were opened to mankind and the gifts we have to offer to one another if we are willing to take a chance. That understanding led me to eventually return to my hometown, ready to reconnect and re-discover my family and friends. I also wanted to go back to school and finish what I had started, so long ago.
After years of taking courses at a junior college, while I raised my 3 children, I went back to school at age 57! I graduated with two Associate of Arts Degrees; Humanities and Communication, and Behavioral and Social Science. These degrees reinforced my strong desire over the years, to understand the path of others, as well as, communicate with them on a deeper level. Although I had hoped to go on to University, at the age of 60, I knew that the cost was going to be prohibitive. Plus, I felt that there was something else calling me, I just hadn’t discovered what it was yet!
60 AND EUROPE…
Turning 60 was a turning point! Not only was I beginning a new decade, but, I was about to receive a gift that would start me on my greatest adventure! My son and his wife gave me the trip of a lifetime – Europe! A dear friend and I spent five weeks traveling and exploring England, Ireland, France, and Italy! And once again, I was changed!! Seeing history and experiencing the different cultures thrilled me. And, my imagination went wild with all the possibilities for the future! It was affirming to realize that I had the skills to organize a five-week trip, out of the country. Plus, taking care of the details ahead of time, made for a very successful European adventure! I began to see myself facilitating groups of women, home and abroad. Inviting women from near and far, who wanted to open their hearts and minds, to new adventures. To discover for themselves; who they are and what they want on their life path.
This was the “something else” calling to me.
BEST LAID PLANS…
So, once home, I begin training, through an online course, to become a retreat facilitator. The experience was everything I had hoped for, and more! The exercises pushed me to think more deeply than I ever had, and opened my heart to uncover what I had been hiding. I was ready to take a new path in life and nothing was going to hold me back. With my training nearly complete, it was on to the week-long Practicum and Graduation, in Sedona, Arizona.
Of course, life often has different plans for us, so for the next 6 months, I would find myself staying close to home, as my 95-year old mother was slowly ending her time here on earth. The hours she and I spent together talking and crying rebuilt the “mother/daughter” relationship that had been strained for many years. We had always been close, yet, often at odds with one another. I knew that if my mom died without resolving our deep-seated issues, I would have to live with the consequences, and that was not acceptable. So, using some of the techniques I had learned in my training, I can honestly say that my mom and I found a new respect and love for one another. The practices I learned help to change one of the most important and difficult relationships in my life. I have a peace with our relationship that surpasses all understanding.
MY DREAM IS BORN…
A few months after my mom’s funeral, I was ready to complete my training. During the Practicum, it became very clear to me that this was the dream and the adventure that I had been yearning for all those years! Six months later, I attended a Master Facilitator Training, giving me the confidence I needed to plan and execute my first retreat.
As I made preparations for "Healing the Wounded Heart Retreat", I was excited and anxious about the outcome, hoping that the women who attended the retreat would find the tools and exercises beneficial in their everyday lives. The positive feedback from the participants was confirmation that many women shared my desire for personal growth and understanding. I have had several retreats since that time and each one is directed to a particular theme for women. "Finding Joy," "Coming Home to Yourself," and "Finding Your Authentic Self," have each made a difference in the lives of the women who attended them.
My first International Retreat!
In June of 2018, I participated in my first international retreat on Lake Como, Italy. The trip was amazing and I was overwhelmed by the encouragement and support from the other 10 women in attendance. It was clear by their comments, that I was now ready to lead my own international retreats of like-minded women!
Then, in September 2019, I planned and facilitated my own 11-day retreat to Ireland with six wonderful women. We landed in Shannon and enjoyed the village of Bunratty. Then, spend five days in Doolin, where we hiked 7-miles of the Cliffs of Moher, visited the Aran Islands, and enjoyed many other excursions. We spent one night ini Galway and then took the train to Dublin. In Dublin, we visited St. Patrick's Cathedral, Book fo Kells, and Guinness Storehouse. The highlight was attending Riverdance at the Gaiety Theater. The retreat was everything I had hoped it would be and the ladies who attended made my first International travel retreat a great success!
Now, I'm ready to spend all my energy on Travel Retreats for Women.
MY INVITATION TO YOU…
I hope my story, although long, tells you something about the process I have gone through in discovering my personal path. We are all on a journey and no matter where you are on that journey, I would love to be a part of it! So, my invitation to you is: come, discover who you are, where you are; be open to the many possibilities; and, allow your dreams to become reality!
This is just the beginning!