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When Menopausal Women Travel Together, Magic Happens

Lorraine Miano Images July 2022

Menopause Kuel Thought Leader: Lorraine Miano

There is just something wonderful about travel, in general. Add in a group of six menopausal women and a truly memorable and magical time ensues – when women travel together.

You may even live longer.

Natural Phase Of A Woman’s Life:

When it comes to menopause, I often find myself writing about the physical health aspects of this natural phase of a woman’s life. Obviously, our physical health is important. And women should understand that there is no need to suffer from any symptoms of hormone imbalance they may be experiencing.

“According to a landmark study done by UCLA, “friendships between women are special“”

BUT, having lived through the perimenopause experience, I find myself “on the other side”. The side known as post-menopausal. I can, now, attest to the importance of the “mental” or more directly – the “emotional” aspects of these glorious years. I now understand that this just may be more important, or at least as important, as our physical health.

There are numerous studies that have been done regarding the importance of women maintaining friendships with other women. These connections increase serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone. According to a landmark study done by UCLA, “friendships between women are special.”

Travel With Women – Up Those Happy Hormones:

“Friendships between women help shape who we are and who we are yet to be.” The study goes on to suggest that “they soothe our tumultuous inner world; fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are.” Wow. That is a whole lot of emotional support. The landmark study also suggests the stress we experience as women (can you say sandwich generation?) leads us to have a “cascade of brain chemicals” which has us seeking out friendships with other women.

I can write a whole other article just on this subject! For now, I’ll share how traveling with women can have those happy hormones shooting from our bodies like magical star beams. (I do love the word MAGIC, don’t you?)

“I had the opportunity to travel to Tuscany with a fabulous group of five other women.”

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Tuscany with a fabulous group of five other women. I was accompanied by my sister-in-law, Linda, who sadly lost her husband two years ago, and is also living with stage four liver cancer.

A Momentous Trip:

This was a momentous trip for her, which we booked a year before the actual travel dates through Kuel Life and Leslie Ender of Street View Adventure.

Linda was very excited to be going when we first booked the trip, as she really wanted to start living her life and travel again. As the travel date approached, she became more apprehensive, due mainly to her health, the state of the world, and Covid restrictions. It was understandable. Yet, I convinced her to stay positive, that all would be well and we would have a wonderful adventure. The date arrived and we went!

We decided to go two days ahead to be able to enjoy the stunning city of Florence. We got lost (literally crossed the Ponte Vecchio, and almost asked for directions on how to get to it), had lots of laughs, ate good food, drank a few Aperol Spritzes and Hugo’s, and thoroughly enjoyed our time together.  Then it was time to meet up with our group, and our journey to the Tuscan villa where we would be spending the week.

When Women Travel Together:

Because I am a regular contributor to Kuel Life, I already knew Jack Perez but had never met her in person. So, it was nice to finally give each other a great big hug. We had been in touch with Leslie, our tour director throughout the previous year (she is a great communicator!), so we were familiar with each other but had never met her or the other two lovely ladies, Kim & Jennifer, until that day.

“We definitely ran the gamut of life experiences. It made for very fun and lively conversations.”

The six of us were each at different places in our lives, but all were somewhere in the perimenopause to post-menopause phase. Two of us were married, one widowed, two divorced and dating, and one divorced and living with a significant other. We definitely ran the gamut of life experiences. It made for very fun and lively conversations. (What happens in Tuscany, stays in Tuscany! Ha-ha!) We immediately bonded and became friends. 

I Love To Travel!

Our reasons for coming on this trip were varied as well. Jack and Leslie put the trip together, and plan to do future adventures for midlife women who are seeking adventure and sisterhood. Kim had never been to Europe and didn’t have anyone she could travel with, so a women’s group sounded just right.

Kim was very nervous about the trip, especially when she had naysayers back home questioning her decision to travel with women she never met (yes there were kidnapping, serial killer jokes made). She actually almost canceled her trip at the airport on her way to Italy. She was so very glad that she didn’t…as were we! Jennifer was recently divorced, dating, and wanting an adventure. Linda of course was finding her way back to enjoying her life, while I will go anywhere when asked! I love to travel! I was truly excited and happy to experience Tuscany with Linda.

We’ve been sisters-in-law for almost 42 years, yet this was our first trip alone together. We had previously traveled with our husbands to Italy about 14 years prior. So, this was a very special and personal bonding experience for us. Even after all of these years, we found a new closeness and connection. 

Magical Place Called Italy:

The anxiety and apprehension each of us may have felt at the beginning of the trip soon melted away, and we found ourselves immersed in the wonderful beautiful culture of this magical place called Italy. Magical Tuscany to be exact. The villa on the centuries-old estate where we stayed was exactly what you would imagine Tuscany to be.

Old stone floors and fireplaces, charming bedrooms with cast iron beds and comfy quilts, gorgeous views of the lush green vineyards from just about every window, and the incredible feeling of being in a special relaxing and yes…. magical place. The sounds of birds chirping, roosters crowing, and church bells ringing just added to the fairytale feel of this splendid adventure. 

Longevity Is Yours For The Traveling:

We knew it was going to be wonderful when we arrived. Our own personal chef was there preparing a fabulous dinner, wine began flowing, a fire was lit, and laughter ensued. The following six days were just as magical. 

These are the moments that create lasting memories. These times of bonding with other “wise” women most definitely can lead to stress reduction, lower levels of depression, lower inflammation, and lower blood pressure. According to Psychology Today, “female friendships can be the key to happiness in older women, but they’re not often treated as such”.

women who were more socially integrated at around age 60 were living longer and were more likely to reach age 85 or older.” “

Start Planning Your Next Adventure!

In other words, we should be treating this nourishing act of female socialization as just as important as exercise and nutrition for our health and longevity. In a recent study by Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald, a research scientist and clinical psychologist at The Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness and in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found a connection between greater “social integration” and longer life in midlife women. The study found that “women who were more socially integrated at around age 60 were living longer and were more likely to reach age 85 or older.” 

So, my wise magical ladies, this is the time for you to start planning your next adventure! Whether it be with life-long girlfriends, or with “new” friends…health, happiness, and longevity are yours when women travel together.  

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About the Author:

As a post-menopausal woman herself, Lorraine Miano discovered her passion of offering menopause advocacy, support and resources to women in all phases of menopause through health coaching, proper nutrition and preventive lifestyle choices. She received her certifications as a Health Coach and hormone health expert from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has been able to help even more women by writing and publishing her first book, The Magic of Menopause: A Holistic Guide to Get Your Happy Back!
Lorraine loves to encourage her clients with her mantra “Menopause is NOT an ending! IT IS a new beginning!” When she’s not advocating for “the change”, you can find Lorraine traveling with her husband Richard, quite often to visit her 5 grandchildren who call her “Nonni”.

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