Provence 2022 Retreat Album
In October 2022, I took a group of women to Provence for the launch of The Good Life Retreat. After posting the retreat online and sharing in my newsletter, I went to sleep only to wake up to more applications than available spots. I was truly shocked. The applications were all so touching but I had to make hard choices about who would join me for this trip.
I truly wished I could take everyone but in the end I chose 7 women to join my team and some friends from Paris in what turned out to be the most magical week. We all agreed that the experience exceeded our expectations. The weather was perfect (even with some rainy day) and we felt like we had the towns to ourselves. Every day really felt like we were living the good life and getting inspired. A group of strangers became life long friends and we have all continued to chat and share in our Whatsapp chat group and have met up on my book tour in the States and in Paris during the past year.
If I am being super honest, I was worried people wouldn’t sign up for the retreat because it didn’t have a theme like many of the retreats out there: yoga, health, food and wine, career enhancement, writing, etc… But on day one, almost every guest expressed to me they like that about the retreat. Living the good life and finding joy in simple and every day experiences was exactly what they came for.
One of the guests, Lauren C., shared this testimonial with me:
“If Madame de la Maison is an extension of the elegant and always authentic Ajiri Aki, then The Good Life Retreat is that, incarnate. Ajiri is adept at designing tablescapes fit for royalty. One glance at her Instagram feed and it’s clear that she has mastered what the French refer to as joie de vivre. Suffice it to say, my expectations for The Good Life Retreat were high as I hurriedly signed on to attend.
And from day one, those expectations were exceeded. Provence was stunning. The towns we explored were nothing short of magical. The region’s art and architecture, frozen in time it seemed, made for a romantic backdrop to our daily jaunts. The food and wine were exquisite and relentless in all the right ways. We fell in love with Provence and its residents with each encounter. But as wonderfully executed as these experiences were, it is clear that Ajiri’s gift of careful curation also extends to cultivating fellowship and community.
It’s rare, I feel, that a group of women from various backgrounds and at very different places in life could bond so easily, develop trust so swiftly and share so generously of their dreams, fears and vulnerabilities. With the retreat I wanted to immerse myself in a more intentional, thoughtful way of living. Mission accomplished on that front. But as we opened our hearts during late-night chats over wine by the fire, it dawned on me that the real magic of the retreat were the bonds that had been formed, the memories and friendships that would fill us long after we returned home. And that is, indeed, the good life.”
Wow…like I said, this experience exceeded my expectations, even as the host, and I look forward to many more to come. Hope you enjoy this little photo album/snippet of this inaugural experience. (We probably collectively took 10,000 or more pics so this is just a snippet of our beautiful week together.)
Bisous xx, Ajiri