THE SPA IN ME
Interview With Page Lambert of Creative Travel Adventures with Page Lambert
Page Lambert grew up in Colorado where she fell in love with harebells, wild onions, and gangly ponderosas. In her teens, she courted rivers, cottonwoods, horses, and frogs. She’s been writing nature ever since. Author of the memoir In Search of Kinship, the novel Shifting Stars, widely published essays, poems, and stories, she teaches in the graduate writing program at the University of Denver. Her River Writing Journeys for Women were once featured in Oprah’s O Magazine as “One of the top, all girl getaways of the year. In 2022, she celebrates 25 years of river journeys, 15 years of horseback writing in Wyoming, six years of weaving words and women in Peru,” and the first Springtime in Italy retreat.
Thank you so much for joining us in this conversation. We would love to know your back story. What are some of your fondest writing and travel experiences as a child?
In 1964, my parents leased our Colorado home, cashed in their modest stock portfolio, quit their jobs, took my sister and me out of school for a year, drove to the World’s Fair in New York City, continued on to Montreal, bought tickets on a steamship bound for England, sold our wood-paneled station wagon, sailed down the St. Lawrence Seaway and across the Atlantic Ocean. We were gone for a year, visited 27 different countries, and returned across the Pacific, sailing under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. I wrote my first short story in Spain, at the age of 13. In the attached photo, I am on a train leaving Rome (probably revising the story), though I don’t remember. What I do remember is discovering the depth and breadth of humanity—from the Parsis’ Tower of Silence in India, with the bones of a loved one dangling from a vulture’s beak—to the frozen face of an East German guard marching with a machine gun along the border at Check Point Charlie. When we returned to the United States, we lost our Colorado home in a flood. I learned that travels enrich our understanding of humanity because we understand that everyone has a story.
What inspired you to start offering retreats?
When I was invited to be one of 15 contributors to the essay and photography book, WRITING DOWN THE RIVER: INTO THE HEART OF THE GRAND CANYON, I realized after two weeks in the wilderness that I wanted to create creative adventures for writers. The following year, working with a professional outfitter, I launched my first “River Writing Journeys for Women.” That was 25 years ago.
Where do you host the retreats? What do you find special about the locations where the retreats are held?
I host retreats on rivers in the American West, on ranches in Wyoming, in the foothills and mountains of Colorado, in Peru’s Sacred Valley and “Wonder of the World” Machu Picchu, in the sacred Native American lands of New Mexico, in historic New England, and, for the first time, in the wine country of Tuscany, Italy.
Are there any special stories that you can share about a person that was impacted by attending your retreats?
One woman wrote to me, telling me that her two favorite things in the world were writing and canoeing, but she didn’t think it would be possible for her to come on the river because she had suffered a stroke four years prior that had left her debilitated in many ways. She still used a feeding tube, and (in her own words), “walked and talked like a drunken sailor.” I reached out to the professional outfitter about the safety issues, and together we were able to find a way to let her join our flotilla of women. She wrote a beautiful children’s story about a baby seal who had trouble moving when on land, but who could swim like a dolphin in the water. “The river gave me back my grace,” she said.
What do you find satisfying about the work you do now?
Well, all of the above, I guess. Actually, the thing I find most satisfying is watching my guests—the women, especially, fall back in love with life.
How do you want people to remember their experience at the retreats you offer?
I have dozens and dozens of testimonials on my website where people have commented on their experiences. Some even mention that they were life-changing experiences. Most, I want them to feel as if they’ve entered a whole new realm of possibility.
What is your favorite life quote and how do you apply it to your life?
Life is an adventure. Write it! Live it! Love it!
Thank you for this meaningful conversation. We wish you continued success.
You can learn more about Creative Travel Adventures with Page Lambert by visiting her website and social media pages at:
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