Ossola Sport

Irena Ossola – Dedication and Determination

Guide Life in Italia

I arrived in Italy on August 23rd , and I have been non stop since August 23rd.  To explain this a bit more and to prove how go-go-go I’ve been; I arrived at my dad’s house in Northern Italy on the 23rd and on the 24th I left in the morning for Tuscany to start working in tour guiding. 



It is such a different experience and life style from which I’m used to while cycling.  In the past month and a half, I have been to Tuscany (central), Puglia (south), Piedmonte (north), Tuscany, Piedmonte, Puglia, Tuscany (1 day) and now again in Puglia. 







It’s all been over about 1 week spans since I arrived.   I haven’t really slept in the same bed for more than 2 nights and I eat at restaurants almost every night. 

And through all of this traveling around I also managed to race in the World Championships of Gran Fondo, which was in Varese (northern Italy) where my dad’s family is from. It was an amazing experience and I am so happy and proud to have been able to ride in it. And I do say ride instead of race because I wasn’t in the form or fitness to be at a competitive state. I participated and enjoyed being in the group, but again couldn’t have really pushed as hard as was needed to win. And that’s ok, it was great to do it and now on to be guiding and focusing on being stronger for next year on the bike.

So back to guiding talk now….

I love this life that’s exciting and a change of pace from the usual flow of day in and day out training and routine.  There are certainly things from back home which I miss.  And I do miss being on the bike everyday and training all day.  But for the time being, I enjoy and am grateful for the change.  I still get to ride almost everyday with clients and the lifestyle of top restaurants and hotels is something incredible that only Butterfield & Robinson can offer.

This lifestyle really is all encompassing.  I work about 18 hrs a day to prepare for or be with the travelers. Which is ok and completely my choice too, I like to be on top of things and am a little A type 😉  for perfection.











When on trip it is this full time work schedule that is so on demand that I don’t have any personal time.  

But I love it too, the multitasking and organizing I am so good at.   Then when I’m off trip I have a complete introvert meltdown where I just want to have a salad and be alone in a bedroom to rest.  Since August 23rd I really haven’t had any personal time until now, 10th of October.  So just a little bit of time.

I just realized that today is the 10th of October.  wow….It’s been 11 months since I almost died.  I am so grateful for everyday I am alive and know I am a different person for having survived this.  Everyday I learn so much about myself and I have grown and adapted and become a different personality for it.   1 more month till my new birthday.  And I really do consider it that.  It was a birthday for me.  I lived in a moment when I should have gone.  This is truly incredible. I am truly grateful.


This is a picture from yesterday, riding in Puglia to scope out the routes that we ride with the clients.  It was so beautiful and warm!!

This is a view from riding in Piedmonte (north), it was so beautiful there and loved the hills!!