A lot of you wander here in search of vegan and long haul travel advice. But some of you (the ones who stick around and support me, I love you all so much!) have a genuine interest in me as a person and how my inner journey unfolds. I owe you a bit of an update… So it’s been six months – SIX! That’s the longest I have stayed anywhere in three years – since I arrived in Berlin from Milan. Obviously, the pace has been very different from the constant backpacking or bicycle touring you’ve known me to do, and the current state of the blog is a reflection of that – I feel like I have nothing exciting for you to bite into. It’s hard for me to share what I am up to for various reasons, and I have been postponing it up until now.
I randomly met a friend in Chiang Mai who told me about this yoga teacher training she’d signed up for in India in February. “I’d love to go to India to do yoga”, I sighed absentmindedly. I’d been practising yoga most days since leaving Canada in January 2014, but it never occurred to me that my practice was strong enough to consider a teacher training, and this was not part of my plan anyway (in hindsight I realise that I did not actually have a plan – and I still don’t), so my words didn’t really mean much.
This is my experience with bicycle touring in the Balkans in late Fall with a broken heart and a broken bicycle.
2015 was a year of great changes for me: in the span of just a few short months, I lost a family member as well as my long-term relationship, amongst other things. Travelling became something that I both dreaded to do by myself and needed to do all at the same time, and I, fortunately, came to the simple realization that what I needed above all was to change how I travelled. So I swapped my backpack for a bicycle and everything suddenly clicked into place.
I’m sitting in the departure lounge with tears rolling down my face, staring blankly at my telephone screen, knowing he is also online, right there at the other end. Part of me would like a few last comforting words, but I can’t seem to think of anything to write that won’t make me look like the desperate mess that I am. What is there to say anyway? We’ve said hello and goodbye briefly a few weeks ago – and perhaps that was all a huge mistake – but this really should not be what the magic of the journey of self-discovery I have been on those past months amounts to, in the wake of a 20-month South East Asian whirlwind adventure. Yet, here I am, balling my eyes out and feeling like I’m back to square one.
If someone had told me a few months ago that I would be voluntarily enrolling myself to sit cross-legged on the floor, without moving, 10 hours a day for 7 days in a Buddhist monastery – in complete silence – I would have chuckled in your face and told you that you were mistaking me for someone else.
“If there is no joy, ease, or lightness in what you are doing, it does not necessarily mean that you need to change what you are doing. It may be sufficient to change the how. “How” is always more important than “what”. See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it.”
-Eckart Tolle, The Power of Now
As a lot of you know, my boyfriend broke up with me. People seem surprised at how well I have bounced back, but, in all honesty, this was one of the hardest experiences of my life.
A few weeks ago, in the town of Mapusa, Northern Goa, India, a man called Ramakrishna stared right through my soul before making me a small bottle of perfume.