The Indian ocean feels warm. I’m floating on my back, watching the waves. When a big one comes, I swim as hard as I can, feel the wave and ride it on my belly all the way to the beach. A big scream escapes my throat. I turned 43 years old today, but I’m still a big kid. A big kid that has a double celebration, because I’m not only having my birthday today, I’m also on the road for a year.
Birthdays are not a big thing for me. I celebrate them once every five years, for the rest I try to get away from them. Last year wasn’t any different. I gave a yoga concert in the morning – what felt really special on my birthday – and was driven by my good friend Ingrid to the international airport of Frankfurt afterwards.
Back in time
I celebrated my birthday on my own in the plane and by flying back in time I had it in the airspace above Europa, in the Dominica Republic, where we landed for a stopover, in Costa Rica, where I changed planes and in Nicaragua where I finally arrived.
This year Sampoorna Yoga asked me to come out a little bit earlier to assist on their 300 hours Yoga Teacher Training. It meant I escaped the Netherlands again,, at the same time it meant I couldn’t totally escape it. Which was nice as well; enjoying a cake with all the amazing students of the 300 hours we’re running now.
Desert and drinks
At night Nina – one of the other Karma yogis – took me out for desert and drinks. We found an almost empty beach restaurant, got a cocktail and stared over the Indian ocean. It was a little magical moment for me. Leaving The Netherlands on my birthday last year and celebrating my birthday in India this year, means I’m on the road for a full year.
Well, more or less. I’ve been to the Netherlands to visit family and be in my old house for a while. We have a law that states that I have to be there four months a year. Adding up all the weeks I’ve been there I did my four months. But it never felt as being home, being back in the regular, Dutch life. It always felt as a stopover: arranging all the things I have to arrange to write this blog, to teach at retreats and Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the way I do. It were weeks of contemplation and organization.
Being on the road still makes me feel free. I’ve been on three continents in the last 365 days: not counting the ones I stopped over to change planes. I visited eight different countries, made new friends all over the world, have been teaching yoga at retreats, workshops and yoga teacher trainings. I have massaged and helped people of different cultures. I’ve been swimming in the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. I’ve shot photos, made videos and wrote blogs in restaurants, on bus stations, airports, beaches, hostels, in planes, trains and buses.
I’ve got a general idea for the next months, but precisely I’ve no idea where I will be tomorrow. If I start working somewhere, I do make a commitment, but also keep the freedom to walk away from the place if things don’t work out. I don’t do anything anymore, don’t stay anywhere anymore where I don’t enjoy what I’m doing.
Thank you all
But the best thing of all is all the beautiful people I’ve met around the world. I know for long that it’s not the place where you are, it are the people with whom you are there that make life beautiful. And I met some amazing beautiful souls. Too much to name them all, but from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you all for this amazing year, this double celebration and I truly hope our paths will cross again one day.