It’s already March. That means I’ve been on the road for four and a half months. Time flies by. A lot has happened and 99 percent of it was good.
Four and a half months travelling had lead through a lot of questions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and through this blog. Yesterday I got an email of a friend and former student that sums up most of the questions. How am I doing, how am I doing it, what am i missing and what has changed in my life?
I’ll try to answer most of them. If you have questions as well, just keep sending them. I’ll answer a lot of them: personally and through this blog.
For those who don’t know: I was running a yoga studio and a massage practice in the Netherlands. I sold both, because I was just working and didn’t had time anymore to do my own yoga practice. Too much administration, too much e-mail. I started my yoga school out of the love for yoga and out of curiousity where my spiritual quest would bring me. But having no time ‘to walk my path’ it was leading me to nowhere, so I decided to sell my school and to do what the ‘old yogi’s’ did: wander, teach and look for people who could guide me on my path. I created a little wish list, but these were the most important things.
So back to now, back to the questions: how am I doing, am I living ‘in the moment’, living my life day to day, not worrying about the future?
I am happy, very happy. Last week I had tears in my eyes; from happiness. I taught a yoga class on Sunday and had problems focussing. Not because of my mind – well maybe – but because of all the beauty around my. A big lizard walked down the tree and halfway the trunk it just set and watched. On my other side there was a monkey, watching as well. A little red hummingbird was feeding on the nectar of the flowers behind me, a few meters a further other birds were washing themselves in the fountain we have between the trees and a big, very big butterfly was flying above our heads.
The next morning I woke up at five – like I normally do – and started my yoga practice in the dark on the balcony of my cabin in the middle of the woods. Slowly it became light and nature woke up with birds singing around me, chickens looking for food underneath me, squirrels running up and down the trees and dogs stopping by, checking my practice. That moment I just realised: this is all I want, do my practice, be among nature, teach, write, make photo’s and videos, share and study. And that’s all I do here.
At this moment I couldn’t be in a better place. I’ve got time to do my yoga and Paulette, the amazing lady who runs La Mariposa (the Spanish school and Eco-hotel I work) gives me all the freedom to do my work and to create my own projects. I take photos and videos, which I love, and teach yoga. I work in exchange for food and stay and don’t have to worry – for this moment – about making money, getting enough students to the school, doing administration etc. So I can totally live in the moment and focus on what I love.
I have to say, it relaxes me. I feel it in my body, I notice it in my practice and focus, I notice it in my meditations, were I’m less distracted and I notice it how I feel. I feel free, I feel happy. I hardly have moments I feel ‘down’ and I don’t worry about tomorrow, next week or next month.
What did I discover living from day to day?
Flow is the best word to describe how I life and feel I guess. Being in this flow, brings the things I want on my path. I’ve read a lot about creating your own live. Putting intentions out there and ‘the universe’ will supply you with it. I believe in this, but I also believe you shouldn’t leave it with just intentions. You have to take action as well. I try to be active, work on my creations by spending a lot of time on social media, connecting, answering questions by mail, by Facebook, by Twitter.
My posts on Facebook brought Petra Tomuta – an old friend – on my path again and she gave me the opportunity to be a guest teacher at her yoga retreat and thanks to Pleuni van Hulten I will probably teach a Yoga Teacher Training in Budapest this year and Mariposa offers me the option to teach low-budget yoga retreats which I always wanted. Being at La Mariposa, meeting people here, brought Terre des Hommes on my path, who asked me to make videos for them in India and Pakistan. An amazing opportunity. So by doing what I want, things are falling into place.
Am I worrying about the future?
Not at all. I think that’s the good thing about ‘living in the moment’ and being in this flow and seeing how ‘everything is provided’. I work here in exchange for food and stay. I know I have to make some money at some point, but things look good with ‘Budapest’ and Terre des Hommes. So I have faith. I believe this flow will also provide me with the money I need to go from one place to the other.
What did travelling bring me so far?
An amazing feeling of freedom, an amazing trust in the universe. The strong believe that if I live the life I want, if I do what I love ‘the universe’ is taking care of me.
Am I lonely?
I love my privacy, my space. I live in a little cabin in the woods, a hundred meters from the school and hotel. Enough to be ‘away’ from it all and at the same time close by enough to be surrounded by people. There are so many interesting characters passing by, having interesting jobs, living interesting lifestyles I just love connecting with them. By now I’m detached enough not to be sad when they go, because I know there place will be taken by other people. The two interns (one just left) whom I work with are really sweet and caring and make me feel at home. Internet does the rest. I’ve just been on skype with Mark, I play wordfeud in Spanish with Ingrid, chat on Facebook with friends, do Skype and Facebook calls with those people who want to stay in touch and feel blessed with all the new people I meet. So I haven’t felt lonely yet.
I’m a strong believer in the message of Don Miquel Ruiz: we should love our self, fill up our own glass, so we don’t depend on others to do it, but share the enormous amount of love we have inside of us when we connect with this big source of love we have in us. I think I’m getting there.
How is my Spanish going and how is contact with locals?
To be honest: I think my Spanish should be way better for somebody being on the road for four and a half months. I’m hanging out with English speaking people to much. But I just started studying again; two hours every day. And I get along with one of the teachers very well. She wants to improve her English, so every weekend we get together for two hours and have a conversation: half in English, half in Spanish.
I get along with all the people working at La Mariposa. I’m trying to talk with them, so I can improve my Spanish. Bit by bit they’re opening up for yoga and starting to ask questions, related to their health. I’ll be teaching a class this Monday, especially for some of them. Others ask help with translations of documents of devices.
For the rest of the community I will always be a foreigner. I’m too tall, have to crazy hair to be a local. Being outside of San Juan I pay ‘gringo’ prices. In San Juan people know me. The name La Mariposa does miracles as well. It’s an institute, opens doors and changes attitudes towards ‘gringos’, but I do and stay and outsider. I experienced the same in India, Thailand etceteras. Something I just have to learn to live with.
What will I do being back home?
No clue. Dutch law tells me I have to sleep in my own house four months a year, so I will be home somewhere this summer for four months. Esther Jacobs tried to fight the system and wrote an inspiring book about it: Manual for world citizens. I fought my battles with energy companies, phone companies, local government. Too much energy, so I’ll come home, teach some yoga classes and workshops, visit friends, give some lectures, write, put my photos on Pix4Profs and count the days up until ‘the system’ allows me to leave again. The way I see it now, I’ll be travelling for some more years and let the road decide where I go.