Well, this is quite typically me: very last minute I changed my whole travel plans!
Forget the Caribbean, Mexico, California! I am going to Sri Lanka and India!
Yep, a complete turn around.
But somehow feels much better and makes more sense.
I found a lovely retreat in Sri Lanka that resonated with me. And I think for these 6 months I actually rather stay long term in one place instead of traveling so much around. Plus, it will probably be cheaper. Plus, I might also feel safer than in Jamaica for example.
Since this was decided just a few days ago, I have been quite busy these last days.
Yesterday was my last day at work, I am packing all my stuff, cleaning my apartment, sorting all the rest, had my farewell party, and besides that, now trying to organise visa for Sri Lanka and India, and trying to find out where to go best when there...
Luckily - life in a yoga retreat center - I have plenty of friends who spent most of their lives in India it seems ;) the good old hippie crew has probably the best travel advise for me.
A part of me is still super excited, another part of me is feeling a bit stressed and tired at the moment. My German mind wants to think of everything and have everything arranged and sorted. But I guess, especially for India, I will need to let go of that a bit, and just go with the flow.
It will get interesting. I hope I will find (a bit) what I am looking for... Mama India usually leads you the right way I believe (or usually she kicks you there I heard)....
BUT - and this was just another sign for to go to Sri Lanka - at the same time when I am there, my dear dear ex-flatmate and ex-colleague from work will be there too, literally just a few kilometers away!!! So I am looking forward to meeting up with her.
I am a bit sad about leaving Prado and Suryalila, but not as sad as I had thought. It was time for a change, the decision is absolutely right, and I know, this wonderful place here is still waiting for me when I come back.
For now - 6 months of no work (well, at least no paid work, ha ha) !!
Why do I want to travel when I am living already in paradise?
Well, first of all, I think traveling is always a fantastic way to evolve. If you have the opportunity, you should travel and see the world, different places, cultures, people. I still haven't seen much of the world, and I always found I took a lot with me from my travels so far.
I also need a time out, to sort my thoughts, and I want to use my time for some new projects.
I want to make music.
Sounds cheesy but this is really a plan of my now. I have always loved singing. A lot. But I never knew if I was good at it, and I didn't play an instrument so it stayed a little private hobby singing in my own four walls.
Yes, I took some piano lessons in my early twenties but I have forgotten everything again, and I was not super talented.
But now I don't care any more. No, I am not a natural musical talent that can learn an instrument easily, but I can still learn how to play basic stuff. And this is what I have been doing over the past months. I bought a guitar and learned chords. Super hard in the beginning but now I can play some basic chords and sing along. All I need.
For my travels I bought myself a ukulele and I love it! Much easier to learn than the guitar, and as a light weight I can take it easily on my travels.
I want to spend more time on playing and learning and writing songs. Currently I am starting to write my first basic songs. They are very basic, and sometimes it feels so pathetic and frustrating to even try writing songs, when you (starting at 35 years old) know you most likely won't reach the genius of a Sting or Joni Mitchell. But that's not the point! I am doing something that I love doing, and I don't care what comes out of it (apart from that, only good things come out of the things you do that you love).
Another goal is to learn how to surf.
When I made the decision to go traveling for 6 months, it felt perfectly fine and the right thing to do to me. I asked my friend and colleague is he would be able to take care of my cats during that time, and not only did he agree, even better, he told me was about to move to a place in the countryside! My cats would finally be able to go outside again, after almost 2 years in my apartment. It felt like the best solution.
But now, that I actually moved them over a few days ago, I am absolutely heartbroken. Of course, being cats, they are not too fond of changes. Plus, they have to stay inside for the fist weeks, and the house in the countryside is lovely - if you can go outside. Inside there are only a few small windows and you cannot really look outside, so it is quite dark. Since my friend has just moved in and then had to leave to Germany for a week, it is still not very homely (I don't know but I think cats feel the difference of a nice atmosphere).
Plus - there is Paul! Paul is the cat of my friend, a huge male (castrated). Thankfully he is super chilled, and at the first meeting with my two girls, he stayed relaxed. My cats were not so cool, they were hissing and growling at him. Of course - they just moved house, from a spacious bright apartment with their momma, into a dark cave house. I felt so sorry for them!
I know (I hope) it will get better once they can go outside. They will love the freedom and the nature and catching birds and rabbits etc. Cats should be free! Even though they can catch more easily diseases, I think it's better to die as a free roaming cat than in a golden cage (same goes for humans).
But at the moment I cry every time I go there, because it just feels as if I betrayed them. They are my babies, they trust me, and I just move them somewhere else because I want to selfishly go traveling.
I feel bad and guilty. I try to tell myself I will come back and then I can take them again, but that doesn't change much. Maybe by then, they don't want to move place again. Hopefully, they will love their new home and the space they will have.
Change is inevitable. Impermanence. In some ways it is just a mirror of my own situation. I fear the upcoming changes, too. Leaving my beloved home, the things and places I know, my great life here - why exactly do I want to give this up ??
But change is inevitable. And change usually hurts. But change is good.
I can't keep myself and my cats all safe and secure for the rest of time in a little bubble. Life doesn't work like this. So it is better to face upcoming changes, face your fears, feel the fears - and do it anyway.
Right now I simply allow myself to feel the sadness and the grief. I love my cats so much, and I hope the will love their new home in the countryside. In the end we have to make the decisions for our pets, which is really, really hard at times.
Yes. IT is happening. I am currently planning my first Around-the-World-Trip!
And I am super excited and super nervous and super happy and super scared.
So I asked at my work place for a 6 months sabbatical over the winter, and they agreed! Now the thing is: I don't have a shitty job! I don't work in a cubicle 9-5, do boring paper work or live in a grey city. No, actually I am living already my dream life! I am a chef in a beautiful yoga retreat center in Southern Spain, and I live in the nearby white little village in a fabulous spacious and dirt cheap apartment with the best views over the surrounding hills.
Eh... why do I want to get away from that!?
But - life is all about change and evolving, and sometimes it felt a bit like a golden cage of safety here. I love it, and I am very grateful for this safe and beautiful life I have here, but I have grown more and more unfulfilled, and I want to satisfy all parts of my soul. I want to listen to my heart that tells me there is something missing.
There is only so much you can do and explore in one place. Don't get me wrong, I love the nature here, and one can go on the most stunning hiking routes. I can do yoga for free every day at my work place. I go to the gym for 2 Euros per day and the other costs of living are very low too. The Spanish people are incredible sweet and welcoming. I DO have a really good life.
But yes, there has been this dream of mine to travel the world since I was a teenager. And I do believe, if one has the possibility (a luxurious one, I am aware of that) to travel, one should take the time to explore the world. I am sure traveling teaches us a lot.
There were times in the past when I had felt this calling of my heart, this longing for something, and it almost always turned to the better, once I moved my bum and went traveling.
So here I am, taking 6 months over the winter, and my tiny little savings, and going out into the world.
This is also necessary for me to grow personally, to overcome fears, self-doubts, worries etc. I have always been a super scared and worrying person, and just recently, also with the help of some plant medicine, I have overcome some of those fears. I just turned 35, and they say, your life changes every 7 years. So this is my year of change, and what's better than traveling to get there.
So here is the plan (well)...
I will fly to Germany at the beginning of NOvember to visit my family. Then I will head off to Jamaica as my first stop. Why Jamaica?? Well, I wasn't quite sure where to go, since there is so much oft he world I haven't seen yet. I was a bit divided between Central/South America and India. In the end, I made the decision based on a good friend here who is originally from Jamaica, and a cheap airplane ticket I found.
So I would love to travel this route: Jamaica - Cuba - Mexico - San Francisco - Hawaii - New Zealand/Australia - India - (Iran) - back to Spain.
I am not sure if it will turn out like this. I am aware that especially the US and Australia/New Zealand are quite expensive so I am not sure how my funds will last.
I plan to volunteer a lot to keep the costs low.
At the moment I switch from being super excited and happy to gettign really nervous but most of the time I am very sure I am doing the right thing here.
I want to learn surfing, practice music, paint, and most of all, get new input and inspiration, to find more passion and purpose in my life.