Category Archives: travel mindset

Awareness and awakenings on the mat

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Oh my goodness!!!!! A friend (and yoga teacher) of mine hugged me today and said, ‘Congratulations, yoga teacher’…..and she was talking to me!!! I can’t believe she said that out loud!

“You are never to old to set another goal or dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis

It’s enlightening how goals and dreams change along the way. If you asked me years ago if I was ever going to want to be a yoga instructor I would have looked at you as if you were nuts – fast forward three weeks and I’ve finished a 200-hour yoga teacher training course at my home studio. WHAT? I know; I feel the very same way!

Yoga One San Diego Summer Intensive Teacher Training Class 2018

Nine months ago we made the decision to move back to NY for a while. When Dad suddenly passed away a month later it felt as if the ground crumbled beneath my feet. Couple that with four blizzards when we were in NY and upon leaving, the husband’s leg break…needless to say, I never thought the sunlight would shine super bright again. It was a few weeks after we finally made it back to San Diego, were through the husband’s surgery and settled in an apartment that I made my way back to the studio. My friendly instructors gave me the most giant hugs and dried my tears as they regularly flowed in those first few classes. These people were there through it all.

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames” – Rumi

I hemmed and hawed over taking this three-week course for months on end. ‘Why should I, why shouldn’t I’ knocked around like ping pong balls back and forth in my brain and out of my mouth. My teachers may have known that it was something that would be great for me – but I didn’t. And now, a few weeks shy of my birthday, it’s finished. I heard tale of life-changing experience, soul-cracking open days and both body and perspective changing weeks – but I never expected this.

For those who have watched the journey – it’s been ongoing for a while. Perhaps it began the day I met a boy (now husband) in New Zealand, or the day we left for a one year around the world honeymoon, or when we were living in Australia, or when we returned, or when I left teaching in NY, or on other international adventures or when we finally set foot on California terra firma or many years ago – I don’t know, but I sure am happy to be on it.

Yoga One Summer Intensive Teacher Training Class 2018

There’s a lot to digest after these full three weeks. Walking home from class on Sunday night, the flood of emotions rolled in, the processing started and smidgeons of yogic wisdom began to seep into my every thought. Amidst the lessons on mindfulness and meditation, adjustments and asanas (poses), there was truth, clarity, light and insight that cracked through the surface and added thought into how to continue the journey. Sure, there were heaps of achy muscles, tired joints and days that started and ended in yoga pants – but in between – there was magic. People were growing, changing, and stretching (I think I might have even gotten a bit taller). Amy’s depiction of a curious mind, intrigued spirit and soul filled with love and light made more of an impact than I think she’ll ever know.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – 14th Dalai Lama

It’s been a few days now and I imagine it will take far longer than that to absorb all that I learned. Yoga (otherwise known as union or oneness) has more than made a dent in my world. Somehow, when I wasn’t looking, the sunlight crept back in, the world kept turning and people (both from long ago and five minutes ago) who truly feel like sunlight made their way through the exterior and into my heart. Although I know it will never truly be the same again, nine months later I feel lighter, happier, more grounded and more like me than I have in a long, long while (I think Dad would like that). I’m so excited to continue on this journey. Namaste.

14 year old wisdom

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“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

The other day I spoke to my favorite 14-year old. In perfect teenage fashion, she was lounging in her room, babysitting her brother and detailing her excitement for the end of the school year. We did social studies homework, found frustration with end of school year insanity, dreamed about travel and talked of the utter joy she gets from her passion for horses. And then, unknowingly, she paid me the best compliment ever. She called me ‘earthy’ and seemed to light up at the thought of taking time out of the day to go to yoga and find an ease. She has no idea how big my heart smiled at that very instant. Read the rest of this entry

Seeking home

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Home. For some it’s the beach, the mountain or the smell of a clean sheet. For some it’s a meadow, a valley or the smell of the leaves after the rain. For some it’s traditions, the aroma of baking bread or the sound of family waking up underneath the same roof. For some it’s a place, while for others it’s a feeling. Home is an interesting concept. As a child – home was my nuclear family, the house in which I grew up, the only street on which I lived and the town to which I was associated. Home was a short walk from the high school, down the block from the youth group, twenty minutes from the beach and about an hour from sleep away camp. Home was the people, an address, an abode, a town and a state to which I referred when introducing myself. Damn, a lot has changed. Read the rest of this entry

Getting to next

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What we expected to be three months turned into three years. San Diego became more than a spot to wait out the New York winter, it became our home. Three years ago we were bitching about the impending winter and hoping that someone would come through with a work visa for the United Kingdom and that that would be our ‘next’. Why wait in the cold when we could experience something new, we thought. We packed the car, drove west and found a home in San Diego.

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In those three years we’ve grown more than I could have imagined. We’ve done exactly what we wanted to and fully embraced the outdoor year ’round lifestyle. We’ve added hikes to our routine, elevated our yoga and gym days, come to love fish tacos and have without question come to favor a more holistic approach to life. Our daily life includes making time for self-care, being sure to find time for mindfulness activities and learning that health and wellness matter more than we ever thought before. We’ve gotten rid of those toxic relationships, become more aware of what makes our happiness flow and have decided that it’s more than okay to put that happiness first. No matter where we roam, these things are now ingrained in us and I hope, will continue no matter the post code.

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The two of us our lucky to have many places around the globe that we call ‘home’. Between the both of us, there has been life in New York, Melbourne, London and San Diego. When we headed west, we made the official decision to work contract and freelance so we wouldn’t be tied down and would be be able to jump at opportunities when and if they came along. Since the husband got an offer that was literally too ‘good to refuse’, our journey continues as we head back to New York for a little while. But we’ve made a decision that we didn’t make when we returned from our first ’round the world trip and this is the game changer.

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Experiences change us and those internal changes aren’t visible on the outside. Upon that first re-entry, it was almost impossible for others to see the changes and we felt as if these newly square pegs were supposed to fit back into our previous round holes. Needless to say, we felt squished, frustrated, agitated and struggled with the ideas of not wanting to push those life-changing experiences aside to fit back into the people we were before – well, not this time. After two ’round the world trips, two (with an impending third) cross country road trips and a three year stint living in a place we adore the changes are evident. Our attitudes, lifestyle choices, and views on health and wellness have shifted and those shifts are here to stay.

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After countless conversations, ‘getting to next’ has appeared more often than I can count. The ideas of planning for the time when your teeth might fall out more easily, where and how your heart is happiest and what makes your spirits soar are categories of chats that regularly appear around our picnic table. How to get the opportunity to spend the day to day in a space you adore while having the expendable cash to jet off on a moment’s notice and not have to worry about ‘taking time off’ – these are only some of our beach walk and hiking conversations. For now, we’ve added San Diego as a place we call home and would happily do so again. Who knows exactly what the full definition of ‘getting to next’ will entail, but for the moment, ‘next’ is bringing us to the land where the boys in pinstripes play, bagels reign supreme, and the Atlantic crashes on the shore.

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You’ll find us wearing newly purchased base layers, searching for new adventures, playing outside, wiggling our feet in the sand, seeking out proper fish taco shops and chowing down on those flagels that never seem to make it west of the five boroughs. We’re headed out in a few weeks and will fill you in on the road trip spots along the way. We’ll land in early January and are always open to new ideas, new experiences, new opportunities and new places to play. Join us along the way and come say hi when we hit the Atlantic. Wherever the journey takes us, we hope you’ll be a part of it all…here’s to ‘getting to next’.

Nature – where we’re meant to be

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Iron Mountain, San Diego, CA

A few weekends ago we hiked San Diego’s Iron Mountain. To my peak chasing friends, this one is doable in their sleep, but for us, it was only the second time around. It took less time to make it to the top, the wind didn’t blow us over the edge, and my asthmatic little lungs made it without the assistance of an inhaler. The path took us on a winding journey through nature’s beauty and continued to entice us all the way to the top. Up there, where the air is clear, the horizon endless and the birds close enough to touch – up there is where we stopped for a moment of contemplation, refreshment and pure joy. Read the rest of this entry

Returning to bliss

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I’ve been travel dreaming my entire life. At an early age, I didn’t yet know it, but it was definitely there. I adored the family beach holidays and trips to Disney and loved the feeling of full-fledged freedom each brought with them. I guess, at the time, that feeling meant no homework, not having to wake up early to rush to get to school and the possibility of having ice cream three times a day. As the years progressed and I was the one choosing the destination, footing the bill and deciding the length of time and distance of the journey, the feeling of freedom was the same but the meaning, different. It started with something special to look forward to, to do during those educational holidays (while in university or teaching) and has grown into a desire to have that freedom feeling of travel dreaming joy all the time.

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February findings

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My first year teaching was nearly twenty years ago. That first February break, I went on a trip to Jamaica. I remember returning from that journey rested, rejuvenated and ready to get back to work. Perhaps it was the much needed February infusion of vitamin D into my sun deprived skin. Perhaps it was a week away with a girlfriend complete with waterfalls, giggles and afternoons on the sand. Perhaps it was the anticipation of travel that although coupled with sunburn and a funky reaction to some new fangled sunscreen those positive endorphins flowed and happy hormones increased. Whichever way you looked at it, that February trip was certainly something.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” – Mae West Read the rest of this entry

Hugs and a serotonin shift

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The world has been shrinking due to the fabulous power of things like travel and the Internet. It seems only yesterday when snail mail was the focus and cell phones were things you saved for emergencies. Today snail mail is held for IRS notifications and the once in a blue moon actual birthday card and most of life’s communications are made from the tiny computers in the palm of our hands. If you’ve ever been to Disneyworld® and watched the Carousel of Progress go from the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder to that of George Jetson, it’s easy to understand how nutty it is that I can tap a button while at the beach in San Diego, California and can video conference with my godson while he’s on the rugby field in Hong Kong. While technology broadens our global relationships, there’s still a feeling of separate in a world of connection. Read the rest of this entry

New year, new opportunities

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We’ve turned the page on the calendar, made it to 2017, managed amidst the food frenzy of December and have gotten to the next rotation of the earth around the sun. How do you feel? Amidst the barrage of sale emails, cleanse products, impending inauguration, weight loss programs, gym freebies and resolution insanity – we’re here. With one foot in front of the other – we’ve made it to January…now what? Read the rest of this entry

January to December to January

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2016 is ending. Through what seemed like a constant supply of gut punches and salt-filled tears, the world said goodbye to more cultural icons than we can count, sat stunned in the wake of political insanity and stood gobsmacked as the world seemingly continued to fall apart around us all. Being a global citizen isn’t always easy. Finding your smile isn’t always easy. The year ticks away from season to season and somehow turning the pages or clicking ‘next’ on our calendars is meant to change things. But there was good, there always is, it only often gets overshadowed by the surrounding and much louder ick. Syrian children are fighting for their lives. Refugees are trudging through awful to wonder if they’ll gain entry somewhere with the promise of a welcoming community and better life. There is a homeless epidemic. I got a yoga wheel for the holidays and promptly busted a rib. I found a new yoga teacher I liked, her class is getting cancelled. I voted for the first time in California and wound up in the fetal position on the couch the next morning. Ugh. The universe feels like it’s spinning out of control…but, is that really the whole story? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Read the rest of this entry