Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Moving Forward

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Exactly six months ago, Sarah and I left the States and embarked on what is turning out to be the adventure of a lifetime. I'm sitting in a cafĂ© in Bangkok at the moment, killing time before my next one way flight, and this leg of the trip feels like a big milestone.

The entire journey has been one of personal discovery and growth, but the last few months have been especially transformational. It all began with saying 'yes' to traveling through Laos and Cambodia with a couple of Canadian boys - the destination: Koh Rong. Those boys are now like brothers to me, and I'll always be grateful to them for showing up and guiding me to my paradise. The last two months living and working on the island have hands down been some of the best times of my life so far.

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My teaching has developed a great deal, or maybe it's just my confidence that's improved. It's a humbling thing to have students give you some of the highest compliments a teacher can receive, especially when little Cambodian children and puppies crash your classes on the regular amidst the noise of the island, which is a nice blend of construction, dog fights, various music, and crashing waves. No studio, no equipment, countless distractions, and sometimes a language barrier have forced me to really learn how to teach. I've been able to experiment with sequencing, cueing, and modifying, seeing what works and doesn't work as I fine-tune my teaching style. It's been really unbelievable to me to have over 20 people show up at 8am on a small island in Cambodia for any reason, let alone your bare bones yoga class. But I think I learned more about teaching in the last two months here than the last two years of teaching anywhere. This opportunity came at the perfect time - when I was ready to step into who I am and what I'm meant to do on this earth rather than feeling like an impostor in my own life (but that's another post!).

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our yoga studio

The combination of the right place, the right time, and being surrounded by the right people have allowed me to learn, evolve, and grow into a better version of myself. I've made so many amazing friends and been surrounded by so much love. I've had incredible conversations that have taken me back to look at experiences in my past with a different perspective. I continue to have beautiful experiences unfold in just the right way, every time. I have never been happier.

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I was worried that it was just the magic of paradise that's made me feel this way. But then again, I've been in many beautiful places in my life - so what was it about Koh Rong? It wasn't the so-fine-it-squeaks white sand, the coconut trees, or even that special deserted corner of 4 Kilometer Beach that made the difference.

As I follow my heart to the Netherlands, I'm not worried at all, because it's actually me that's different. The ways I see and interact with the world have shifted. The ways I connect with and experience the people around me have changed, and those ways of being are independent of geography. I haven't changed too much, but some important things that I've been working on have finally clicked into place. The more I experience, the more exciting the world becomes, and I can't wait to see what I find on the other side of this flight.




Thursday, January 9, 2014

This is a Slow Blog

It's been a painfully long time since I've written a proper post on here. Sure, there have been some quick Instagram pics or a Facebook update, but no actual written blog posts in what, three weeks? I'm totally fine with it.

The chilled-out pace of this blog has evolved naturally since its conception. I'm a procrastinator by nature (despite what my college GPA says) so I knew if I ever started a blog, there would be no way I would be one of those bloggers that posts on the daily and has to take a picture of literally everything, 24/7, because "hold on, I have to get a photo for the blog!" No judgment whatsoever to bloggers who like to capture every moment... more power to you. I just frankly don't have the energy for that.

There have been a few times when I've felt like a slacker for the long time in between posts. Then I discovered that 'slow blogging' is actually A Thing.

For me, it means living these adventures as fully as possible. It means soaking it all in and enjoying everything without constantly writing the post about each moment in my head as it happens. It means not sitting in front of a screen while I'm experiencing some of the most beautiful places on earth and sharing good times and good company with the amazing people I meet.

So don't worry. I've got pictures, I've got stories, I've had some of the most incredible moments of my life out here, and I'll share them all in due time. For now, check out some recent photos below from New Year's in Pai, a trip to the mountains to donate clothing to school children, a flower farm in Samoans, and a stunningly beautiful 2-day slow boat journey down the Mekong River from Thailand to Lang Prabang, Loas.

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