Into the Unknown


Somehow, now this has begun to be my life. Days fly by again. This is not a holiday. This is my existence and for as long as I chose it to be, well sort of. The people I meet over and over become my reality and change is a constant. We all fear that blanket getting yanked off but it happens everyday. Usually it is to our own discretion but here the line is much thinner, here you have to have more trust in everyone and everything larger than you. With every action, you can’t help but learn, even if your fence is 10 feet tall and armed with electric wire. Surrender is the only option.

I am amazed to think that I am in my sixth month of travel. I thought I would be missing the creature comforts. Don’t get me wrong, I do, but I

Ahhhh, home.

Ahhhh, home.

am constantly astounded by each new discovery of the next place I’d knew I’d love. The places seem of less importance now than the main feeling of a gliding guidance. Knowing you are exactly in the spot where you were meant to be, learning the lessons you could only learn at his moment and seeing what only your eyes can see. Now.

I now appreciate solitude without so much guilt. There is nothing to rush for. There is nothing to see, do or meet. No more than any other day. There are temples and treks and water to jump in, people to engage and food to be had. It can’t stop no matter what you do, unless you decide to stop and how often so we ever do just that? Never.

I remember being home and feeling like everything was moving too fast. Life was whirling around me and I was missing something crucial. I wished to just sit and stare at the wall. After a recent thought-provoking conversation with a friend, Jose in Nepal, he proposed doing nothing. Something I had previously considered until being swept up into the newness and thrill of each adventure to be had. When I left, a goal was to get a beach shack with no wi-fi, with little distraction and be alone. Be very alone. Little did I realize there is not much aloneness in India. I have yet to do this more than a day but it is still in the works. I guess you could call that doing nothing towards the plan of doing nothing.

Quitting my job was still the hardest part of this whole process. It goes against everything we think we should do. Especially at my age where my choices were to take more on, be more successful, get a nicer car or to consider myself, my growth in this precious life and work towards a goal of learning how my experience can somehow make a tiny dent in the life of another. It is all in process, just like it will always be. Each step, each thought, each action will always steer towards change.

Once you start shedding the layers of ingrained perceptions then life becomes much more clear. I started with the job, the house, the bills, the safety net of family and friends close by. The next step is the distractions, the Internet, the movies, the mindless reading, and thoughtless speaking. Maybe even turn the music down for a while. Everything becomes a little quieter. You can hear yourself a bit more because you are paying more attention. And that is really what counts.
So maybe torturing myself to sit in meditation 10 hours a day for 10 days in this Vipassana course might not be the answer. Perhaps it is a longer process. An Art of Living, as they say. Of course we must first learn to see clearly, into our own depths and to the vastness of the infinite before any true change can ever occur. If we never take the time to do this, to love ourselves enough to do this, than what can we ever effectively contribute?

With much gratitude, I write this and with much love, as if it were not for you it would not be possible. Your outstanding support, enthusiasm and blessings have paved my way. I only hope I can return the favor.

Now in doing the opposite of nothing, with nothing still in mind, I am off to trek the Annapurna Circuit of the mighty Himalayas for 24 days. Alone. But as we know, there is never really ‘alone’.
I never wrote about Gokarna and about Holi. But if you would like to see some Holi pictures I have made the album public for viewing. Hopefully you can see them by clicking this link-


Varkala Beach, Kerala, Southern India


It doesn’t seem that any amount of time could truly prepare one to go on a journey such as this.  By the time I finally, truthfully, made up my mind – not just talked about wanting to, there was no going back.  I have to admit, I partially made this the case by telling everyone my intention in hopes to convince myself as well.  Now that I am sitting here on the little blip of the map I studied for hours, it is hard to believe that time is now.

The month leading up to my launch was filled with checklists, phone calls, reading travel blogs with packing suggestions and second guesses.  Then the day came when it was time to finally go.  Stripped down to the bare essentials, which has already proven to be way too much, I boarded the plane after a teary goodbye with my most loving and supportive parents.  After they left, I sobbed for a minute, picked up my heavy bags and headed for the unknown…which is the place where fear lives (and excitement).

When missing my flight to Mumbai and being held over in Amsterdam for a night happened, I decided to go with it and explore the city I had not seen since I was 16.  I took the train to Amsterdam Central for some dinner and a long walk.  After a very expensive (not budgeted, but great) Thai meal, I headed for the Red Light District. I thought it would be intriguing, but instead was more disheartening than anything else.  Tourists flocked and stared. Some young men, half out of their gourd, opened the doors to where the women are displayed and went inside followed by a prompt slashing shut of the curtain.  It was quite dramatic in a Moulin Rouge sort of way.  It was as if he had won a prize, for a pretty penny.  Prize being a bit of pleasure with a side of headache, possibly some guilt and other fun gifts the next day.

Speaking of the Moulin Rouge, I was one of those gawkers taking in the show and shot a photo.  I soon learned that was the absolute wrong thing to do. I was set back in the crowd, so I thought no one would notice, but that pesky red light on the front of my camera caught the eye of one of the seductive women.  She opened her glass door and roared at me, accompanied with a emphatic middle finger.  The large crowd looked around bewildered to see who was causing the scene, so I confessed with a hand wave and smile and quickly walked away.

I finally arrived in Mumbai and booked a hotel for the night.  The next morning my flight to Kerala, South India was scheduled.  Now, any right human would think a domestic flight would leave out of the domestic airport… right? Not in India.  Well, I am sure some do, but not mine.  I was dropped at the domestic airport, right on time, but then promptly learned that I was to be at the international airport and it was only 30-40 minutes away if traffic worked in my favor.  Thank goodness, it did, and everything went smoothly.

While in Mumbai at the ‘International Terminal’ coffee shop, I over heard a woman being quite assertive, actually very assertive, asking for them to remake her drink.  She had ordered a non-coffee, warm vanilla milk specifically and they had put coffee in it.  This caused a problem as the Indian kept saying, “OK!” and she kept saying, “Not OK!”  Back and forth, back and forth.  I liked her from the get-go and we found out that we were both were headed to Varkala Beach and agreed to share a ride.  Her name is Yael, she is 31 and from Israel and my first comrade on this long journey.  She gave me some great tips as she has been traveling India for over 2 months now and knows how to work it.  First and foremost, haggle.  Secondly, stand your ground or you will be taken. Third, never compare prices to your local currency; it is not relevant when in India.  You can always compare the prices in a restaurant by the price of a side of plain rice, Rs 30 or 60 cents. Dang it, did it again. Fourth, never plan, if anything can go wrong it will, if nothing can go wrong, it will. Roll with the punches and relax into it.

Now I am sitting on a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea, with a belly full of juice.  For breakfast, an orange/carrot/ginger, with lunch, coconut out of the womb and now fresh pineapple.  The food here is perfect. After all the gorging I did on the foods I thought I would have to do without for so long; are now replaced by healthy, more delicious alternatives.  The clothes are also through the roof, stylish and incredibly cheap.  I am sending everything I so carefully planned to wear back home.  Pretty much.

Today, I saw an Indian couple being swept out to sea with the rip tide, and then rescued.  Viewed elephants with painted third eyes, lost electricity twice, saw a spontaneous fire erupt and watched the sunrise.  My yoga teacher training starts in 3 days at Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Neyyar Dam.

So far, so good. It has been a very soft landing.  Day by day, my friend, day by day.