From D.C. to Goa, India

I wanted my first entry to be able to relate to everyone no matter what level of traveling you’re at in life. This post as well as some after that, will be about my experiences on my first big trip…India! This is the trip that made me fall in love with traveling, and at times its hard to put into words the beautiful things I felt in that country, so this will be a lot of fun to transcribe into passages for everyone to read!

End of February 2016

I was over the moon on the morning I was getting ready to embark on a life-changing journey. Not only was I on my way to spend 3 long, lovely months in India, but a month of that time would be dedicated at an Ashram in beautiful South India, to become a yoga instructor. There I was, about 3 years into my yoga practice, and I was getting my teacher certification at the very source. Now, before I get too ahead of myself, I should clarify I did not travel alone. I was with an old boyfriend, who will most likely be mentioned here and there (not by name), but for various reasons, there won’t be a whole lot revealed about him. Although I Β am thankful for everything, especially for him being my instructor and getting me on the yoga path in the first place, I’d rather not stray from the topic of this blog. That being said, we were off!

First stop, was a long layover in Amsterdam’s massive airport, there awaited one too many high end stores and jet lag you wouldn’t believe. That was the morning I learned that jet lag was no laughing matter. Fast forward about 13 hours later, we arrived in New Delhi. The air was warm and was also permeating with the smell of burning garbage. It certainly wasn’t the worst thing you’ve ever smelled in your life, but it was certainly pungent enough to know you shouldn’t be breathing in too deeply. The jet lag only sunk in more, as we waited an additional 8 hours for the second, smaller plane to Goa, India. I was dozing off again as I was abruptly woken up… “V! They just announced that our plane is leaving sooner, as in like right now, we need to go!” Half asleep, and damn near drunk from lack of proper sleep, I gave my all to try and keep up as we ran through terminals to get to the proper gate that was already changed once or twice. We made the plane with minutes to spare. Earplugs were in, and I was fast asleep within minutes with a whole row to myself on a small plane. A short 3 hour nap later, we arrived in beautiful Goa.

Arrangements were made with the Ashram to have us picked up and taken over, it was all so surreal! The Ashram was right by the beach, Galgibag Beach to be exact. (Which means Turtle Beach) As the sun set that day, every emotion under the sun was hitting me all at once. The excitement in processing the fact that I was actually on the other side of the world, to do something amazing, to see amazing things. The sense of gratitude I felt that evening consumed every cell of my being. With every breath, there was a sigh of relief and tranquility. There was so much joy in my heart. Here I was, a yogi, at the very source, i was getting ready for a grueling 30 days, 6 days a week, practicing for 3 hours, twice a day, there were group discussions that brought up your demons, and late night lectures in between, and rushing back to bed at the end of the night, only to do it all again the next day…and the day after that…it was you vs you, whether you wanted to admit it or not. And that’s just apart of teacher training, because you need to get down to the very foundation your true Self is built on, and figure out why you are the way you are. And that information is vital if you’re going to go out and guide yogis into their practice, as well as continuing your own.

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I cant remember if it was the first or second night we were there, but all I remember is that it was the middle of the night, it was always hot, there was only a fan (mind you the power tends to go out for a couple minutes throughout the day/night, so no power, no fan, multiple times a day), I was uncomfortable…and I was crying. Although I was being comforted as much as someone could in those kinds of predicaments, I just couldn’t shake the feeling of “Holy s***, I’m really far away from my home, my family, my best friend…everything.” After some self-soothing and much needed sleep, I woke up with the realization that I needed to be strong and overcome my uneasiness, not only for my own sanity but I also had to keep in mind I wasn’t there alone and someone else had to put up with whatever shenanigans I was dealing with…..I took deep breaths, reminded myself who I was, and why I was there. I have a question for my fellow travelers, and if you aren’t quite there yet, this is still something for you to ponder over: Did you ever plan a trip, tell people (whether you were close or not) about your trip and their response were just questions such as “Oh my gosh! Why? What are you going to do there?” or maybe “I hope you’re not going by yourself!”…with the occasional “You’re crazy!” peppered in there. I got these SO many times, for more than one trip, too. Yes it was annoying at times, but let that be fuel to what drives you on your travels. Show em! After all, whats the #1 reason you planned that trip in the first place??? I had to ask myself all things and that reassured me about my decisions…and then it was time for my 200 HR teacher training to start at Shri Kali. Β 

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