Before settling in in New Zealand, as I mentioned here, I decided to take a little detour and do some travelling around Asia first. I figured, when else am I going to get a chance to take an extended journey without burning through my vacation days?
First stop is a yoga teacher training in India. This has been on my bucket list for at least 5 years. I remember telling people, when I decided to move to Vancouver that I was going out west to do just that. Today (Monday) it is happening and that feels pretty friggin great.
The surroundings are like nothing I’ve ever seen. My senses have complete come alive. What a stark difference from the hustle and bustle of the city.
“Somebody please pinch me”
I’ve caught myself saying that repeatedly over the last two days. That and today there’s a lot of “holy crap, I’m in India”.
It was during my 2 hour taxi drive from the airport in where I’m staying in Arambol, Goa that it finally hit me like a ton of brinks. I sat white knuckelled, gripping the passenger side handle and said (in between prayers to make it there in one piece) “yup, I’m not in Canada anymore.”
We sped and swerved to miss pedestrians, people on scooters, cows, stray dogs and cars coming straight for us. I thought we were going to get into about 4 head on collisions, but my driver never batted an eyelash. Which surprisingly made me feel a little calmer.
It took me a good hour to relax enough to start taking in my surroundings and reassure myself the driver knew what he was doing. I learned very quickly that lines on the road are mere suggestions in these parts and people are just going to honk and swerve around you regardless of if there is a car coming straight for them.
It was only twice in the two hours that I had to close my eyes and hope this wasn’t it for me. In any case, I made it in one peace. Exhausted from the lack of sleep and holding on for dear life.
My room is basic and modest but pretty much what I was expecting. It’s air conditioned and has a bed. I’m a pretty happy camper. I’m on the third floor with a private balcony and a swinging chair that I get to see a perfect sunrise from every morning.
As I ventured out onto the beach for the first time, which I might add is 100 metres from where I’m staying, I took a big and emotional breath, “Holy crap, this is India”.
The beach was something out of my dreams. The water warm and shallow, the sand fine and soft. This is what the afterlife looks like I’m sure. The place is full of hippies, trance music, yogi’s, beach cafes, stray dogs and pan handelers.
The food, so fresh and delicious. Not much processed, unless you are a tourist looking for a piece of home. My first real meal was curry, when in Rome, right? I could literally taste every fresh spice they used in it, it was unbelievable. And trust me when the waiter forces you to get the garlic naan, it’s for a reason!
Monday I start my yoga teacher training with an opening ceremony. I have no idea what to expect from this, other than to expect nothing. I know this will push me outside my comfort zone and will unlock places in me spiritually that I’ve been craving. This, indeed, is the start of great spiritual journey.
I feel there is so much more to write about in just the few experiences I’ve had. Afterall, I’m a newfie girl in India – culture shock much? There will definitley be more to come.
Until then, I’m going to breath in the fresh salty air, meditate to the sound of the waves, the bask sun hitting my skin. This is my happy place. There’s something pretty simple and perfect about it.
More to come!