This fall I went on my first backpacking and international (ah, what!?) yoga teaching trip...
And I cliff jumped naked for the feeling of natural and wild, wild freedom (and four free beers, but mostly the freedom thing). And when I couldn’t get enough of that feeling, I also jumped off a big pink boat, and skinny dipped in the moonlight with new and fleeting friends- the sounds of laughter filling the dark Greek sky. I stayed up until sunrise talking about life and beliefs with a kickass traveling tattoo artist. I picked grapes at a wine vineyard with the help of a free-spirited 5 year old Greek sweetie pie. As I cut the bunches, she held her hands out and waited so she could place them in the crate that we carried together. I made an immeasurable number of Greek salads and taught yoga on a sundeck overlooking the ocean.
In Albania, I finally got lost. I was leaving the coastal board-walk town of Sarande for the city/capitol Tirana. I had been travelling for weeks somehow without ever really getting lost. My mistake was telling my host, the sweetest man alive, Tomi (“no problem, no problem”) with a thick Albanian accent, that I understood his directions. I did not, but I’m pretty used to winging things, and letting things work themselves out. They always do. But I took a wrong turn or four, and did not know any Albanese, and as I went along, asking at least 5 people where the bus station was, I was given at least 5 different answers. And my bus was leaving very, very soon. I started to get into a very non-touristy area where most people didn’t know English. So here I am, nearly crying, playing connect the dots to find my bus. Finally, I ended up on the right street and ran to my boarding bus. The bus ride that I thought was an hour at most, turned out to be about 4 hours. Surprise. Finally, I’m in the middle of the city, and I pull out my hand-drawn map from no-problem-Tomi, and feeling like a real life adventurer, I make it to my hostel.
Ultimately, I learned a lot from my first trip travelling. First of all, I will not stop winging it. Because winging it usually ends in a good story. Skinny dipping is natural and freeing and is highly encouraged. Say yes to every experience. Whether it’s wine and darts, a booze cruise, or trying Raki on a roof with your waiter. The universe is taking care of me. If I’m a little lonely, I should spend my afternoon no, not crying over a bowl of pasta (yeah, that happened), but enjoying my solitude because soon enough there will be friends and adventures. Don’t sit in your room all day. Sit in a coffee shop, drink the specialty coffee of that culture (Greek frappes I miss you), journal, write postcards, pretend you can sketch, attempt to speak the language, And ooze out love.