A half a veggie burger, a plate of Momos, fried veggie noodles, and two butter cookies later, I lie on my bed, mouth still stinging with spice from the mystery sauce that we know and love made at the nearby food cart. Oh, Food. One of the most amazing things about traveling, in my opinion. From Rice and Palm oil shared in a Gambian food bowl, to empanadas on the water in Cabo, cabbage rolls in an old family owned Hungarian restaurant, and food we couldn’t even pronounce in a restaurant in Vienna that we were severely underdressed for, pastries in Lisbon, pitipua in Senegal, and all of the Americanos in between to accompany the overpriced airport food. I feel as if food opens a whole new level of cultural understanding, community, and socialization. Here I am again, (over)eating Indian food in the company of people that were strangers only two weeks ago.
In two short weeks I already feel the separation anxiety from these sweet souls. Every person from a different part of the world, sporting a different brand of clothing, speaking a different language, coming from a vastly unique background. Yet, we all share a similar passion, outlook, and goal, all of which has nearly eliminated the gap of differences. I know that I have blabbed on about similar things before, but I can never get over human relationship. Isn’t it incredible? How quickly we can allow ourselves to trust and share. We have the emotional capability to create nearly instantaneous bonds. I smile to think about how our similarities greatly outweigh our differences more often than not. I’ve felt incredibly blessed to have been able to experience diversity on the level that I have this past year. It’s humbled me and opened my heart in places that I wasn’t even aware were closed. This whole year has shown me that Leaving our comfort zone is the start of an adventure that would otherwise be the most tragic opportunity missed if not sought after.
I’ve reflected a lot on the steps that I’ve taken (or stumbled into) to end up right where I am, now. Rishikesh, India, training to acquire my yoga teacher training certification. I’m constantly reminding myself that I’m here. The amount of joy, freedom, and love that I have felt the past two weeks has been like a wave of sweet release, of contentment, a beautiful blessing and gentle reminder of the good in people and in a world that seems so ridiculously harsh so much of the time. It’s difficult to find a balance between the good and the bad, sometimes, but it’s nice to be in a spot where I can settle into the good for a little while.
I don’t have much more to say right now, in this post, partially because this training has TIRED ME OUT, and I need more time to process everything before I write more about it. BUT, I did want to remind you, today, to find your gratitude. In this moment, in life, in your family, in your home, wherever, find that gratitude and hold onto it. When the news is awful or the workday is long or the money is scarce or everything just seems wrong, remember that thing (or things) that you are thankful for. Forget the future plans for a moment, let go of the past, and be in the moment of now. I thank my mother for reminding me of this fact: You are you, right now. Not you one week ago, one month ago, or one year ago, and you always have the chance to make positive changes in your personal now.
I hope that you, also, can find a little adventure in your life to remind yourself of that goodness that exists and blooms daily. Get outside in the beautiful creation that is our planet! Go on a walk! Go on a trip! Strap on some snow shoes (i see you midwesterners, and it’s almost that time). Explore your own town or the next town over. Don’t let the beautiful little nuggets of joy in life pass you by.