Taken from my travelogue: Sometime early April at Gypsea Yoga in Lombok, Indonesia

I landed on this beautiful island just under two weeks ago and can hardly grasp how fast time has flown by. I am now in Lombok  just off the shores of Bali for a few days of solitude, rest and relaxation at a hideaway in the jungle, Gypsea Yoga. There are countless memories I could write about but I thought I might focus my next blog on travel tips, which I have been brewing on recently. Traveling alone can be the most incredible time of your life and sharing memories with new friends in unknown places is something you can’t quite put into words.

It’s very special.

Here are a few things I have learned traveling alone as a female in South East Asia.  I hope one day you will all be able to experience this part of the world.  It has changed my life and will forever feel like home in my heart.

Share:
Reading time: 9 min

I have been sitting on several blogs these past weeks; most of which share thoughts, adventures, and detailed descriptions of the paradises I have discovered here in Indonesia.  It’s quite overwhelming when I think about where to start when I sit down to write, there have been so many incredible moments worth capturing it would be exhausting to share them all. They are also very intimate moments that I often like keeping to myself, having the ability to unplug for the first time in my life and share memories alone.

For this reason, I have struggled posting them and have been thinking a lot about why. I find myself now sitting on white tile floor in my new room on Gili Air Island listening to the pouring rain outside… and it finally hit me. For me, this journey is not about only exploring nature’s beauty, but my own as well. I’ve been in a deeper space and thought it was time to go into the raw about what it has been like traveling alone as a woman for over six weeks and two countries now.

Share:
Reading time: 8 min

Before getting in my morning tuk tuk on the way to the local hospice this morning in Maharagama, I took a while to soak in sunshine. I knew today would be a tough day emotionally but I had prepared well for it, spending the last month filling my cup and gaining emotional strength. I had arranged for the same driver from the day before to get me early in the morning. One thing I have learned traveling is the greatest way to show your appreciation for excellent service is to be a repeat customer. This goes a long way as far as recognizing the locals who are working hard. Leslie, a Sri Lankan gentleman in his 50’s, showed up smiling and full of cheer to take me to go “care for someone.” I couldn’t help but think I hope this would be the case today, immediately deciding no matter what I saw I would smile through it and bring light to the experience. “Madame I am so happy to drive you today, I want to see the Cancer Hospital too….”  We chatted about family most of the way riding along in his candy red tuk tuk.  He shared how proud he is to be a grandfather and have a daughter at university.  Leslie reconfirmed my belief that family is the true heart of this country.

I showed up just before 9am and walked past the front garden area, shaded in mature willowing trees where an elderly unshaven man in a wheel chair was slumped over playing his handheld radio at full volume listening to what I believe was the morning news. He looked up as I passed and smiled welcoming me to his home. I noticed immediately, like most things in Sri Lanka, the facility had an open-air concept, with no glass windows or walls to keep the mosquitos and outside world out.  The words “Shantha Sevana Hospice” hung above the wide doorway in big white letters, letting me know I had arrived.

Share:
Reading time: 13 min

In response to all the powerful female energy surrounding our world today, I felt compelled to write.  A woman is one magnificent and beloved creature and I am (and always will be) proud to be one.  A march of sisterhood and unity, protesting from a place of love is something that lights me up inside.  I think back to my great-grandmother, who once protested for the right for women to vote and who used her voice.  We have a long way to go, but it is incredible how far we have already come.

Connecting with other women from different walks of life, backgrounds, beliefs and families; women who have triumphed, overcome, fought for equal rights and suffered from discrimination has only made me further appreciate the gender I am.  I am fortunate to come from a long line of strong females.  Women who have picked themselves up, ventured into the world alone, held their voices high, fought back and triumphed in times of despair.  I hold their energy close before I set out to travel and recognize how much of a privilege it is for me to do something like this; something unfortunately countless females around the world will never know the freedom of.  No matter what side you are on, the fact that we can take our voices to the level that we can, is remarkable. For this matter, I am more inspired than ever to work hard to be a strong female leader so I can help teach the next generation of girls that whatever they dream can come true- even if there are a million obstacles in the way.

Share:
Reading time: 3 min

A New Year represents the opportunity to reinvent your life, let go of the past and set the intentions and purpose for your days to come. With this in mind, I’ve been thinking lately about “my word” for this year.  The word that defines the space I am in now and then visiting a new word later this year to measure growth.  I like the idea of adopting a word for each chapter in life, almost like the bold heading to the pages you have yet to live.

A couple of words came to mind as I thought about this, but I settled on one in the end that I have been working the hardest at lately.

Courage: The quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face difficulty, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution.

Share:
Reading time: 3 min