Where am I going next?
I have been abroad for nine months, I could have had a baby in that time.
Sometimes, it feels like a decade, other times it feels like I left yesterday.
Since recently loosing my job in Chiang Mai, I had the decision of what to do next?
Do I take the money I have saved along with the money I had left before I made Chiang Mai home, and return to my beautiful family and friends?
Do I end my travels for now?
I do miss my hometown dearly, I miss the comfort of my family and the company of my friends. I miss the recovery fellowship and the meetings. I miss driving on the right side of the road, in a car. I miss my workout crew and the familiarity of life at home. I miss my nieces. Family gatherings, dinners, game nights, the cold crisp air of Olympia. Even the rain. Yes I could go on, I do miss it dearly.
I often read blogs detailing life abroad and living out of the social norms. Making a living from blogging, reviewing, teaching english, and other occupations that allow the freedom of travel. I see the adventuress souls that move away only to return home for visits. I suppose I kind of am one of those souls. Yet I still long to come home. I couldn’t imagine moving away permanently. At least not now, being apart of my grandparents and my nieces lives and everyone in between that is far to important to me. Social media and video calls just don’t cut it longterm.
I’m not ready yet.
I know in my heart of hearts I am not ready to return. Maybe it’s because I set a goal to travel for a year, or because I have lived in Thailand for 7 months now. Living here has been such an eye-opening experience, but I want to see more. I want to do more. Climb more, swim more, learn more.
Living as an expat and a travelher I have started to think of ways I can support this free spirit lifestyle. While blogging and travel writing, and writing in general are a great source of income, I struggle with spending enough time promoting myself and staring at a screen long enough to produce decent content. I am not super techy and the social media world is incredibly overwhelming. I choose (for the most part) not to write blogs that guide you in this city, or show you the best restaurants in that city, or teach you travel hacks. Maybe later on down the line, but I spend enough energy just absorbing the experience trying to write it in detail later is a headache.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, I want to build a life for myself that I love, I enjoy, I have freedom, and the ability to continue to travel. This sparked the idea for my next destination.
Being away, and alone the majority of the time I have dug into the deepest darkest places of my soul. I have discovered numerous unknowns about myself, who I am in this world, my perception of people and relationships. I have learned why and when I put up walls, how I cope with all the different emotions I experience. The way I speak to myself when only I am listening, and how that affects my energy. I have learned that I am on a continuous spectrum of learning, living, relating, and growing. I want to be able to share my experience with others. I want to inspire, instill hope, revamp ones thinking about themselves and about the world. In order to help others, I must continue to grow and help myself first.
Why not continue Southeast Asia?
Initially, I started to plan traveling to an island. Anywhere. I need the ocean in my life. But then I had a thought “I can go anywhere, do anything I want.” You see, I have struggled with self-acceptance a lot while being away. I started doing crossfit at Chiang Mai Crossfit and I love it. I also started doing Yoga everyday in my room. I knew that if I continued on the Banana Pancake trail of Southeast Asia I would lose that momentum and ability to continue doing fitness each day. Coupled with eating street food goodies and everything cheap and fried, I would find myself spiraling in reverse. Working out, eating healthy, and taking care of my body spiritually, physically and emotionally, is not for the appearance factor. I find I am incredibly happier, I have more energy and in general just feel better about myself when I am staying active. Wandering the world has seemed to establish the relationship between self and the universe, learning that I am one with the universe has been the greatest self discovery yet.
“I saw that my life was a vast, glowing, empty page. And I could do whatever I wanted” -Jack Kerauc
I love Southeast Asia, but I am ready for a different scene, it may not be vastly different but instead of continuing East, I am taking my direction West. I began researching, and researching, and more researching. The thing I dislike most about travel is having to do research. I just want to go, see, experience, find out for myself. For the most part I am able to do that, but when venturing to an entirely new country outside SEA some reading must be done.
So how did I decide?
A favorite pastime of mine is playing on skyscanner, I like to entertain different destinations. It’s amazing how cheap flights can be, and really opens your eyes to all the possible places one can explore. I literally started typing in departing from: Chiang Mai-arriving: EVERYWHERE, for the date I needed to leave Thailand.
Can you guess which one I picked?
I started reading about the weather, cost, safety, and the like. I tried to find exactly what I wanted (keep reading to find out what I wanted) near the beach, unsuccessfully. After countless hours I stumbled across this blog written by Alyssa at Free Spirit Traveler. It was simply inspiring and brought me to the conclusion, this is where I need to go.
Not the greatest photo, but a taste of where I am going!
Can you guess? Have you figured it out yet?
After applying for my visa, chatting with Alyssa about her experience and finding out she is heading there also! I decided this was it. This is where the universe is taking me, yes I had to do a bit of footwork but when you know, you just know, ya know?
My application for the course was accepted, along with my visa. Destination: Rishikesh, India. Yes, you read that correct, I am heading to India. Rishikesh is in Northern India at the foothills of the Himalayas. It is known as one of the holiest places on earth to the Hindus where many have traveled to meditate in search of higher knowledge. Alcohol and meat are also illegal here due to the spiritual and mystical environment.
I am taking a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in the birth place of Yoga. I put the down-payment on the course, and purchased my flight. I have 30 days in India and the course is 28 days. India is incredibly strict with their visa laws so overstay is not an option. I fly in on April 8th, and fly out on May 7th- the day the course ends.
I am incredibly excited to start this new journey, as well as tediously nervous.
What if I fail?
What if I don’t pass the course?
Will this be a waste of money?
What if I am not super yogi and everyone else is?
Shut up Alicia, stop doubting yourself. Whatever happens, happens, and the experience I take away from this will be with me for the rest of my life. I get to bring my practice inward, I get to focus on my breath, I get to become what I want through this. I will push myself emotionally, physically, and mentally throughout this course. I will accomplish a longterm goal, and hopefully be able to share my practice with others. This course falls into every category of my goals short and long-term and allows me to experience Yoga in the heart of Yogaland. It is expensive thus leading to the return of home possibly before my one year anniversary of leaving. BUT I can use this certificate to create the life and freedom I long for.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley
Blissful travels my loves,
BONUS: I still have enough dollars to get to the beach after the course….stay tuned to find out what beach, and what country!