252 days ago I got on an airplane to explore this wonderfully wild world, and it's not hard to believe that the time has gone by so quickly, as the saying goes, "time flies when you're having fun". It was fun, it was probably the most fun I've ever had, but it was also scary and frustrating, transformational and spiritual. Eye-opening, to say the least. It took years to save the money, it took hours upon hours of planning. I come home with no house, no car, and very little money in my bank account. Experiences like these, however, outweigh the uncountable amount of sacrifices you have to endure. I'm emotional as I reflect back on the past 252 days of my life, from shiny skyscrapers of Dubai to slums of Nairobi. To the bush of Serengeti and to the top of Kilimanjaro. To beaches and Buddhist temples of Sri Lanka. To my home of India. To hiking through Nepal in hopes to see Everest. Followed by elephants and Thai Massage in Thailand, and my yogic journey in Bali. I'm grateful for Tanzania, as it showed me wildlife in its truest, most wild form. I'm grateful for my struggles with altitude climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and all that I learned about my own personal strength. And it goes without mentioning that catching up with my friend, Kristy, was high on the list of "amazing things".
I'm grateful for Kenya. I think back to that second day at FreMo Birthing Center, where I assisted a woman through delivery for the very first time. I was so scared, so unprepared. Where was the doctor?! My time volunteering there allowed me to grow as a doula, learning how to support women whose cultural beliefs are different from my own. As if it was only yesterday, I remember holding that unwanted baby girl the first twenty minutes of her life because Mom didn't want her. I remember how terrified I was when another mama was in labor for over thirty hours and her baby stopped breathing. The terror and complete devastation I felt and the breath of relief when I finally heard that baby wail.
I'm grateful for Sri Lanka for sharing its beautiful landscapes, ancient temples, and kind community.
I'm grateful for India and Kashmir for always guiding me back to my soul's home, for being so wonderfully wild and crazy and for teaching me ways to look outside the box, to teach me about patience, and for giving me the time and space in the majestic Himalayas for personal insight and growth.
I'm grateful for Nepal for providing such an amazing trail to hike and for the generous community of people who welcomed Justin and I into their homes for Yak Momos and rice wine.
I'm grateful for Thailand for its beautiful islands in the Andaman Sea and for all that I learned in Chang Mai during my Thai Massage training. I'm thrilled to keep practicing and look forward to seeing how I can incorporate these techniques with my laboring mothers. I'm grateful for the elephants, whose gentleness and kindness have persuaded my way of thought and showed me how to share love.
I'm grateful for Indonesia for its ceremonies, beautiful volcanos, radiant smiles, and for allowing me to dive deeper in my own spirituality. I consider myself blessed for having the opportunity to work at Bumi Sehat and provide women with the prenatal support they deserve. I'd say I found my voice, my voice as a yoga instructor, my voice as a healer. Bumi Sehat taught me ways to accommodate any situation, even when it is challenging and scary. I was nervous and was unsure of my worth, but the warm hugs and smiles as I said my goodbyes to the pregnant women and staff showed me how much they did appreciate me, leaving me tearful and happy. Words couldn't ever express the gratitude I hold for The Yoga Barn. I spent most hours in the day, everyday, deepening my yoga practice, deepening my spirituality, and being inspired by the incredible teachers they have. It truly was the best way to end this incredible journey.
Now I'm on to the next big adventure, the adventure of coming back home and integrating all I have learned into my every-day routines. I'm nervous and excited at the same time and look forward to finding out how everything will unfold. I'm excited for hot showers, for being able to flush toilet paper, for brushing my teeth with faucet water, for DRINKING faucet water, for the Oregon TREES, and (most of all) to catch up with my friends and family!!!
Thanks so much for the love and support you shared with me during my journey. Love you so very much!