Are we there yet? Isn’t that what kids ask on a long journey by car, train or plane, tired but filled with excitement and anticipation, wondering what they’ll see and experience when they arrive at their destination. Blane and I always did this together, not particularly wanting to climb everest but the kid in us ready for excitement, exploration and the possibility of a challenge…
If this sounds familiar then you can understand our experience because the longest we’ve stayed anywhere so far is 10-weeks and the shortest we’ve stayed is 4 days. And after every place it’s packing bags, shuttle, train, taxi, ferry or plane or some combination to get to the next destination, sometimes tired but always with an element of “What’s around the next corner?”.
Almost a month ago we left Wellington, NZ with one less bag, dropping down from 4 to 3, getting rid of excess and making it easier to move around when it’s time to pack up our bags and move on to a different spot. With a mixture of housesitting, Workaway and Airbnb we’re not in control of our space like you are when you live in your own home and each place we stay at comes with it’s own set of adjectives: awesome, beautiful, clean, spacious, open, chaotic, messy, lovely, claustrophobic… Is it ever perfect, ideal? As many of you know, we’re pretty good at creating an environment or space that fits us – free of clutter, spiritual in aesthetic, thoughtful, meaningful, beautiful.. But on these journeys that’s besides the point because we intentionally signed up for challenge, a situation that asks us to, instead, bend and to fit ourselves into each new situation.
We’ve found we’re pretty good at that. We quickly adapt and after a period of acclimatization including getting used to the routine of any animals we’re taking care of, where to get basic needs such as food, we snuggle into a chair or a couch and each place becomes our home. While some spaces naturally invite more walking, more art, more creative writing or reading… there are also those where we have to remind ourselves, nudge and coax ourselves and still others where we have abandoned those pursuits to other things that call for our attention. At first we tune in to the answer to ‘what am I called to do here?’. At this very moment, as I write this on our porch in Ubud, my answer is, “I am called to sit here. I am called to look at the huts and the sky, the rice paddies, the interactions between the geese, ducks and chickens. I am called to write, to be poetic, to love.”
At this time in our lives we are blessed: we are free to use every moment as we wish, to keep our hearts open to the invitation to create, to meditate, to contemplate. Although our external environment changes, our internal one remains constant and yet in a state of fluidity.
As I write this, I begin to hear the rain falling on the leaves of the papaya trees that grow in front of me and I look out to the water on the rice paddies to see the rain fall.
We find ourselves in one new place after another, but not to be the tourist, going to the best attractions, but to simply be, without a hunger to do, or to meet people, but to find ourselves in the flow of our lives and the flow that is constant around us.
As I finish, the slow, gentle rain changes into a torrent as if to say, “Yes, the flow changes, and you have to be ready!” I oblige and move inside.
And because this is a Travel blog, here are some images of Ubud, Bali:
There are 4 more under-a-minute-long videos of Saraswati Day on our YourTube channel.
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