Is Traveling a Waste of Your Potential?

San Blas

 

“What’s next? Isn’t it time for real life?”

 

“You’re off to the tropics again? Are you having a quarter life crisis?”

 

“You’re so smart and talented. I don’t want you to waste your potential.”

 

san blas

 

There were times when the voiced concerns of friends and family left me questioning the responsibility of my lifestyle.

 

Others when the voices in my own head stirred fears of what my future might hold.

 

little corn island

 

Giving myself the permission to pursue lifelong travel has been an ongoing process of deprogramming the paradigms instilled in me by my culture.

 

It has required identifying which lifestyle choices are in my pursuit of happiness and which, deep down, are ego driven.

 

san blas

 

In fact less than one year ago, after traveling to more than ten different countries, I had plans to return to the states and attend graduate school.

 

san blas

 

I wondered if I was wandering aimlessly. I felt that it was my turn to offer my skills to the beautiful world that had gifted me so much. I deduced that taking my talents and commercializing them into a revenue-generating package was the only means to that end. I believed that a traditional path in education was the way.

 

little corn island

 

Then I began blogging. I began meditating.

 

It did not take long for me to discover that I was already utilizing my unique offerings.

 

little corn island

 

That the questions and confusion within me were the result of deep probing and introspection that leads to tremendous growth.

 

I realized that I had learned more in the last year of travel than in sixteen years of traditional education.

 

bocas del toro starfish

 

I opened myself to the possibility that there were other ways to feel challenged, inspired, and alive than those accepted by society.

 

I recognized that the more I followed the path towards my own personal bliss the more energy, ideas, and love I had to share with my family, my friends, and with the world.

 

The more I let my light shine without judgment the more I felt in tune with my life’s calling.

 

san blas

 

While travel may not be the ultimate path for everyone, I feel it is an experience so transformative that it needs to be experienced at least once. Even if you hate every moment of it. For this, long term travel is certainly not a waste of potential, and is in fact the best possible use of potential.

 

Here is why:

 

san blas

 

Travel Teaches Problem Solving

 

Where will I sleep? What do I eat? How do I navigate this unfamiliar territory? Can I trust this person? What is the worst that could happen if I…?

 

These are only a few of the questions you will ask yourself daily. Many times the outcome will not be what you anticipated. It’s not uncommon for train strikes to limit you, food poisoning to debilitate you, strangers to manipulate you, and fences to prohibit you. You will learn to solve problems because you have to.

 

san blas

 

Many of us live in a society where solutions are provided readily. Marketers create products to satisfy consumer needs. They communicate that by purchasing a good or service the consumer eliminates the problem with little to no effort at all.

 

What will you do when you can no longer pay to make your problems disappear?

 

san blas

 

When the storm steals your internet, running water, and electricity? When you’re lost in a jungle inhabiting jaguars, pumas, and peccari? When you’re swindled in a language that you don’t speak? When you’re stuck in a foreign city with a frozen bank account?

 

What will you do?

 

Like animals we are programmed to survive. We are natural problem solvers. Traveling connects us with our instincts and abilities to respond in difficult situations. This empowers us to make confident decisions long after the trip is over.

 

little corn island

 

Travel Cultivates Independence

 

How often do you engage in activities to please others? When are you simply fulfilling obligations? What if every single day you were able to decide exactly how to spend your time? Would you feel empowered? Would you be terrified?

 

san blas

 

Before I began traveling my life was centered on others. With several jobs, a generally unavailable boyfriend, and a wide social circuit, I rarely checked in to ask “Hey, Camille, what do you want?”

 

But traveling shows us that we are responsible for our own experience. We have the ability to decide how to spend every moment of our day. If we don’t enjoy that day we have no one to hold accountable but ourselves.

 

Recognizing this inspired me to learn to live for myself, at times independently of others. If I want to take a tour I’ll take it. If a run is calling my name, catch ya later!

 

little corn island

 

I’ve learned that I actually love spending time alone. I incorporate self-care into my daily routine. I ask myself what I want before agreeing to anything. I enjoy my time with others because I don’t need them to satisfy my needs.

 

The more in tune you are with your own wants and needs the easier it becomes to lead an authentic life.

 

little corn island

Travel Hones Social Skills

 

Life on the road can be lonely and isolating. Even when you’re traveling with companions the world around you may be so unfamiliar it’s easy to feel disconnected from humanity.

 

While I believe that we have everything that we need already, within ourselves, completely alone, experiences are often best when shared.

 

little corn island

 

Haggling with merchants, washing at local bathhouses, and sleeping in bunk beds in a room filled with strangers are opportunities to learn from people you would never encounter otherwise. Most of them are open and interested in learning about you.

 

Take advantage of that.

 

san blas

 

I know it can be scary.

 

I’m an extrovert and there are plenty of times when I have experienced social anxiety. The moment I enter the dorm room assessing my bunkmates. My first day navigating a city. Ponying up to a bar to order a drink completely on my own.

 

Meeting new people, interacting in a foreign language, and responding to cultural cues is a practice that isn’t always easy. But the more you maneuver uncomfortable situations the more intuitive it becomes.

 

san blas

 

Travel Forces You to Let Go

 

Many of us live in a culture where surrender means failure. It implies weakness.

 

Quite oppositely I believe that surrender requires great strength. Knowing when to let go is a necessary skill that enables us to move forward in life rather than being stuck in the past.

 

Travel is the ultimate practice in surrender.

You learn quickly how infrequently you actually have control of outside factors.

 

little corn island

 

However, you have the ability to control the way that you respond. You can dwell on these inevitable occurrences or you can accept their reality and decide what happens next.

 

Stunning scenery whizzes by you on buses. Epic views drift below the airplane wing. People you meet, connect with, perhaps even fall in love leave in an hour, a day, a month, a year.

 

You learn to appreciate the moment that exists. You learn to say goodbye. You learn to release what you loved instead of entrap it. You learn to be open to whatever it is that may come next.

 

san blas

 

Travel Opens You to Possibility

 

When you step out of the familiarity of your own world and into another you begin to see just how diverse life truly is.

 

Perhaps what you once thought impossible is actually entirely within reach?

 

 

If you feel hesitant about traveling alone, particularly as a woman, check a few of my past posts:

Traveling the World as a Woman 

Why I Feel Safe Traveling Alone

On Being Alone

 

 

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Last December I washed up

quite literally

on the shore of Cartagena’s harbor.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

With vertigo after fifty hours of sailing

and five days without a shower

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

I wobbled down the maze of docks

uncertain as to where they might lead me.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

But inside of Cartagena’s protective castle walls

I found refuge.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

I found beauty.

I found wonder.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

I found Colonial buildings washed in colors

with the vibrancy of the Caribbean.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Cobblestone streets leading to squares

guarded by the noblest of statues.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Endless exploration

under the scorching summer sun.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Carts brimming with Colombian treats.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Streets flooded by tropical fruit.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Refined restaurants

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

with inspired interiors

and international cuisine.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

I found a world beyond the wall

If I ever needed an escape

 

Playa Blanca

 

with white sand and turquoise water

more tourists than I could ever heed.

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

And in a life that constantly moves

for better at times for worse

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Cartagena showed me

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

that everything is beautiful

 

Cartagena, Colombia

 

and everything is always all right.

 

Media Luna hostel

 

 

Where to Stay in Cartagena

 

Media Luna Hostel

$15 dorm, $30 private double

Located in the hip and affordable Getsemani neighborhood, Media Luna is the only hostel in Cartagena that has a pool. A big kitchen and plenty of outdoor lounge space makes it a great budget place to hang out. The rooms are clean, spacious and beautifully decorated and the staff is incredibly helpful and friendly. Every night of the week there is something going on from poolside BBQs to rooftop live music and dancing. The hostel also books tours and transport to other parts of Colombia.

 

El Viajero Hostel

$15 dorm, $30 private double includes breakfast

Rated the best hostel in South America, El Viajero has a serious following. The location is ideal, right in the center of town, and the dorm rooms actually have air conditioning. This is a serious life saver as the city can get so hot it’s impossible to sleep at night. Breakfast is also included in the rate.

 

Casa La Fe

Rooms starting at $135 per night includes breakfast 

The rooms are simple and homey but you really can’t beat this price smack dab in the center of the city. The terrace has a swimming pool and jacuzzi and a lovely breakfast is served every morning. Some rooms have their own private balconies with views of the public square.

 

Karmairi

Rooms starting at $140 per night

For an entirely different experience, head a bit out of town to the Karmairi beach resort. This stunning resort is right on the beach for those interested in peace and relaxation a short drive away from the amazing city. The facilities include a full bar and restaurant, spa, swimming pool, and beach club. Free activities like exploring the mangroves and outings with local fishermen are included. A rental car will certainly come in handy if you’re interested in spending time in the city center.

 

Rent an Apartment

The most comfortable and affordable option is to rent an apartment right in the city. Many are ideally location and include maid service. If you have a group you can potentially get deals comparable to a hostel! Look on airbnb.com, vrbo.com, and tripadvisor.com to see what is available. This is my top recommendation for any city if you plan to stay for more than a couple of days. What could be better than coming home to your own space with a well stocked kitchen?

 

cartagena, colombia

 

What to Eat in Cartagena, Colombia

 

Street Food 

$1-5 

Cartagena has an excellent variety of street food which graces every block. Big bowls of fresh tropical fruit are impossible to miss and make a great last minute breakfast or snack while you’re out enjoying the city. Be sure to try an arepa which is a classic snack in Colombia made from cornmeal and stuffed with either egg, meat, or cheese. For something sweet head to El Portal de los Dulces where you can find all sorts of local treats made from coconut, tamarind, and cacao in big glass jars.

 

Gelateria Paradiso

$3-8 for gelato

I think I came here all five of the days that I spent in Cartagena. My friend Sara could not end the night without at least two scoops of this incredible artisanal gelato. The line is long but don’t let it intimidate you, it moves quickly and the ice cream is sooo worth it!

 

Gato Negro

$3-5 for breakfast

For an inexpensive and lovely breakfast head to Gato Negro in the Getsemani neighborhood. Crepes, fruit salads, and eggs with toast are served in a darling courtyard.

 

Gokela

$5-10 for smoothies, wraps, and salads

Places like Gokela are an oasis for me when traveling in developing countries. I love to eat street food and decadent meals but at least once a day I need something really healthy. Gokela offer organic health food in a casual setting, great for meals to go to enjoy in one of Cartagena’s lovely squares.

 

Basically anywhere! 

Throw a rock and will hit the glass of an amazing restaurant. Seriously this city has an abundance of incredible cuisine. However, it comes at a cost. Many restaurants are comparable to those in New York City… in taste and in price. Peruse the menu, scope out the atmosphere and choose what you’re vibing with. You really can’t go wrong! If you’re on a budget stick to street food or one of the many casual restaurants in Getsemani offering wood fired pizza or whole chickens to share.

 

What to Do in Cartagena, Colombia

 

Explore the city walls

For the best view of the city and the sea you can walk or bike (rentals available at some hotels/hostels and in shops in the old city) along the old city walls. There are a few bars and restaurants along the wall that make a great spot for having some happy hour while enjoying the sunset.

 

Tour of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

$9 to enter, $15 for a guided tour, free the last Sunday of the month

Explore this important landmark in Cartagena’s history. You can wander through tunnels and climb to the top to see views of the sea and Cartagena.

 

Wander the lovely streets

Take in the architecture. Look at street crafts. Try some street food. Sit in a park square. Perfection.

 

Party with the locals

Cartagena is known for having some pretty wild nightlife. In fact Hillary Clinton was even seen partying at Cafe Havana in the up and coming Getsemani neighborhood. Media Luna hostel, also in Getsemani, hosts a hugely popular rooftop party a couple of nights a week with free entrance for hostel guests. Mister Babilla in the center of town is one of the most popular spots with locals and gets crazy late into the night on weekends.

 

Take a day trip to Playa Blanca

$15-25 for round trip transport and lunch

Cartagena has its own beach, but the sand and sea are nothing compared to nearby Playa Blanca. White sand stretches for miles and the sea is so turquoise it’s hard to believe it’s real. Many people show up and decide not to leave, sleeping in one of the beachfront shacks or hammocks. Be aware of what time you come, as the week following New Years (when I was there) the beach is so crowded with tourists and vendors it’s nearly impossible to relax. For more information on booking a tour, which can be confusing and stressful… downright impossible for those who don’t speak Spanish… read about it here.

 

Swim in mud at Volcan Torumo

Half day tours for $20 with lunch, $15 without

The sight of the volcano itself is not much to write home about; the healing mud that lives in its crater is the real appeal. Jump in and notice how no matter how hard you try, you just can’t sink!

 

How to Get to Cartagena, Colombia

 

Fly

from all over the world to the international airport in Cartagena and take the 20 minute taxi ride into the city.

 

Sail

into the harbor after spending two days on sea, three in San Blas, Panama.

$350-$500 depending on your boat

 

Bus

around the country in mini buses.

$35 and 12 hours from Medejin

 

5 Ways to Simplify Your Life

Bocas del Drago

 

It’s been exactly a week since I returned to my hometown of Seattle. These trips are often bittersweet.

 

Isletas Lake Nicaragua

 

I’m ecstatic to talk for hours with old friends, to see my family every day, to hear my name roll off my baby nephew’s tongue.

I’m thrilled to have clean clothes, sleep in a comfortable bed, and navigate the world in my native language.

I’m indulged by bathtubs, thai food, and expensive almond butter.

 

santa teresa

 

But I miss the simplicity of my traveling life.

 

I miss having the beach as my front yard.

I miss building connections with like minded strangers.

I miss the humbling feeling of communicating in another language.

I miss watching the sun set over the ocean, my mind free of thought.

I miss falling asleep to the sound of cicadas in completely content peace.

 

bocas del toro

 

And many of the conversations I have had with friends, acquaintances, and strangers upon my return, have been about their longing for the same thing.

 

For a simple life. For a free life.

For a life where community, nature, and exploration are valued over money, materials, and ego.

 

playa samara costa rica

 

So today I’d like to share a few ways that all of us can simplify our lives, wherever we are, to remove the clutter and make space for what actually brings us true, genuine bliss.

 

santa teresa playa hermosa

 

Practice Mindful Purchasing

 

In other words, stop buying things unless you actually really want or need them. This is a huge change I made in my life when I began traveling.

 

I remember a time when I shopped simply because it was something to do. I would head to vintage stores with no agenda other than to find the best the store had to offer. Hundreds of dollars disappeared in a moment over designer clothes. I wasted hours in front of a computer screen online shopping. Getting rid of old things and finding places for new ones was a constant chore.

 

And guess what? All of that stuff didn’t make me any happier.

It took time to acquire those belongings. It required space to store them. I spent man hours financing them.

For what exactly?

 

santa teresa beach

 

Today, because everything I own is literally a weight that I carry on my back and every dollar I spend determines how long I can travel, I am much more mindful of what I buy. I do not need ten bags of jewelry when I can wear the one ring I purchased from an artisan in Montezuma. I do not need twenty different toiletries when coconut oil achieves it all. Designer shoes are useless in jungles, on beaches, down cobblestone streets.

 

A friend of mine started a brilliantly ironic project two years ago called The Burning House. He posed the question “If your house was burning down, what would you take with you?” Today my answer is nothing but my moleskin journal and I have never felt so free.

 

pavones beach

 

Do What You Want

 

How often do you agree to things that you don’t actually want to do because you feel obligated to? What if you said no instead? What if you only participated in activities that you were authentically committed to?

 

Make no mistake, saying no is not always easy. Establishing and respecting boundaries is a lifelong lesson that is far from linear. However doing so is necessary. How many times have you let yourself or others down by saying yes to everything? It is not all possible. The way that you spend your time reflects what you value.

 

bocas del toro

 

There is no value in being a martyr and the resentment it causes is a huge relationship barrier. Recognize that it is your responsibility to spend your time in a way that makes you feel productive, respected, and fulfilled.

 

bocas del toro starfish

 

Use Mental Filtering

 

You do not need to know everything. With access to excessive amounts of information with the stroke of the keyboard, flooding our minds with unnecessary content has become more and more automatic.

 

It is not the end of the world if you are not hip to the latest youtube craze, informed on all the Oscar pics, or even aware of everything headlined across the news. In fact, this information can serve as a distraction from the things that you actually care about.

 

manuel antonio beach

 

Learn to limit your exposure to information that makes feel more connected to yourself and the world around you. Spending less time on social media outlets and turning off the television is a great place to start.

 

pavones sunset

 

Take the Path of Least Resistance

 

Contrary to what many of us have been told, life does not have to be hard. Often we become attached to a person, a job, an ideal and fight and fight to make it what we need when it just isn’t. How much easier, how much simpler, would your life be if instead you let it go?

 

I stayed in relationships that did not serve me for years because I was closed to the possibility that maybe there was something better the universe had to offer. That was an enormous waste of energy that I could have channeled towards creativity and growth instead.

 

san juanillo beach

 

Letting go of what you think you want is one of the hardest things we as humans can do. It is also the most liberating. Surrendering to your circumstances is frightening, but once you do an incredible calm is imminent. You no longer have the power, you no longer have the control. You are rooted in what is and are open to what could be. You are no longer fighting for something that in fact is not what you actually want.

 

little corn island

Be Content With What Is

 

Contentment is a state I once thought I was incapable of achieving. In fact, I thought that it was a lack of contentment, the feeling that nothing is good enough, that gave me the drive to achieve. I could not have been more wrong.

 

Constantly seeking something better, a better partner, a better home, a better job, a better body, a better life, discredits what we have and who we are now. Accepting and celebrating what is allows us to find joy in the moment. When we are truly present and rooted in the reality that surrounds us is when we find the mental clarity, creativity, and confidence to pursue our big dreams.

 

hammock costa rica

 

What if you decided not to remodel the bathroom? What if you cooked with what you did have in your refrigerator instead of driving to three different grocery stores for an elaborate recipe? What if you embraced your curls instead of spending an hour ironing them out?

 

Would you have time for a long walk? Time to read a book? Time to take photos, make music, write stories? Time to do the things that make you feel alive? Time to sit and be present with the people around you undistracted by all of the things you think you need to do?

 

What in your life do you think needs to be “more” than what it is? Could you feel gratitude for everything that you have now and let it be enough just for today?

 

manuel antonio sunset

 

These are a few methods that I have found useful in simplifying my life and achieving greater personal freedom.

What are yours?

 

Why I Travel

san blas islands

 

I travel to witness and celebrate the beauty of individuality.

 

taganga colombia

 

I travel to learn to solve problems. Not champagne problems. Survival problems.

 

donkey colombia

 

I travel to treat my buds to foreign flavors.

 

san blas islands

 

I travel to be inspired by new sights and sensations.

 

taganga colombia

 

I travel to hear the melody of another tongue.

 

hibiscus costa rica

 

I travel to embrace freedom.

 

playa cocles puerto viejo

 

I travel to connect with the gusting winds, the rushing ocean, and the soft ground.

 

playa guiones nosara

 

I travel to become acquainted with the person I am beyond a title, beyond family, beyond culture.

 

san blas islands

 

I travel to find opportunity in struggle.

 

san blas islands

 

I travel to release myself from stories that I know no longer serve me.

 

puma osa peninsula

 

I travel to let go because sometimes the world loves to show you how little control you actually have.

 

osa peninsula

 

I travel to challenge my fears.

 

playa barrigona

 

I travel to fall in love readily and constantly with everything that surrounds me.

 

playa guiones sunset

 

I travel to continuously redefine my comfort zone.

 

bocas del drago

 

I travel to remember what truly matters.

 

pavones costa rica

 

I travel to be flooded with the kind of bliss I find only when I explore.

 

playa guiones sunset

 

I travel to feel alive.

 

manuel antonio park

 

Why do you?

 

Recipes From the Road: Coconut Snapper Cabbage Cups

cabbage-wrap

 

I’ve been back in the states for less than a week and I’m suffering from coconut withdrawal. Hard. Sure I’ve kept myself slathered in coco oil, eaten spoonfuls of coco cream, and I may have paid five dollars for a bottle of raw coconut water…sshhhhh don’t tell… but it’s not the same. I miss asking the nearest man with a machete to shimmy on up and whack me down a few. I miss smacking that hard shell against a piece of coral reef then digging the flesh out with my fingernails. I miss turning my kitchen into a coconut laboratory.

 

In honor of my coconut pangs, here is one of my favorite coconutty recipes from my little jungle house in Puerto Viejo for you to make this weekend. I’m a taco fiend and made these as a healthier alternative.

 

The cabbage lends a nice crunch while the tangy mango salsa gives some sweetness and piquant. On top I drizzled some homemade chipotle honey yogurt sauce for depth and yumminess. I used fresh red snapper but you can use any white fish that’s fresh and local in your area.

 

You can find recipes and sources for all of the coconut ingredients in my post What to do With a Coconut.

 

cabbage-cup

 

Coconut Snapper Cabbage Cups

 

Ingredients

 

1 red snapper fillet

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup coconut flakes

coconut oil for frying

10 cabbage leaves 

1 avocado, sliced

salt

 

Mango Salsa 

one ripe mango, diced

1/4 red onion, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

handful of chopped cilantro

juice of one lime

salt

 

Stir all ingredients together and season with salt, set aside.

 

Honey Chipotle Sauce

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon chipotle pureed in adobo sauce 

1/2 teaspoon honey

juice of 1/2 lime 

 

Whisk together and set aside.

 

Prepare the snapper by dredging it in a mixture of the coconut flour, coconut flakes, and salt. Fry on both sides until golden brown in coconut oil on medium high heat. Take each lettuce cup and place a piece of the fish fillet, scoop of mango salsa, slice of avocado, and drizzle of honey chipotle sauce. Fold it up like a taco and enjoy!

 

 

 

When You’re Stuck in the Airport

airplane view

 

I’m sitting here in the airport in Florida

my first time on US soil in six months

surrounded by English speaking humans and hot dogs

in culture shock

exhausted and overwhelmed.

 

airport

 

I have already been traveling for over twenty-four hours

I have not slept

and my flight does not arrive in New York

until tomorrow.

 

Exactly when will I sleep?

Hm, I’ll get back to you on that one.

 

nicaragua volcanoes

 

Normally I spend my time in airports working.

It’s a distraction free space to write.

But when I’m this exhausted

work is entirely out of the question.

 

With the bright lights

screaming children

and overenthusiastic Jamaican Patois

I’m in the Caribbean satellite terminal

sleep is too.

 

airport

 

So exactly what should one do

when stuck

for hours

and hours

in an airport?

 

caribbean ocean from airplane

 

Could you relax?

Could you enjoy where you are?

 

I know, I know.

It’s not easy.

 

airport

 

But in the cold stale terminal

for hours upon hours

with no sleep at all

I have somehow managed

to settle in.

 

So here is my advice to you

when you find yourself trapped

in the stress inducing walls of an overcrowded airport.

 

Costa Rica view

 

Give yourself a massage

 

Ok bear with me. You’re going to have to get over your social anxiety here. It takes some security to not mind being the weird person in the airport rubbing herself or worse yet holding her hands in prayer then administering reiki. But let’s be real, when you’re wearing the same clothes for two days and your pores are leaking coconut oil could it get much more embarrassing? Your body now more than ever needs healing touch.

 

But if that’s too attention inducing…

 

liberia from airplane

 

Do restorative yoga

 

This might solicit glances and will instantly label you as the weird hippie in the airport. Especially when you’re in the United States. Just smile and say you were in Costa Rica and people will understand.

 

My favorite restorative pose, which can be done easily in an airport, is lying on my back with my legs extended up the wall. This pose increases blood flow to your heart and to your brain while stretching out your hamstrings. Ok, people might think you’re strange when they see you laying on the dirty airport carpet next to the vending machine, but you’ll feel so good it won’t matter.

 

If you must center yourself more discreetly…

 

airplane view

 

Watch a meditation video

 

I’m positively obsessed with yogaglo.com (they did not pay me to say this, I’m not nearly cool enough for that) which has thousands of yoga and meditation videos for only $17 per month. It’s perfect when I’m traveling but also when a very specific need that may not be addressed in a public yoga class.

 

For instance, after I discovered that my flight was delayed by three hours making me miss my connecting flight which added two days of travel time to my itinerary, I went through the YogaGlo meditation archives and found one intended for centering during difficult transitions.

 

With headphones in and eyes closed most people will assume you’re napping to music.

 

airplane view

 

Buy a book and read it

 

Do you find that you don’t read as often or as much as you’d like because you don’t have time? Well guess what, you ain’t got ish to do and Hudson News can’t wait to take your money. Read something.

 

airplane view

 

Watch movies

 

This is a great time to be decadent. You’re likely feeling weary and depleted and anything that makes you feel swaddled and nurtured is good. Try to detach from needing to feel productive. Staring at your laptop trying to complete an assignment while your bloodshot eyes struggle to stay open isn’t productive anyway. Give yourself rest and care so that you will be healthy enough to work when you do get out of this prison.

 

airplane view

 

Eat something indulgent and enjoy every bite of it

 

Particularly when you’re stuck in the far corner of Little Jamaica in the airport in the deep South, it’s hard to find healthy or remotely delicious meals. Yet there you are, hostage, paying $5 for a bottle of water. Do your best to get some protein and veggies, but there is no shame in putting away donuts and an ice cream bar.

 

airplane view

 

Don’t be surprised if after all that self treatment you never want to leave.

Just kidding.

 

Be Here Now

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Check in.

Where are you?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Are you here?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Are you here with your body?

Are you here with your breath?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Or have you reverted to the past?

Have you bypassed to the future?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Are you retracing the steps that have already transpired

hoping to somehow change them?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

You can’t.

Let it go.

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Are you predicting what has yet to come

in an attempt to control an unforeseeable future?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Don’t.

Accept the adventure in unpredictability.

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Are you engaging in activities

that effectively remove you from the present

and take you into a fantasy instead?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Constantly checking your phone or Facebook?

Drinking until you don’t remember?

Changing your location the moment you feel the weight of what truly surrounds you?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Why not come back

to this moment

instead?

 

Even if it feels uncomfortable.

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Why not sit and savor

where you already are?

 

Even if it scares you.

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Why not be grateful

and content

for what you already have?

 

Even if it doesn’t seem like enough.

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Why not be with who actually surrounds you?

 

Even if that is no one but yourself?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Can you observe what you see

absorb what you hear

inhale what you smell

feel what you sense?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Can you allow yourself to truly experience

this moment?

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

The moment that exists.

The moment that is real.

The moment that is everything.

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

You are missing out on nothing

by not being somewhere else

with someone else.

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

You are missing out on everything

by not being exactly where you already are.

 

Laguna de Apoyo

 

Be here now.