Reflections on a Nomadic Life, Part 2
Updated: Nov 28, 2019
"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”
- Maya Angelou
I currently write to you from my house here in Ubud, Bali. It is so good to be back! This year has been about building homes that enable me to come and go quicker and with more ease. This home here in Bali is the first place I've ever lived where I have a whole house just to myself and marks the first time I've actually returned to the same place after being away for half the year...it really does feel like I am home as my neighbors know me and it is beautiful to see their babies growing. Despite the fact that one of them is now smoking me out by burning either trash or plants just next door and my eyes have begun to water, the quiet, the treehouse bedroom that overlooks the sunset in the rice fields, and the indoor/outdoor living space has me not wanting to do much more than just be here and be still...and to finally get back to studying Bahasa. The more I travel, the more value I find in having sacred spaces that I can return to and where I can continue to build relationships.
I must share that my most recent transition from Marrakech to Bali has been one of a dream and a reminder of why I live this way, to begin with. One minute I am on the back of a motorbike winding through the narrow alleyways of the medina dodging donkeys and people pouring mint tea just after doing a photoshoot with a carpet vendor on a rooftop in the souks. The next day I am walking the empty boardwalk on a beach in Doha. Then the next I am watching my neighbors host a cockfight outside my house after doing three back-to-back heated classes at my yoga studio here, the Ubud Yoga Centre. The transition energetically has me realizing the progress I've made but also has me saying hold the phone to socializing or to jumping into my next project...as this weary traveler needs a rest.
Marrakech is lately where I feel the most creative energy. It is a place where at any moment something new will happen yet everything is hiding in plain sight. Hosting retreats there will likely be an ongoing thing that I will continue to do because it brings me so much joy to share its magic and to base our yoga sessions out of the creative hub of Riad BE. Morocco is tough for tourism like all of North Africa. Things don't always go the way you plan and everything still has that touch of chaos that makes my rebel heart sing. Yet somehow amidst all the change and growth I've seen there since I have been going for the past 11 years, the things that are happening are still somehow a well-kept secret to the artists who dare to communicate in 4 languages all in one sentence. It truly is the place where nomadic spirits unite and already I look forward to my next photography voyage there and to building deeper relationships.
In many ways, these two spaces, Bali and Marrakech are the two places I have been returning to for this period of time and have both seen their share of rapid change and growth. I am nostalgic for the ruggedness and authenticity of what used to be and sad to see the shifts tourism has brought. I am also invigorated by the innovation I see all around me and to be a part of the history that is being written.
What I have learned in 2019 is that my environment and the people around me are more important to me than to most in order for me to thrive. It has become more and more relevant for me to know who I am, what I need, and what my business is about as I've had to learn some hard lessons in setting boundaries and for speaking up for myself.
Anyway, for now, I won't be thinking too much about the future as I can settle in here and take a big nap in my own little slice of peace and quiet in a home that is honestly called Namaste.
Love and Light,