Sri Lanka & Maldives
This year I had the chance to teach in Sri Lanka and in the Maldives. I have never been before to both of these countries and I was very excited to see both of these places.
Even though I love Europe and I had an amazing time in Portugal, I always wanted to come back to Asia. I missed the island life and the humidity. So I decided to look for a place to teach in Sri Lanka, as it was one of the countries I always wanted to visit. I wasn't sure about how long I wanted to stay there, I just wanted to take the leap and see how everything goes. Before I left for my journey to Sri Lanka, I got the opportunity to teach in the Maldives. It sounded amazing to me, but I didn't want to cancel my plans to go to Sri Lanka. So I delayed the job in the Maldives, so I could spend at least a couple of weeks in Sri Lanka. Looking back, I am beyond happy I did!
When I arrived in Sri Lanka, I had no expectations. I just wanted to arrive and see what happens. Immediately I was impressed by the country's landscape. On my bus ride from the airport down to the South, where I would stay, I saw so many things that reminded me of Bali. It looked like the Bali I knew from when I was a kid. The beaches, the nature - it was beautiful. I already felt a little bit like home. The place where I taught yoga gave me a shared accommodation and until today, I can't believe how blessed I was with my flatmates. They were so incredible and nice. My time in Sri Lanka would not have been the same without them. They were kind and extraordinary - each in a different way. I felt so comfortable living there and I wouldn't have expected to be so sad when I left. I learned a lot from them and my time there. Before I came to Sri Lanka, I thought I would just take this time to be mostly on my own and prepare for my next chapter. I wasn't planning much to be honest. But I got to see so many beautiful things - from elephants in their nature to tea plantations - I loved it. The teaching there was great as well. Everyone that came to the classes was so chilled and lovely, it did not feel like work at all. I am really happy that I had this experience. This was another lesson for myself that taught me that sometimes it is just the best to have no expectations at all and take everything day by day.
When I got to the Maldives, I was really excited. I just came from Sri Lanka and a short visit in Singapore, so I arrived happy and ready for the next chapter. I started my new job the next day and already then I had a weird feeling about everything. I learned from my past to follow my gut always and I already knew that it was just not right for me. I started to teach in a resort and this was the first time for me to be working directly as an employee of the resort and not as a freelance teacher. I made a huge mistake before coming to the Maldives, which was to set expectations. And when I started to work there, it was totally different from what I would have imagined. The job and the life. In reflection, this taught me a great lesson even though I made it painful for myself to learn that. From living with yoga teachers in the same house and being able to spend my free time and work time with them to living and working as the only teacher frustrated me a lot. I had never experienced it before to be the only teacher in a place. I missed having another teacher around from whom I can learn and attend classes on my own as well. At the beginning, I thought it would be a great way for me to deepen my practice and learn more about myself, but it just didn't give me the right space to grow. Even though I was blessed with lovely guests and nice colleagues, I was just not happy. Simple as it is. I felt like treading on the same position without moving anywhere. On top of that, living on a small island with a limited amount of people and space was not what I wanted as well. I love spending time on my own, but I need freedom as well. Nothing gives me more peace than knowing I can ride off into the nature and go on any adventure I want. I felt trapped and just so miserable, that I turned everything else in my life miserable as well. I lost motivation and any energy. I knew that it was just not for me and that I would need to move on to another place. I stayed for a while to give it another chance and to see how things would go. I was lucky that I had met people there that I really enjoyed spending time with but in the end, the most important thing was for me to be happy. Because without that, there was no way I could be happy with people and also guests.
Looking back, I am very thankful for my time in both of the countries because it made me realize one very important thing. Which is to go where I belong! The place that I can call home and where I can let go of any little worry I have. The only place where I know I can stay permanently. The place I like and dislike, but that stole my heart a long time ago already.
I love traveling and I can't remember how many times I packed my bags and unpacked them with all the stuff I have. Starting over in a place and building a life again from scratch. And finally I can say I am tired of it! I will always have the urge to travel but I am ready now to stay put in a place. And to not only feel home but also build an own home. Now can you guess which place I am talking about?