Yoga Travel: Zanzibar – Unsettling

 

What I love about change, travel, new opportunities and unexplored horizons is the potential for growth. 

This is one of the reasons why I love to constantly move around and be in new places, that feeling of being unsettled. It helps me to become more comfortable and familiar in different situations. It pushes me out of comfort and out of being in control and into the uncomfort and the unknown -which is where I think life’s lessons lie, a lot of the time.

I have been in Zanzibar for over two weeks

Lets just go back to where I was (physically and emotionally) before arriving here in Africa. At home in Ireland I had decided to shelve my *Yoga teaching Career* for the time being and move in another direction. I had some new opportunities lined up.

In the middle of all of this I got a call, out of the blue, asking me would I be interested in going to Zanzibar to teach yoga for three months. Without a second thought I said I would be (obviously, no?). Skip forward a few days and I had accepted the offer to fly to Zanzibar one week later, I had also been offered a job with a company in Ireland who I really wanted to work for and which would offer me a regular, stable income and some other generous perks to boot.

How did I decide between the two?

One was a chance to feel secure and comfortable in my home country (Ireland), to have some freedom to do what I loved; learn new skills and challenges in a new environment and well feel a bit more “adulty” (whatever that means!!).

The other was a once in a lifetime opportunity, it was everything I had been working towards for the past few years, it was what I had always said I would love to get to do – teach yoga on a beach with sunshine, travel and discover new cultures  at the same time. The latter however was short-term, seasonal work and what if nothing comes along after this?

What if I not only take the *dream* job but I reject the other and come back in a few months time to find I have gone backwards. That I have not only turned down a chance to, for the first time in a long time, have some financial security and general stability? Perhaps even be able to rent a house somewhere for myself (Oh imagine, my OWN home!). I had become comfortable being back in Galway, dare I say it even happy there 🙂

I had my closest friends nearby, I was meeting new people and getting to work on some cool new creative projects and well, Galway is great.

 

 

What if, what if, what if?

What if I went to Zanzibar and didn’t like it, or it didn’t work out?

I let my mind go here and go there. I let the thoughts, evaluations, logistics, the wants, needs, pros, cons and everything else I needed to analyse come forth into my mind. I reached out to friends, family but  inevitably I knew I had to decide for myself and that really I had already made up my mind – or more to the point my heart and my gut had.

I took the leap and accepted the job in Zanzibar with week to organize, pack away what little things I had at home and fly to Africa. It all happened so quickly that I didn’t even really have time to research anything about where I was going, I didn’t really have time to think about it at all actually!

When I arrived to Zanzibar, after about 40 hours of travel and very little sleep – I finally started to take in the fact that I was in Africa. Having spent most of my travels in India and Asia, I realised I have no idea about African culture or what to expect. I was excited to discover though- because sometimes the best way to learn is to just dive straight in, no reading, researching – just go, explore, ask questions and learn.

As with any new job, place, experience it takes a while to feel settled.

So this has been my week of getting settled and actually more to the point , being unsettled.

Everything comes in layers- lessons, challenges, beliefs, unlearning, deconditioning, re-learning, seeing through the self. I see all these things that I have worked through over the years come back again and again with a new layer to work past.

It is funny how that happens, isn’t it? You gain an understanding and insight into aspects of yourself, what triggers you, where you hold yourself back and so on. You see it, you see how strongly you believe it, you feel it, you see through it, you drop it, you let it go and you keep moving forward.

Somehow, no matter how many times you go through a lesson in life you seem to go through them again and again, each time you believe them, each time you feel it, but each time it may become that bit easier or that bit quicker to see through it, to look past it and let it go.

They say that “The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.”

In just one week here I have seen the truths and aspects of myself that I thought I had worked though rise back to the surface. This time what I found was that the tools and understanding I had gained in previous experiences facing these aspects of my self have left me feeling much more equipped to deal with what was coming up and move past them that with a bit more ease and a (tiny) bit more grace.

The unsettling had begun and I was ready to receive it head on.

That is all for now. I look forward to sharing my journey over the weeks – both my own personal journey as well as all things Zanzibar and how I am finding life here.

It is a wonderful feeling though to look back on myself, to think back to past trips or journeys and experiences and to really see what it feels like to allow yourself to become stronger, more free and well braver.

For now it is back to exploring vegan food, yoga practice and yoga teaching, beach life and getting to just be here on this tropical island that really does feel like it is on the edge of the world.

 

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