Gina Molinari yoga, wellness, travel and coaching
In less than 48 hours I'll be on a plane heading back to Philadelphia. Every plane ride I've ever been on is bittersweet: the ending of something creating space for the beginning of something else. I bounce between envisioning a specific future and trying to remain open to whatever happens when the bird touches the ground.
I recall my excitement from five months ago having tossed aside my comfortable and stable life in order to experience adventure like I had always dreamt of. Everything felt surreal. As I'm returning home, it feels the similar. This form of traveling has become natural and the thrill of going back and starting life fresh is some kind of intimidatingly blank slate open to dreams and opportunity beyond my control or imagination. I can't seem to envision myself getting on that plane and wrapping up this journey, let alone what my life will look like when I return home, wherever I decide to make Home, that is.
Today was my last day in Ubud (Bali, Indonesia). There's a festival going on just outside of town, but I opted to stay local and let things settle instead of reaching for more new connections. Looking back on the past 5 months I've been blessed with friendships and passing interactions with so many amazing people who crafted this journey into what it was. People who have explored Love with me, offered a compassionate ear or shoulder, been dance partners, invited me on excursions after 10 minutes of conversation... People from Israel, Spain, Argentina, Singapore, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Switzerland, Indonesia, Peru, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and the USA... People that have been to America and people who say the word dreamily because they will never make it there. I've come to LOVE people from all walks of life and they have loved me back.
While I've been away, our country elected Donald Trump as leader, a real-life plot twist I never expected. From the distant sidelines, I've watched a revolution begin as democracy is challenged and hate/fear threatens to tear the United States apart. Each time someone asks where I am from (and that is always part of any conversation), and I tell them I'm from America, they light up as though I am from the promised land while I try to swallow my recent shame. To many, the USA is a symbol of freedom and possibility, cleanliness and safety, to name a few of the adjectives I've been given. I've taken the responsibility to become a diplomat for my country, aiming to show the compassion, humanity, and intelligence that our new leader is lacking. It's become my duty to set an image of MY America.
I don't know where I'm going from here. I'm mostly clueless about what I'll be doing a week from now, much like I've been for the past 5 months. What I do know is that I am going to continue to do the work that I am proud of. I will lead by example. I will embrace all the qualities of the amazing foreign people I have met, showing Love, compassion, patience, and inclusion as a daily practice of living.
Every day is a new beginning, a chance to live better than the day before. I'll see y'all soon, landing hot with Love and hugs.
Some days are filled with hikes, hot springs, picnics, and motorbike rides, and those days are amazing. But other days call for reading, writing, people watching and a whole lot of doing nothing productive. Those days are good, too.
The last time I was in Thailand in 2014, we had a 2 night stop in the big city of Bangkok. It was near the end of the trip and i was sick (something I'm quite good at while traveling) and I gave myself permission to spend an entire day walking through the mega malls and seeing Interstellar at the super posh movie theatre. A totally unexotic and unproductive day. It felt right and it felt good.
Now I'm a month away from going back to the USA, where I get to start my life over from scratch, and I'm feeling the familiar pangs of anxiety start to set in. All of the sudden I've regressed into a state of mind where sitting with books and aimlessly walking have become a waste of time due to their lack of results. It's as though someone will judge me when I'm questioned "What did you do?" at the end of the day. But it's only me, I'm the only critic.
Being gone for 5 months is a vacation, no matter how I spin it. Sure, there were challenges and I did do some work, but in general I've had no responsibilities and have had total control over how my days will look. Now that I need to figure out what to do when I get home (and where home will be), I've started putting the pressure on myself to prove that this time hasn't been all luxury and relaxation. My inner critic is a relentlessly harsh tyrant.
So, here's to a little more kindness, patience and acceptance. Here's to being grateful for what I've done (and haven't done) and being convinced that I deserved every moment of it. Here's to saying I can live the good life and not owe anyone for it.
I am going to sit here in this cafe in the park and read some Jack Kerouac. Then I will go to the dentist, and after that I have no idea what will happen. Whatever it is, it's perfectly alright.
Ramblings, insights, & motivation