The Dangers and Rewards of MovingTuesday, May 20, 2014
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” -Max Erhmann, Desiderata
They say that life isn’t meant to be lived in one place. If you were born, raised and are growing old in one town, consider moving. Not even migrating. Just the simple act of literally moving. Being curious, wandering, traveling, exploring. The world is biiiig. Stop making excuses. It will widen your perspective about the world, and ultimately, about yourself. You might discover that you are wrong about a lot of things or that you have so much more to learn.
Find your happy place, your tiny slice of paradise. Look for like-minded people. A place that lets you be, so much so that it inspires you and lets all your creative juices flow. You will find yourself doing things you've never even thought of trying before, like surfing reef breaks or teaching yoga when you were brought up to compete in the ruthless corporate world.
You know that you've stumbled upon it when you find yourself singing and dancing at random moments. You greet every dog, cat, cow, goat and chicken and person that you come across just because you want to spread positive vibes. You're that happy, it's contagious. When you find that place, build a life from scratch. Don’t be scared to start from nothing.
It wont be easy but I promise you, in the end it will be worth it.
When you can’t wait to wake up in the morning because you’re surrounded by such beauty and nature. When you actually love taking travelers around and playing tour guide all day everyday just because you’re so proud of where you live. You find yourself thanking the universe every second, every minute for just being able to breathe. When you know that the whole world is waiting to be explored but you keep coming back to that one special place, move.
I can’t promise you that things will be smooth sailing. There will be glitches along the way, there will be tears. At times, you will get lonely. You might get mugged, or you might have to deal with immigration issues. Take it one day at a time. There will be a language barrier or incomprehensible cultural differences. You will be stereotyped and might even be a victim of racism.
Breathe, and deal with it.
Eventually you might get homesick or miss speaking in your own language. Don’t worry, there’s Skype for that and your friends and family can always come visit. You will get lost in translation. Try harder and learn the language. Worst case scenario, you might crave for bacon when it’s absolutely nowhere to be found.
You might even meet the man of your dreams, only to get swept off your feet by his best friend instead. You might fall in love with a stranger, only to say goodbye to him the next day. You might find the coolest roommates to share a house with, then end up fighting over your secret stash of imported bacon. You will find a group of random people to call your family and they will care for you, just like your real one does, I promise. Life wont be perfect, but really really close to it.
My slice of paradise is an island somewhere in Asia. Two years ago I came here to explore and to surf a little. It wasn’t quite love at first sight. Upon arriving, I felt lost. It was too dark and too quiet. We couldn’t even see the beach from where we were staying. I thought that it was the most boring place I’ve ever visited. The following day, we went around the south coast of the island and decided it was the most amazing place I’ve ever seen in my life, it still is.
Its raw, beautiful landscape, lush green mountains, unexplored beaches and laid-back vibe make you wonder why the hell everyone's cramming themselves in tiny cities. It’s not for everyone though, especially not for the usual tourists who just want to take selfies and couldn't care less about the culture and tradition.
Most people get bored after a week, but some never want to leave.
There’s a big misconception about the locals. They are predominantly Muslim, yet they are the friendliest and most easy going people I have ever met. A lot of them have welcomed me like family. The town is so small that you get to know everyone. It melts my heart whenever the little bracelet vendors call out my name. They have become my playmates when they’re not too busy making a living. We walk to the beach to play or come up to my house and just hang out all afternoon.
I get tingles down my spine every time I look at the panoramic views from our villa or from where I work. We have about a dozen different beaches within less than an hour's motorbike drive. A different beach for surfing, kiteboarding, paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, diving, sunbathing or bonfires. Amazingly, I have memorized every patch of sand and every hill like the back of my hand and I have such sweet memories with different travelers in each and every one of these places.
When I started living here, I had no idea what I was gonna do or where I was gonna live. I eventually became a yoga teacher and got a job in the only yoga place in town! I'm also grateful that other expats have offered me various work and business opportunities.
In the middle of editing this article, our house got broken into so that was the ultimate test for me. But never did I think of going back to Manila. These things can happen anywhere in the world, like when everything in my room got stolen while living in London. I'm not much safer back home as well. I was drunk somewhere in Bali, partying with strangers when my apartment building exploded because of a gas leak.
Even on my worst days, I’d still much rather be here than in my pretentious condo where all my social climbing neighbors hate each other. I’d rather be soaking wet on the back of a motorbike coming home from the beach than be stuck in EDSA traffic inside my own shiny 4x4. I’d rather hike with my one and only pair of flip flops than have 50 tortuous pairs of heels displayed on my shoe rack. I’d rather be in worn out clothes, than have to dress up in ridiculously expensive designer wear, and paint my face with toxic chemicals just to be “presentable”. But then again, that’s just me and I would never wish my life on anyone else.
You'll need to do your own work to discover what kind of life it is that you truly want to live.
This island has changed me so much, I don’t even recognize myself anymore.
A lot of people may never understand why I chose to move and live a much simpler life here. Some people think that I moved because of a guy. Or because I’m running away or slacking off. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Everyone will have a different opinion. Some might not approve and that’s okay. One thing that I am certain about is that I have never been so accepted by the people around me, without prejudice of where I come from, without expectations of what I can be, just me.
And if day comes and I will feel like moving again, I will feel no guilt for leaving, make no apologies for being happy and chasing after my dreams. To be honest, I’m just about ready to step out of my comfort zone and do it all over again.
So love the search, and when you find it, I hope you gather the courage to drop all your plans and give up everything. Don't settle for comfort and convenience. Create a life beyond your wildest dreams. Surround yourself with people you love and love you back. Live in a place where you can thrive in. Trust in the universe's plans for you, its timing is impeccable.
Love and light,
Sole Sister Adi
Adi escaped from the corporate life and her life now happily revolves around yoga, surfing and traveling. Her goal is to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and inspire those around her to do the same. She shares her AntiGravity and yoga practice everywhere she goes and dreams of building Secret Spot hostels in beautiful tropical destinations. Her goal is to speak Spanish and Indonesian by the end of the year. Follow Adi's adventures on Love the Search.
Get a FREE copy of the Sole Sister Guide to Planning an Epic Trip by subscribing to our newsletter. You can also hang out with us online on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.