While living in Costa Rica I met a guest at the Blue Osa Yoga Retreat & Spa who I later learned was also a traveler, writer, and lover of art + creativity. We shared meaningful conversations and meditation circles under our guide Marlize Joubert and I immediately felt connected with her. Nikki, a LA-based artist and animal lover, was kind enough to guest post on the blog, sharing her insight on travel and its role helping us find balance.
Four years ago, I left my life in Los Angeles and bought a one-way ticket to South America. I knew no spanish, didn't know a soul there and had never even heard of a hostel. In five months, I volunteered in the jungle, slept in $5 a night rooms, did ayahuasca, tried guinea pig and alpaca, hiked under the stars, hitchhiked, slept on a wooden bamboo "bed," taught a class of Peruvian children for one month, had more hangovers than I can count, got lost, kept exploring, and met so many amazing people that I still call my great friends today.
Then I came back. The universe brought me back so I could discover the loves of my life--my supportive partner, my dog and my art.
Everyday I continue to nurture these loves, these passions. They give me inspiration, happiness and roots that ground me. They give me a place to call home.
Still, my heart is a traveler's heart. There is nothing comparable to the uncertainty, rush and curiosity of exploring a new city and a new culture! There are so many secrets waiting to be unveiled, so many paths waiting to be taken, so many treasures the universe offers to us.
I don't think that ever goes away. But now I have both. My loves and my freedom. My yin and my yang.
I've found my balance.