Archives for posts with tag: adventure

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I just want to explore. Because those who discover every inch, crevice and piece of the world are really those who who are breathing every breath to know that every cell is a part of this universe. To know the universe is to know yourself. To know yourself is to know the universe. I am remembering. I am remembering my soul’s promise for this journey. To keep exploring the depths of the deepest shadow I have and keep finding. To remember.

2011 July 21 Lima, Peru

“Where are you from?” An older backpacker across from me asks with his spanish accent.

My throat is aching and I’m coughing up bits of phlegm — typical, travel small-talk is the last thing I want to do right now.

In less than forty seconds he has his laptop out, showing me his professional landscape photos and flipping through each one, naming them aloud like they are the names of his proud children.

They are beautiful but I feel a lack of enthusiasm, tired from my fever and the chilly winter weather.

“Would you like some tea? I have fresh honey with me too. I love bees.” A wide-toothed grin fills his face and he pulls out a litre size jar of honey.

I start to protest knowing that the kitchen is down the stairs but he is already up and gone in a second.

The hot tea slowly warms my body and my guard is melting away little by little.

“And you live here in Lima?” I ask.

He shakes his head with a smile. “I live here.” His arms motion over his things. “This is what I own.” I see a big backpack, an assortment of bags, a yoga mat, a Macbook, camera, a towel and boots.

He shows me more slides of his photography — each photo more majestic than the one before. Machu Picchu, sunsets over ruins, crisp enormous waves, cliffs with the view of waterfalls between giant jungles. I look at his brown, weathered skin. He must have had to hike for days just to get one of these shots.

“As long as I am healthy enough to surf, hike and take my pictures, I am happy. I like to think two minutes into my future; maybe three.”

I feel embarrassed for labeling him a backpacker — for brushing him off so quickly.

Each person has an amazing story if we choose to listen… if we choose to see them as a human being rather than the limiting roles or characters we define them as: a foreigner, a salesperson, a young teenager, an old person, a businessman, a waitress.

We miss a many opportunity when we believe and feed these false limitations. The most open thing we can do for another is to listen without feeling superior or inferior, without judgements and without our bounding opinions and labels.

He gets up, grabs a bag and his board, announcing that he’s going surfing. I thank him for the tea and silently thank him for this small, yet important lesson. As the sound of his steps become fainter and fainter, I look around, the cup warming my hands, and soak in the moment. I am here. This is where I wanted to be. Miles and miles away from home, surrounded by familiar strangers, sick with adventure and wild. I am here.

Originally posted on OChristine blog.

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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.

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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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More about Nikki Star: I am a writer, traveler, artist and believer of creating a beautiful life. I believe we all know more than we think we are capable of. We can be and create eternal beauty if we only allow ourselves to. You can join me on my journey at www.strippedcanvas.com. Also, find me on instagram @strippedcanvas.

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I met an amazing travel blogger named Olivia Christine while visiting Costa Rica and we really bonded. We had so much fun doing our beach photo shoot and now Liv is a guest on my blog, sharing insight on travel, growth and following your dreams. Read her inspiring story here!

By Olivia Christine

They say travel gently peels away at one’s surface, helping to reveal your soul. I say travel harshly strips away your facades and makes you face yourself. Whether you like it or not.

Or maybe it’s both.

I began traveling in search of feeling like I belonged somewhere. It’s ironic that those who feel like they don’t belong often run away to even more unfamiliar places in search of “home”.

But after years of traveling alone and facing myself, I realize: my soul is home.

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My latest destination along my journey of enlightenment is Costa Rica: one of my favorite countries. This time I have been living at a yoga retreat and I must admit, the experiences have been life changing.

Every week, new retreat groups come to strengthen their practice amongst the crashing waves and soothing silence of the Costa Rican jungle.

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And lately I’ve been deeply meditating on where I am in life and where I want to be.

Although I feel like I’ve been down this road many times before, this one is different.

I am happy.

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I find joy in the happiness of others and bask in the light of all other living creatures and organisms.

I find myself seeking nature, clarity, truth, and love in all that I do and with those that enter my life.

When I first started traveling it was because of school. I went to a boarding high school that pretty much required international community service to graduate, so I went to Alsace, France and volunteered in a school.

Unfortunately, I also got very sick that year and within less than two years I found myself in chemotherapy fighting a nasty autoimmune disease that was killing my kidney function. It was during that time that I decided there was too much to see, be, and do in life and I hadn’t done enough. My promise to myself was to live, live, live and never look back.

So, I started traveling through every connection I had, initially working as a national conference planner and marketing professional. And I burned out within just a few years.

It was as if I forgot the point of that promise and got caught up in corporate expectations and the fast life of New York City, and became stressed out and miserable.

So one day, I stopped.

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I loved writing and was good at marketing and other jobs that would be easy to do remotely, so I cashed out on my savings and thought, this is enough for two years, and I’ll figure the rest out later.

Oh my goodness, how uncharacteristic of me! Perfectionist, meticulous, Virgo Olivia just took a leap with no safety net.

I was shitting my pants.

But the moment I quit, I literally felt my shoulders relax and the heaviest weight ever felt on my chest, release.

It was magical.

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And here I am. I’m living in Costa Rica temporarily: travel blogging, managing international clients remotely, while bartering my stay at a luxury jungle yoga retreat in exchange for my writing and digital marketing expertise.

I spend my days waking up at 5:30 am to the sunrise and falling deeper in love with people and animals living here. I eat farm to table meals that are primarily vegetarian with the occasional chicken or mahi mahi for dinner, and practice (or sometimes teach) yoga 1-2 times, daily.

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I’m not rich, and am surely not living a life of big spending. But my decision helped me shave away the unnecessary distractions in my life, helping me embrace minimalist living and appreciate the beauty of giving and exchanging, and most of all: loving.

Because we all have gifts, and sharing those gifts with the world through love is self fulfilling.


More about Olivia Christine: Olivia is a Travel Writer and Photographer consulting in writing + content marketing while exploring the world through bartering, volunteering, and adventure discovery. She spent a few months at Blue Osa as a blogger, marketing volunteer, and private yoga instructor.

Read about her adventures and travel advice in her blog and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

Costa Rica! I love it here. So much wildlife, warm beaches and the area we’re in seems to be empty so it feels perfectly remote. We are at a yoga retreat and it has been a beautiful experience. Wonderful people, healing yoga, meditation and days full of sunshine. I am so grateful!

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Those things in the sand are baby sea turtles that had just hatched. When they hatch, most of them get eaten by hawks but the hawks wont come near if humans are around. We released these adorable creatures into the sea today. 💙

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Rise Festival
10.18.14

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Santorini, Greece
August 2014

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Edinburgh is easily one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to. I loved it. All the gothic pointy buildings, castles, dark lines and bag pipe music echoing in the streets :)

The countrysides were beautiful too. It was such a fun trip (Im not going to say it was a vacation because we squeezed in so many activities that we were go go go everyday–quite an adventure :)) with great friends.

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Such purity, untouched beauty and friendly people.

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Croatia beyond exceeded my expectations. 2.5 weeks traveling solo; a yoga retreat, meditating, clear seas, hopping from buses to trains, wonderful sights. It was beautiful and so much fun!

Met some amazing souls along the way and shared many heart to hearts. I’m so grateful for this journey and the things I learned in just a short time.

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After a week of being in NYC and Washington DC working and eating a lot of carbs, I just landed in Zagreb and will be traveling down. Cant wait to explore this country!

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