Saturday, 14 December 2013

Dazzling Dubai - Take Two ;)

Dubai Take Two

After my time in South Africa, and staying in the beautiful accommodation with all of my friends from Bermuda I was more than accustomed to the lifestyle I would be living in Dubai during my stay, and was very excited about it indeed J

It was where my adventure had started, and I was keen to see how I would feel to be back 8 months later. It also took me back to the nearest point to the UK since I had started this big adventure in January 2013. That was a little bit weird if I am completely honest…especially knowing that I had taken the decision not to use the final leg of my pre-booked ticket from Dubai to London at the end of September after all.

Dubai was just as I remembered – shiny, glitzy, inviting, sparkling, busy, rich and full of activity and things to see and do.  Which makes me laugh really, especially the full of things to see and do, as I was just about the laziest I have been for my entire 8 months of travel during my stay in Dubai. Each day, Russell would say what have you done today? To which, my answer was religiously “yoga, worked on my yoga facebook page, read articles about yoga, studied new yoga classes to teach, and submitted yoga poses to the Aim True Yoga Instagram Challenge that Imi had drawn to my attention. In fact since I left Lembeh I had thought about nothing other than yoga and how to make that my new world entirely.  To be fair, I did sometimes surprise him by throwing in a 10k run on the treadmill, or a bit of sunbathing around the apartment swimming pool. One day I even walked across the main road to Dubai Mall, the World’s largest shopping mall, and watched the water fountain display outside of the mall and filmed a little bit to show friends on facebook.

I was so happy with this level of laziness and it was exactly what I needed, and Dubai and inside Russell’s beautiful apartment was exactly where I needed to be right then in those days that allowed me time to think about what an earth should or would or might come next in my life. I spent days researching my options, thinking and planning what I could do to make a living, applying for some yoga jobs in Singapore, considering creating workshops to deliver to athletic clubs, even considering taking some certificates in group fitness and personal training while I later traveled through Singapore. Nothing came to a complete conclusion because I was always do busy thinking about or actually doing yoga.  Russell’s apartment had a view to die for, and the enormous spaces in the living room and bedroom allowed me so much freedom to roll out my yoga mat and just do yoga, and practice some kick ass poses that I hadn’t had the opportunity or time or focus to do until then.

It was during my time in Dubai that I realized just how much of my heart I had left in Lembeh. I missed teaching yoga like crazy, and it made me so super sad to not know when I would teach again so I kind of set myself the task of practicing as much as I could and improving my own personal practice while I was there so when I did eventually teach again I would be ready to go and show my enthusiasm again J

It still amazes me how my journey has taken so many twists and turns to bring me to where I am right now. Initially the trip was about having as many adventures as possible, as much beach time as possible, and as much diving as I could possibly afford.  Until one day a very good friend of mine in November last year, Hilda – who I hadn’t spent a huge amount of time with one on one or face to face before we both left Bermuda, said to me at the MAAC track one night on the stands while we waited for torrential rain to stop so we could go home “Caroline, what I don’t understand is that you have this amazing adventure planned and lined out for your facebook friends to see, but yoga doesn’t feature at all. How come? I would have thought as a yoga teacher in Bermuda you would be going to hide out in an ashram in India or something. I could totally see you doing yoga, so what’s up with that?”.  She set me off on a whole different path after that conversation. I believe you meet every single person you encounter on this journey in life for a reason. And for that I will be eternally grateful. I could list so many people I have met in recent months and years who have shaped my path in so many amazing ways. I am a lucky girl.

I met Hilda to help me see what was so obvious to others, but less so to me as I was so busy trying to analyse my life and plan, plan, plan that I didn’t see the right path for me. That evening I began to explore India more, and yoga more. I had the choice between Rishikesh or Goa when it came to available yoga courses. I decided quickly that I wanted to learn more and so would take the YTT 500 hour teacher training course. It was just a question of where. I had decided on Rishikesh, and well you all saw how much I fell in love with that crazy little town, and my YTT course and the beautiful girls that I met during this course as well. Love love love. And so it was that my whole world changed direction based on that one conversation at MAAC track with Hilda. I wonder if she realizes what an impact she made on my life? And if you are reading this Hilda, then THANK YOU. For more than you will ever know. So grateful to have met you and have you in my World J

While Russell was in Dubai we went to the movies a lot, I met some of his friends and had dinner with them also. We took a trip to the top of the World’s tallest building to meet his friend the lovely Sara who has an awesome events job working for this business. We sat on top of the World with Sara and drank lots of delicious wine, olives and other nibbles while we (I) watched the world go by and sat fascinatedly people watching. Dubai amazed me, in that whole tables of people would sit together yet not actually be connecting with each other. They would all sit with their cell phones out and be online checking various social media sites, or else chatting to people who weren’t with them at the table. That whole idea is so bizarre to me, and gave me a brief taste of what the ‘real life’ was like. That scared me a little, and as much as I did briefly consider it might be time to re-enter that ‘real world’ and join in again soon, I quickly realized that the fact it both scared me and frustrated me meant that it wasn’t actually the right decision for me.

While drinking coffee one morning during a sand storm which literally killed any kind of view from the apartments, I stumbled across an article about Bermuda! About Johnny Barnes - the 85 year old man who is a famous feature in Bermuda, as he stands every single day at the roundabout where all commuters into town pass by and ways and shouts "I love you, I love you, I love you!!" with all the passion in the world. Reminded me so much of Bermuda days and made me ever so slightly homesick, especially at a time when I have no clue on my direction of my journey as of next week.  

Russell was away on business for much of my time in Dubai this time, and kindly left his apartment for me to use while he was away. It really was very generous of him indeed and I was so grateful for the free time (financially and mentally) to just spend some time alone with me, in beautifully comfortable surrounding. It was such a pleasure to be able to shop at the grocery store and have a kitchen in which to prepare meals!! Every evening I made a beautifully big and fresh chicken salad and dressing - just because I could :) Ah so satisfying! I spent my days around my yoga mat. I ate my breakfast at the mat, did my online research on my mat, I did my yoga practice on the mat. Everything revolved around the mat and Russell joked that the mat was my new office, which made me smile.  It was, and I was completely ok with that J

Dubai was just the perfect place and time for me. It allowed me some space and time to clear my head, to think about what I wanted next in life and to assess how to get there.  It didn’t give me any clear answers as such, but it did set me off in the right direction. I booked a one-way flight to Singapore, and then a flight from there to Bali and arranged to meet my lovely friend Theresia in Bali the night before my birthday with the intention of travelling together to Nusa Lembongan to celebrate my birthday together, and perhaps some diving. Well, definitely diving. I missed diving as much as I missed teaching yoga. I knew nothing about what I would do from there, or how long I would stay. I had an appointment to meet with the Yoga Shack there about possible yoga teaching work, and a date with some manta rays and maybe a mola mola if I was super lucky.  

And so the next stage of my adventure begins….off I go into the unknown with all my friends telling me to stay strong and have faith in the universe to work out what comes next. No more tears about not knowing what the future holds, just trust J  I was quite amazed by how many tears I had cried over whether I was doing the right thing, despite knowing deep down inside that everything would work out exactly as it is meant to and to chill out haha!

Watch this space as the story unfolds xox

The above is a poster I saw in the coffee shop downstairs from Russell's place. I love little signs that life sends us along the way ;)