I recently went on a yoga adventure retreat and did that ever happen at a time that I needed it! For the last year since signing up with a few friends, we’ve been preparing for our trip to the Galapagos and had something to look forward to. I came back feeling recharged and renewed with some new perspective.
Reflecting on my trip got me thinking about how important it is to get out of our usual environment and mix it up, try new things, and get outside of our comfort zones. Of course, it’s not always possible to do given different circumstances but there’s still opportunity to get outside our usual environment if we’re creative about it.
I’m a landlubber who enjoys being in the outdoors with a little flat water kayaking thrown in so I knew I was in for testing some fears when I looked at the itinerary: long boat rides to snorkeling locations x 3 and a morning kayaking trip – was it into the deep blue wavy sea – I didn’t know. So I packed my Dramamine and Sea Bands, my wetsuit top and all of my other self preservation needs and headed south to the equator.
Turns out, the kayaking was my favorite adventure and was in a flatwater bay. We could see Green Sea Turtles swimming beneath us and reef sharks napping along the mangroves. I could have spent all day there.
The three unique snorkeling outings WITH long boat rides turned out to be very enjoyable too – well, maybe not when the swells knocked us around! We got to see so much unique wild life above and below the water and from unique vantage points from the boat. Such a cool experience I may never have again. You wouldn’t think the water along the equator would be cold but surprisingly it was! I settled into the snorkeling experience once I got my breathing under control. (It was an interesting observation and test of how our breath can help or hinder when faced with a trigger.)
What helped me was staying present to the experience I was in and to truly appreciate having the opportunity to have it. I didn’t overthink it or let my fears take over; instead I just stayed in the moment–even when getting ready to jump into the COLD water. And some deep breathing helped too. 😉
I feel so grateful to have been able to see endemic wildlife in its natural habitat: Giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, land and marine iguanas, green sea turtles, little asshole frigate birds, and so many birds.
It was also great to meet new people, make new friends and try new foods – which is one of my favorite things to do. I had hot chocolate – the real stuff – 70% dark cacao, locally grown coffee on the daily at our guest house, and the ceviche was the best ever! Conversations with our guides learning about the culture, their families and upbringings is so meaningful and makes the experience so much richer.
I could go on and on so if you’re curious about going to the Galapagos I’d love to share more and give you some helpful info from my experience.
So my message to share with you is how can you use vacation time to get outside of your comfort zone to try something new, maybe push yourself to test some fears, and get to know the people and culture. It really gives you new perspective, appreciation, and deeper experience.