Travel Teachings

Posted by Annelie Gutgesell on

This past summer I journeyed abroad and got to experience some of the most beautiful places in the world. I have always had a passion for travel, exploration, and adventure, and I consciously live my life with a "why not" frame of mind. Simply saying "YES" was my motto during my travels, and it brought so much joy, laughter, adventure, and epic humans into my life that wouldn't have been there otherwise. 

Packing just enough to fit into one carry-on sized backpack, I said goodbye to Canada and set off on my journey. My first stop was London, England. I found my love of traveling solo here in London, and explored the city with a fresh set of eyes and an open perspective. My time in London was filled with yoga classes, walking around the city exploring the culture, meeting up with friends both old and new, and eating all the yummy food. I really came into my own in this beautiful city, and realized how much I value my independence and freedom.

I took a train to Edinburgh, Scotland to meet my family for a week of hiking and adventuring with the people I hold nearest and dearest to my heart. Scotland, you are pure magic. As a family, we made our way up to the Isle of Skye and it's safe to say that it took my breath away. We spent the next 10 days hiking through the Scottish highlands and spent quality time as a family. It was so special to be able to experience Scotland with my family, and I will forever cherish that time we got to spend together and all of the memories we made. 

 

After 10 amazing days with my family, they flew home to Canada and I continued on my journey to Thailand. Arriving at the airport in Bangkok, I met up with my friend Evelyne who flew in from Toronto that same day. For the next two weeks we travelled all across Thailand together. We visited Buddhist temples, went to prayer ceremonies, meditated, had enlightening conversations with monks, cuddled up to some elephants, and met some of the most interesting people from all over the world. We explored Bangkok, went on to visit the islands of Thailand, and then made our way North to Chiang Mai. It was truly something special to experience Thailand with Evelyne, who I've known since I was 12. I found myself fully letting go of old wounds that I had been subconsciously holding onto. I feel so grateful to have my best friend by my side through that experience, and I felt our bond grow stronger each and every day. 

 

We said our goodbyes to Thailand, and made our way to Bali, Indonesia. Bali had been on my bucket list for years, and it was truly magical to experience with my own eyes. The Balinese live life with a sense of steadiness, peace, warmth, and openness. The pace of life is slower and is deeply influenced by Hindu cultural and religious practices. We explored the beaches of Seminyak and Canggu, and made our way inland to Ubud. I immersed myself in my yoga practice in Ubud, taking many classes at The Yoga Barn and diving deep into my personal practice. We visited an elementary school and learned a traditional Balinese dance, and it was truly special to connect with the Balinese children through movement. My cup felt so full in Bali, as if I were over flowing with an abundance of gratitude. Bali is almost too magical to put into words, and it will forever hold such a special place in my heart. 

 

After a beautiful time exploring Asia, we made our way down under to Australia. Flying into Sydney, Evelyne and I stayed in Bondi for a few days before parting ways after a month of travelling together. Evelyne flew back home to Toronto, and I continued on to Melbourne and up to the Gold Coast of Australia. Brisbane stole my heart, and I found myself feeling quite at home there. I quickly fell in love with the lifestyle and the people in Australia, and have a strong pull to explore more of the country in the next few years. 

 

On my way back to the other side of the world, I decided to stop into Hawaii and visit my friends on the beautiful big island. In 2017 I came to Hawaii for the first time to complete my 200h yoga teacher training. Coming back to this island exactly two years later left a big lump in my throat. There is truly no place on earth quite like Hawaii. It has an indescribable energy that is so potent and raw. It was the perfect full circle moment to end my journey abroad, and really solidified that I am on the right path and at peace with myself in this season of life.  

Getting the opportunity to experience so many different cultures and meet people from around the world was truly something I will never forget. As cliche as it sounds, the memories I made these past few months will last a lifetime. I learned so much about myself throughout this journey, and I'm truly so grateful for all it taught me. I returned home to Canada with a fresh perspective, and I am so ready to dive head first into whatever comes next. Saying yes to adventure and jumping with both feet in has brought so much joy and abundance into my life. I feel refreshed and motivated to open my next chapter, and to fully embrace whatever that chapter will hold. 

 

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