I have been living a nomadic lifestyle over 5 years now. At times I have a home base for months and other times it is for days at a time. I have traversed the globe in various contexts - from teaching yoga at luxury island retreats centers overlooking grand vistas, to eco-communities hidden away in lush jungles. I have traded in monthly rent for plane tickets, and employment applications for visa forms. I have stepped away from what other people think I should do, and instead listened more closely to what I want to do. A dedicated yoga practice for over a decade has supported me with strength and clarity to uncover my purpose and highest capacity to impact the world.
At times my travels are filled with a loving partner beside me, family and friends who meet me for a week of relaxation, or community I meet along the way, however the reality of my travels is that I spend a lot of time on my own. I am often asked if I am ever afraid/bored/lonely and the simple answer is yes. There are plenty of times when I wish my loved ones could experience the magic of the tropical sunset before my eyes, share the same taste of exotic foods, experience the freedom felt from riding a motorbike through vast mountain ranges, or feel the same joy that permeates through me after a yoga practice in nature.
And of course there are times when I miss the comforts and support of home — familiar faces and rhythms, my own language, accessibility of fresh water and foods at my fingertips, and the safety and ease of the small town in New England where I grew up.
However the more I travel, the more I become comfortable within the discomfort…
The challenges are slowly becoming sacred spaces that grant me the practice of observation and acceptance. They are the tiny moments on a day to day basis that have big potential to show deep rooted patterns, fears and limitations. They invite me to embrace fully, shift my perspective and make more skillful decisions. While this process is not unique to traveling, they are personally most potent when I am on my own.
Traveling solo is a priceless experience, rich with opportunities of inner transformation.
It encourages us to move fearlessly into unknown territories and ignites our intuitive capacities. It demands that we fully trust and surrender — to remember that there is always a way to overcome obstacles. It opens us to a higher grace that reveals connection with everything and everyone, even in the most foreign of contexts.
But most importantly, when we are on our own, we are invited to embrace ourselves fully and to love ourselves unconditionally…
When I long for familiar faces, the people I love, and the comforts of home — I return to self-love. I sit with myself and allow the feelings of unknowing to be washed away by what is familiar and unchanging...my steady breathe, the rising sun and moon, a flat bit of earth to lay my mat out, and the practice of letting go and looking for the good. This practice brings me back time and time again to my inner sanctuary and sparks moments of contentment, peace and gratitude.
Sometimes the most transformational times during travel are the ones we don't expect or necessarily enjoy. Often they are the times when we are face to face with ourself and must look within for guidance. This process of recognizing, accepting and embracing all that is with an open heart is truly where the journey deepens.
As seen originally on Yoga Trade
LAUREN LEE E-RYT 500 is passionate about living with purpose, exploring the world, and empowering others to live as their most authentic, radiant Self. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated teacher and forever student on the path of yoga, she leads transformational workshops, retreats and trainings to awaken the individual and collective consciousness. Read more about her here