Over the weekend, I sat down in a cozy common room with some friends and watched Eat Pray Love. I didn’t get the chance to finish the movie, but I left that little common room with the most frustrating, wonderful inspiration to travel, to embark on a journey that would help me “find myself” or meet someone who shows me the entire world within themself. I am aware that I spent a whole year doing exactly that, but I feel as if I’ve regressed back into my pre-gap year self with the added stressors of school and reality. I feel as if I didn’t fully figure out my entire self (but then again, I’m only 19), and that inspiration to travel walloped me whole.
I went to bed dreaming of adventure found in foreign places.
The next day, my lovely roommate Emma and I sat down for breakfast, but ended up spending ages at the dining hall just sipping on tea and talking.
We talked about rituals, how spending time for yourself and journaling or drinking tea or meditating was so important, and how we get so caught up in school and social lives and work. We talked about how time for ourselves gets pushed aside for “more important” tasks.
The conversation shifted to travel, how when abroad, making time for self-care and wellness is easy.
I immediately thought of Pai, where many travelers planned on staying for three days, and ended up staying for three weeks.
Every morning, I’d wake up to the sun shining on my face, through the big glassless window beside my bed. I’d see dry fields around me, and walk past them to the Oasis Bar, where I’d have a huge breakfast, consisting of whatever fabulous creation Milx recommended that day.
I’d eat breakfast, surrounded by people I had only just met, but considered close friends.
What I’d do would depend on my mood or the weather. I’d go into town and grab a fruit shake or smoothie bowl or giant watermelon for lunch, or I’d go to yoga. Maybe I’d go to the Fluid Bar and lounge by their pool for hours, or maybe, I’d go exploring. I let spontaneity guide me to whatever the day held, whether that be watching the sunset over the Pai Canyon or having a couple beers at the Sunset Bar.
At the time, I wasn’t aware that all of the time I had spent just simply living would shape who I was becoming. When our only purpose is to be happy and experience new things, we learn how to take care of ourselves, how to live.
Living is not easy in university or in an office.
It really really really isn’t.
Sometimes I think making time for myself is damn near impossible, but then I think of the big picture. In Pai, I would not have given up self care to stress out, so why should I now?
Favorite Activities for Practicing Self Care:
-read a book or magazine
-listen to a podcast or music
-exercise (even just a walk!)