It’s always a mental, physical and spiritual high being away from home. To travel the world is the greatest drug I’ve ever experienced and like all other drugs, caffeine included (I love my coffee) the come down is always (at least for me) a deeply reflective and sometimes painful experience of detoxifying from the high.
As you may or may not know I just returned from my second journey with Toerboer to South Africa. This time I experienced it with twenty others, including my 16 year old nephew and other children from the age of 8-17 which brought a whole new level of growth to the journey, as to watch how the children experienced it all was a lesson in itself, a powerful one. (I’ll write about that later).
And so today, as I sit here typing, tears flowing, Kleenex in hand, for both my emotions and the cold or sinus infection I picked up along the way, and my physical body exhausted from jet lag. I am starting to feel the detox that follows the high.
And at the same time I am working on not judging it. Allowing my mental, physical and spiritual self to just be with what is. Allowing my mind to process what I’ve learned, my body to process what it’s experienced and my spirit to offer up the wisdom mingled within it.
But it’s a challenge to say the least, especially when the physical is getting so loud and I’m a wee bit distracted by the healing process of the tattoo (my first) that I decided to get in honor of the journey while in Melville, Johannesburg by Taryn at Handstyle Tattoos (who is both one of the most delightful humans I have ever met and a master at her craft)
My mind, body is running amuck and my spirit is gently whispering, rest sweet soul. And I’ll get there, but right now I just have so much on my mind that I want to express. Beginning with how transformative this journey was for me and how coming home was such a struggle.
Before I left my only brother had suddenly passed at 38 years old, my husband and I were in limbo with; selling our home, balancing our business’ with personal, partnered with a powerful desire that has been nudging at us for some time, to just get up and leave this all behind. To pack a bag, move to, or across the country, to another country, or to travel the world and take whomever would come with us.
I’ve felt my gypsy soul calling a grand adventure but wasn’t clear on what, where, when and how? Our spirit is always calling us and then the mind, body (if in alignment) seem to be there to process and organize. To check in, and to inquire – is this true for us? Or are we just trying to escape?
Am I, are we?
And once I stepped foot on the ground after a long two days of flights and layovers from Johannesburg to Toronto, it hit me like a Mac Truck (if you’re unaware of the brand, it’s a transport truck) which started out as a powerful desire to infuse the lessons I’d brought with me, most importantly courage (which is now tattooed on my left arm in the form of a South African tribal symbol) and had ended (at least today) in a feeling of frustration and confusion.
Why was I so alive and full of courage on the other side of the planet? Why did I have the courage to step foot on a walking Safari in the middle of the South African bush, twenty meters from lions and an hour from our vehicle, but today I struggle with the courage to face the things that I left back at home.
Is this resonating? Does this happen to you when you return from a journey abroad?
I just want to crash on the bed and scream and cry but I’m not allowing myself too, not this time. Last time I returned from South Africa I spent days in bed crying, purging from another transformational and emotional journey. But this time, it wasn’t the same. I felt more empowered, clear, more relaxed and confident than I have ever felt before, yet here upon my arrival I meet my previous self.
One that seems to want to consume me and tether me to the life I left behind. To drag me back into mourning, monotony, to sitting hours upon hours in front of my laptop doing instead of stepping outside and being.
Then I look down at my left arm (on the tattoo I got in Johannesburg) there are two swords together and what they are saying to me right now as I type this, is; that all conflict arises from disconnection from our truest self, from being at war with the contrast within ourselves and that if we (I in this case) can surrender, to rest in the awareness that there is a constant dance (sometimes a tango) between the life I/we live abroad and the one I/we left behind (home), and to have the courage to merge the two as one and even enjoy the dance, from that awareness, there is an intrinsic peace, a wholeness, the merger of yin and yang, light and the dark, and in that resting place. I am, we are, whole.
And it’s in finding that courage, whether to stand amongst lions, or to face the “dark knight of the soul” that we find home, wherever we are.