When you hear about other people’s travels, it usually only includes the glamorous, exciting sides. A lot of people like to leave out the parts that are immensely challenging and test you to your limits. I remember being so ecstatic to finally be going off completely on my own. Heading to a foreign country not knowing anyone. Not knowing the language. It all seemed like a fun challenge that I was ready to take on. However, when I arrived I immediately questioned everything I ever thought I could handle.
I basically showed up to New York City, but it appears no one speaks English. I’m in a large, scary apartment all alone. I guess things change. Anyways, I cried for three days. The term culture shock had taken on an entirely different meaning. I felt isolated, lonely, scared and completely drained off all the enthusiasm I had felt just a short seventy-two hours ago. All I really wanted to do was go home, but deep down in my heart I knew that would be a huge mistake. I was here to challenge myself and this was definitely challenging.
Little by little I started to find my way, but I was by no means happy. I was uninspired. I was going through the motions, constantly counting down the days until I could go back to my safe, comfortable home. I found it so hard to connect with people. Between the language barrier and the huge drinking culture, I just couldn’t seem to find people I clicked with. When I went out it was okay, better than sitting in the apartment, but conversations seemed meaningless and no one seemed to want to create a real relationship. I wanted more. That’s when I found out about a yoga retreat heading to the Sierras de Rocha, Uruguay. As soon as I read it I knew in my heart that I had to go. A couple of weeks later, I was on a ferry to Uruguay. I was met by a group of people I immediately felt comfortable and connected with. On top of that we found ourselves on the most beautiful permaculture farm. I was surrounded by rolling hills, rivers, blue sky that went on forever. I had grass between my toes and a sky filled with stars above my head. Most importantly I was joined by great company. Days were easy and relaxed, accompanied by yoga, veggie food and swims in the river. Along side that, we shared out stories, participated in a Kirtan and endured a sweat lodge. I could feel these days feeding my soul. When our time here came to an end, I assumed I would go back to hating the city and numbly floating through each day, but I was pleasantly surprised. The biggest thing I have learned is the influence that the company you keep has on your happiness. Don’t settle for subpar relationships when you can have so much more. There are great people to connect with everywhere, sometimes it just takes some hard looking.
Sending love from Buenos Aires