Traveling yogi: planning ahead while staying present (on a budget)

The last couple days M and I have spent about 3 hours each morning to plan for our upcoming travel: our journey from Luang Prabang, Laos to Singapore in two weeks, our first week in Europe (Amsterdam+London/Essex+Bruges) coming up in a month (!!) and now our month in Morocco in March (post-Italy, pre-NOLA for my friend’s wedding)…this shit takes time! Doing all this on a $50/day ($75/day in Europe) budget can be challenging.

But it leads to finding gems, such as staying in a small artsy town outside of the big city for less than $500 a month and renting a motorbike to explore more of the region — and local life.

What brought me here to Luang Prabang was yoga teaching. What this opportunity has brought to me so far is a Gorgeous 2-day boat ride down the Mekong River, an unforgettable teaching experience at Luang Prabang Yoga, and a long weekend  of trekking and chilling in the luscious and local mountain town of Nong Khiaw.

Sometimes my soul is pulled forward: where will we be next year? What if my plan of applying to grad school in Italy falls through? What will we do if we run out of money? Or, on the flip side, look at all the possibilities! I could teach here, or there, or gain knowledge studying at this center, with that teacher…And sometimes my soul is so content exactly where it is: absorbing my surroundings with a good book and a cup of tea. Going to bed when I’m sleepy and waking up when I’m rested. Being in the moment, connected with my students during class. This is where the yoga practice comes in for me: understanding that life is about balancing and flowing with opposing forces. Prana and Apana. Drawing the outer left heel back but rotating the left hip forward. Letting there be “good” days and “bad” days, productive days and unproductive days, hard days and easy ones.

The bottom line is, whether I’m flying or falling, it’s all part of the yoga practice. It’s all part of life.

Drifting down the Mekong: 2 day slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, Laos

As much as I wanted to document each leg of my one year of travel around the world, I cannot resist soaking in the place that I am at the moment. I’m so appreciative of travelers that came before me who do due diligence in recording and sharing photos, stories, tips and prices of their journey: it makes it possible for me to Google what I want to do (and how I want to do it) and go! 

The slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, Laos was one of the defining experiences of my trip so far. Two days of breathtaking views on the Mekong: jungly mountains, buffalo/pigs/goats grazing on the banks, and untouched scenery dotted by small settlements. The weather was overcast and a bit rainy, which gave the ride a mystical feeling and made for some fantastic photos. It was the perfect time to enjoy some hot cup-o-noodles!

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