Tag Archives: Sydney

Tenerife Yoga Retreat – a Video Review

Time flies and over two weeks back into our new old Sydney life I still believe my prediction is true: Within a month we’ll have our old ‘stable’ life back. It’s amusingly mindblowing how hard it is to cut your ties and sail off into the sunset like we did 2.5 years ago – and how incredibly easy it is to drop back into the system. It is made for it and our society wants robots – not free spirits. As such in fifteen days we’ve found ourselves a house, a massive family car to prepare for the new addition next year, a red Vespa, the related insurances, a pushbike, a phone contract and several bits and pieces of furniture and the like.

This is for all the many mails I get through this blog fearing the loss of ‘stability’ and ‘real life’! If you’ve grow up with it, they (or the illusion thereof) will always be there for you!

Despite a five day involuntary cleanse due to a nasty city virus our pure ocean systems aren’t used to anymore, I managed to put together this five minute video review of my last retreat in Europe a couple of weeks before we returned to Australia. Looking at the blissful moments in sunkissed Tenerife, the fun evenings, the ceremonies and fantastic yoga vibes, remembering the lovely participants and stunning retreat location it feels like a second and yet a lifetime ago that the Sydney skyline didn’t form part of my life. Time is such a funny thing. Enjoy! and even better, stay tuned to soon-to-come updates on next November’s Yoga Retreat in Bali.

The bad news is time flies. The good news is, your are the pilot!

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Back Home: Our first 72 hours

Now that we are back home in Sydney, some of my friends have asked me if I will continue blogging, given that we are neither living on our boat anymore (for the time being, anyway…), nor travelling Europe, Africa and other funky places by land or van. To be honest, stopping to write hasn’t even crossed my mind. So the quick and simple answer is ‘yes’. This journal of mine and my family’s journey has never only been about fascinating cultures, hilarious culture clashes, sailing the world with kids, the amazing places we see and fantastic people we meet, but also a lot about the inside journey which goes on simultaneously – and this is continuous, no matter whether sailing on a boat, or cruising through life based in a Sydney home surrounded by Rainbow Lorikeets.

Our first 72 hours of being back home in Australia in a nutshell have been fantastic.

Arriving on our Boeing 747 I gulped in the amazing views of Australia from above like a desert survivor would drink water after days of dry. The red desert, followed by the blue shimmering mountains (I believe the Blue Mountains get their name from the eucalyptus trees whose oil can make green trees seem blue at a certain sun angle at dawn and dusk.) and the most stunning coast line and countless paradise bays an beaches – all felt too beautiful to describe and for a split second I wondered why we had ever left. Of course in reality there is no regrets on an adventure of several years of caravaning through Europe, living and working in different countries and – mostly – sailing the big, blue Mediterranean Sea while spending the most precious young years with our sons on our boat. Equally though, there is no doubt, neither in my heart nor mind, that coming back home for the birth of our third child in May next year, as well as for some well-needed re-grounding has been the absolute best decision we could take at this point in time. Stepping out of the airport felt like stepping into a warm embrace of Sydney’s Pacific summer sun.

And here’s a final note to all those who don’t dare to leave their ‘usual/’save” lives behind for a while, to give their big dreams the very best go – I reckon it’ll take us no more than a month to get our old life back – with the fresh insights, new friendships, strengthened old ones, unforgettable memories and invaluable lessons learnt from the power of pursuing and living your dreams.

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Day 1: Landing, settling into our perfect short term (three weeks) rental apartment.  Not giving in to jet leg. Seeing my old midwife. Catching up with old friends. Rejoicing in the fresh Pacific Ocean Air. Strolling by the marina.

Day 2: Rented a car for a couple of weeks to be more mobile. Pabs gets his old job back. I start booking in yoga classes. Kids already treat their old friends as if they had never left. Start looking for more longer-term houses to rent or buy. Saw more friends.

Day 3: Viewed a few scooters and houses. Saw more friends. Went back to my old health food store and started stocking up my pantry with the good and healthy stuff I really love. Saw more cars – seven-seaters, WOOOW! We’ve grown up – or old?!? Feeding lorikeets on our balcony.

Lorikeets PottsP_738Lorikeets PottsP_739

“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.” ― Kendal Rob

Going Home

Tears are drying on my cheeks and the rings under my eyes from sleepless nights ain’t matter anymore.

Change can be painful, but it’s the only way to growth.

Today I can raise my gaze with a heart-felt smile as we have decided to go back home.

The old, confused and shaken me of the past few weeks might have laughed sarcastically, pointing out all the possibly conceivable failures: We didn’t cross an ocean, we didn’t circumnavigate the world, we are not even going to India or Bali for some spiritual nurturing as was the thought for a brief moment once the boat was put up for sale because of our surprise pregnancy. But the old me, pre-conditioned by unhelpful thinking and behaviour patterns from too long ago, is not the present. She might have launched another desperate attempt to sneak back in only a few moments ago – and she probably will try and  do so again in the future – but right here, right now, this moment is the only reality in life. And I am here, fresh and smiling and reborn, present with body, mind and soul. So grateful for the journey and the travels which have given me so much more than I could ever have asked for – and as life does so often, in the most unexpected way. Namely love, camouflaged as its close relative which hadn’t visited me in years, home.

A place to call home, a supportive community which feels like family. A place where you know every back street, every track, every walk, every beach, every best sailing cove, every best snorkeling spot. A place where you don’t need to make dates ‘cause you know you’ll meet the friend you are meant to meet on the way to the park or the beach. A place where you don’t feel like a stranger. A place which isn’t perfect – as no place in this world is – but a place who’s soul you feel so connected with that you forgive it all its errors, mistakes, misshapes and annoyances.

The day we left Sydney 2.5 years ago to sail the world with our children, is ironically also the day when I first started to have the notion that my nomadic travelling life might belong to the past. Instead of leaving just another place I used to call home for a while, I left what had become my home. And now it’s calling me back, LOUDLY, with no regrets. Sometimes one has to leave things behind to discover their true value.

I’ve gone on a journey – but it wasn’t the boat, the places we saw, cultures we discovered, new friends we made, languages we learnt and engineering bits we understood better. Not only. It was mainly the journey that took place inside which made the true difference. And ultimately this journey has lead me… back home.

ETD London:Sydney Nov 24th 2015

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Arriving, slowing down and watching the thunderstorm pass by

ImageImageImageImageIt’s new moon again. During the last one we were still in Sydney, learning to let go of most of our physical belongings, friends and a place we called home. Now, again, we are letting go of a month of arriving in Europe. I feel today I finally am here. I have finally arrived, not only with my body, but my soul as well. Always on long-haul flights, it takes a while to assemble both back together. The soul travels at a much slower, more natural rhythm, not 920 km/h.

When we went for a walk this after-noon along the river Danube, we observed yet another grant thunderstorm which has been cooling down hot and humid summer days in the past week within a matter of minutes. Fascinated, we watched a huge, dark, thundering front eat up the baby blue patch of a sunny sky. A hot breeze changed to a strong wind. Branches cracked in the trees and lightnings brought smiles and amazement to my little boys’ eyes. We canned our playground plans and took shelter in the nearest Café which offered Ice-Coffee.

Here I realized that we had finally managed to slow down our rhythm, something our journey is about. We didn’t quit our jobs and settled life in Sydney to keep rushing through the days, weeks, months and years, but instead breathe and be more, and do less. It took almost a month to slow down the rhythm, but we are adjusting gradually and Pablo is learning to help with some house chores too. It’s a new life, it’s a new day… Tomorrow we will be picking up our mobile home, then get our papers sorted and soon we’ll be heading south. Viva la vida loca!

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

 

Living the dream with Dany R. Wood

ImageImageImageGetting connected to the internet has been a nightmare. It’s one of those conveniences of a settled life one easily takes for granted in the Western world. Similar to the non-discussed fundamental arguments which are never raised when one is embedded in a numbing and comfortable daily routine… Anyway, here’s a moment the connection dial has finally stopped meditating and allowed me to upload a few updates.

I am staring into the Danube watching thousands of drops of water pass at a steady  420 m2/sec. The whole swan family who lives just behind the old city wall gazes up-river majestically without moving an inch from their spot. Due to Pablo being away and the kids still adjusting to a new world, there’s not much I can do these days to advance our boat journey on a physical plane. But whilst kids might slow things down at times, they also are the best reminder that the journey has already begun and it is important to seize every moment of it.

Since arriving in Europe two weeks ago, I have talked to many sailors who could have gone on their journeys loooong time ago, ones who bought a boat many years ago and never cut the lines. All dream of sailing around the world, or so they say. And ALL have an excuse to not go. We don’t have 1/10 of the means of the people we spoke to, but we do have the courage to go. Naive?

Yoga philosophy, on the contrary to scientific discovery, puts experience before theory. Western science generally comes up with a theory first and then does as many trial and errors as necessary to prove it. This gives one a very narrow-minded view. Yoga philosophy looks at the world with a still mind and waits what revelations will come. This is a very different approach, which I feel describes our way of going cruising. It further says that you can only understand something by completely merging with the object of meditation, by becoming one with it. Last weekend we caught up with a dear friend of our’s who has done exactly that, merged with his dream.

Ever since Daniel had spent an exchange semester in Sydney his dream was to come back one day and write a book. So he did and stayed with us in Bondi throughout December and January. He reached the number of pages he had set himself up for the day before he returned to Munich and made a bet with another friend. He would publish his book in the following six months and his Polish mate would lose 15  kg. Both succeeded and so it is that I am now the proud owner of a signed copy of ‘Limetten Retten in Sydney’ [literally ‘Save the limes in Sydney’], and who knows, maybe soon also its translator…

I love it when people live their dreams – whatever these dreams may be. Then things generally fall into place by themselves and obvious signs point in the right direction. Also, those people tend to have a sparkle in their eyes and passion in their minds which, without noticing, inspires others to look for the best in themselves. So here’s my congrats to Dany R. Wood.

Back to our  dream, the sun has subsided to a temporary cold and rainy relief from the heat. Even living your dream includes average moments. Dealing with family is always a challenge – the greatest challenge to yogic philosophy in real life. What would life be like isolated in meditation on a mountain? I might write a blog post on it when we are out on the oceans. For now, the Danube is still flowing and hopefully this week we’ll get our camper van and keep flowing ourselves, direction Southern Europe, Mediterranean border.

Last night in Sydney

Sailing Sydney_102Last day before departure. Started with the usual yoga practice, followed by brekky with lovely friends, packing up a few bits and pieces, run by the ocean, last Thai massage, then lunch with more friends back on the beach. Used baby’s naps to get rid of the 10 kg overweight (more letting go…), then back to the beach for more farewells while watching a last amazing sunset in pink, orange and baby blue over Clovelly Beach. Now at home at friends – Home is where your heart is – listening to the sweet sounds of life Saxophone, a good drop of red smiling at me and the smell of Figue-Gorgonzola Pizza drifting from the oven. Life is good. We are ready. A swim in sight for tomorrow morning and then, when the sun sets again, leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when we’ll be back again. It’s a new day, it’s a new life

 

Ready, pack, go… and then?!?

Last Sydney Days_120 Last Sydney Days_121 Last Sydney Days_122We have only got three days left in Australia. But what is really going to happen once we board that jet in Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport? Especially given that our bound destination, Munich, is not surrounded by sea and we are supposedly hopping on a boat to sail away, we get asked this question too often to not address it on this blog.

Approximate Travel Itinerary July – September 2013 for our little family of four, on our journey to becoming nautical nomads

15 July (Noah’s 2nd birthday!) until the end of the month we will be staying with my family in the beautiful South of Germany and look for a camper van. Papa Pablo will spend a few days in the Netherlands and the UK to check out some boats which caught our fancy.

August we will then drive through Switzerland down to Italy, France and Spain to look at more boats – and catch up with a bunch of friends on the way. The journey IS the adventure, isn’t it! Half of my Aussie friends seem to be exploring Europe this summer, and the other half are all those mates from high-school that I haven’t properly caught up with in a loong loong time.

Come September we will hopefully have a clear idea which boat’s our favourite… People say buying a live-aboard cruiser is like falling in love, you just know when it’s the right one. So I trust their words – and our boat purchasing check-list of course. We’ll put in a probably ridiculous proposal and hope that the owner accepts.

October,- well stay tuned 😉