If you missed yesterday’s post, check it out here. Part 1: my retreat in Taos, New Mexico.
Today, I’m sharing with you day by day how my trip unfolded including some of my favourite highlights.
Day 1: NEW MEXICO HERE I COME.
My flight was scheduled for 10am Friday 1st March.
It was a surreal morning.
My daughter wasn’t happy with me going away. She woke up moody, rude, grumpy…and then finally, the tears came and her “wish” that I didn’t have to go away.
I sat on her bed and just held her.
No words, no trying to make her happy, no telling her to stop crying.
Once she calmed down, I finally said to her, “I’ve been dreaming of this training for 2 years and now I’m finally doing it. Sometimes, when following your heart and your dreams, it’s going to take you away from the people you love…be it for a little while or a long while. In this case sweetie, with me going to New Mexico, it’s just a little while. Plus, we’ll get to Skype together so you can still see me and tell me about your days. I’ll be home before you know it.”
And with that, she packed 3 of her little russian dolls to come with me.
Checking in at the airport was quite a mission. The line was long. My bags were too heavy so I had to do a costume change. And I was ‘randomly’ selected at every security point for extra security scanning.
By the time I got on the plane and in my seat, I final flush of anxiety came over me. “Fuck, I forgot to email so and so.” ”Fuck, I forgot to tell so and so about this.” “I wonder how my girl is doing.” But the moment those wheels let go of the run runway, I let go of everything that was getting in the way of me enjoying exactly where I was in that moment and finally relaxed into my seat.
Flight highlight: this incredible sunset somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.
This has got to be the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen. I felt like I was in another world.
Best Travel Advice: avoid the big X-Ray scanners and get padded down instead (Thanks Jess!).
By the time I arrived in Santa Fe I was exhausted. All the flying, waiting, flying again, changing planes, waiting again and then some driving (totally in 24hrs) eventually took its toll on the body. I even threw up on one of my flights (not a pretty moment).
I checked into my hotel room, met my room mate who had just arrived from South Africa (she is also a Deep Coach in training), ordered room service for an early dinner, then passed out for the night.
The shuttle ride from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
2 luxury nights here at Hotel Santa Fe.
DAY 2: SELF CARE, EXPRESSIVE ARTS, LESBIANS & MEXICAN.
I had one full day in Santa Fe before heading to the retreat. I made no prior plans because I wasn’t sure how I would be feeling. Turned out, my body was craving some extra love. So the first thing I did was book myself for a 2.5hr “healing waters” treatment at the Hotel Spa (lavendar footbath, body brushing, full body clay wrap, facial and full body massage).
But first came breakfast. I ventured to the hotel dining room to enjoy a mexican style breakfast when I noticed a teepee out the window and a big pile of snow. For a split moment, I felt like I was in a movie.
I had met a lady in the elevator on my way to breakfast who ended up joining me. Turned out we had very similar life stories (marriage, children, divorce and now madly in love with a woman). She was also familiar with the Enneagram and was in town teaching an Expressive Arts Workshop. We spent the afternoon together with me helping her set up for her workshop and her showing me around Santa Fe. To top it off, we had an awesome mexican feast at Tomasita’s.
Day 2 Highlight: treating my body to some extra TLC.
“Play Yourself Well” – A space devoted to healing using expressive arts.
Quesadillas + Sangrias at Tomasita’s.
DAY 3 – 8: DEEP COACHING RETREAT IN TAOS.
You can read about my retreat recap here.
DAY 9 – 10: LET THE HOLIDAY BEGIN.
Shopping in Taos. Road tripping to Santa Fe with the girls. Skype chats with the family. Enjoying the snow. Exploring the town centre. Meditating in churches. Admiring the art everywhere. Buying gifts for the family. Eating at Whole Foods. Soaking in a bath (I forgot how good this feels! I’m making sure I have a bath in my next home). Watching a movie. Journalling.
The highlight: Solo time in Santa Fe. After spending all week with people, I was craving some serious alone time and very little conversations.
DAY 11: ON THE MOVE TO LOS ANGELES.
When I arrived home from my solo adventures, the beautiful Vanda (who was from the retreat) had slipped a note under my door telling me about Body of Santa Fe , an organic cafe and yoga/dance studio. Paul Jarvis had already mentioned this place to me and so had my mentor/teacher, so it was already on my radar.
I met up with Claudia Olivie there, another gorgeous woman I met through B-School. I did my first Nia class there too but quickly learnt Nia is not my thing. I have heard incredible things from this program and know it was transformed the lives of a few of my friends, but it wasn’t doing it for me, so I left half way through and opted for a “SuperHero” green smoothie to accompany me on my walk back to the hotel where I packed up and set off for Albuquerque by shuttle.
From here, I boarded a plane and headed for LA. Hillary Rubin (another B-Schooler) was super generous in hosting me for my stay in LA. She picked me up from the airport and we headed straight for Marianne Williamson’s Monday night talk. A total surprise & a total winner!
The Highlight: Meeting Marianne Williamson in person and listening to her public talk.
DAY 12 + 13: THE DAY I SAW A HUMMINGBIRD + OTHER GREAT THINGS.
This entire trip was filled with many firsts. First international trip. First time being away from the family this long. First time seeing snow. And first time seeing a humming bird. OMG! These have got to be one of the most fascinating birds I’ve ever seen!! Maybe I was a hummingbird in a past life, but something about them really took my breath away.
Some other great things I enjoyed in LA: another Labyrinth, a random photo shoot with coloured smoke bombs, crazy ass driving, Cafe Gratitude, dinner with Amber Krzys, smoothies from Whole Foods, spending hours at Borders bookstore prowling the New Age section, shopping at the Grove, walking through the George Page Museum and seeing all the tarpits, laying in the sun and taking it easy before coming home.
The Highlight: Dinner at Gratitude Cafe with Amber & Hillary.
DAY 14: GOODBYE LA & HELLO HOME.
A midnight flight back to Brisbane meant I got some good sleep before arriving back in Brisbane in time for the school run.
This trip has opened my eyes and my mind and my heart to new worlds and new possibilities. I’m so grateful for all of the people who supported me in making this dream come true. There were no coincidences at all – just a whole lot of love and whole lot of trust that the perfect people and the perfect moments would unfold in their own perfect timing.
P.S. And I’m happy to report that I finally have the travel bug!