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Las tres hermanas

One chilly autumn night, the three of us sat around reflecting under these little indoor twinkling lights. As we admired a quiet street outside covered in leaves while sipping a giant milkshake with three straws, Priya asked Athena and I about five significant events in our lives. She described it as any experience that has changed the course of our lives permanently. When I started to think back, I was reminded of being truly grateful for an abundance of experiences that have forever impacted my perspective but even more  blessed for family and friends from all over the world that have allowed me to share in their inimitable events and took part in mine.

An experience that  stretched my whole being and formed an undeniable place in my soul; when I screamed at the top of my lungs as the three of us felt a 15 ft sudden drop speeding up and down those massive sand hills. The driver laughed hysterically at my unpleasant surprise of what I thought a sand buggy ride would be in the  Peruvian desert. Apparently it was time to face my fear of heights, right outside the little oasis town of Huacachina aka home for a chilling gang of street dogs. In those frightening moments of several unexpected drops; I had to surrender to my fear , shout it out, let go of any control and put my trust in the driver. And I promise gently consistent fearlessness will trickle in.

Another time during the trip we had to completely give up control and practice our fearlessness was that stomach churning bus ride up to Machu Picchu. A magnificent ancient civilization, sits comfortably among the clouds looking down at millions of explorers wandering from one exquisite place to another in search of their ultimate treasure. I, an explorer found a part of my treasure that day as I stood on that peak and felt those Peruvian clouds in my hands. My heart roared strong words and my mind repeated them undoubtedly, that “no dream is  bigger than you”.

And with this epiphany, came rushing in overwhelming restlessness of seeking, understanding and doing everything I can to live out all my dreams. My mind was working overtime planning every step leading into 5-10 years of my future,when it suddenly came to a halt. The exotic creatures, colors, sounds, smells and the continuous sweating in the densely green and fully alive amazonian jungle demanded my undivided attention. And as I swayed in the hammock and dimmed the lantern until it was completely dark in our cabana, stillness washed over me.  During the nights while the monkey grunts, snake hisses and macaw squawks filled the rain forest, it was in these quiet hours that I found peace, a reminder to slow down and felt the courage to be present now.expo-athenabday-peru-900

Photo by a Condor travel guide.

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Sing in Rome

As I hum along to this tune by John Mayer, it takes me back to my hostel in Rome. A mixed dorm room themed North America with twelve bunk beds and a tiny washroom. I chose the bottom bunk bed close to the door, to be my refuge for three nights in the city of timeless fountains.

My two fellow travelers and I dragged our feet with our ever growing backpacks (felt like) from the metro station only a ten minute walk to the hostel, hidden behind the main street. Somewhat of a beaten down door led into the lobby with a nice clean kitchen, my belly roared at this sight. Quickly checking in and dropping off our back packs we rushed out to find a grocery store to buy some bread, cheese, wine and tea. Our staple for meals of no splurges but treat ourselves to a delicious 2 Euro wine in the evenings at the same time.

Our three days were filled with magnificent historical architecture in every corner of Rome, righteously intricate art in The Vatican, delicate fountains overflowing with wishes of people from near and far and every meal starting and ending with scoops of delectable gelato.

In my memories stands out the last night in Rome, when I sang a song close to my heart while my new friends sat around the kitchen area and sipped wine that we were all sharing. Everything and everyone in that room listened in silence smiling  and soaking in this place, people, time and experience unique to this moment never to be repeated again. As I breathed out my last melodious lyric; appreciative claps and encouraging words filled my heart. And to desperately extend this fleeting moment, we all decided to roam this brightly moon lit city till  early hours of the morning high on laughter, gelato and temporary contentment that will disappear the next morning as we board that train and then the feeling will rush back as soon as we arrive at our next place of exploration.

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Rainy day

Travel
Photo by Anshu Stephen
Another new chapter that feels pre-destined.

I look out at the perfectly shaped rain drops on my windshield and can’t help but feel warm with anticipation and excitement. This feeling that has become a norm in my life as most things have been and will be temporary from one moment to the next. I can vividly remember the first flight I ever boarded to step into foreign soil, first time I heard a foreign language, saw different colored skin and became entranced by the fragrance of pine trees instead of familiar gardenias.

At first I was overcome with fear of the unknown, then giving in to the sadness of losing all familiar and comfortable, which quickly slipped into the feeling of being lost and alone but eventually surrounded by amazing love, hope and fearlessness through my relationships, experiences and travelling adventures.

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