We all have that one place we dream about and long to go back to, whether it is home, for those of us that live life away from home, or maybe just be an unexpected place that stole your heart.
For me it is definitely the latter, a tiny little island called Koh Phangan in Thailand known for its crazy full moon parties (which I still have not attended), vast jungle, beautiful water, warm people, great food, and all things yoga.
The island place stole my heart when I first unexpectedly ended up there in 2016 before my big move to Singapore. I stayed there for a month and quickly fell in love with the community and the infinite love and ability that existed in this retreat to have whatever you desire.
I returned a few times for weekends away to get my fix but it was never enough, and was never of course the same. In total I went back 4 times after the first time. I would keep in touch with the beautiful people I met and would make new friends along the way each time. I was still however longing for more time with my magic island.
Ask and you shall receive they say, well sure enough a new opportunity presented itself and I was told about a life changing program called modern nomads which ran for a month at a time. When I heard of this, I knew it was exactly what I needed so I put in my leave, packed my bags and went back to the island.
That month changed my life in so many unexpected ways. Gelareh, the founder of the program and my now wonderful coach and friend, guided me intensively through my strengths and weaknesses, teaching me to appreciate and love myself and to go for whatever I wanted. The magic of this island of course helped to concrete my newly self-assured state.
I was surprised at how you do not realise how many things you are bad and good at until someone really makes you see it, and you know what, if you’re really bad at something – leave it, forget it, put your energy into something you’re good at instead.
I started working on my fears, which were holding me back so much. My biggest obstacle was public speaking – which I am getting better at – but I had smaller fears too like driving a scooter (yes I learnt!) and opening my heart again to love and to being loved, which we all know can be very difficult after an emotional trauma.
I even got to spend 4 days with a monk, meditating, which actually proved to be more challenging than the 3 weeks I once spent in silence, because my head was THAT BUSY with all the noise. He really made me understand that if I was not ok, how could I ever accomplish anything at my highest ability? To be still in the mind is difficult, and necessary.
I learnt to really be independent, to grasp and seize every opportunity and also to appreciate what I have, every bit of it. In fact the very reason I am even writing this post is because I started this “katiakolour” project during the retreat. I’ve been doing hair for SO long and always had a hard time appreciating myself, my work and the people that come my way every day, not to mention the amazing people I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the years.
In that month, I met some of the teachers who taught me what I needed to know. The time I spent in the quiet and serene beauty of the jungle and the ocean taught me to appreciate quiet and have time to myself, to learn more and remain curious. Most of all to understand that we do not know everything, and if you think you do, you know nothing at all.
So therefore I encourage everyone to step outside their comfort zone, spend some time alone, put in leave and TAKE THAT VACATION you’ve been dreaming of.
Go back to your “magic” place and live a little, learn and grow in ways you never imagined possible, and LOVE a little – or a lot. Yourself first of course 🙂