After all the chaos and noise of India, I went to Sri Lanka to hang out with my brother and decide what to do next from there. I knew going to India for two months, shifting around every few days, seeing everything new and foreign would leave me drained and it did. 'India-ed out' were the words that came to mind. I haven't travelled like that at such a fast pace in a really long time. The cash shortage crisis, where the government decided to make most of India's currency illegal with three days' warning and replace it with new notes that were extremely hard to come by, pushed me over the edge and I booked my ticket out of there.
By the time I met my brother in Sri Lanka, we were both seeking a break - him from work, me from all the travel in India - and a grounding routine.
So we slipped into an easy life at Midigama Beach on the West Coast of Sri Lanka at Cocoplant Surf Inn - wake up for breakfast on the rooftop, a few hours of work there for me, a few hours of surfing across the road at the beach for my brother, a swim/snorkel before lunch, a wander on foot down to one of the many roadside local rice & curry shops for lunch, an afternoon excursion or nap or work session, then dinner up again on the roof followed by a card game or nighttime swim. We made some very good friends from all over the world at that guest house, the kind of short, sharp, intense relationships where you're best friends for two weeks and then you have to say goodbye, typical travel friendships.
We laughed at the kind of holiday we were having, Sri Lanka has SO MUCH to offer, national parks, world heritage sites, tea plantations, scenic train trips, so many secret beaches, but the way we wanted to spend our time was just in this little paradise life we created, for two weeks this was all life was about :) and I loved it. Talking to people afterwards who'd visited this part of Sri Lanka, they fell into the same trap, they came to spend a few days and ended up staying weeks in that little nook.
The decision to come home to Brisbane now rather than a few months later as I'd planned in the back of my head was a last minute one. As a nomad, you try to plan your year and where you'll be but it's never really set in stone. At least for me anyway I kind of have to wait until it's closer to the actual time to get a proper intuition read on which place will be most supportive for me at that time. It's annoying to not be able to plan ahead but it's always better to be somewhere that feels right for what you need at that time - things fall into place easily, you meet people to learn from and teach things to, opportunities pop up, I've learned the hard way that if you force a certain place it often ends up feeling all wrong and setting you back anyway. So I'm patient and I stay flexible and I wait until the time is right to make the decision.
I imagined myself heading on to somewhere in Asia that could feel like home after all the challenges and excitement of India but the effect on my energy was so strong I decided to come home and rest instead. The plan has been for a while now to come back here to Australia for a French visa so that's what I'll do here, plus see loved ones and get grounded in a work routine to make so many things happen I just couldn't make happen on the road. Travel gives you all these ideas and inspirations and I have so many things I want to bring to life, but travel then also makes it hard to get any of it done. Time to settle down and do it all.
On my last morning in India I squeezed in a Jyotish vedic astrology reading at Maitreyi Village with interesting results. I talked to the astrologer about the prospect of finding an actual home, a base to travel from. I dream of setting up something of a base in France, a place to come back to after a few months of travel, I'd like to rent a room somewhere in Paris and then rent it out when I go travelling.
He told me very casually that I'm right in the middle of a 19 year period of instability (omg),'not good, but not bad' is how he described it...a period of study, exploration, gathering knowledge, travel, that would end on my 38th birthday. He said as I'm right in the middle of this period, things will begin to get more and more stable very slowly, but that I shouldn't expect to be able to make big decisions and for things to be concrete for a while yet.
In some ways it made me angry and frustrated, in others it made me more calm. To have something to help me explain why I am the way I am, why I can't just commit to things like a 'normal' person, to have him put a positive light on all the movement and shifting - that it's all in the name of exploration and gathering knowledge and getting to know my real self in the context of the world - made me feel better.
I’ll write again soon, though technically I'm not sure I'm 'on the road' right now, but I will be again soon enough. It's not always easy for me to just come here and write down exactly what I'm feeling and exactly what's going on without much of a filter but I'll keep on trying.
p.s. 2017 new year motivation song, we can do it ;)