Yesterday morning, I hopped on a plane leaving Montreal, heading for Chicago, then on to Tokyo, and finally to here… Bangkok Thailand where I arrived happily and safely just a few hours ago. It was over 30 hours of travel, and one of the flights was a full 13 hours.
I have to admit, yoga and meditation isn’t just good for overall health and well-being, because honestly after all that, and having just checked in to my hotel room a couple of hours ago, I feel fine! I’m sure I’ll need to catch up on sleep a bit, seeing that it is exactly 13 hours the opposite here from NS, but I just don’t get bored or frustrated all that much anymore.
Also, while I was sharing such a tight space with so many people for all that time, I was deeply aware of our connection. That’s funny to say because as the day went on, I found myself surrounded by more and more different cultures, and walking around airports where most people don’t speak English, but what the experience gave me was more of a sense of how we are all the same in many ways. I had a constant warmth in my heart as a feeling of commonality stayed at the forefront of my awareness.
I’d never flown ANA before, a Japanese airline, but I was looking forward to experiencing the differences. Although steward(esse)s are typically friendly, these airline hostesses were very kind and so attentive it was unbelievable. Japanese people in general may appear quite formal to us, but lined in the formality is a type of mindful culture that I enjoy. I found it fascinating to fly into Japan and have an opportunity to see the landscape from the plane window. When I landed in Tokyo, there was enough time between flights to have a bowl of soup and I ended up sitting with a couple from the US who just happened to be living in Japan, on their way to Hawaii for a vacation. I asked them about how it was to live in Japan. They said that they loved it. They felt safe. They said there was very little crime and that no one has a gun, not even the police. As I walked around the airport, everything was manicured, and everyone had a sense of hip style.
The next leg of the trip went fast as I slept the whole way to Bangkok. Carting around an extra pillow really made a difference because I slept so well. Before I knew it, we were landing in Bangkok, and I’d be finding my way through customs and to the hotel. I had a feeling Thailand wouldn’t be as manicured as Japan, but maybe not as busy as India… and well, at first glance, I think I’m right. In fact, going through the border at the airport, I couldn’t help but notice these little Merry Christmas signs at all the border control booths…. I thought, yes, this is a good sign. Merry Christmas. I’m in Thailand….
Tomorrow…. today?…. what day is this? Well, after a good sleep I’ll be taking my first steps out there in the daylight. I’m giving myself 2 days to figure out how I’m going to get down to the Pyramid Yoga Center in Koh Phagnan.
Catherine Little January 19, 2016 - 6:19pm
Great to read! Thanks for sharing the adventure.
Janet MacLean January 19, 2016 - 9:33pm
Thanks for the update Mandee! Glad you have arrived so far feeling well and enjoying your connections. We had a wonderful class tonight with Heather and it’s so wonderful to be back on our mats together! You have really cultivated in us that quiet joy of being together.
Namaste and hope your sleep adjustments will go well!
Mandee Labelle January 30, 2016 - 4:31am
Thanks for your good wishes Janet! Since then I have adjusted to the 13 hour time difference here on the other side of the world. I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the classes with Heather and Christine. They are certainly wonderful. I love what we have all cultivated together. It’s truly amazing.
Namaste’ to you and I’ll see you in the Spring!