Mandees Travel Blog


Leaving Nova Scotia

Monday Jan 11, 2016

Ottawa’s morning sun streaming in my aunt Peggy’s kitchen solarium is giving me the impression that it’s not quite as cold out there as it really actually is. It’s the first quiet moment I’ve had really since leaving Nova Scotia last Thursday. I’ve been on the road for 4 days. And this past week—the last whole month really—has been a marathon, getting ready for the big trip to Thailand.

It was last Summer actually, that I found myself pondering a growing desire I’ve had for years. It was coming straight from the heart. “Go see your original yoga teacher.” To be more accurate, the heart’s voice doesn’t really use words. It just seems to point you in a particular direction and fill you with joy when you start moving towards it.

I started testing out the possibility, trying to work things out and see if this indeed was my next step. It seemed like such a long shot, so radical, and such a great distance to travel. I began emailing David, my yoga teacher in Thailand, more frequently and asking him questions. Funny enough, David is a man of few words. I always laugh when I receive his replies–simple,  short, and to the point. A teaching in and of itself.

One day I received a reply to an email where I had stated that I have been making the most of practicing yoga from home all these years, and his reply captured my attention fully, “practicing within your comfort zone can limit your evolution.” Life was asking me to step fully out of the box. David was being honest and supportive, and would be fine whether I travel out there to see him or not, but it was how the statement had captured my attention that I knew that it was speaking to me directly and that I needed to listen.

As the decision was becoming even more clear, it seemed like it was a kind of destiny and from that moment forward, the game was on. What game? The game in the mind of course!

When it comes to growth, change, and transformation, the mind will come up with infinite reasons why it can’t, or won’t, or shouldn’t. Not only does comfort limit our evolution as David says, but it keeps us doing the very things we say we want to do differently. And then we keep asking ourselves why we keep doing the same old things, even though we seem to really want something else. Upon closer inspection however, we can find a very deep comfort in the familiar. When it came to this trip, the heart’s desire remained while the mind was thinking up of every trick in the book to prevent it.

All this to say that I didn’t have to wait until January 25th to begin my deeper dive in Chakra Yoga. It started as soon as I heard the call and decided to listen. Life went from yoga lifestyle, to every moment yoga and meditation. I got to see my mind every step of the way. Mind is a strong force.

I’ve learned so much so far, and I’ve not even gotten on the plane yet! Fascinating. I am truly grateful that I am interested in learning and growing.


Oh yes, I forgot, I’m writing this blog to share my travel adventures. And sitting here in Ottawa, I can say that I spent the first night at my friend’s happy farm in New Brunswick where she has the happiest animals I’ve ever seen. Friday evening I made it to Montreal and spent two evenings with my dad and his blue-and-gold Macaw named “Burd.” Then yesterday continued on to Ottawa to my aunt’s house where my sweet 11-year old puppy Bodhi will be staying while I’m away. I’ll be flying out of Montreal next Monday, January 18th and making the long journey to Bangkok.

One week to go!