Wow! Long-term travel abroad ain’t for wussies! Don’t get me wrong. Taking off for a year to travel around the world with your family is one of the most spectacular opportunities I have ever participated in. On a daily basis we get to experience new cultures, visit unique places and meet interesting people. And I am so grateful for every minute.
But, living in a foreign country has plenty of its challenges as well. In fact, every aspect of day-to-day life comes with its trials when you don’t speak the language. Simple things like getting directions to a store, negotiating the rate for laundry service and converting Chilean pesos to dollars in a busy fruit market while bargaining with the vendor is both stressful and hilarious.
Our language barrier has left merchants laughing in tears, security guards bewildered at our questions and street peddlers standing with a clueless look of wonder. My favorite blunder was my daughter Kayla’s attempt to promote a dog walking business in Talca, Chile, where we have settled for the next five weeks.
As part of her home school Spanish lesson, she made a flyer to hang in the lobby of our apartment building, advertising her dog walking services for only $1,000 pesos (about $1.50) per walk. We had been relying a lot on the bible of foreign travel, Google Translate, to get us through the tough sentences. She worked all morning on drawing and coloring to make the sign stand out to potential clients.
It came out awesome and we understood the Spanish to read “Pet Walking & Sitting for only $1,000 pesos. But, when we asked the security officer in the lobby to hang up the sign, he couldn’t understand what service she was suggesting. After several minutes of trying to explain her offerings to him, a resident walked in who spoke both English and Spanish.
A quick glance at the written language made him start giggling and he explained that it meant “There is a dog walking around by himself looking for something and Kayla wants to get $1,000 pesos for it”. We had a good chuckle over our mistake and he graciously helped us correct the sign, so she could try to get her first gig.
Between the language obstacles, WiFi dropping every five minutes, my work email getting hacked and countless other daily struggles, these little annoyances often wear you down. I have found that when I try to force things to make them happen, I tend to tighten up and feel worse. But, when I relax, take a break or just exhale a releasing breath, things seem to work out on their own.
This week’s FREE YOGA VIDEO is all about letting go and surrendering to what is. This 23-minute Yin Yoga class will enhance your ability to release tension and stress in both the body and mind, increase flexibility, clear out the junk and make space for beautiful things to enter into your life. Yoga with Meditation Mutha is for every BODY. I hope you will join me in this opportunity to surrender into body, breath and spirit!
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Come join us in Guatemala!!! I am so excited to partner with Rod Hairston on this mindfully crafted Journey to the Heart Retreat located on the shores of mystical Lago Atitlan in Guatemala November 3rd-10th.
This is going to be a full mind-body-spirit immersion into the local Mayan culture through transformative workshops, yoga, ceremony, meditation, chanting and dance. Three powerful volcanoes and the beautiful lago will be our backdrop as we embark on a Journey to the Heart. Visit www.growth-u.com/events for details and to register TODAY!
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