Updated: Apr 9, 2018
So I came back from Europe - grew up, got married, had children - put my dreams aside and only had three trips in 15 years - 2 to Europe and one to Vietnam/Thailand I was in a terrible marriage, stuck, sad and desperately trying to tread water.
The few years before I turned 40 were a never ending train wreck – like I was watching a life that was not mine. I was in a terrible marriage with a man that had addiction and anger issues. We split up and after only a couple of months of him an a bad downward spiral he was in a tragic work accident and lost his left arm and had numerous other injuries – survival was slim but he did. I then became ex wife of the year taking our two boys to see him every weekend and offering support because that’s just me – I knew that I and them needed a rest I wanted one of those packages where I could lie by the pool and go shopping – so I rang a local travel agent and booked for 2 weeks in Bali. Little did I know that a decision to get sucked in to a time share presentation in Kuta would change the direction of my life – this is where I met my trusted friend Nyoman. In the next 2 years I went a few more times.
Life went by quickly, I hated my job but didn’t see me ever doing anything else unless that job on Getaway came along. The boys grew and then suddenly I was 39 with little or no excitement in my life – a string of bad men and not much cash. I went and saw Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts who played the part of Elizabeth Gilbert – this move catapulted me to look at the possibilities and I knew that what some called aa mid-life crisis was about to hit. SO I took three months leave, and on the day of my 40th birthday the boys and I flew to Asia for three months from Vietnam to Bali we travelled.Everyone said how brave I was and it wasn’t until I was in the bathroom of a Russian mafia hotel in Sapa that I understood what they meant. As I sat huddled in the corner sobbing I let go of a lot of “stuff” in that room.
This trip was not an easy journey the three of us together for that amount of time until we got to Bali and Nyoman took the boys like they were his own – coming and getting them on the scooter and not bringing them back to dinner time.It was the trip where I had my first life changing moment.
Aha Number 1
We were in Sapa and were to go to a homestay in a village home for 2 nights – it had been raining and because I am essentially lazy I didn’t want to walk the 12 km – we had walked 15 the day before – so we hired bikes to take us. Sapa is up in the north quite near the Chinese boarder. We left on the bikes the 2 boys and Hien our guide and friend and me on another with a nice young man. We came around a bend and I was in awe before me was a Valley of beauty with a rainbow – I had seen beautiful scenes before and have done since but this took my breath away -
This trip was the catalyst that helped me find me again – I rediscovered my essence.Back at work I needed to consolidate what I knew in my heart and the direction that I wanted to take. I learnt that I wanted to take others on amazing journeys so that they could also change their lives. I just wasn’t sure how to do this yet. Where I am now took another 4 years and some more significant moments.
AHA Number 2
One of these was when I organised 2 friends and I to go to Europe for 5 weeks – we drove from my dad’s in Austria and arrived at out hotel in Mestre near Venice where we met with our friend Maria from Sweden – I was itching to get to Venice so we got the train in and we travelled the 10 minutes and I had said to them remember there is only one time you can see this for the first time –and there we were walking from the train station and even my then 8 year old son was amazed at walking out and seeing the grand canal – their reactions made me cry – watching their awe at what they were seeing. And I knew I wanted ot show people places and be there for their first time.
Aha Number 3
Number three was when I was in Rome 2 years ago and came to the Trevi fountain – the emotion that I felt was overwhelming going to the place my nan and I watched in Roman Holiday, this was like a pilgrimage for her the journey that we always planned together – I knew there was more and I had to get out of social work and quick - before it drained me of every emotion that I had.
Aha Number 4 - The final one
This was on the deck of a cruise ship – for as long as I could remember I wanted to go to Istanbul - I came out of the cabin and there was east and west - all there at the same time. And I knew that jump was about to happen.
All of these showed me that I wanted people to have more than just a holiday. I wanted them to go away and come back just a little bit different - I searched for what this would look like and did a course in Happiness and this showed me what my FLOW was – the thing that I get lost in – something that I can do for hours and time stands still. And so I had the motivation to change my life - 4 life altering moments that catapulted me into the future and oh what a future it is turning out to be.