Anniversary

“Like an ocean in between the waves . . .”

Exactly a year ago tomorrow, I was making my way to London, via Calgary, Edmonton, and Reykjavik.

From my journal: “Edmonton airport, glass of wine, here we go. Hardly seems real . . . Half an hour out of Iceland, 4:30 a.m., sun slivers, stars, clouds, distant pink. Wishing I could put this feeling in words.” I’m still not able to. Maybe this is why I’m an editor, not a novelist.

I had met two of my future roommates, for a few hours total, a year earlier. And I had freelance work lined up. Other than that, I had no idea what to expect. I leapt out of my mind’s stagnant water across an ocean to find . . . something.

The practice of yoga focuses on cultivating contentment in the present moment, wherever you happen to be. It’s an idea that guides my life, but yet, the need for a change of scenery has always been vital when I need to reset, get creative, feel inspired.

London quickly became home. We adapt quickly. This ability never ceases to fascinate me. I remind myself to be a tourist, to enjoy floating in the ocean while it’s still, before the waves rolls in. Because they will.

Windsor Castle Westminster

I think about my equal and constant desires: to build a home and “root” and to keep watching the sun rise somewhere new. Is it possible to have both? It’s thrilling to think so. A place to float, and a place to play, rushing forward, pulling back, in cycles.

Brighton

But the stagnant waters? They’ll always be there waiting, regardless of how far I travel. We must learn to access contentment, joy, inspiration within, wherever we physically find ourselves.

For now, London is still home. And the water is so inviting.

Namaste 🙂
Rachel

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The First Christmas Abroad, and All That Jazz

“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!” – Aleister Crowley

Nothing beats the last week of the year, just after Christmas and before New Year’s. I set aside an evening, just me and my favourite jazz and a bottle of wine, to go through journals and reflect on the year before starting a fresh new journal and filling the first few pages with musings on my desires and goals for the year ahead. Ah, I’m such a cheeseball at heart, but it just starts the year off on a good note.

Speaking of cheeseballs, I sure missed my mom’s this year. And her baking. And her turkey. My waistline is thanking me though. I survived my first Christmas away from home. One hurdle down. And though it was strange and not something I’d like to repeat next year (I’ll start looking at flights for next Christmas soon, Mom!), the last few days reminded me that distance is truly a non-issue when it comes to feeling the love of family and friends.

Enjoying the festivities in Trafalgar Square.

Enjoying the festivities in Trafalgar Square.

I'm terrible at night photographs, but these lights were dazzling. Christmas is truly magical in London. Where's my photographer roommate when I need him!

I’m terrible at night photographs, but these lights were dazzling. Christmas is truly magical in London. Where’s my photographer roommate when I need him!

I’m especially grateful this season for my friend Dallas, who made the trek across the ocean to spend Christmas with me. We celebrated with roast chicken (homemade by Waitrose), copious amounts of Baileys and mulled wine, and terrible (awesome) chick flicks. And thanks to the magic of Skype, we were able to invite our families into our little celebration for a few hours on Christmas Day.

It still felt Christmasey, even miles from home.

It still felt Christmasey, even miles from home.

A feast for two

A feast for two.

On Tuesday we’re heading to Edinburgh for the famous Hogmanay celebration, and I’m fairly bursting with excitement. After the festivities (and the day of sleep that I’m sure will be much needed), we’ll spend a few days touring Scotland. Pictures and an update to follow.

It’s certainly a resolution to begin blogging on a regular basis again, so I hope to connect with you all in the new year. From my cheeseball heart to yours, have a wonderful holiday season. Wishing you so much joy for 2015.

Namaste 🙂
Rachel