It's just gone midnight (Singapore time) and I've ordered a coffee that tastes like nothing but sugar and caffeine. Counter productive to sleep sure, but it somehow felt like a good idea. I'm on a flight bound for Bangalore that will arrive around 3.30am (Singapore time) or just after midnight local time. In other words well past my 9.30pm bedtime!
Arriving in a foreign country in the middle of the night is always an exciting experience particularly when it's India. Already on the plane I seem to be the only westerner, my blonde hair and blue eyes are attracting attention. It wasn't until I was in Singapore airport earlier today that I realised I'm without a pseudo husband and wedding ring - something I've carefully planned on previous trips to India. On my first trip I even went as far as dying my hair brown! It seems that my approach this time around has been somewhat relaxed, sure I was organised enough to get a visa (which I worked out today may be the wrong type) but I didn't properly checked the YTT packing list until after I'd arrived in Bali and I only confirmed that I actually have travel insurance around 2 hours before I got on this flight!
The last 6 weeks has been a whirlwind to say the least, I've visited 5 different states in Australia (SA, VIC, NSW, ACT, QLD), ran a yoga retreat/trek, packed up my life in East Gippsland, searched for a new place to live and spent a week in my second home Bali taking some much needed chill out time.
I haven't really had too much time to over think things (which is great for me), somehow I've found a way to be totally comfortable with my super loose life plan that is no more detailed than to simply go with the flow for the next few months and eventually end up in the northern half of Australia doing something I love!
Today another adventure begins, I'm off on a 2 month (500hr) Yoga Teacher Training in Mysore, India. Arguably one of the yoga meccas in the world.
But I digress, back to the sleep avoidance thing...the reason why I started writing this. Historically long travel days haven't worked so well for me, I get tired/vague and have a tendency to leave things behind on planes/in airports. I've lost two iPhones this way in the last few years and after losing my third in the lake a few months ago I haven't bothered replacing it, at least today there is no risk of me losing an iPhone! I am however carrying lots of other stuff that I really don't want to part with....also the plane is packed and I don't fancy sleeping on the man next to me even though he seems quite nice. Does anyone else have that lighting system on planes where it's like head rest adjustability = green light for sleep, flat non adjustable type head rest = red light for sleep? Well this flight is a red light, non adjustable head rests = high risk of sleeping on a stangers shoulder, drooling on them and potentially exposing my skin/curves through slippage of the shawl.
It's all good though, on my DPS to SIN flight this morning I was fortunate enough to have a whole row to myself so I caught an hour of sleep which helped make up for the disturbed night. You know those sleeps that kid's experience the day before Santa arrives....waking up every 45 mins eager to get out of bed.
This is my first time arriving at Bangalore and after my last experience getting a taxi from Chennai airport and being dropped at the wrong location in a foreign place at an ungodly hour of the night/morning I'm being a little more cautious. I've pre-booked a hotel service pick up. (He's holding a name up that reads something like Maned Habel but it's close enough - it has the right hotel name on the bottom. If I wasn't awake getting into the car, the rally car drive back to the hotel going 120km/hr in a 60km/hr zone had me on my toes, overall all though this was the most pleasant Indian airport experince I've had and I've seen a few of them).
Tonight in Bangalore is really just a sleep stop, I didn't much fancy sleeping in the airport so I'm off to a hotel for the night and will then head out to the airport again at 10.00am tomorrow. I'll then catch a ladies only bus service to Mysore which takes around 4hrs. I love the ladies only services. I will never forget a bus ride I had on my first trip to India where I got splashed with vomit through an open window (from somebody above) and had to use my shawl to clean myself. This left me sitting there with a singlet on, unable to shake the smell of puke while a bus full of men stared at me for the remaining few hours of the trip. It was one of those experiences where you are left thinking surely it can't get any worse that this?
It sounds crazy but all this is part of what I love about travelling solo in foreign parts of the world. It's challenging, raw, unpredictable and always results in me learning things about myself that I may have otherwise never known. As Jeff Johnson says in the movie 180 Degrees South "the greatest journeys answer questions that, in the beginning, you didn't even think to ask".
I have no doubt this trip will be no different, with it comes a whole new set of challenges. A new destination, 4.30am starts, long 16 hour days, letting go of any fixed ideas I may have on how yoga should be practiced, or perhaps spending so much time with the same group of people, who knows only time will tell...
My only goal for this next few months is to fully dedicate myself to the program and the practice and to be truly open to the teachings on offer. I have no doubt that a epic adventure awaits.
Hopefully I'll follow this up with an update soon.