Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Myself, Ourania, & Spyros
After the graduation ceremony, we spent our last moments together as a class, taking pictures with the big group and our smaller circles of friends, and saying goodbye to the instructors. I shed a few tears as I said goodbye to Alona, my Ukrainian friend. She was the first Yogi I had bonded and spent time with, and I would miss her encouragement and bright smile. I allowed myself a good amount of time to take in the scenery, as I knew it would be a long time before I saw anything like it again. I was the last Yogi to leave the Shala, and I walked slowly down the path back to my guest house. It was so surreal that the adventure was over. It felt like I had spent months anticipating it, and now it was done. Although I was glad to be going home, the end of my time in Bali was bittersweet.
Elana, Myself, & Nina
I packed my stuff and got my bags together. Nina and Elana had some time before they caught a taxi to their next stop in Bali, so we all decided to go and find a place to eat. We spent our last few hours there, reflecting on our trip, enjoying the scenes of the town, and devouring our Balinese meals. We said goodbye to Nina first. That was a difficult moment for me, because Nina and I had grown very close. I hugged her tight and told her I would see her again some day. Afterwards, I walked with Elana to a store so she could grab a few things before she caught her cab. Then I gave her a big hug and we went our separate ways. I still had some time before my cab would be there, so I decided to sit and have one last coffee and catch up on my social media in a cafe.
Zhana & I
Himanshu & I
I made my way back up to my guest house to dip my feet in the pool for the last time before catching my cab to leave. I reflected on everything that had happened in the three weeks prior, all the food I had tried, friends I had made, moments I had experienced, and lessons I had learned. I had no idea what would happen when I got home, but I was excited to be back in the cool climate. I was also badly missing my kitty cat and bed.
Another thing I reflected on was my mornings in Bali. I had skipped a few Pranayamas (Breath Control) due to exhaustion. I also struggled to maintain the correct posture during Pranayama as I was incredibly sore. Some morning I would lay down, but I then found it hard to stay awake. So I found myself "taking the piss" out of my Pranayama practice more often than not, even thought I did notice a difference in mind-set once it was completed. Pranayama is meant to direct and expand the breath and energy channels, also known as Nadis. Pranayama improves our breath, body, and mind functions. I knew that I needed to find a way to improve this practice once I returned home. I set myself a goal and steps to achieve that goal.
Alona & I
The cab arrived right on time to our path. I had decided to split the cab with Kelly, Charlotte, and Nada. Kelly and I had grown very close during our stay in Bali. Charlotte and I weren't very close at that point but we had a lot in common, including both of us being actors. Nada is a young woman my age from Toronto. The cab ride itself was rough. Nada asked if she could sit in the front, as she got car sick. I hesitantly agreed to sit in the back and prayed my stomach would stay settled. It did not. After about 15 minutes of our 80 minute car ride, my stomach started to churn. I don’t remember much of the conversation during that cab ride because I was fighting the urge to vomit. I mentioned to the ladies that I was “trying to keep my cookies down,” and all of them looked at me and asked me how many cookies I had consumed. I laughed out loud and explained to them that it was a saying meaning I was trying not to throw up. They all burst into laughter.
Annelor, Claire-Anne, & I
Once we hit the main highway, the cab driver started driving like a total idiot. He was jerking in and out of lanes, accelerating up to other cars bumpers and then slamming on the brakes when he got too close, and weaving in and out of other cars. There were a few moments that I thought for sure I was going to throw up in my lap. I was closer to puking during that car ride than I was on the way to the waterfall two weeks prior, and even then it had been a close call. I was extremely thankful to get out of the vehicle at the airport, and my stomach finally settled as we made our way to get our boarding passes. Charlotte, Nada and I had gotten out of the cab first, as we were travelling internationally. Kelly continued on in the cab to the domestic terminal, as she was flying to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I shed a few tears as I said goodbye to Kelly, and she gave me a card that made me cry even more.
Kelly & I
To my triple threat of a yoga teacher! Thank you for being a part of my journey! Don't forget that you're strong and your heart is beautiful! I will miss your bitching and panting though! Keep in touch!
Love lots, Kelly”
I would miss this woman so much! I was so proud of her for accomplishing her Yoga goal and following her dreams. I would definitely stay in touch and hope to see her again one day.
My Last Moments in Bali
Nada, Charlotte and I said goodbye to each other before we got in line for our boarding passes. Once through the line, Nada and I met back up and decided to go get a last meal before we caught our flight. I got the last smoothie bowl of my trip and a burger. Chatting together over food, I told Nada a bit of my story and we discussed some of the events of the training. Nada and I hadn't had a chance to talk much up until that point, but I am glad we finally did. She is a very kind woman with a big heart. I had about 45 minutes left until my flight took off, so I decided to head to my gate. Good thing I did, because when I checked the flight information display system, it said my flight was on it's final boarding call. I raced to my gate, but as I waited in line to board the plane, I heard someone far away screaming my name. It was Charlotte, jumping and waving her arms trying to get my attention. I waved and blew a kiss, then got onto the bus that would take me to my flight.
The View of the Singapore Harbour at Night
This time I had a window seat picked for the flight. I sat near the back of the plane beside a woman and her daughter who were a part of a large group on that flight. As we began to taxi, I must have looked distressed because the mother grabbed my leg and asked me if I was okay. I told her I was sad to be leaving, and that I would miss everyone I had met there. Her daughter then offered me a piece of gum, and we took off. That group was very sweet to each other, and to me. This was the shortest flight of my travel home. We arrived in Singapore at night again, and although I was on the wrong side of the plane to catch the city lights, the harbour was still beautiful to see.
The View of Singapore Just Before Landing
This time around in Singapore, I knew exactly where I had to go. I made my way to the sky train and over to the third terminal, then picked up my boarding pass and made my way to the gate. I didn't get a window seat this time, but instead got an aisle seat in the centre near the back of the plane. The seat beside me was empty, but the seat beside that was occupied by a Chinese lady. I immediately claimed the middle seat for my feet and tried - unsuccessfully - to get some sleep. The little boy in the row ahead of me, however, had three seats to himself and got lots of sleep. The most memorable part of that flight was when this kid woke up screaming, and his grandmother came running to him. Instead of taking him to the washroom literally six steps behind us, his grandmother pulled out a water bottle and allowed the little boy to urinate in it in front of me. I was thoroughly disturbed by this. I got the distinct pleasure of watching this little boy’s face turn from panic to relief. Yuck!
The View from Pundong Shanghai Airport
I was really happy to land in Shanghai and to be off that plane, but I was in a dreadful mood and I was not looking forward to being social media-less once again. So I made the decision to spend the $12 on my phone plan and call my mom. She could tell I was absolutely miserable and needed to sleep. I found a Dunkin Donuts and sampled the product, although it was nothing compared to Tim Horton's donuts! I found my gate shortly after, but the lounge area beside it was full, so I found a small space and made a little lounge of my own. I stretched out on the ground for a good half hour before they finally opened my gate and boarded the plane. I was so excited to get this leg over and done with.
On this final flight, I scored a window seat near the wing of the plane. When I got to my row, I found an older Chinese lady who refused to let me into my seat. I pointed to my ticket to show her my seat number, but she still refused. A young Chinese man spoke to her in their language, and after about five more refusals, she finally agreed to let me sit down. I thought I was in for a really long flight, especially with someone sitting between us, but the seat belt sign went on and we began to taxi to the runway with the seat between us still empty.
This final flight home would only be thirteen hours this time. As soon as we got to cruising altitude, the flight attendants served us the first of our two meals. On offer was this sweet soup that is considered a dessert in China. I had tried it on my flight to Shanghai but didn't like it, so I decided to offer it to the older lady on the outside of my aisle. She didn't want it, but seemed incredibly thankful that I had offered. I then turned and offered it to the lady behind me, who had let me plug my phone into the arm of her seat to charge. She accepted the soup and shortly after offered me an orange. I accepted it gratefully, as I was still hungry. I discovered two weeks later that a gift of an orange from a Chinese person is seen as an offering of good luck.
After the soup offering to the lady sitting on the outside of my aisle, this woman took care of me! I was asleep when the attendants served the second meal of the flight, but I awoke just before they put their cart away. As soon as this woman noticed that I was awake, she pointed to the food cart and made a gesture asking if I was hungry. I nodded yes and she immediately got the attendant's attention. When the attendant came to ask me what I needed, the Chinese lady answered for me and the attendant had to “shush” her to hear what I was saying. It was very sweet. When we landed she nodded to me as if to say farewell.
The View of Toronto from the Sky
I was so thankful to land in Toronto. I rushed through the airport to find the declaration kiosks and called my Mom to tell her I was there. I made it through the final desk and into the main area of the airport very quickly. I only waited about 20 minutes for my mom to get there to pick me up. When I finally saw my Mom again I gave her a massive, long hug. I was so thankful to be back on Canadian soil and back in the cool weather, even though I was still wearing my seasonally inappropriate fake 'Nike' slides with socks.
I couldn't sleep during the three hour drive back to the County. I was too happy to be home and see my Mom again. We stopped at Tim Horton's as soon as we were out of the city. Shortly after that, the cream started turning my tummy, and I realized I would need to order my coffee with milk from then on. I told my Mom all about my last flight home and the kind lady sitting at the end of my aisle. When we got to my place, I brought her inside and gave her the gift I had purchased her. It was a wooden flute and a container of Balinese salt. She was excited to try them both. I was so happy to lay in my own bed! However, I was not looking forward to setting up my bedroom again nearly as much. My roommate had renovated my room while I was away, and I got home to a much warmer room, which is exactly what I wanted. I had a friend come over and help me set up my room a bit before I finally passed out. I was oh so happy to be home.