I had no desire to visit the southern states of India. It was a decision made between my friend and I at the beginning of the journey, before nothing went to plan and everything was challenged and changed.
I was happy in Rishikesh and thought quite seriously of leaving my flight south and staying on to the completion of my time.
It was only in one of the many quiet moments that I knew there was something for me in the saltier part of this vast country and im nothing if not an adventurer of the wildly unknown.
From the moment I walked into the little homestay turned hostel in Anjuna, I was greeted by an Indian, a Mexican and a Guatemalan… almost sounds like the start of a joke right.
And yet for me this was a sign of comfort, two of my favourite places from my past represented alongside the present.
I was greeted with “welcome home” and I really felt like I was.
After sleeping off the travel blues and finding my bearings in this little seaside town which (in peak season would have been bubbling with life) was almost all closed down and quiet due to the time of year.
For a good day or so I felt as if I may have made a mistake. Here I was, out of my element again, dumped by boyfriend and oldest friend and it would have been sooooo easy to fall right back into victimhood.
Then, the sun came out, the salt touched my skin and something in the energy changed.
Julio (Guatemala) ran an establishment based around exchange. Money was rarely mentioned and there was an expectation of community interaction and give back on a daily basis. For me, ready to turn full introvert/sorry for myself mode, it took some time to sit with how this cold work with me (miss independent)
Throughout that day new people were arriving, some walked into the space and changed their mind when confronted with Julios odd relaxed version on a check in and non rules speal.
But some people stayed, and we all soon realised that it was by no mistake.
I was captivated by these characters, their unique looks, accents, skin marred with ink and sweat and eyes that sparkled of stories to be told and heard.
There was also a gentle weariness in us all it seemed. As I sang in the hammock chair that evening swapping stories with my darling Luca, Das, Julio and Nikita, I felt a slight excitement and sadness at the thought of being here still when theres people were to move on.
We all had variable plans. I didn’t know if I could stay in this one place, feeling still quite disturbed and unstable after the massive shifts while on this journey. Most of the others planned to only stay a couple of days, having itinerary and plans to move onto.
On night three we all went to dinner to commemorate the last night for some…. And while at dinner we all decided….. to stay. To stay for the same period of time and leave to our next destinations after some much needed stillness by the sea.
Over the days that followed I experienced something I hadnt in a long time. The feeling that comes only from the completely energetic coming together of aligned human beings. Law of attraction in all her glory,
I spend days making fruit salads and helping cook and clean around the ‘home’
We were all whisked away for excursions and long midnight dinners by our amazing local friends Pio, Alecia and Das. We shared stories of adventure and pain and heartbreak. Tears were both shed and supported and slowly, joy started to creep in.
We were invited to so many lunches throughout the week of Ganesh festival (ironically - remover of obstacles) Were we ate local feasts off leaf plates on the floor with bright eyed kids running around laughing and delighted adults happy to simply offer their gifts to a few foreigners.
Our little family was not only felt by all but acknowledged openly and it was difficult to accept that we would only be aligned for this brief moment in time. And the day did come for goodbyes. But for anyone who has travelled and experienced the beauty of alignment. You understand that we don’t need things like online connections and planning to get what we need from each other. We simply need to follow our nose, to experience new places and people and understand that we are always meeting people who are sent to teach us, to allow us to all hold space for one another in our process and to believe in the power of venerability again.
I will never forget my little Anjuna Family, with an invitation turn not only return but to find each other again in the world as soon as possible!
*** Special mention to my dear friend Das. You are one of the most wonderful, giving and joyful humans I have ever come across and (despite you’re scary conditioning for the consuming of animals) you are so worthy of love and belonging and I do hope you find the way to break free of the shackles that hold you back from believing in this for yourself.