Finally.... I have stopped still for long enough to write this post for you, all about my holiday in Lanzarote. I arrived home over a week ago now and have been wanting to write to you ever since but life just got crazy (hmmmm, that wasn't the plan!) Though it's been good crazy so i'm not complaining at all really.
If you read this post, you'll see how much of a leap beyond my comfort zone going away on holiday on my own took. I still feel a little shy admitting that to you, as for many that would be no big deal. But for me it was. I overcame my fears and i'm incredibly proud I did so. It turned out to be an amazing experience.
There were no indulgences, no crazy activities, not tourist trips, no treks on camel back, no nights out drinking or dancing. No 'classic' holiday experiences whatsoever...
Instead... there was a lot of reading, self reflection, deep conversation, spending time in nature, yoga, acro-massage (see below), listening to the wind in the palm trees and simply spending time in the company of interesting people who inspired me to question my life in so many new ways.
When I first made the decision to take a holiday on my own. AirBnb quickly became my obvious choice simply because I had heard so many good things about the site from friends. This is not in any way a sales pitch for AirBnb (though if you are interested to book your own trip there is a discount code below) but the service was amazing all the way through and I will be using it again for sure.
The key thing for me, above and beyond the location itself (so many choices... where to start!) was to find a host that I felt I a connection with through reading their description. In hindsight this is the best thing I could have done and it made my holiday so much richer for having taken the time to find 'me' people. This was especially true for me since I had planned to spend a lot of time at the villa instead of it being just a base to explore away from.
Daniel and his family made me feel part of their 'tribe' right from the outset, inviting me to join in family excursions and simply mucking in with them as they lived day to day. This 'living as' was actually what made my holiday so special as it offered me a deep shift in perspective to reflect on so many aspects of my own life that I wouldn't have had if I had simply been living a superficial 'holiday life'.
I have talked many times before about how my own personal weakness is the ability to slow down, to relax and meditate, all things which were so powerfully demonstrated for me whilst I was there and which I had the opportunity to step into and experience for myself. I had so many powerful conversations on these topics and there were so many mutual interests in nutritional (they ate a plant based diet), mindfulness, living beyond the 9-5 and so much more. The fact they don't have a TV was also heaven for me!
I ate all my meals with the family and I was reminded how important the ritual of sitting down and being present with the food, being open to discussions and connecting around the table really is. I, like most people rush around so much that sitting down as a family or as a group, or even simply sitting down quietly away from TV or other distraction is often overlooked and undervalued. I'll admit that I haven't been perfect since I've been back as I have been travelling a lot these last few days, but those rituals and mind-body connections around mealtimes is something I want to build on and infuse in my daily routine.
Morning rituals consisted of ashtanga yoga on the veranda, It was so hard! I'm used to fairly generic yoga classes that cater for all levels and so can usually do it all. Yet with Daniel, so many of the moves I simply couldn't do- my back is very unbendy!! That said I loved the challenge of trying.
I was also very fortunate that he is trained in acro-massage, a unique experience in mindfulness and massage using simple movements working with gravity to open and activate the body. I'll admit I didn't have to do much, he did all the work. It's hardcore!
On my last day we filmed it so that I could remember the experience and share it back home since it was like nothing i'd ever experienced before. I'd love to know what you think! Please excuse the background noises of little Shakti as the door back into the house had shut, so she was stuck out on the veranda with us- much to her displeasure ;-)
It was also my birthday whilst I was away and for the first time ever there was no sense of obligation to 'do' anything. Nobody asking me 'what do you have planned for your birthday' and therefore no pressure or expectation....
Just embracing that open-minded feeling of BEing over DOing was hugely empowering and impactful for me and so my birthday was a profound time for reflection because of it.
I did make the wonderful chocolate brownie bread which was kind of my birthday treat (albeit a few days early) and I booked my self a full body massage as a treat on the final day of the trip to top off my experience! :-)
I also have another breakfast recipe to share with you in the next couple of days, an concept that Daniel inspired me with whilst I was there. If you love porridge this will be a game-changer! Here's where I sat and ate said breakfast on the veranda every morning...
I have since had a couple of questions from followers on Instagram and Facebook asking for veggie restaurant recommendations. As I didn't eat out, I put that question to my host Daniel and these were his top recommendations for a 'healthy Lanzarote experience' for eating and buying your own health foods.
Mancha Blanca: Domingo - Sunday 9.0 – 1.30 frutas, verduras y quesos de las islas, canarian fruits, vegetables and cheeses
“Hesperides” restaurante vegetariano con un excelente herbolario – vegetarian
restaurant with well stocked healthfood shop in Casa León 928 594 012
abierto lunes a viernes 9.30 – 20.00 h, sábado 9.30 – 24.00, domingo 9.30 – 17.00
Tias: “Tienda Verde” Herbolario Health-food shop. Fresh vegetables 928 834 239
Also mentioned above that I have an AirBnb discount code which if you decide to go ahead will give you £33 off your first trip. To give you an idea of what value that gives you- you could get a full 3 nights accommodation in many places around the world! The code is: jhodson9
I'd love to hear from you...
Have you ever travelled on your own? Do you have any 'silly' fears you'd love to overcome?
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