I created this post in 2015. I titled it: “Ohdeardrea Dreams Of India: Visiting A School / (Crying A Little) (Traveling Without Your Kid)” and it’s been sitting in my draft folder for these last five years. Is that crazy? I guess I had thoughts on the post, but not enough to ever execute it fully. Or, rather, I probably had enough thoughts, but I didn’t find them important enough to create a meaningful or thoughtful post.

I can’t believe it’s been five years since I went to India. Honestly, though, sometimes it feels like it’s been longer, not shorter. For me, India is a marker. A point in my life that I can reference. It was the last trip I went on before I collapsed into illness… and then healing. But looking back, I know I was sick there too. Each day in India I would wake up with an extreme desire to have the most magical day ever. I accomplished this, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy. Because each day I woke up feeling more worn and tired than the day before. The growing joint pains, gut dysfunction, the nerve damage, the unbearable brain fog, and fatigue had started weeks prior and each day I would wake up with symptoms worsening.

Despite this, this trip/retreat was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. In many ways, it was a catalyst for life now. Without India, I wouldn’t have been vaccinated that year. I wouldn’t have become ill with a heavy metal overload or with massive gut inflammation and allergies. Or I guess… really… if I had been smart,  I could have researched more…. still went to India… and avoided a major root cause of my symptoms. But I didn’t. And now I’m here today with a new and very evolved life. Almost a new person. Certainly a new outlook. And SO much knowledge. So much has changed. The reality is I could have and would have gotten sick in so many different paths of my life because I never treated my body that great. But this was it, the marking point— the moment that truly made me change.
(Sweetest kid. She didn’t want me to put her down. I legit cried when we left.)

My retreat to India was appropriately named. I still do dream of India. Often. I don’t fly much these days— for a load of reasons (environment, health, fears, a general dislike). But the reason I haven’t revisited India isn’t a flight. It’s my health. The worry that my needs will get lost in translation and I’ll be exposed to gluten and collapse in illness is a real and limiting fear. But I do hope to go back one day.

Maybe, ideally, with a lot of the women who joined me the first time. And if not, then at least with Marlowe. That’s for sure. If and when I do ever go back, I know it’ll be with her. I can’t go without her next time.

When I started this post five years ago it was to say that this trip had brought me joy, but the moment shown through these photos (visiting a school) was a struggle for me. As the only mom on the trip (at least two other women are moms now!), I felt a bit of heartache spending time with these beautiful sweet children and not being with my own.

Marlowe dreams of India too. She was too young five years ago. I could have easily managed with her through the country, but that first trip was for me. The next one will be for her. And I’m looking forward to that one day.

I feel forever lucky to live the life I live. To be very alive within this human skin. I feel grateful for the path that brought me here. I’m grateful for the extreme moments of joy— the ones that feel too good to be true. The ones you worry will make everything else feel mundane because the natural dopamine spike is too high.  And I’m equally grateful for the rough and challenging parts of life’s journey too. Because both parts make me human. And both parts make me who I am today and every day. Past, current, and future self.

My next retreat is coming up in a few weeks. Marlowe and I leave in exactly two weeks to prepare and set it up. It’ll be vastly different than the one I hosted in India. But still, India led me here. I’ve gained so much knowledge through the years that I now get to share with others looking to learn in the world. And I’m excited to learn from them too. Because if there is anything I’ve learned to appreciate on my path, it’s all the knowledge I have to gain from the people around me.

I gained a lot from the people on my path in India. I’m grateful for them. From the people I connected with for a few moments to the people still very present in my life today.

I’ve been making a lot of personal changes lately. And I’m not exactly sure what the future holds, but I know a BIG shift is coming. Decisions and structural planning are unbearably hard for me, but I am watching a new path slowly unfold right before my eyes. I made a comment to a stranger lately stating that my new choices feel “life-changing” and she corrected me. And said, “no, not life-changing, it’s aligning”  She’s right. It’s aligning.

I’m not sure why my path led me here. And I’m not sure where I will go from here. But I am excited to be here.


Ps. I want to mention that this wee, we had a few unfortunate cancellations for our sustainable living Costa Rica retreat. Due to this, we can squeeze in another guest… maybe two if you really wanted to have a companion 😉 And because it’s last minute, we’re offering the trip at HALF price. Only 1,000$ for the entire week. Check out more info HERE or feel free to email me if you think you can swing it 🙂

PPS. A few people have asked if there ever will be ohdeardrea dreams of India round two. And the answer is, I don’t know, but I hope so! If I’m being completely honest, I started entertaining the idea again last year. We will see what the future holds 🙂

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