My soul had spoken and it was time to listen
They say travel is the best way to feed your soul. And whatever feeds your soul, feeds your body and your mind. There’s no better feeling than that of feeling connected – with ourselves, people and the world around us. It can be like surfing the longest, smoothest wave of your life, or finally releasing a long sigh of relief in a yoga class. Maybe it’s as simple as sharing a laugh with your oldest, dearest friend. Whatever it is, it’s through this mindbody-soul connection that we tend to be our fullest, brightest selves.
At the beginning of this year my life was a crazy roller coaster of career first, self later. I got caught up in the excitement of the everyday grind and hustle, saying yes to any and every opportunity that came my way. Although it was fun at times, I soon got rundown and exhausted. I was outputting so much energy into others and my tasks that I had completely tuned out of myself and what I actually wanted: to feel connected.
So I went to Sri Lanka to reconnect. Sometimes getting away and doing what’s right for you – in other words, putting up the stop signs for everyone else and being a little selfish about it all – can be just the right medicine. Sunshine and waves were on the menu, so who was I to disagree? I made myself a priority. I put down the to-do list, crossed out the calendar, and booked my flight. My soul had spoken and it was time to listen. The promise of adventure, waves, Ayurveda meals and yoga was waiting for me.
Sea, surf and sun
Sitting on my board in the middle of the ocean, looking out upon the endless coastline of palm trees, I decided that Sri Lanka was indeed magical, and that I’d made the right choice to get away from it all and recharge. This teardrop shaped island in the heart of the Indian ocean has a lot to offer in terms of adventure, wellness and – most importantly – waves. The South West and Southern province of Sri Lanka are home to some of the island’s most beautiful beaches, which are blessed with mellow, forgiving waves.
Sri Lanka is an ideal destination if you’re a beginner or intermediate looking to work on your technique. Although there are plenty of breaks to suit every level from barrel riders to foam boarders, the waves give you enough time to fully understand what you’re doing and where you want to go. They crumble with an ease that makes you want to dance along your longboard and tiptoe into the hang ten stance (if you’re lucky enough to be that good).
From the amazing local food to the rejuvenating yoga and peeling longboard waves, Sri Lanka has a wonderful sense of timelessness to it. It’ll make you want to throw your watch away and run barefoot with the dogs, or trail along the empty train tracks at sunset to catch the golden light between the palm trees.
The purple sky at dawn, mixed with the heady humidity of the salty air, was my wakeup call every morning. What a magical feeling it was, hitting the bath-like temperature of the ocean and basking in the morning sunlight, catching wave after wave with not a worry in the world. The feeling of freedom soaked itself into my skin like the taste of salt on my lips.
When’s the last time you made you a priority?
Sri Lanka is buzzing with a slow, island energy. The simple things become so much more meaningful, like a smile from the local food truck owner, or a kid playing with a wornout soccer ball. Tuk-tuk drivers line the streets, waiting to pop your board on the roof and whisk you away to the next secret break. There are plenty of hidden gems to explore – you just have to ask around.
Yoga, Ayurveda and soul food
Yoga for me goes way further than just a physical stretch. It has always been my biggest source of connection to myself and the way I live my life. Yoga in Sri Lanka is deeply rooted in the traditional practice. There are many forms of yoga to choose from, from ‘invigorating vinyasa’, which is perfect in the morning, to ‘restorative yoga’ sessions, ideal post surf and during the evening. Whatever you choose, linking breath to movement and tuning into your body is a great step towards being more mindful. Besides, I needed a good stretch to smooth out those sore surf muscles.
Feed your soul, feed your body, right? Everything from the yoga practices, to massages and the meals include Ayurvedic healing spices, herbs and essential oils. Ayurveda is an ancient form of healing that can range from the food you eat to the stuff you scrub on your body. Every oil or herb has a purpose, based on your dosha or body type. This type of holistic healing is promotes healing from the inside out.
Heal, flourish and thrive
Although short, my stay was as rejuvenating as it was impactful.
I had 10 days to immerse myself in a new culture, to get frustrated (airports and foreign cities will do that to you), elated, amazed, relaxed and euphoric. All spectrums of my emotional compass were there for me to eat-surf-yoga my way through. Sometimes you need just need to get out of your comfort zone to get back into it. Shake it up and get all the kinks out.
The truth is, life happens. It can take over and we forget to do the little things we enjoy the most because they’re seen as selfish – the self-care stuff we leave for the end of our to-do list. The little treats like a fantastic home-cooked meal or making time for that surf or yoga session in the morning. Maybe it’s as simple as a bubble bath and a coconut a scented candle at the end of the day, or as extravagant as your next surf trip to
I like to think we’re all innately attracted to what makes us feel grounded and connected. As if feeling the earth (or ocean) beneath us sends that jolt of energy through our spine. That’s how I like to feel, in tune with what is going on internally, so I can live fully, externally. When’s the last time you made you a priority?