On Saturday, Erik and I leave on our next adventure, this time to Portugal and southern Spain for 3 1/2 weeks, followed by Scotland and Ireland for another 3 1/2 weeks. I hope to blog a little along the way if I have time.
We will be renting a car in Porto, and driving down the coast to the Algarve (the warm, sunny, but touristy part of Portugal), then into Spain along the southern coast of Andalusia (more warm sun), and circling up back to Lisbon. Then we fly to Edinburgh, and head north here we will visit the Inverness area to search for my Scottish roots that date back to the 1700’s. We also get to stay with a few 2nd cousins I have met online while working on my family tree – that should be exciting! Finally we fly to Dublin and drive south to make a 2 week, clockwise tour of the southern part of the Ireland, ending up in Galway and across back to Dublin before we fly home to enjoy a lovely summer in the Okanagan.
On this trip, I intend to incorporate some sort of daily fitness routine that can be easily down without equipment. Although I will bring my running shoes, I know I’ll be much more likely to do a lot of walking instead. I have a simple body weight routine I plan to do at least 4 times a week, as well as a simple yoga routine and a modified version of the Five Tibetan Rites each day. None of these activities take a long time, and all should contribute to helping me to stay fit while we travel.
Since last July, I’ve been attending a meditative yoga class twice a week and it’s been wonderful for my body and my mind. Near the end of each class, our instructor reads some “words of wisdom,” so I thought I’d end with this lovely blessing for the traveller, by Irish poet, John O’Donohue.
For the Traveler
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
~ John O’Donohue ~