Sarah Somewhere » Discovering the beauty of an imperfect journey Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:20:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Embracing Contradiction in Cuba – Part One Thu, 08 Oct 2015 14:09:31 +0000 Keep reading...]]> It seems fitting that as I was emerging from one of the most tumultuous emotional lows I had experienced in a long time, I would decide to visit communist Cuba… right?

In truth, the trip was booked while I was still in a jet-lagged stupor post-Bali and hadn’t yet traded my travel legs for stable ones. Tyrhone needed a new tourist visa for Mexico, and rather than drive to Belize again we decided to make the most of the cheap low season rates from Cancun to Havana.

The quick just-over-an-hour flight across the Caribbean pond belied the utterly contrasting experience which awaited us there. We’d seen the photos of vintage cars and heard the stories of bland food but nothing would prepare us for the contradictions of heaven and hell contained within Cuba’s staunchly guarded borders.

We fell for it’s charms immediately. Shuttled into a unlicensed vintage car, we paid more than we knew we needed to for a ride from the airport to Habana Vieja, or Old Havana, the tourist haven of the city.

Old car habana vieja

The young driver was friendly and sincere enough, waiting for us as we exchanged our Mexican Pesos for local ‘Convertibles’ or ‘CUC’ which is the currency created for foreign visitors to the country. 1 CUC is equivalent to about 1 USD which is equivalent to about 24 local Pesos (the currency used by Cuban locals).

When he dumped us on the outskirts of the old town and asked us to pay him inside the the car before we got out, we realised that perhaps he wasn’t quite as sincere as we thought. By then, though, I’d already added a tip to our over-inflated flare. Havana saw me coming and she reeled me in, hook, line and sinker.

As we wandered down narrow streets flanked with crumbling colonial remnants of Cuba’s Spanish history in search of our guesthouse, ‘standing out like a sore thumb’ does not even begin to describe the feeling of being completely out of my element.

Sarah travel Havana cuba

Of course, I plastered on my “I’ve got this, I’m totally cool with all these stares from locals and these hustlers chasing me down the road,” shield of armor rather than collapsing into an insecure puddle on the grimy street.

Truth is, I love travel and I hate it. I love experiencing new places but sometimes I hate feeling so foreign and so freaking white. In Cuba, I felt like a dumb tourist because that is exactly what I was.

Turns out it would take me a while to embrace that fact and so I would feel out of my depth for, well, about four out of the six days we were there.

The Casa Particular we had semi-booked via email (we had never actually heard back – internet is extremely scarce in Cuba) was in fact quite lovely. For 30 CUC we sequestered an elegant, tiled room with high ceilings, an antique (a word which is redundant in Cuba) chandelier and a private terrace overlooking Calle Habana.

casa vieja havana Cuba

Sarah Somewhere Havana CubaOwed by a vivacious woman with a mostly male staff, it was a clean and well-run place with a roof terrace-slash-bar where evening meals were served (and, as luck would have it, also home to a litter of kittens).

Kitties casa paticular

Over dinner that night Tyrhone remarked quietly that he had never eaten chicken with so much gristle in it and racked his brain to think of what part of the bird would be so… ‘chewy.’

The cats, however didn’t complain about the extra food.

Deciding to skip breakfast at the Casa the following morning, we headed out into the steamy Havana heat in search of decent coffee.

Enter ‘El Dandy’ cafe, which would prove to be a tiny oasis of style and flavour during our short stay. Excellent coffee. Friendly yet understated service. Simple yet tasty snacks served with something we found missing from much of the food we ate… love.

El Dandy Havana

Cubita cafe El dandy havana

El Dandy cafe – #401 Calle Brasil cnr Villegas

It was so refreshing to discover a place which seemed to care about what they served.

Old Havana is full of fancy-looking state run establishments which are full of uninterested staff serving uninteresting food. It’s actually quite a shock to sit down at one of these places and witness the flavourlessness of the whole ordeal.

And honestly, I found this quite depressing.

Of course, I soon learned why – the government controlled food supply made the basics like flour and eggs readily available, but other ingredients like fresh meat and vegetables a lot more scarce.

Spices and other flavor enhancing embellishments are rare as hen’s teeth (though maybe Tyrhone had found those in his dinner).

Succumbing to our role as naive tourists and weary of ‘friendly’ people on the street trying to wrangle money out of us, we then made a bee line for the hop-on-hop-off bus stop located opposite the Hotel Inglaterra. For two hours we proceeded to sit in gawking, slack-jawed bliss for the entire route around old and new Havana.

havana bus tour

It seemed to me that ‘new Havana’ was indeed a little brighter and more full of life than the old. On well maintained, tree lined streets, art-deco style apartment buildings housed families going about their daily lives in the face of harsh economic and political challenges.

We paid 5 CUC for the ride around town which was all many Cubans would hope to earn in a week of work. No wonder the waiters in the fancy restaurants of Habana Vieja didn’t give a shit. Who among us is going to smile for $20 a month?

Fidel havana

Who Fidel? Who?

Things started making sense but that didn’t make it any easier. That evening, after trying to watch the sunset from the malecon while being accosted by touts, we sat down at four restaurants and walked out of three.

Havana Malecon sunset

There was the fly-blown gringo-filled restaurant on Calle Obisbo (we dodged a bullet there), the ‘Paris bar’ where we were ignored until we just left, and finally, our casa which, as luck would have it, had closed the kitchen for the night just before we dragged our weary asses up the three flights of stairs.

We were left with one final option aside from going to bed hungry – a fancy looking bistro down the street which we guessed was going to be as disappointing as the many places we’d tried.

Turns out our last resort happened to be the best restaurant in Havana. Spotless, welcoming and most importantly, serving up delicious cuisine made with love. As I cut into the juicy fillet of swordfish, expertly cooked and beautifully presented, I could literally taste the passion which permeated through it.

In a town which had been seemingly sucked dry of all genuine entrepreneurial spirit and was forced to revert to underhanded and desperate tactics to make ends meet, we couldn’t believe our luck at finding Habana 61, an alternate universe of creativity, elegance, and… flavour.

After devouring delicious entrees, main courses and desserts, we were able to reward their great work with our tourist dollars and this time, feel really good about it.

Habana 61 Restaurant havana

Thanks for reading! Part Two of our Cuban adventure is coming soon…

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A hard landing Wed, 23 Sep 2015 17:23:12 +0000 Keep reading...]]> The problem with highs (even natural ones) is that there is only one way down.

In the space of a month I have gone from experiencing elation, peace and joy to absolute frustration, confusion and (dare I say) depression.

To say it’s been a hard landing ‘coming down’ from Bali to Mexico is an understatement.

No matter how many times I utter the words, ‘this too, shall pass’ during the difficult times, I never quite want to accept that it it rings true for the good ones too.

Adding to the jet lag, the loneliness of not having my Bali retreat sisters or nieces to wake up to and my inability to acclimatize to suffocating summer humidity, has been my guilt that I should be somehow feeling differently.

Tyrhone gave me such a beautiful welcome home; lavishing me with the type of affection and care usually confined to the honeymoon period of a relationship, rather than the beginning of the tenth year (yes).

IT PISSED ME OFF that I was receiving the kind of tenderness I usually revel in while feeling utterly unable to receive it with my weary heart.

And so began my battle with how I was feeling as opposed to how I should be feeling after such a blissful trip.

And it continued until this morning, when, at the height of my misery (and subsequent insomnia), I cried out to God to help! me and the tears began flowing into the pillow at the realization of my predicament.

Too many shoulds.

That I should be relishing meditation after discovering such bliss on the mat in Bali; that I should still be in love with Mexico as I have been for so long, that I should be able to maintain the peace and contentment I experienced on retreat.

Should, should, should, but none of it has been so.

This morning, I let go of the shoulds and accepted what was. That I was exhausted, drained, discontent and trying too damn hard to be otherwise.

I’ve experienced so many highs of this path of self discovery. So much healing. So many glimpses of enlightenment.

The truth is, I want that feeling all the time, but I am just not there yet, and maybe I never will be.

Like a baby bird who is learning to fly, the falls are part of the practice.

Perhaps, the most important part.

My hard landing has been emotionally debilitating, but only because I wasn’t accepting myself. I haven’t treated myself with compassion like the baby bird I am, but as a mature eagle who should effortlessly soar through the sky.

I needed to experience this in order to see the ways I’ve been sabotaging myself (yet again) with perfectionism and mis-aligned motives; the ways I have been pleasing others ahead of myself which disconnected me from the truth of my soul.

I’m slowly, softly and ever so gently, tending to my wounded wings so that they may soar higher, farther and more gracefully next time.

Perhaps the next fall will be softened by my newly tenderized heart.


This is helping.

So is this.

Also this and most definitely these guys.

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Join me for my Mexico retreat in 2016! Wed, 16 Sep 2015 16:42:21 +0000 Keep reading...]]> I’m very excited to finally announce the ‘Journey to Shine’ retreat on Holbox island, Mexico in April, 2016.

I say finally because it is something I have dreaming about, planning and sending out into the universe for some time now.

Let’s face it, a retreat in Mexico has always been on the cards and I have had my eyes open for the right location for the last year.

Then, in early May this year I went on an impromptu girls weekend to isla Holbox, a tiny island off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula and fell in love.

holbox island map

Holbox street art

To be honest, I wasn’t even thinking about the retreat during my time there. Something about Holbox and it’s laid back, dreamy atmosphere had me completely absorbed in precious moments with good friends.

Holbox cocos

We sunbathed, swam in the crystal waters, collected shells along the deserted shore and ate freshly caught fish while watching a spectacular sunset.

Holbox sunset

My friend Alison and I explored the tiny island by rickety golf cart and perused the market stores selling handmade jewellery.

Holbox golf cart

It wasn’t until I returned from Holbox and could not stop thinking about the place that it dawned on me that it was the perfect place for my retreat.

Flags Holbox

Like most things in life, the moment I stop looking for something, it tends to find me.

I returned the following month with Tyrhone to check out my short list of accommodation options and the moment I stepped foot into the grounds of Villas Flamingos, I just knew it was the place.

VF grounds

VF pool

Warm, friendly staff, exquisite food, a third floor yoga shala with spectacular 360 degree views, beach front pool, two restaurants (one on the beach and one enclosed with air conditioning) and comfortable rooms (all with at least partial sea views) made the decision extremely easy.

Holbox seafood

Villas Flamingos restaurant

And so, it is with great pleasure and excitement that I invite you to join me and my amazing yoga teacher, Satmeet Kaur, for a week of bliss in one of the world’s lesser known pieces of paradise.

We will travel together from Playa del Carmen to the port of Chiquila (a one and a half hour drive thanks to a brand new road) and take a local ferry to the island (20 minutes), followed by golf cart taxis to the resort.

For the next week (6 nights) we will be practicing yoga and meditation, swimming, relaxing, eating, laughing, dancing and exploring.

Two days on Holbox island felt like a week to me, so I’m thinking that a week is equivalent to a month long vacation!

holbox miles of beach

Holbox square

I just know we are going to have a wonderful, eclectic group of souls so please know that you do not need yoga experience to join. All yoga classes and Divine Dance meditation workshops (yes, we will be dancing!) are open to all ages and experience levels.

We will create a sacred space of unconditional acceptance to encourage you to Shine your unique light.

We will also take a boat tour of the three islands that comprise the ‘Na Balam’ nature reserve on Holbox, which includes a visit to a fresh water lagoon only accessible by sea.

holbox boat

Everyone will also enjoy a beach-front, one hour massage, included in the retreat price.

Optional activities include exploring the island by bicycle or golf cart, horse riding, kayaking, SUPing and more.

All the details of the retreat are here.

If there anything else you want to know, please drop me a line. Also please let me know if I can assist you with your travel plans.

I am so looking forward to meeting some of you (or seeing you again) in Holbox next April!

Hammock sunset


Shine on,

Sarah xxx


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My (surprising) journey with essential oils Sun, 13 Sep 2015 15:16:41 +0000 Keep reading...]]> It was back in Colorado that I discovered essential oils at a health food store and decided to make my own scented sprays. Lavender, lemongrass and rosemary were my oils of choice; lavender to relax, lemongrass to uplift and rosemary to… I wasn’t quite sure except I loved the woody scent.

A while ago a woman who I follow online and have enormous respect for began sharing her experience with doTERRA essential oils.

essential oils dottera

She is a spiritual practice coach, author, Kundalini yoga teacher and entrepreneur form Queensland, Australia.

She is also an ex-party girl who has traded short term highs for long-term bliss.

Over time, as I watched her journey with essential oils become a lifestyle and then a lucrative business, something whispered to me to find out more.

I loved essential oils, but didn’t really know what they could be used for. I began to do my research about doTERRA and oils in general. I was surprised to learn that pure, therapeutic grade essential oils can be used not just aromatically, but topically and internally.

To be honest though, I didn’t give them much credence. I’m pretty weary of sales pitches and since doTERRA is a direct selling company, the image of the dreaded ‘pyramid scheme’ sent alarm bells ringing.

Then, I started seeing doTERRA popping up in my facebook and instagram feeds. Artists, authors, healers and yoga teachers who I admire were using the oils and singing their praises as the purest on the market.

doterra in tune

Some were building teams and as a result, integrating doTERRA into their businesses.

That tiny whisper encouraged me to stay open minded and find out more.

I did my research about the company and its progress. I began devouring Youtube videos about the oils, their uses and the viability of making residual income by sharing them with others.

One video made all the difference. It was from the Australian women I mentioned. She was sharing doTERRA as a business in between yoga classes and snowboarding trips to Japan. And she was succeeding in dispelling the outdated ideas I had about network marketing.

She spoke with integrity and authenticity. There was no ‘hard sell.’ I could relate to her desire for freedom, adventure and abundance while remaining spiritually connected.

She spoke about the most important question to ask yourself before embarking on any business idea or project.

That question is: “Why?”

I began to dive into my concept of why.

Why did I want to learn more about the benefits of essential oils? Why did I want to share the oils and build long-term, residual income? Why, why, why?

My answer included being able to elevate my spiritual practice, my space and my health (physical, mental, emotional) via Mother Nature.

Being able to fly my Mum out to see me anywhere in the world, giving my nieces awesome cultural adventures during their lives, serving my global community in greater ways and continuing this nomadic lifestyle I love so much.

My ‘why’ also included empowering others to live their best lives – physically, emotionally and financially. I thought about all the women I know who are just scraping by and not yet living their dreams due to financial constraints. I wanted to give them an option to change that.

Also, I realised that I am ready to give myself the gift of financial abundance because I finally believe I am worthy of it.

I bought an essential oil kit and in the process, joined an amazing global team of women who support and learn from each other, rather than compete.

I have been using my oils religiously since I got my hands on them. They are an integral part of my day, from when I begin diffusing them during my morning meditation, to adding a drop of Wild Orange to my water bottle, to applying the ‘Deep Blue’ athletic blend to my feet at night.

Sarah Somewhere meditation

DoTERRA wild orange water

During my time in Bali, I thoroughly enjoyed becoming my own shaman, as well as being able to offer natural remedies to others. Peppermint eased motion sickness during the windy drive to the retreat center and a few drops of the digestive blend kept nausea at bay.

Tea tree and lavender helped soothe bug bites and skin irritations, while spritzers made from citrus oils and peppermint kept us alert during meditation.

My energetic nieces loved the ‘magic’ diffuser (while being unaware of my motives – the calming effects of Lavender and Chamomile!).

Diffuser fun

My long flight home was made less daunting with my essential oils in tow. Frankincense is historically known for its many benefits – placing a few drops on my wrist and inhaling it made me feel grounded at 36,000 ft.

Essential oils Mexico

My swollen feet sung when I rubbed some peppermint oil on them in flight and a few drops of lavender on my travel pillow allowed me to get some much needed rest.

doTERRA essential oils flying

I am continuing to learn more about how the oils can be used to create many of the products I usually buy, such as lip balm, moisturizer, perfume and body wash, as well as how to use them in cooking.

I’m in love with these oils and it is a real pleasure to share them with others.

doTERRA essential oils Bali

I’m building a community of essential oil lovers called ‘Essentially Yours’ and I’d love you to join me. Find out more here.

Email me at sarah(dot)somewhere(at)hotmail(dot)com so we can discover your ‘why.’

No hard sell here. It’s all about education, elevation, freedom and FUN. Come play!

Shine On!

Sarah xxx

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Blessed by Bali Wed, 09 Sep 2015 17:06:40 +0000 Keep reading...]]> As I sit here in Mexico sipping Bali coffee and munching on Vegemite toast (having been up since 3AM due to jet lag), my time in Bali almost seems like a dream.

Bali retreatA beautiful, blissful dream.

I’ve hesitated to write about the retreat due to not having anything other than hyperbole to describe my experience.

Magical. Life changing. Blissful. Abundant.

And yet, it is all true.

It was all that, and more.

So much more.

Nothing could have prepared me for having my heart blown open by 18 courageous, unique, loving, amazing women who came together for the retreat.

Or the mind opening, intimate moments we experienced during meditation classes.

Or watching the sunrise from a small wooden fishing boat with one of my oldest, dearest friends as a pod of twenty dolphins cascaded past our gaping mouths.

Bali dolphins

Bali fisherman

bali boat tour

Or looking into the eyes of my mother during a ‘seeing’ exercise and being filled with her maternal love.

Or riding in local bemos to a secret temple in the mountains to participate in a ceremony with a young local priest from the village.

Bali ceremony

The evening before the retreat I told myself, “Just get everyone there and then you can relax,” as I added ticks next to my checklist of names.

We met at a modern hotel in Seminyak which was new, reasonably priced and convenient. Dinner was accompanied by a fire twirling, rather raunchy Balinese dancer and pumping doof doof music.

I logged onto Facebook and received a message from my Mum’s friend (and intended room mate) that she wasn’t let on the flight due to her passport having less than six months’ validity (let that be a lesson to us all). I was completely heart broken for her. I sent out a prayer that she would be guided to the best solution.

In the early hours of the next morning, I lay awake in bed having an ego attack about why the hell I thought I could pull this thing off. Ego attacks never really make sense, but it went something like, Who do you think you are, getting these women to fly across the globe to spend a week meditating with you? Don’t you remember all the terrible things you have done in your life and all the mistakes you have made?

The Gayatri mantra had began to play in the nearby village and was drifting across rice fields through my hotel window. I poured out of bed like a slinky onto the cool tiles. The antithesis of ego is reality, and in that moment, the hard floor beneath me and my beating heart were the only real things I could hold on to.

With both hands on my chest, I allowed my heartbeat to drown out my negative thoughts.

I reflected on all the amazing women from five different countries I’d met that night. ‘But look at the beauty it has created,’ was the message which arose within me. I let the tears flow down my cheeks at the realization of this truth which has permeated my entire journey.

And the retreat sure was beautiful.

Bali offering

Every, single soul who joined was an integral part of the experience.

New friendships were formed, old friendships were deepened. Most important were the friendships cultivated with our inner selves.

Bali ladies

Bali retreat friendship

All the women experienced shifts in the way they saw themselves.

I experienced a powerful moment of self-forgiveness, delivered by Divine Love.

And then, there was dancing.

And laughing. LOTS of laughing. And paddle boarding and snorkeling and cooking classes and playing with local kids.

bali local kids

There was also the superb eating, which was our main activity of the day and the topic upon which most conversations were based.

There were a few pesky mosquito bites and a bit of sunburn (welcome to the tropics!).

There maaaaay have been reports of a toothpaste eating rat, but I’m not willing to confirm that one (I’ll leave that to you, Kristine ūüėČ )

There was definitely full-moon night swimming and whirl-pooling which concluded with one beautiful lady declaring it ‘the best night of her life!’

Many of us concurred.

For me, it was truly one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve been blessed with, thanks to the group, the peaceful and secluded location, the gentle, kind, staff of the resort and of course, our amazing teacher, Gisela von Keiser-Grenkowitz, who yet again blew me away with her presence, wisdom and radiance.

Sarah Somewhere Bali retreatI learned so much.

Most of all, I learned that I am on the right path and always have been; that the periods of pain and confusion make the joy and clarity so much more meaningful and that this journey is taking me exactly where I am meant to go with the people I’m meant to go with.

Bali retreat girls

bali retreat temple

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Thank you Courtney, Kelly, Penny, Mum, Amyris, Annette, Lauren, Kristine, Celia, Jayne, Tara, Irene, Leigh, Rosan, Jennifer, Isabelle, Bisa, Gisela and all the staff of the Bali Mandala for an amazing experience.

And thank you to my wonderful community of friends and readers for your warm wishes and blessings during my trip. I truly appreciate you all.

Om Shanti….

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Thoughts before Bali Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:31:56 +0000 Keep reading...]]> I fly out to Bali on Sunday. It seems like yesterday I had the (then) crazy idea of organizing a meditation retreat, but it was a year ago.

In a week and a half, I’ll meet up with 17 women from 5 countries and drive through the heart Bali, through rice terraces and temples to the village of Bondalem where we will spend seven days in relaxation, reflection and retreat.

bali statue

Blessed doesn’t cut how I feel right now. When I reflect on the group of people joining me, I am filled with gratitude, love and awe.

I know most of these women personally. My Mum. One of my dearest friends I’ve known since I was 10 years old.¬†Some amazing souls I met on my recovery journey. A few kindred spirits¬†I met in Mexico a few years ago and kept in touch with. Some new friends who I am beyond excited to meet.

From having the idea, to tentatively putting it out into the world to watching it unfold and attract the people it was destined for, I have learned a lot.

I believe more than ever in what I am here for and more confident in my abilities to make it happen.

She believed

image by lifeinlayers

It’s also really fitting that I recently wrapped up my second ‘Journey to Shine’ e-retreat with 18 amazing souls (some of whom are also coming to Bali!).

The message of the e-retreat has resonated deeply within me this time, and every time I share it I am more sure that embracing our imperfect journey is a pathway to liberation.

I care deeply for the people I had the pleasure of working with on both e-retreats. They are SUCH talented, soulful, heart-centered beings. I saw so much of myself in them. My self-doubt, my fear, my shame. My potential.

By encouraging them to listen to their inner voice and embrace their light, I was able to do the same, and finished the e-retreat different to when I started.

It was a wonderful experience for me because to be honest, I’ve been a little uneasy on the internet lately. There is just so much ‘noise’ out there and I have become a lot more sensitive to what I read, see and hear. It’s something I will be continuing to look at so that I can create a comfortable balance for myself, but the fact remains that it has allowed me to attract a truly beautiful tribe of people who I am so blessed to be a part of.

Deepak Chopra says that technology is neutral and¬†our experience of it is totally dependent¬†on¬†how we use it. I’ve learned a lot since I started writing this blog (often, painfully!) and am more committed than ever to use it to elevate, support and uplift others.

I feel that I am in a place of massive change. There is an energy and momentum brewing; the result of all the soul searching, yearning, dreaming and fear analysis I have done for the last few years.

I’ve learned that my ability to step into my light and live the calling of my soul is deeply connected to my level of¬†self-love. I have been diving into the concept of self-love this year, practicing unconditional self-compassion for my short comings and creating healthier boundaries for myself.

It is working.

By becoming my own best friend, advocate and cheer leader, I am less reliant on the opinions of others. I am no longer waiting for permission from the world to become the connecter, teacher and healer I know, deep down, I am here to be.

I’ve learned that when we embrace our light, we encourage others to do the same.

I am also investing in myself, and have some really exciting experiences ahead that will encourage my expansion.

One of them is Bali, a place I am so happy to experience again. The fact that my sister, brother in law, two nieces and two aunts are meeting my Mum and I for a week of family fun after the retreat is an extra special bonus.

Of course, there is some apprehension on my part. I’ve changed, a lot, and it will be interesting to see if I will be able to remain flexible and centered in myself.

The imperfect journey continues, as do the lessons.

I’m really happy and excited about what the next few¬†weeks will bring and am grateful to you all for your¬†support so far.

Shine on,

Sarah xxx

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Yoga at the lights Sun, 09 Aug 2015 13:07:06 +0000 Keep reading...]]> I’m sitting in my (icily air conditioned!) car at an intersection south of Playa del Carmen. It is Saturday morning and the sun has well and truly risen over the horizon, casting its warmth over the jungle, the buildings, the beaches, the highways, the monkeys and the people.

I love Saturday mornings. It’s the time I attend¬†a Kundalini yoga class with my favorite teacher. A few of my friends have started¬†going and we often converge afterwards for juice or scrambled eggs and coffee.

eggs playaSince experiencing the benefits of Kundalini yoga, morning ‘sadhana’ has become a part of my daily routine, consisting of some basic movements, breathing exercises, mantra and meditation.

It is a holy practice for me which feels like a prayer and not an exercise regime.


Tuning into classes at Golden Bridge and Spirit Voyage

The meditations are powerful and chanting mantra has connected me to the¬†Infinite in a more visceral way. I feel it rather than just believe in it. It is part of me and I am part of it, which is the ‘union’ yoga¬†provides a pathway to.

I am singing along to the music in my car, dressed in white clothing with a white scarf wrapped around my head. Rather than being a (rather odd) fashion statement as I had originally thought, white clothing extends the magnetic field of the body (the aura). Wrapping the head in natural cloth protects the energy which rises through the crown chakra at the top of the skull during practice.

A stream of smoke catches my eye as it drifts out of a car window to my right. I see a hand flicking cigarette ash onto the road and recoil, not in judgement, but at the memory of how it felt to smoke on a Saturday morning. The burn in the lungs, the nausea as the smoke hits the stomach, the focus it brings to be doing something, however destructive.

Ingesting substances to regulate my mental and emotional state was the norm for a large part of my life. I totally get it. Smoking or drinking or taking something to change how we feel works, at least temporarily, which is why so many people do it.

We all want to feel better. More calm. More alive. More free. We all want to feel less lonely and connected to something greater.

That is the reason I drank and smoked for so long. Not become addicted or unhealthy or miserable, but to feel better than I did before.

I believe that everyone is looking for a solution to themselves. I do. We all want to feel good.

We all want to be happy.

The Dalai Lama was at a restaurant once and his waitress asked him about the meaning of life.

His reply was, “That is easy. The meaning of life is happiness. The difficult part is figuring out how to get there.”

Behind the car with the smoke trailing out of it is a small red hatchback with the windows up. A young man inhales through an electronic cigarette and exhales a milky vapor into the container of the car.

Life is continually evolving better solutions.

We do what we know to do until we discover something better. And then something better. And better. It doesn’t end, this discovery of what brings true happiness; true peace; true freedom.

I¬†know that I am no different to these people inhaling nicotine on a Saturday morning, I’ve just discovered a way which works better for me.

And I smile at the three of us, converged at a traffic light, all doing what we know how to do to be happy.

Sarah Somewhere Kundalini yoga

There is still space on our meditation and yoga retreat in Bali later this month!

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The Boy Who Could Fly Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:30:16 +0000 Keep reading...]]> One of my favourite eighties films ever. And let’s face it, there were some damn good eighties films.

Flying has been a constant theme in my life so far.

I experienced my first flight in utero, when my heavily pregnant mum traveled from the dust-filled town of Meekatharra in northern Western Australia to the big smoke of Perth to give birth to me.

Just a few months later I was on a plane heading to the other side of the country to meet my Nana for the first time.

During primary school summer holidays, my sister and I would travel as ‘unaccompanied minors’ to stay with our Nana in Adelaide, South Australia for a month of delicious silverside sandwiches, toast with apricot jam and real coke, while Mum worked as a teller at the local ANZ bank.

I would also fly around the country attending national dancing competitions, dressed in a state team tracksuit made from parachute material (it was the nineties).

I guess it kinda made sense that I would end up working as a flight attendant. I loved the forward motion of zig zagging the globe, until jet lag, apathy, addiction and some re-evaluation stopped me in my tracks.

Soon enough, I was ‘funemployed’ – back in the air again with a one way ticket to Cambodia and a vague dream about a life of adventure, creativity and meaning.

Three and a half years later and I am currently experiencing my longest stint on terra firma for some time (except for this one exhilarating exception).

Since returning from the UK in January 2013, post Rickshaw Run, I have been a land-lover, putting down some roots in Mexico which I have regularly packed into my car and toured the roads of Belize, Guatemala and the US with.

And yet, the flying theme has never been more present in my life. Since Tyrhone’s foray into paramotoring, I have been getting initiated as air traffic controller, ground engineer, crew psychologist and training support.

Boy who could fly Puerto Morelos

It has been the wildest ride yet, let me tell you.

Fear has become my most regularly felt emotion and while that is actually nothing new, the stakes are higher than ever as I now put my faith in a half-millimeter thick piece of that damn parachute material to carry the life of my beloved.

My whole life, I’ve never been scared of flying… until now.

And honestly, I don’t know that I’ll ever not be.

But like all things that are scarey, watching Tyrhone get his wings has been one of the most remarkable journeys I have had the privilege of witnessing.

It has changed me, as well as him.

We were both put through the ringer, being extremely under-prepared for the emotional, mental, physical and financial pressure it would place upon us.

We were also unprepared for how it would crack open both our lives, allowing us a glimpse of our limitlessness (which reminds me of another great film).

For Tyrhone, who grew up poor and uneducated in rural South Africa, learning to fly has completely altered his perspective on his personal power and capabilities.

Nothing has come easy for him, nothing, and yet, through not giving up, he has catapulted his life into a dimension of existence many only dream of.

He wouldn’t tell you this, of course. He thinks he just got lucky. From where I stand, then, luck must involve a shit load of heartache, hard work and determination.

It’s been a real honor to watch him transform into the man he was always meant to be.

Boy who could fly mexico

It’s been such a TRIP to watch this dream evolve from a pretty ‘out there’ idea (which, to be honest, I thought would die a quick death along with many of our other ideas), into a visceral reality.

It’s been so, so good for me to watch this journey unfold and to stay on the cheer leading team when I was well and truly out of enthusiasm for this obscure¬† – and stressful, and expensive – sport.

I’ve had my toes frozen off in Montana, almost died of heat exhaustion in Mexico and experienced heart palpitations in California. I’ve faced my own selfishness and through that, have become intimate with my unconditional love for this guy I share my life with.

I read a lot of inspirational books about the archetypal ‘hero’s journey’, but nothing comes close to living side by side with one.

Watching Tyrhone follow this dream and in the process discover his greatest passion in life has become one of the biggest inspirations on my own path.

There have been many, many low points. Times we both thought about giving up on the dream, and even on each other. But like all good movies, just when you think the hero has been beaten, something or someone swoops in to rescue him and save the day.

Paramotoring, as it turns out, has rescued us both from complacency and mediocrity.

It has encouraged me to reach further and dream bigger dreams for myself. It has encouraged me to ‘screw the expense’ when something really calls to me.

It has shown me that I can do anything I want to do, as long as I don’t give up.

Most of all, it has given me the biggest kick to see this guy have so much fun and get so lit up by something. I often say that if he were any more relaxed he’d be comatose, so to see him get amped up (and slightly shit-scared) about flying is a pleasant surprise.

God knows, he deserves every joy-filled, adrenaline-pumping moment.


The truth is, we all do. We just have to believe ourselves worthy of a phenomenal existence and move toward it with everything we have. When we break through the walls of resistance and fear, we realize that the life we want is actually the one we are meant to live.

You can subscribe to Tyrhone’s YouTube channel here.

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Knee Deep in Paradise Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:51:49 +0000 Keep reading...]]> It’s no secret that I love the Caribbean coast of Mexico. But it’s ‘that time of year’ down here, when the humidity and temperatures threaten to rise above my enthusiasm for the place I currently call home.

I’ve heard rumors about it being one of the hottest Julys on record, and I haven’t needed to quantify that theory formally because my core body temperature has already confirmed it.

This, however, is nothing new to me.

This time last year we were house sitting in La Penita de Jaltemba on the west coast which, we believe, was more humid than the Yucatan.

Tyrhone almost died from the humidity last year, but I kinda took it on as a challenge.

No matter how hot it gets during a Mexican summer, I do actually thrive more in heat than I do in cold. It’s just that this year there are a few factors which are adding to my ‘Summer Insanity,’ not the least of which is that our car A/C decided to quit. After several visits to the auto clima¬†shop over the last two weeks, we were only able to get the compressor replaced today (hence me now sitting at a delightfully air conditioned cafe as I edit this).

As we are currently house sitting in Puerto Aventuras, a gated community ten miles south of Playa, I am spending much more time in my car. We live there, but my life (and my heart) continues on in Playa, with yoga classes to attend and people to meet and cheap tacos to eat.

I also run a recovery meeting in Playa on Sunday nights, which basically means I open the doors, get the A/C cranked and make the coffee.

Perspective is everything, so I know that mine needs constant vigilance.

Just so you can see just how spoiled I am being, this view from the luxurious apartment we are currently house sitting is my prize for spending extra time in my car. No, I don’t expect you to feel sorry for me!

View paradiseBut this heat, it does warp my perspective, causing me to question what I am doing at times. My old default of wanting to be somewhere other than where I am has been rearing its head, which is just my ego wanting me to miserable.

Thankfully, I know it’s tricks. Through writing, talking, meditating and a healthy sense of humour, I am able to expose it for the fraud it is.

Good friends help immensely.

My friend Justin was recently here for a month, and it was such a welcome change in the routine to chat it up with him late into the night at coffee shops and taco joints around Playa del Carmen.

Unlikely friendsI first met Justin here in Playa at a Christmas lunch in 2013, and though we couldn’t be more different (he – a chain smoking republican from Oklahoma, me – a yoga loving liberal), those differences do not prevent us from enjoying each others’ company and may actually be the reason I found myself in fits of laughter that I haven’t experienced for a while.

He even came to a yoga class one day, which almost made me fall over in shock. Of course, we had to take the obligatory photos of him for the ‘folks back home'; turban encased and green juice swilling, having ‘been converted’ by a single class of Kundalini.

JustinSince he used to live here, I knew I could comfortably talk to him about some of the things which were wearing on my zen. He listened intently, swatting cigarette smoke away with a flick of his Cartier-clad wrist, before replying in his thick southern accent:

“Guuurrrrl, sounds like you are what I like to call, ‘Knee Deep in Paradise.’ When you live through a summer here, you’ll understand what I mean.”

That was IT.

I didn’t even need an explanation.

That statement summed it up perfectly.

A few weeks before, I’d been talking to my friend Wendy whose house we are looking after. She was (justifiably) concerned about the mildew situation of her closet down here.

We were discussing how this ‘Summer Insanity’ I am suffering must be a scientifically measurable condition; something to do with the barometric pressure affecting the brain… or something.

Like I said, I have managed to keep my sense of humour around to see me through the summer blues, thanks to a community of people who well and truly ‘get it.’

Another friend of ours recently moved to Puebla for a year, and at her ‘hasta luego, no adios’ dinner she was expressing her mixed feelings about leaving Playa del Carmen after living here for more than twenty years.

Someone asked her why Playa del Carmen casts a love-spell on some people and spits out others. She replied very matter of factly: “It all depends on how you treat her. If you focus on the negative things, that’s what you’ll see. If you appreciate the good things, that is what you will receive more of.”

Pretty much sums up how life works, really, not just summers in Mexico. I may be ‘Knee Deep in Paradise,’ but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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All I can say is bring on Bali!!!! Join me on retreat starting August 23!

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A Moment of Clarity in Bali Sun, 19 Jul 2015 14:20:48 +0000 Keep reading...]]> The following is an exerpt from week two of my ‘Journey to Shine’ e-retreat, titled ‘Moments of Clarity.’

Six months later I was on a yoga retreat in Bali. I had done yoga on and off for years, but mostly for the physical benefits and had never delved into the spiritual side much. 
The retreat involved long periods of meditation and I had never sat still like that before. For five days we meditated and practiced light yoga for almost four hours per day. It was very challenging for me to sit with my thoughts and feelings for so long, and yet I felt like I was getting to know myself a little better each day.

Even though the retreat had been challenging for me, I was relishing the new experience and could definitely feel some healing occurring. I was thriving in the environment of peaceful introspection and yet, whenever I thought about returning to my life in Australia, I was filled with a rising discomfort which I could not quite pin down.
I was working as a flight attendant for a major Australian airline and although I enjoyed aspects of the job such as decent pay and flexible hours, I was no longer happy in the role. I was forcing myself to show up with a smile on my face and I had begun to resent being at work most of the time. What’s more, I had come to believe that it was normal to feel like that.
I was living in a nice apartment in an inner city suburb. It was a place which I filled with soft furnishings and IKEA furniture, but I never felt comfortable there. Something was missing.

For most of my life I had grasped at the security of a steady paycheck and owning an apartment in order to appease up my fear and insecurity. But nothing worked. Nothing felt right.

I felt out of touch with who I truly was.
Many of my friends were getting married and some were starting to have children. I didn’t want those things, but had started to think that maybe there was something wrong with me because of that.

I loved my boyfriend and our relationship had gone through a lot of healing as a result of my recovery, but my head told me that because neither of us wanted to settle down, get married and have children, that perhaps our love wasn’t real. I wondered if in fact I should want the things that other people seemed to want.
One night during the retreat, our group gathered in a sharing circle around a beautiful floral mandala, complete with flickering tea light candles. When it came to my turn to share, I stared into the mandala searching for the right words for what I was feeling and what came out was this:

‚ÄúI feel like I’ve been asleep and have woken up in someone else’s life.‚ÄĚ
As I said those words, a powerful moment occurred in which I knew that my external life was not a true reflection of my internal one; that all my grasping for security, validation and love through possessions and accomplishments had left me empty.

In that moment I became aware that my problem was not that I didn’t want what others seemed to want, but that I had been trying to squeeze my life into a box that did not fit me.

That moment of clarity occurred almost exactly four years ago.

For those of you who have been following my writing from the beginning, you know how things have played out since then.

I no longer feel like I did on that balmy evening in Bali in 2011.

My life has been completely transformed since that night. Through a lot of doubt, fear, tears, melt-downs and leaps of faith, I am more fulfilled than I ever thought I would be able to be.

This boyfriend of mine is too.

What has been key for me has been getting honest with myself. I’ve been blessed with several of these moments of clarity in my life which have woken me up to the truth and altered the course of my life for the better.

That is why I meditate and do yoga; to connect with the guiding presence of pure awareness which exists within me.

In just over one month, I’ll be returning to the Bali Mandala resort for the ‘Return to Wholeness’ retreat.

A couple of the women who are attending were present with me around the floral mandala that night.

My Mum, one of my dearest childhood friends and many new friends will be experiencing their first retreat ever.

The countdown is on in our private facebook group and there are sixteen very excited women from Australia, Canada, the US and Saudi who are looking forward to meeting each other for a week of reflection and relaxation in one of the most special places I have ever had the pleasure to visit.

I feel very, very blessed to be able to share this experience with them all and wonder what moments of clarity they will encounter which will alter the course of their lives for the better.

There is one place available if you would like to join us. Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions.


Shine on,

Sarah xxx

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