I Lead a Double Life

Confession time.

I am not who I say I am.

If you’ve been to this website before, you’ll read posts about meditation. Slowing down. Living simply. Enjoying your surroundings. Getting out of your comfort zone, your head, your country.

Lombok Quiet

However, every year, when I return to the States. I do something that horrifies me.

I turn into the person I left behind before my _____xyz____ adventure. I value monetary gain over my personal wellness. I work myself into an oblivion to the point where my body revolts. I don’t meditate. I don’t practice yoga. I purchase things I don’t need. I complain about clients, customers, patrons. I forget that running water is a blessing, that drinking from the tap is a miracle, and that life does not revolve around reality television.

In short- I fall prey to the monster that is capitalism, consumerism and status. I stop listening to myself.

But I “need” to. I spend a lot (sometimes over half) of the year traveling, writing, and exploring. This allows me to create  this website, connections and freelance opportunities. Working my tail off at home funds those plane tickets, pays my bills, and fosters the opportunity to discover it all.

However, when I am home, I start slipping back into the storyline that was mine before I left.

There is something inside of me that smiles every time I take that extra shift, buy that beer, click Add to Cart. It is my ego. It is the seed that is planted by every advertising company, every boss, every higher up that pushes me to do more. It motivates me to stay late, to count that extra dollar and feel satisfaction for earning it.

Out of the 98 mornings I have here on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I’ve eaten a meal sitting down 9 times. I usually consume breakfast through a straw, out of a mason jar, while driving my car to whatever job. Lunch is shoved in while I complete other tasks. I eat my dinners standing in a bustling kitchen, over a trash can, at 10:30 PM.

I forget to look for the sunset, to feel the breeze, to sit silently.

Dusk Loneliness

I realize that I post one thing, do another.

Here is my take on what needs to be done:

Do something every day, every week, every month that helps me live my dream. Instead of stopping and waiting for everything to fall in to place, what if I just started now?

What if you did too?

Fotogenic Phriday: Beauty at Dusk

I commit my life to independent travel. I commit to follow my erratic desires to travel to far flung islands, to connect with local cultures, to eat different food, to hear different music, to pursue unridden waves, to witness sunsets, to love, to write, to experience what it is to be a human.

Along the way, I found that I have a thing for sunsets. Just like a first love, I can’t shake that feeling when I see them, I want nothing more than to revel in the beauty, to take it all in. What makes sunsets beautiful is that they are always changing. Every moment of a sunset is a gradual change, a constant reminder that life is fleeting, that what was once there will never BE again.

Aside from the hue of the sky, erratic clouds and landscapes, I find that people at dusk are the most beautiful. Whether at work or at play, the time of the day when the sun has gone to rest casts a specific light on everyone.

My grandmother used to say that everyone looks good by candlelight.

Lembongan
A seaweed farmer on Nusa Lembongan brings in his harvest.

Well I think everyone looks good by sunset-light.

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Collaboration Station: Yeah Vinyasa Yoga

Why do you think you did all those group projects in school?

Because collaborating with people in life, work, love and creativity is how you thrive in this world. Our ability to engage and create with others is important.

At the beginning of this year my dear friend Daniela, of Yeah Vinyasa Yoga, showed up in Indonesia at my doorstep. We’ve somehow landed on the same side of the planet yet again. From Costa Rica, to Mexico, to the U.S. to a small island in Southeast Asia… we’ve daydreamed, played, and brainstormed together along the way, knowing that at some point we’d be working together.

Daniela began Yeah Vinyasa Yoga as a way to teach her craft around the world and meet others who shared similar passions. She interviews therapists, yogis and healers to hear what they have to say.

This January when we created a video series featuring a multi-talented physical therapist-massuese-yogi. The first of the series, Tie&Fly, is a look inside the strange and wonderful world of AcroYoga and therapeutic bondage (did I really just write that?).

Tie and Fly Series

I was first introduced to the technique at a wonderful festival at the Green School in Bali. From far away it looked like what I’ve seen so many times before, a human precariously balanced on another’s hands and feet, whipping around with incredible balance and strength. When I got closer I realized that the “flyer” was tied up. Tied the F up. I didn’t want to stare, but I did anyway. It’s not something you see everyday. Hands bound with red rope behind his back, shoulder blades drawn out, chest open, eyes closed.

One month later and I was lying in the grass next to a pool with my camera trained on a man, bound with the same red rope, eyes closed. Here’s what happened:
Tie and Fly SeriesTie and Fly SeriesSmiles

The art of Tie&Fly – Subtitulado from Yeah Vinyasa Yoga on Vimeo.

To see the full Tie & Fly therapy work, watch this:

Tie&Fly from Yeah Vinyasa Yoga on Vimeo.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from YVY and Global Frolic. Next up is some underwater action.

For more information about the physiotherapist, check out his website.

Segar

Lombok Landscapes: A Photo Essay

Mid February of 2014 brought a major change of scenery. I moved my home base from the West coast of Bali, Indonesia to the neighboring island to the East, Lombok. While it is relatively close geographically, the two islands are vastly different. I felt weary taking my camera out for the two months I lived here. An impoverished population just didn’t seem down with an expensive DSLR in their face, so here are some quick snaps I shot from my hip, back of my bike, and from underneath my sarong.

 

Buffalo Herding
A man and his herd

Moving from Bali to Lombok crosses the Wallace Line: an invisible division between Asia and Australasia/Oceania. The evidence is in the landscape, the fauna, flora and animals seen on Indonesian islands East of Bali. Hence the buffalo.

 

Driving to the beach
Views from the back seat

Lombok had an untouched quality about it. After all the development and Westernization of Bali, I was so pleased to see rolling hills and farmland.

 

Sarong
Along the beaches of the Southern coast, this view is a popular one. Crystal blue waters, green hills and “hawkers” selling sarongs, bracelets and t-shirts. Buyers beware of the up-sell.

 

Downtown Kuta Lombok
Downtown Kuta, Lombok began its tourist climb as a destination for adventurous surfers, hence the surf shops. More recent changes to infrastructure are bringing in more backpackers, possibly overcrowding the tiny town. In just ten years it went from a semi-dangerous desolate fishing village with little accommodation to the new hotspot for Aussie and European backpackers and villa goers. While you won’t get robbed at knife point at the ATM anymore, it is still wise to guard your money and belongings, as it is a bit more “Wild West” here.

Buffalos and Bikes
Buffalos and bikes

Palm tree symmetry still baffles me.

 

West
I still think about this wave. It was generally unsurfable, too far, too big and too unknown, but a girl can dream.

 

 

Paddy Passerby
I took this my first day from the backseat of our taxi. I was so excited to see greenery after all the concrete in Bali that I couldn’t contain myself from sticking my camera out the window.

 

Fish Ladies
Markets are BIG in Indonesia. Fish, squid and octopus fresh off the boat. This market was so close I could smell it from the bedroom… seriously.

 

Gerupuk Landscape
This is the most popular and widely known South Lombok surf spot, so I don’t feel I’m ruining any secrecy by posting this. A perfect day of peeling rights.

 

Aiden 10
Aiden

The people, oh the people! I know the title says “Landscapes” but I cannot help myself.

At first the Sasak people seem a bit colder than the friendly Balinese, but once you show respect and a general openness to trying to speak Bahasa, they will open up in ways you could not imagine. Lombok is an island of conservative Muslims, so covering up (women I’m looking at you), keeping PDA modest, and demonstrating a willingness to connect will bring you far.

This goes for every place on your itinerary:

Travel with respect, earn respect.

 

Lombok is a land of intense contradictions, much to the beat of Indonesia’s drum. Unparalleled beauty and unforgiving poverty, conservative Islam and backpacker bungalows, tourism and starvation. The disparity between the pros and cons of the island confused me, it upset me to see so much pain and desperation, yet at the same time I felt proud to know the people, to understand the necessity of their everyday actions. Everything in life balances delicately on a fulcrum of industry and presence.

Regardless of what happens to Lombok next, there will always be ways it will excite the adventurer, please the beach seeker and fulfill the surfer’s dreams.

 

Where my Indonesian journey began.

Where I fell apart.

Where I put myself back together. (Not necessarily in that order..)

Monday Madness?

The beginning of the week can be tough. Like really tough. Like yourbestfriendisgettingmarried-you’rebroke-noinspiration-stuckinarut-feelingsick-notimeoff tough. But sometimes all you really need to do is just flip your perspective. If things are all upside down, maybe you should be too.

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So now, I’m going to go hang my body off the side of my bed and let all the blood rush back to my head.

My Top Web Resources

We all love the internet for so many reasons. Cat videos, food blogs, online shopping, ebooks, streaming movies and personal blogs are all the rage. All the time.

Above all, it is a wealth of information available for free, at any time of the day, any time of the week, whenever, wherever.  It used to be that you had to take class, buy a book or visit a library to learn a trade, to read up on someone’s experiences and lessons, to gain knowledge. Now all you need is a browser and some time.

As Global Frolic has grown, I’ve found a lot of you asking for certain information that I  don’t have on hand and I end up referring you to another website. To make the acquisition of information faster for all of us, here’s a list of my favorite websites, blogs, inspiration and information stations.


Travel

ExpertVagabond

Matt is the ultimate adventurer and captures it beautifully in his photographs and writing. A professional photographer turned professional vagabond. He also introduced me to Osprey via a hilarious story of Gringo’s Revenge.

Go Backpacking

The greatest resource. Seriously. David has his shit on lockdown. After an epic RTW (round the world trip) he started this website, it now has many authors as well. The destination list alone is encyclopedic.

Travel Blog Success

Also owned by David (above) and Michael. It’s aim is to support and educate a community of newbie to expert bloggers on anything from web design to headlines to monetizing your site. This is HANDS DOWN the best tool I’ve ever used in cultivating my business.

Legal Nomads

Former lawyer turned international foodie. I love Jodie. I love international food. I love photography. I love Legal Nomads.

The Everywhereist

She’s too good to be true, like your favorite sitcom star but way more accessible and without a script.

WaitButWhy

International and controversial hilarity. I still don’t know if this counts as a travel website but whatever.

Will Peach

Witty and condescending in a way that makes you question yourself, one of my only blogger newsletters that cuts to my core.

Alex in Wanderland

Alex provides an honest perspective on travels, budgeting and living off the grid. And her photography is spot on.

Nomadic Matt

Another big name in the travel blog biz. Extensive writing, blogging and traveling make this guy a very knowledgeable source.

Her Packing List

I don’t visit this site much anymore, but it was an amazing guide when I started traveling. From what to pack for ANY trip to luggage that is slash-proof and traveler tested.. it’s a solid resource.


Travel // Lifestyle

Salt Gypsy

My personal hero, inspiration and surf buddy: Danny. She’s the ORIGINAL surf leggings queen, grab a pair for the salty water, yoga, or running. If you haven’t noticed, we’ve met.

Goldfish Kiss

Rebekah Steen, artist, blogger, occasional bikini model and overall beach life inspiration. If this doesn’t make you hot and sweaty in the middle of winter I just don’t want to know you.

The Sea Kin

Surf, Lifestyle, Activism, Ecology and Community. So much good stuff going on here, I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know who’s behind it, or maybe I do, who knows. Just see for yourself.

Dirtbag Darling

Johnnie on Adventure, surfing, rock climbing, and health. Why say more?

Rebel on a Rainbow

A very adventurous couple living the van life in Aus & NZ.

GypSea Love 

Someone I’ve admired afar through social media, one day I hope to meet her and thank her for the insane inspiration. Her website is also drool-worthy. The photography is top-notch. She’s got style and beautiful surf shots. And beautifully insane surfing style. Top 5 girlcrushes.

The Drifter

Ming Nomchom, a surf and underwater photographer from Byron, Australia… enough to make you pack all your things up and buy a new board.


Unrelated to Travel // Seriously Related to Life

Traveling the world is great, but becoming the person you want to be takes more than that.

Raptitude

Getting better at being human. Seriously. An honest and open look at creating a more meaningful life. Read up.

Motivated Mastery

I found this website through the manifesto and proceeded to fall in love with Paul’s writing. His e-book and daily writing are some of the best out there.

The Minimalists

Discontent with their lives, even though they had “everything” they dropped that “everything” and found something.

Zen Pencils

An amazing cartoonist realized his dream of.. cartooning. He takes inspirational quotes and turns them into full-fledged cartoons. Not only entertaining but uplifting, challenging and interesting as well.

Elephant Journal

You’re one stop-shop for all things mindful. It’s an online magazine, so get ready for some serious variety… covering everything from see-through-yoga-pants, spirituality and the woes of drinking milk.

Rebelle Society

Elephant Journals more saucy, rebellious and artistic sister… Some seriously creative minds come together to artfully create rebellion… or rebel creatively… or….

No Vacation Required

Decide to live deliberately. Inspiring and real-time lifestyle changes!

Thoughts Become Things

This is a serious inspirational website. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like a good ol kick in the butt once a day in your mailbox, then I strongly suggest this.


As with anything and everything, this list is not exhaustive and will change. Refer back to it over time and check out the new sites in town.

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Meditation: What’s The Point?

It’s all the rage.

Meant to save you from your brain.

To calm your nerves.

To shut off.

To refresh.

For a long time, that wasn’t what was happening for me.

Trying to teach yourself meditation techniques you read about is kind of like baking a souffle: you have all the ingredients and none of the technique. You follow instructions but still it all falls flat.

Whenever I sat down and closed my eyes: BOOM goes my crazy. I was buzzing, thinking, frantic, scattered,  my thoughts were moving, moving, moving. I closed my eyes and tried to think about nothing. Or count my breaths. Or repeat a mantra. I usually came up short. Standing back up, wide-eyed and more frazzled than before. I always wondered about the people who seemed so calm and claimed it was from daily mediation… seriously? I was crazed after my attempts.

My mind always works. It just runs on and on. Sometimes in circles, sometimes linear, sometimes at a goal… but always running. It even jogs in place, just to keep me occupied, never resting nor faltering. I’ve had moments where the run slows to a jog, maybe a walk… only to pick up pace again.

I know this isn’t unique to me. There wouldn’t be so many self-help, advice, or how-to’s out there if it wasn’t an issue. Calming the mind, reaching a state of inner peace… it all sounds so lovely and so… fucking hard.

The truth is that it is hard.

Our minds are hardwired to entertain us all damn day. If you spoke out loud your stream of consciousness, you’d be incarcerated or institutionalized depending on your mood. The “monkey mind” is always grabbing at branches, swinging from tree to tree, looking for something.

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My mind scared me with how quickly can take a thought like “I should meditate this morning” and end up in a dark alley, behind the dumpster with thoughts surrounding the origin of the lizard poop on my floor.

Does the lizard poop from the ceiling and it drops and lands in that shape? Or does it slither along pooping while walking. Does it take any effort or is it like the pigeons back home, just dropping it when the urge arises? If pigeons were just a different color people would love them. Maybe purple? Exotic. Everyone loves exotic. Peacocks. Pigeoncocks. No. Why is there so much lizard poop?  How did it get INSIDE my kindle? How many poops a day? The goat poop is weird too. Little tiny balls. Balls. BREAKFAST! I’m hungry.

I edited the above paragraph to fit on this page and give you a small snapshot. I would’ve gone on… but I don’t want to lose too many friends and readers. I’m reading American Psycho and an Anna Quindlen book about spousal abuse now, so it would’ve gotten weird up there.

My inner dialogue is a mix of schizoid tree-to-tree swinging, self talk, fantasies and a running essay for this website. None of which really achieves much throughout the day.

Anyways, my point is- what is my point? I’ve lost myself already.

The mind is always working

The point of meditation is not to stop it, not to simply observe but to focus it. Train it. Like going to the gym, lifting weights, focusing on one activity and one muscle group. The same thing, but your brain. And your brain controls IS your perception of the world.

Your mind is your world.

Finally, after a few years of mild internal insanity, I’ve started to make some progress with the help of a particular course and lineage of meditation. Want to start? Get working. I recently attended a course in Java at a Dhamma Vipassana Centre to learn the methods of Vipassana meditation. Stay tuned for full disclosure on how that went over with my monkey mind.

Fotogenic Phriday: Welcome Back!

We would like to welcome back a series that died out over the last few months. In an effort to focus more energy on developing this website and other Global Frolic endeavors, Fotogenic Phriday was neglected.

Third-world internet connection stops us from publishing more at the moment, so for now, this is a picture of the opening day of fishing season in Lombok, Indonesia.

Opening Day Fishing

For Photogenic Friday fans, we will be featuring a new photograph once a month from now on.

HOLSTEE

Wake UP

 

If you haven’t heard of Holstee… hold onto your hats. The revolutionary movement of mindful thinking, passionate living and dream weaving curates a blog, created a manifesto to change the world and empowers people around the world to pursue a life of meaning.  They’ve recently tackled the painful assumption that those who pursue their passions as careers are self-indulgent and naive.

I’ve read a few articles online in the past year or so that have struck me down so poignantly with the “Generation Y is a bunch of whiney spoiled brats who only want to do what is fun” theme. On the other hand, Holstee and other websites and movements have helped me realize that doing what I love is more than okay, it is what I NEED to do.

Challenging the status quo and leaving behind everything that I am “supposed” has allowed me to help others and contribute to my community in more ways than I could have imagined. My personal happiness is directly related to my productivity and ability to give freely to others around me.

Reject being a cog in a cubicle not because you are ungrateful for an opportunity to work, or because you only want to have fun, but because upholding the status quo is unacceptable.

-Tylea Richard, Head of Production at Holstee

 

To read more about being “awake”, find your way to the Holstee web page, check out the blog and peep their manifesto. It inspired thousands of folks to drop the meaningless shit and find what calls them. It can help you too.

Global Frolic is Taking a Break

Vipassana

to see things how they really are

Praying

A Public Service Announcement

This is for all my lovely readers. I’m engaging in a cease and desist of mental actions for a while. A Global Frolic holiday-from-life.

The Vipassana tradition is one of India’s most ancient forms of meditation, taught 2,500 years ago as a universal remedy for ills. It is a way of self transformation through self observation.

I will be taking part in a 10 day Vipassana beginning tomorrow May 7 in Jakarta, Java at one of the many Dhamma Vipassana Centres. Each participant vows to take a “noble silence” of body, soul and mind. Remaining silent enhances the meditations, which occur over about 10 hours each day.

Why?

I am taking this vow of silence and meditation to help clear myself. To learn how to deal with what arises within me. Many times in my travels I feel as though I want to help others, help their situations and feel a call to understand their plight. However, you cannot help anyone until you help yourself. I cannot aid anyone else on this planet until I learn how to observe and explore my mind and thoughts, to disperse discontentment and return with a balanced mind.

This, of course, will mean I am taking a break from my duties as contributor and founder of this website. I will not take photographs, write, read, move, frolic, surf, adventure or edit during the course. The only actions I will be performing are meditation and eating. This is to make sure that the change brought about is from the Vipassana techniques and not extraneous activities.

Everything will resume on May 18th. See you then.

To learn more about Vipassana, check out their webpage and FAQ. Stay tuned for my inevitable return and reactions to the course and teachings.

See you on the other side,

Or is it the same side?

because the world is your playground