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Last month, I attended the yoga festival, Wanderlust. I opted to travel to Vermont rather than going to the festival here in Colorado, partly to see Michael Franti, but also to combine the trip with a visit home to New Hampshire. The coming together of so many like-minded people, amazing yoga teachers, and uplifting musicians, was a recipe for filling my heart and soul with love and re-inspiring the spark that first ignited my desire to teach yoga. The festival was an experience that restored my faith in humanity, and reminded me of the importance of making my dream of a yoga retreat in Colorado a reality. The world needs more spaces and events that inspire community, while also encouraging individuals to shine.

The name of the festival itself speaks to me. Merriam-Webster defines wanderlust as “a strong desire to travel.” My wanderlust began at a young age when I first traveled outside of New England and discovered the vastness of the world, and breathtaking beauty of Mother Earth. As soon as I could begin to travel on my own, I went with gusto. I drove 9,600 miles in three weeks around the United States, and was struck by the limitless variety of landscape within this one country - the plains and rich farmlands of Middle America, the mountains of the Rockies, sequoias of the Pacific Northwest, the depths of Crater Lake, miles of glorious coastline and lush forests. Next, I scratched the surface of Alaska with a two-week trip that involved planes, trains, automobiles and a cruise ship, in addition to kayaks, bikes and a helicopter that landed us on a glacier. In that short two-week trip we saw North America’s tallest mountain (Denali), glaciers, the sea, rainforest, and desert.

Not long after, I set out for foreign lands, with my first trip out of North America being a road trip through Ireland. I was already hooked. Next came the Mediterranean (Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, and Spain); then Panama; multiple trips to Mexico for scuba diving; return trips to Italy, France and Spain; then on to England and Switzerland. When I became a yoga teacher, India summoned me to her. As a scuba diver, I couldn’t resist the pull of Belize, St. Kitts/Nevis, and Bonaire. My love affair with Costa Rica has brought me back there five times in as many years. I took two months off from work to wander through South America – Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and the Galapagos. Next was a tour via train through Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic. Soon we’ll be headed back across the pond to visit Portugal, southern Spain, and Morocco.

Each time I have wandered, I have learned more about myself while gaining a better understanding of the world around me, and it’s plethora of cultures, food, traditions and landscapes. As someone once said, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” I have spent a lot of money and time traveling the world, but I am rich in experience for having stepped outside of my comfort zone to explore the world. I wholeheartedly believe that “the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page,” a notion commonly attributed to Saint Augustine. I could have stayed in one place, but who would I be now if I hadn’t set out to discover other lands and cultures. I shudder to think of how limited my view of the world would be, and how much I would have missed.

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