Dreamchasers 2018 Highlights

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May 3rd 2018
Published: May 11th 2018
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The sixth consecutive season of The Dreamchasers has now come to an end. It has been another incredible adventure. And in the same way that we cannot easily answer the question “ Which is the favorite country you have ever visited?” because each country has its own delights, we cannot state which adventure has been “the best”. All have been wonderful, but each offers variations from the previous year’s adventures.

Which is why we try to summarize the highlights at the end of each trip. As always, the list is long, but I am recapping thirteen of the most memorable, many of which have been elaborated upon in the 2018 travel blog entries.

1. Yoga Intensive Course in Thailand. This was our month long, 150 hour course taken in January, during which we were introduced to a slower, more meditative, but equally demanding style of hatha yoga that is diametrically different from the Ashtanga / Vinyasa movement based hatha yoga practices we have studied previously overseas, and to which I have been devoted for decades. It is said that teachings come to you when you are ready for them. At this point in my life, I am ready, so these new yoga teachings are life changing. Stan has also embraced this practice. We look forward to continuing further studies next year. Challenging.

2. Blue Rose tattoo recreation using an ancient Buddhist monk Bamboo Tattoo technique. I had been quietly searching for the right artist, place and time. Found it. Satisfying.

3. Alang Alang Montessori School Visit in Lombok, Indonesia. Singing in English, laughing, sharing, eating, singing in Bahasa Indonesian, more laughing, playing, story telling in English and Bahasa Indonesian. Endless smiles and beautiful energy. Inspiring.

4. Sesala Temple Visitation, Suradani, Lombok, Indonesia, as guests of our friend Gabi Sti, along with her spiritual mentor and Holy Man in the Hindu tradition, and his Priestess wife. Humbling.

5 . The Bev Zizzy & Friends Third Annual Concert @ Genius. Gilli T, Lombok. Heartwarming.

6. Performing on Stan’s Birthday with Indonesia’s answer to Steven Tyler / Arrowsmith. Legian Beach, Bali. Delightful.

7. Campuhan College Performance and Workshop in Ubud, Bali, introducing college students to my homeland with a slideshow of Saskatchewan landscapes and a collection of music from Canadian artists, as well as sharing several songs in Bahasa Indonesian and involving students in poetry writing. Powerful.

8. Bahasa Language Study. Having now completed my fifth season of formal language study, reaching a new level of fluency and realizing that this language is slowly becoming accessible to me. Adding another iconic Indonesian artist - Iwan Fals, the Indonesian Bob Dylan / Leonard Cohen equivalent - to my performance repertoire in the learning process has also inspired numerous memorable musical connections. Deeply rewarding.

9. Fishing. This one is entirely Stan, who went on the ocean, for several hours, in a tiny little boat off the black sand beaches of Ahmed, in Eastern Bali, along with two Balinese fishermen. He went in a boat that looks like a spider, because of its side "legs" that stabilize it in big waves. I believe he did catch something, which he pulled in from the depths of the ocean on his heavy fishing line. He may have caught five fish that day. When I asked him what kind, he said "small and colourful". Hmmm. But he did love the experience of being the only tourist within sight, spending the entire day traditionally fishing, eating and hanging out with the gentle local people, none of whom spoke English. Enriching.

10. Diving. Acquiring a new level of diving proficiency, countless memorable dive moments, and muck diving, another “first”. Four years after obtaining our Scuba Open Water Certification, Stan has now logged his 50th dive, and me my 68th. This diving season was our most relaxed, least stressful, and most enjoyable in the underwater world, and we are now considering taking some specialized dive courses next season. Exciting.

11. Biking. We love our scooter motorbikes. Lots. The first thing we do when we arrive is get our bikes. I'll go anywhere as long as I am on driving my own two wheels, feeling the wind, the sun, the rain. Its all good. Even better when the average speed is 50 km, and there are far more bikes on the road than vehicles. On a bike the ride is alive, and usually as interesting as the destination. A philosophy that is best applied to everyday living as well: slow down and enjoy the ride. Thrilling.

12.Travelling with Stan’s sister Annie. This was the first time Stan and his sister have travelled and spent so much time together since they were children, and is a definite trip highlight. If we are lucky, she’ll join us again for another month in Ubud next year. Reconnecting.

13. Watching our overseas family grow. Each year we return to renew connections we have previously made, invariably adding new ones as well. We now return as much to visit the people we have met, and rekindle the relationships we have with them - some of which go back for years - as to revisit places. We have always stated that we return to this part of the world primarily because of the beautiful energy of the people we meet here. This has never been more true. Affirming.

We are forever grateful for this life, the wealth of experiences we have been able to acquire, and these precious opportunities to connect with others worldwide. We look forward to continuing the Dreamchasers Adventures in 2019.

Thank you for your interest in our travels.

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