Plan B

So Plan A, Le Tour Plan was THE Plan for a few months. It was a perfectly lovely plan and in my fleeting spare moments I would daydream about fine red wine, baguettes, soft cheeses and funny men in red devil costumes chasing bikers up mountain stages. But as my marriage began to fail... two weeks in France didn't seem like enough time. The simple hedonistic pleasures of a normal vacation didn't seem like the fix for what ails me. Then, one night in yoga class while I was desperately trying twist my torso over my stubborn, protesting hamstrings like my beloved yogi was instructing me to, I realized I really wanted to go to yoga school.

Now this was a big decision because yoga school doesn't fit into our woefully inadequate American workplace-imposed two weeks per year of vacation time. So as this idea began to become more and more compelling to me I realized its implications. "Rachel, yoga school means quitting your job." Once I was pretty sure I wanted and nay I say needed to go to yoga school I set about finding out just where I should go. I found schools in Mexico and Portugal and plenty right here in the good 'ol US of A. But then, thanks to a fateful search on the 'Internets', I found THE school. And once I stumbled on their website, no others could hold my interest.

This school is in Bali and it is a study of Vinyasa yoga, my kinda yoga. Being able to take the better part of a month to focus on nothing but my practice and myself is amazing enough. But to do this on an Indonesian island where I will be surrounded by volcanic peaks, rice paddies, flowing robes of crimson and orange, and the ocean - well this is the dream.

So just one thing to do. Book a ticket to Bali.

Apparently way back at Clifton Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio they had one of those America-centric world maps. You know the kind where Texas looks bigger than any county and most of the continents. Well I blame this map for my ignorance of just how far away from Paris Bali is. I don't know how many miles exactly, but in dollars, the two places are separated by between $4500 and $8000.


So upon learning of the vast financial divide that separates France and Indonesia, I dedicated a couple of days to my budding depression. I credit these fun new bouts with some of my most hair-brained ideas. I mean only from the depths of a bowl of cold Velveeta Shells and Cheese can one begin to rationalize that if you can fly to just Bali for $4500, or you could circumnavigate the globe for $5,000-$6,000 then clearly, start circumnavigating!

And so I began to research round-the -world-fares. This all came together rather quickly really. I spent a couple of evenings learning how to use the takes-a-rocket-scientist-to-decipher online trip builder and once I gave up on that I called Sippy.

Sippy is my travel agent. I met Carolyn, a.k.a. Sippy, at a wedding last summer, we became instant drinking companions and now friends. Poor Sippy had no idea who she chose to sip mojitos with that ill-fated night last June. But now a year later and two weeks of about 100 emails, phone calls and general panicked correspondence later... she has pieced together my dream itinerary.

Plan A has morphed into this:
  • July 9 Denver to Frankfurt - not really sure what I am doing for the first ten days, but hey... what could go wrong, Europe is cheap right now - oh wait it's NOT cheap right now - darn. UPDATE - From Frankfurt I am visiting London and Ireland for the week before the Tour.
  • July 20 -29 Beth and I gallivant around France, ride Roberto's coattails, hand out obscure jerseys and stuffed lions and subsist on red wine, dairy products and bread.
  • July 29 Paris to Denpasar, Bali where I will attend Yoga Teacher Training for 22 days, followed by a few days of surfing, diving and general bliss.
  • August 30 Singapore
  • September 3 Vietnam
  • Later in September, Korea
  • Late-September or October-ish, Thailand
  • October or maybe November sometime, Australia
  • Winter-ish, New Zealand
  • End of the line... Fiji
  • After that, return to somewhere and figure out what to do next
So there you have it. Plan B. Plan B scares the crap out of me. But since I feel absolutely driven to do this, I will. And with any luck when my trip is over I will have more clarity than when I began. I will be stronger, more self-assured and generally speaking, better. And failing that I will be tanner, my hair will be longer, and I will be rich in the way of airline miles.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! That is just amazing! You have more guts than anybody I know! I would love to do something like that. Maybe I'll be the lame person who joins you while you're on your plan b. Stay somewhere fun so the rest of us can visit. Love ya! Stay safe and strong! Mo

Anonymous said...

Dear Gypsy Girl,
You are sure to find an abundance of self-love on this journey. Open heart - open mind and a fine line of credit. Be safe, have fun and as I tell those I love "Breathe deep and fly high." - it's a saying from Dinotopia which I've adopted as one of my personal mantras. In the world of Dinotopia there are happy beginnings. Safe travels and deep love gypsy girl.
P.S. I'm communing w/ the mermaids at Stinson Beach - it's my annual journey into self and ocean. Adios.

Lisa K said...

Rachel, you're my hero! Once again I get to live vicariously through you :) Don't forget as you head down-under this fall that I've got family in low places, so if you need a couple of home-cooked meals and you decide to go to Melbourne, let me know and I'll hook you up with my mom or my aunt or one of my gazillion cousins. (Actually, my mom is house-swapping with the Sammons - UUs from CA - in Nov/Dec/Jan, but I could hook you up with them, too!)

Traci said...

Rachel,
It was great to see you this weekend! I wish you all the best on your travels. May you find happiness, peace, and fun!!! I will be cheering you on from the sidelines of my suburban life, raising my 2 teenagers, and living vicariously through your experiences knowing that one day (sooner rather than later) my children will be gone and I will get to start the next chapter in my life… Thank you for being so open and sharing your life and experiences with us! Love always, Traci

Amy said...

Rachel, Thanks so much for including me in your plans via blog. I am sure you are so busy, but if you need a little warm-up for wine drinking and tanning - you know I am always up for it. Give me a call if you can swing it before you go. Otherwise, I will be following your journey with all my best wishes. And, I might have some good New Zealand info for you. Love ya, Amy Henn......

Robyn said...

Rockin Rach - Have a blast. Can't wait to hear lots of fun stuff from you in the coming months. Live it up, stretch it out and be free! lot's of love - R

Frank McDonald said...

Raaaaachel !

as promised here are few great great hotels that I would highly recommend for you on your round the world trip in 180 days.

Vietnam - Grand Hotel - Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) http://grandhotel.vn/index.php?cn=9&lan=e

Singapore - Hotel 1929 http://www.hotel1929.com/
I will be staying here on my way back from Mozambique on Monday 18 August.

Thailand - Bangkok City Chic Hotel http://www.citichichotel.com/

I really envy and admire you at the same time - even though I really do not know you very well I feel that we have known one another for a long time - O2 YogA.

Have a wonderful time and DO drop me the odd note now and again.

Frank x
mcvino@sopris.net

Begin at the Beginning

The Beginning

What do you want to do? A seemingly innocuous question, and yet one that has become the bane of my existence over the last six or so months....