[ t r a v e l & l i f e s t y l e ]

PICTURE: White Sand, turquoise blue ocean, tall green palm trees laced with coconuts, 378 deserted, sun drenched islands, dreamy sunsets, mesmerising sunrises, an introduction to the spanish language, latino beats and muy perfecto company.

Welcome to San Blas.. the archipeligo that links Colombia and Panama. PARADISE.
And the best place to kick start my Central American journey. We spent a total of five days sailing these beautiful islands witnessing sunset after sunset, bathing in salt water and sleeping under the stars.

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On the first night I saw five shooting stars. It was then I knew this trip would be all that I had hoped for and more. Being amongst thirty or more people on a boat for five days was challenging at times although that was outweighed by the number of meaningful interactions with like minded travellers sharing the one thing in common: marvelling at the beauty of San Blas and the many other destinations previous and planned.

It was here that I was able to do my first island salon experience. The water at our feet, beers in hand and an audience of on lookers. Three haircuts later and I have already made a little extra spending money to fund my travels. Since then, I have also cut hair in Bocas Del Toro in Panama at the waters edge. Salon Paradiso is becoming quite lucrative! I am looking forward to documenting my travelling with scissors experience on here in the posts to come.

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Aside from cutting hair at the waters edge, one of the best moments from this trip was arriving in San Blas, anchoring and seconds later jumping of the side of the boat and swimming to a stunning deserted island. On arrival we ate fresh coconut and spent the afternoon soaked in the salt water of the Caribbean. Delicious.

It was at this time that I stopped for several moments to soak it all in.. I looked on in sheer amazement and elation of mother nature’s perfection. The green palm trees and the crystal blue water set the perfect back drop. Thank you Mother Nature for providing for us every time. It was then I had not a worry in the future nor did I think of the past. Looking at life for what it is, whatever you are looking at is the best way of practising mindfulness.

I was first introduced to mindfulness early last year when I was undergoing a specialist referred pain management program for my back pain. At first, the thoughts about how this could possibly work were all but positive. I was physically in severe pain and discomfort and my mind was an array of frustration and anger. After practicing for several weeks and reading up on the several benefits the cracks began to appear. I’m truly grateful for persisting with this as it has been one of the best tools and a saving grace to ease not only the pain but my mind also. When I consciously take moments each day to pause, reflect and connect myself to the world around me, inner peace is found.

I think this excerpt from Gabrielle Bernstein’s book Miracles Now perfectly sums up my take on mindfulness – “You see, the way we experience the world around us is a direct reflection of the world within us. If our thoughts and energy are not supportive, then our life won’t be supported. Therefore, we must take responsibility by consciously supporting ourselves in every given moment.”

I challenge you to find your quiet mind and enjoy the benefits. Next time you are on a walk or swimming in the ocean or admiring the garden, see these things for as they are, enjoy the colours, enjoy the sensations, the sight, the smell, the taste.. and breathe it all in. I would love to hear if you also practice and what being mindful means to you in the comments below.

From my heart currently in Costa Rica to yours,

Amy x