Opportunity Cost

By Stephen Ewashkiw | August 13, 2013

5215 km so far.

One of the recurring themes in the yoga classes I have been teaching is Taking Opportunities. You need strength to step out of your usual routine and take a chance. You need focus to discover what you want, but you need focus, as well, to maintain the effort needed once you have said yes to a new opportunity.

There is more to seizing opportunities than than just saying yes. Seeing them and creating them are just as important. So is realising that making them work for you is hard work itself.

Every time you choose to do something, you are not doing something else. With every action you miss out on other opportunities.

The Cost Of Leaving

Today we left Stockholm, albeit slowly. We could have stayed longer, and we had a wonderful place to stay. We wanted to stay longer, but there are also other things we want to do. We want to cycle the Göta Kanal, taking us east to west across Sweden. We want to have time to visit with friends in Malmö. We want to see Blur play in Berlin. These things mean we have already made some choices, and if we want to seize these opportunities, we have to pass up on others. So today we left Stockholm.

An Opportunity To Learn

This morning we took Helena’s yoga class. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take class from her, and I am so happy we made the time for it. I knew it meant we probably wouldn’t get 90 km today, but this was a choice we made. I found myself in poses in a new, fresh way. We worked on poses I often leave out of my personal practice, and she gave us time to really find our way into each pose. It was the perfect class to set us back out on the road again.

ganesh statue

Gorgeous Ganesh, YogaShakti, Stockholm.

With a flat tire (mine) to repair, vegan ice cream to eat, groceries to buy and Drop Coffee to visit, we didn’t end up leaving until about 2 pm.

Side note on Drop Coffee: It was so close to where we were staying, but we hadn’t had a chance to stop by yet. They are a micro-roaster who have won numerous awards for their coffee mastery. When we stopped by, they were out of beans. However, since I was leaving Stockholm they sold me a box of the beans they had set aside for making coffee in the cafe. I was relieved, and impressed.

They made me an espresso from a Moscow roaster who has been a guest roaster at their shop in the summer. They had just received these beans in the mail, and were trying them out. It was a bit salty, a bit liquoricey, and quite dark. I loved it. I really wish I had got here earlier so we could have tried a few different coffees, but it would have meant giving up something else we did in town. I will just have to go back on my next visit.

An Opportunity To See Apartments

The route out of Stockholm was convoluted. It was full of left turns, right turns, going over and under bridges. Most of the trip out of town was on well maintained bike paths, which is some ways makes things easier, and definitely makes them safer.

Sometimes though, when the road goes straight and flat, the bike path goes up a hill, through some woods, through the courtyards of apartment buildings, and 20 minutes later spits you back out on the road you started on, 200 meters further along. If you take the road, you might miss out on seeing something interesting, but if you take the bike path, you might run out of energy too soon to get to your destination.

We normally average just over 20 km/h. This afternoon we were clocking just over 10 km/h. We had hoped to go 90 km today, but after the first 30 km took 3 hours we knew this wasn’t going to happen.

An Opportunity To Snuggle

We struggled a little to find a suitable camping spot tonight, but as Jane has reminded me, the phenomenal thing about Sweden is that we know if we just keep looking, the perfect spot will find us. Tonight, as the temperature dropped and our sustenance left us, we weren’t so sure this would be the case.

Just a couple of kilometres out of our way though, we found it. A small dock, with a perfect spot for our tent, just a few feet from the sea.

sunset on a lake in sweden

Sunset on another day.

So now we are camped on an island on a sound. And it’s cold.

Yup, it's August and you can see my breath. Brrr.

Yup, it’s August and you can see my breath. Brrr.

The weather forecast is for 10C / 38F overnight. Since we have adjusted to LA life, this seems particularly cold to us. We zipped the sleeping bags together and are using the brisk night air as an excuse to cuddle. Ahh.  

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  1. Comment by Cassie

    Cassie August 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

    So cold! Ahh but cuddling is the best :)

    Glad to be caught up on your adventures! Over the past 3 weeks we’ve been up in a cabin in northern Michigan drinking beers and wines, and just this Friday I got back from a week of training at the Steinway factory in Queens. It was an interesting shock to go from a silent cabin on a lake to the city, but I feel recharged and ready to get back to the routine. Thanks for keeping us filled in on your continuing adventures :)

    • Comment by Stephen

      Stephen August 24, 2013 at 2:00 am

      I loved your photos from your trip. Looked so magical. And I was jealous of all the great drinks, since we have been in Scandinavia that whole time and alcohol is too expensive here…

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