7,999 km so far.
I’ve been very fortunate with the yoga studios I have been able to teach at during our trip. The people we have met, the new friends we have made, have been overwhelmingly welcoming, generous, and kind.
A few examples:
- In Rīga, Ilze, who we had yet to meet, offered us her apartment for a week while she left the city.
- Yacine and Jaakko welcomed us into their Helsinki home, where we camped out in their living room, again, despite never having met them.
- Helena invited us to stay in her Stockholm studio, entrusting her business with complete strangers.
Good Time For A Change
Today we are again the recipients of another round of generosity.
Sherri, the owner of Beijing’s Fine Yoga, where I taught when we were in BJ, has built a magnificent yoga retreat centre in the mountains of southern Hubei Province. We now find ourselves here as her guests.
The retreat is sublime. We are surrounded by a bamboo forest, sleeping in a bamboo cabin, and there are winding paths off into the ‘woods’ for us to wander along and explore.
We are practicing yoga in the tranquility of our hut, preparing for a shift in our journey as we head to Shanghai shortly, and soaking up the fresh, clean air which we have been missing for the past few weeks.
Jane’s note: Now that it’s official, we can share an exciting development and crazy left turn in our plans for the rest of the year. Stephen has been offered a residency at Karma Life Yoga in Shanghai for 4 weeks, so instead of struggling through another month of unrewarding cycling, we are moving to Shanghai!
In December, we’ll head to Hong Kong for Christmas, where Stephen will be teaching some Boxing Day (Day After Christmas) classes and more. After that, we’ll resume our cycling journey south.
We have been receiving some amazing tips from lots of kind people we have never met about travel in South East Asia. We are starting to work on a loose itinerary base on these.
The Little Things
And then there is Divya, who we met today. She is one of the students here for Teacher Training.
When we needed to book train tickets to Shanghai, the helpful staff member here ran and got Divya from her room, so she could act as a translator. She didn’t have to, she was on a break from classes, but it was incredibly helpful to us.
Once the tickets were booked she ran up to her room and came back with gifts for us. Chocolate chocolate chip cookies and an ornate bag filled with chocolates. This is a gift we can definitely get behind. She couldn’t have known that we (especially Jane) have been desperate for good chocolate since arriving in China.
This small, kind gesture of hers meant the world to us. So much so that we are considering carrying around gifts of our own to bestow upon random strangers.
Some of the wonderful aspects of Chinese culture shine through in these examples. People are very generous, want to share what they have, and often give small gifts as a way of saying hello, thank you, and it was nice to meet you.
The past few weeks have been a challenge for both of us, and without the amazing generosity and friendly nature of the Chinese people, we probably would have high-tailed it weeks ago. Before we head to Shanghai, the largest city in the world, it is wonderful to be able to recharge in such a pristine setting.
Namaste, yo. ♥