Travel Savvy

I have been urging many of my friends to blog about their journeys because their plans sounded so interesting (i.e. driving from Southern California to Alaska, or traveling to Asia to study massage); and consulting other yoga teachers about the benefits of blogging consistently.   I realized yesterday, I have not been taking my advice while traveling for the past six months.  It looks like I will be traveling for at least twelve more assisting at yoga conferences and events, visiting friends and family and exploring the country trying to figure where I will settle down; so I am committing to writing once a week this year and hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do!
Last week I landed at LAX, I was looking forward to getting out of the airport and directly onto Amtrak—the train station I had seen so many times on my voyages up and down the Southern California coast.  I got my hiking backpack (the perfect size for wilderness or urban trekking) and walked outside, right in front of me was a free shuttle, I asked if it was going to the train and the driver said, yes, this is going to the train.” In this simple exchange we both presumed that there would be only one train. I was thinking Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, the reality revealed itself to be much different. One and a half hours on the public transportation system through South Central LA, four metro changes, a few brushes with crazy and a $1.50 later—I finally found myself at Union Station where I could grab an Amtrak train to head north (on which I would pass the easily Amtrak accessible Bob Hope Burbank Airport).  
This week, to get back to LAX, I took the recommendation of a friend and tried the super cushy FLYAWAY bus.  The morale of this story is to ask for local advice if you really want to get somewhere the savvy way.
In my not-so-local (because I wouldn't consider myself local anywhere right now) opinion, I highly recommend taking Amtrak anywhere you can in Southern California.  As long as you don't mind a 30 minute delay which is not uncommon, the ride is filled with spectacular Pacific Coast views.  An upgrade to business class gets you a snack pack, wifi, a split of red wine and so much leg room I had trouble reaching the foot rest! It is one of my favorite ways to travel- relaxing, beautiful and comfortable.

Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today started off as the adult version of the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day in every possible way. I roll out of bed after not enough sleep, and into the car to spend forty-five minutes driving around my neighborhood looking for alternate side parking-- getting stuck behind garbage trucks and eight wheelers dropping off their deliveries, after taking every wrong turn possible to no avail. I make a deal with the universe in my head (although, I have no idea what might have been in this for the universe) if I don't find a spot in five minutes I'll drive to work today (ugh). Ok, how about seven minutes? The universe is not making deals with me today, as I turn onto a street that has half an hour left, ok, the universe is making compromises. Half an hour to shower, change, grab something (which ends of being coffee) and get ready for the day. I return thirty-two minutes later, after running down the street spilling coffee everywhere, to a sanitation vehicle man writing a ticket. I guess I won't have to drive, as I am paying for the spot which yields the cranky-crowded-rude- pushy-occasional-absolutely-crazy-person-commute-we-are-delayed-because-of-train-traffic-now-i-am-late section of the day. So I begin wondering why do I live here? A little week ago I was stretching on the beach in North Carolina, contemplating how forgiving and supportive the sand was of my splits pose and the tight outer leg of my pigeon pose, meditating on the ocean horizion and basking in the wonder of the sun. The month before that I was hiking, cooking with friends and living in the woods... This transition back to my reality is not going very well, I am feeling. And I can't stop asking why AM I living in New York City? I ponder the question throughout the day as my body gets more tense and unpleasant email conversations arise at work; and though the sun is indeed shining on the New York City, I am inside in a terribly chilly office, as I get more cranky, crazy-feeling, caffeine-driven and intense feeling. A couple meetings and crunchy back later I am on my way home. I decide that I could be committed to thinking about and wallowing in the horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day-- or not... and a subtle, yet perceptible shift begins to occur, I notice some things that make me smile: the woman with a huge bird ring on her finger; the guy reading The Alchemist on the train; all the different shades of skin color on the subway; the funny-crazy person; the clouds above the apartment building across the street; the farmers market peach i shared with my friend; teaching yoga; my friends' new dog; a piece of pizza after eleven pm; that the studio doesn't move (like sand does) under my handstand practice. None of these things from the beginning of the day until the end mean anything, but by the meaning, the perspective I choose to give. It is powerful, and so very difficult. I am committing to keeping up with this blog, at least once a week, because time moves so quickly here, there is hardly a chance to absorb the experiences-- let alone reflect, and I don't want it to slip through my hands un-remembered. Good or otherwise.