I Wish I Could Be That Brave

by Megan Grandinetti

A couple of years ago, I went to Brazil for a yoga retreat. It was my first solo vacation in a long time: a gift to myself for my 30th birthday. When I was there, I met a woman who was staying at the resort, someone who had taken a year off to travel and found herself living on a remote, gorgeous island in Brazil, helping the retreat owners with their marketing.

She was 31, was tired of life as she knew it in London, and just took the year off to pop around South America. She didn’t have any set plans or an agenda; she just wanted the year for herself to travel, unwind, and see where she ended up.

I looked at her as if she were a curious specimen: how can you just leave your life behind for that long? Your apartment? Your family? Your friends? And as a single woman?

These were all questions I wanted to ask her, but I didn’t. The absolute truth is that I was sitting there, wondering all these things not about her, but about myself. The idea of dropping everything and traveling for a year was a fantasy of mine. All of those questions swarmed about my head, making me think I could NEVER do what she did. I remember thinking: I wish I could be that brave.

Last year, I left my law career, went to yoga teacher training and opened a health coaching business. One of the changes that I wanted to make last year but didn’t have the courage to do? I wanted to take time off to travel, but I found a lot of excuses not to travel in 2013. I remember thinking: I wish I could be that brave.

Around my birthday this year, exactly two years after my retreat in Brazil, I got really sick from doing too much and working too hard while I was in New York. I went to Costa Rica shortly thereafter for a yoga training/retreat with some of my yoga teacher friends. While I was there recuperating from my illness and relaxing for the first time in months, I made the resolve to travel in the fall — to pack up my bags and take off a month and teach yoga. I was thinking: I hope I can be that brave.

And then one day a yogi friend of mine invited me to visit her in Australia, and I said “YES.” I said yes because it felt right to say YES, because my intuition was pulling me there and because I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I would NEVER be brave enough to do it.

The trip that was originally supposed to be one month somehow has expanded to three and a half months in Australia, Bali, & New Zealand. All of those questions that I wanted to ask the woman in Brazil, those questions that were intended for me, have melted away. I am finally doing what I have wanted to do for years. I am embracing the power of my intuition, I am letting go of expectations, and I am going off the beaten path to follow the light within.

As I pack my bags for Thursday’s trip, I’m still wishing for bravery, but it’s no longer courage to physically take the trip that I’m worried about. It’s the courage to really live while I’m on the trip—the courage to look within and learn more about myself, the courage to connect with new people on a deep level, the courage to stay open to life, and the courage to write from the heart.

I hope I can be that brave.

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