Moving into the New Year

Moving into the New Year 3
Enchanted Rock, Texas, U.S.A.

At the end of the year, like many of us, I always like to look back and relive the wonderful and precious moments that occurred during the year. No doubt this year has been a rollercoaster. And even though I still have many stories to share (I’m writing this from Melbourne, Australia and still have many notes from the U.S.A., New Zealand and other parts of Australia, enough to write a book!), I wanted to end this year with a little personal note.

So for those of you just tuning in: I left the Netherlands to travel around the world on the 23rd of July 2016 to write about dance in education. To sum up some of my highlights:

  • Year in numbersTraveling alone is just awesome. I must admit that I was a bit anxious when I started this trip, but now I know why lots of people do it. It’s very liberating and even though sometimes it can get a bit lonely, I find a lot of peace in that too.

  • When you’re traveling alone literally EVERYONE is welcoming, kind and generous. I haven’t met a single non-friendly person.
  • Traveling makes you learn a lot about other cultures. Simple things like:
    • people in Canada always wait in a perfect line to get on the bus (they are so polite there!)
    • there is no good coffee in America (but you can get refills for free so after 3 cups you at least have the amount of caffeine needed for the day)
    • lots of people in New Zealand walk barefoot
    • the koala’s in Australia do NOT like to be cuddled when it’s over 30 degrees Celsius

      but mostly I’ve learned about the difference in people, their views of life. Traveling really changes your perspective on many things.

  • It’s hard to complain about this lifestyle, but sometimes traveling can be exhausting. From spending hours behind your computer looking for the cheapest flights, to booking affordable hostels & airbnb’s, spending 30 hours on buses and planes. It’s a choice, but it can certainly be a challenge.

  • I’ve come to notice that travelers are really special people. Especially the ones that travel for a longer time. They appreciate nature and cultures, generally are very mindful people and they always help each other out. It’s a special connection.

  • I’ve also realized that, instead of what the majority of people think, traveling isn’t something just for wealthy people. If you want, you can travel for a very long time without spending too much money. It’s all about planning, priorities and sometimes choosing for a bit less luxury. When I made the plans for my upcoming trip, I believe it was in October, I knew I had to save some extra money. At the time I was staying at an amazing hostel in Austin, Texas and, coincidentally, a volunteer left. So I worked there in exchange for free accommodation. It was an amazing experience and I got to save a lot of money.

I do consider myself an extremely lucky person for being able to live the life I’m living now.
Moving into the New Year 2
Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
So traveling really enriched my life as a human being, but the most important thing of this travel is, of course, my mission. Moving Educators. And wow, what a journey it has been.

  • I’ve done interviews with the most incredible and inspirational people in the dance education field.

  • I went to one of the biggest conferences of dance education in the world: The National Dance Education Organization conference in Washington D.C.

  • I went to schools for elementary and special education and saw many kids dance.

  • I’ve gotten so many special books from researchers that I had to send a box home (heavy and expensive, but so worth it).

  • I’ve come to realize that wherever we are in the world, with dance we speak a universal language and that every child wants and needs to move.

  • Dance makes people happy!

  • I’ve also come to realize that there are many more stories to be told. So plans for a new trip are already in the making  🙂

Can’t wait to share all these stories with you!
Moving into the New Year 5
Flattrack Coffee, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
But first I’m going on a very special trip. This Saturday, I’ll be flying to Bali, Indonesia. On a little island called Nusa Lembongan I will spend 22 days doing my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (focused on Ashtanga and Yin/Restorative yoga). This wasn’t something I had planned before I left. I’ve always done a lot of yoga and have experienced its healing abilities ever since having to deal with injuries from dancing. And I did bring my yoga mat with me, because I knew it would be very important to keep up my practice during my intense travels (you have no idea how amazing a downward dog feels after spending 30 hours on a bus). But it was only after I did a 3-day Yoga Kids training in Boulder Colorado when I decided I needed to get my degree as a teacher. Not to become a full time yoga teacher, but to integrate it in Moving Educators. Because I do believe every kind of movement should be a part of education. Not just dance, but also yoga and meditation.
Moving inside AND out.
Since this will be an intense course (Ashtanga always kicks my butt), I’ve decided to focus on it fully by going ‘offline’ for the entire duration of the course. This means I will spend Christmas and New Years on a remote island, by myself, with the 10 other (still unknown) people from the course. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. But I know for a fact that this is a new and important step in the future of Moving Educators. And for myself too.
Moving into the New Year 6
Henley Beach, Adelaide, Australia
It has been an amazing year and I’m already excited for what 2017 has to offer. I also want to take this moment to thank everyone that has supported me on my journey so far. I couldn’t have done this without my amazing and supportive family, friends and the kind strangers (some of them I now call friends) I’ve met on the road.
I wish you a magical Christmas and all the happiness in the world for the New Year.
Love,
Laura

18 thoughts on “Moving into the New Year

  1. Beautiful blog. Straight from the heart. Good luck with your latest adventure of this amazing trip.We will miss you for Christmas!
    See you in january! big hug xx

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  2. There is a saying: ‘ don’t count the days, let the days count’. Laura, you certainly did! Enjoy what is yet to come! See you in 2017!

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  3. Dearest Laura, it was great to follow you on your amazing trip and to read how rewarding it was for you in many, many ways. I wish you a beautiful and peaceful time in Bali and hope it will be the beginning for you of another beautiful year! Love and XXX. Anne

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  4. Wow Laura, when I first heard your plans (back in NL) I liked your enthusiasm and adventure mode but I couldn’t really grasp what your journey was gonna bring. But it has been so inspiring and cool to read! Your blogs really shifted my mindset towards dancing time after time!
    Have a great yoga retreat and we’ll meet in 2017!

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  5. laura!!! Wat fijn dat je het zo naar je zin hebt!!! Kan ik ook instellen dat ik een melding krijg in mijn email als je weer eens wat schrijft? Xxxx

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  6. Mooi verhaal Lau! Veel herkenbare reiservaringen. En gaaf dat jij al die ervaringen kan toepassen voor werk. Have fun nog! Xx

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  7. Fantastisch kanjer! ‘k Ben zo blij voor je dat je geniet, leert en leeft! Je blog herinnert me aan mijn eigen reis looong way back, aan de bijzondere travelers en hartverwarmende locals. Gefeliciteerd met je nieuwe status als yoga-teacher, maar ook alle successen met je dansproject; ik ben echt trots op je! Enjoy en have a good one! X

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