Happy Sunday all
Here’s the first instalment of my ‘Pissouri Pilgrimage’ posts. There was some learning and there was some insight, so for the next few weeks I’ll share them here with you.? My hope is that they help you in some way by shining a light on your thoughts about yourself or life, or give hope if you’re feeling less than confident. Maybe they will confirm for you how amazing life is!
4th October 2015
Pissouri – Cyprus 23.55 (local time)
I’m away as you can see.
For some strange reason I had a real feeling of trepidation about travelling and was almost in tears as I left this morning at 8am for my flight to Larnaca from Leeds & Bradford Airport. I had no idea why, I just felt so fearful; a complete feeling of dread was nestling in my chest and I nearly didn’t come. If it wasn’t for the fact that I would regret wasting the money spent and that I’ve had hassle changing bookings and etc. I think I may have ‘chickened’ out.
But, I’m here now.
10 days…alone with myself abroad.
It’s quite daunting and I think this is what made the fear rise up in me, even though I have travelled alone before, but that was some time ago.
I managed to re-assure and calm myself on the plane by playing with my angel cards, (I have brought them with me). Whether they provide comfort or not I believe they do and so that’s all that matters.
On the flight I sat next to Carol and her friend Margaret. Both phenomenal in their 70s (looking decades younger) and travelling to meet a friend who is very familiar with the island as she used to live here. They’ve both been before, but never alone and called me ‘brave.’ Hmmm… not sure I was feeling too brave at the time, but hey! I was still gripped by this in explainable fear, but you can’t exactly tell the pilot to turn around or stop the vehicle now can you?
Through someone else’s eyes
Airport terminal and they were aghast that I had not sorted my onward journey and had no idea how I was going to get from Larnaca to Pissouri. It turned out to be quite simple. A bus from Larnaca to Limassol and then a taxi to Pissouri. The bus was only €9, a bit better than the £74 round trip it was going to cost for transfers when I tried sorting it from sunny Leeds!
So there I am, pleased with myself that I’ve sorted the bus and I won’t have to spend a fortune and dip into an already sparse pocket. I’m still panicky, so I remember to be grateful and tell myself I’m lucky to be where I am and to be having this experience. I focus on reminding myself that the universe will support me and that things will turn out OK…
I believe it (kind of), but I say it to myself none-the-less.
It’s funny how we see ourselves differently to others. They saw a brave woman, going it alone, but because I was on the inside of me I focused on the nervousness I was feeling. Yet they would never have done what I did and would rather have lost the money they spent.
Sometimes it does you good to listen and see yourself through other’s eyes. You may just be surprised by what you discover.
Well, just as this girl thought she’d done ‘good,’ the bus driver says I have to get off at the first stop and get a taxi. Now when I bought the bus ticket the woman made it quite clear (she even circled it on the bus timetable she gave me), that I should get off at the second stop; St. George (a church – I get the impression there are a few churches here, to say the least!)
Something tells me this is bit of a ‘swizz’ and the bus driver and taxi man are in cahoots, but I have no choice, my driver is going no further.
€40…YES €40 later I am at the apartment.
Don’t get me wrong, me and Mr. Taxi man had a lovely chat. It turns out his daughter is studying ‘Biomedical Science’ at Leeds University, Yes, my hoe City – Clever girl!
What a very small world indeed…
He has three children like me and like me has two girls and a boy. His son is just finishing school and will have to do National Service and daughter no. two they are trying to get a position within the navy or something as she tried studying in the UK as a make-up artist, but gave it up. I don’t think he was too impressed.
The conversation sounded all too familiar and you realise that no matter where you go, people are all the sam. The same wants and dreams, the same concerns and issues. The language and the customs and the faiths and the cultures are wonderful manifestations of our uniqueness, yet below the surface there’s the universal experience of life that connects us to each other.
Underneath it all we are ONE…
But, I’m at this point smarting from the realisation I may have been ‘HAD!’ and I’m seriously worried about how I’m going to survive here.
This, I think was what my panic was about. I know how to penny pinch at home, but abroad?
And who wants to feel restricted in such beauty? But then I tell myself I am as confined and restricted as I think I am.
After orienting myself around the apartment, which is lovely by the way. Modern and very, very cleeeen! My kinda place. The lovely Theodora came up and introduced herself and gave me a bit of a run down. She’s from Eastern Europe, but says she likes the weather here.
A quick shower…
The panic rises again…
That first night out and dinner alone.
I talk myself down and take another couple of angel cards. Pretty Stupendous they are too: ‘Blessings,’ and ‘Archangel Michael.’
So off I pop, telling myself blessings are all around me, that Michael is with me and will take away my fear…
I’ve just returned from dinner (yes alone).
Halloumi, olives, pitta and hummus…delish! I DO love that cheese, and proper goat’s milk too, so no bilious belly and cramping later, but so very rich; I’m going to have to abstain and not indulge every day methinks.
At dinner I people watched and gave thanks for the lovely food and the very handsome cats that hovered like vultures wanting anything that might fall from your table. I had visions of the god almighty bloody scrap that would ensue if all five (or was it six?) of them descended on some morsel I might drop and I’m to put it to the test, but declined.
Being open to connection
After eating and feeling very satisfied and just whilst I was just taking in my surroundings, a gentleman started to eat the grapes that hung from the roof of the restaurant. I did for a moment think they were real, but there were so many and they seems so perfectly round and plum and juicy, I’d deduced they’re fake.
Xenios offered me some (at least he wasn’t called Costas – That was the taxi driver!) and I have to say they were delicious, though a tad dusty, but what’s a little dust between new acquaintances? We chatted and he seemed to know quite a few people…he is also, it seems rather accomplished as a businessman as he seems to run a lot of different enterprises. Anyway, no doubt I’ll bump into him again as he has a water-sports business on the beach.
Conversation over, I walked back to the apartment in that profound darkness that there always seems to be when you’re on holiday and marvelled at the fact that I could clearly see the constellations and I was so grateful for the lack of light pollution. I mused how we can only connect if we are open to it. If I’d been fearful or resistant Xenios would not have approached me. Sure he probably does it with everyone, but for me alone, it was a welcome distraction from my nervousness and fear.
In what way could you connect? you could be the person who relieves a moment of anxiety for someone else. so consider the next time you pull back from reaching out due to your own nervousness or fears.
I decided to write-up my day in a diary, but then realised that perhaps this trip will contain significant learning & insights that I can share, so here goes.
Today has been about trust:
- Trusting that the ‘other’ source is there to support me and to support all of us.
- Trusting myself and my instincts to get it right
- I was tested and thrown into strange and unfamiliar situations and with people I did not know…
- This frightened me.
- I was tired and not wanting the challenge of having to do this all alone.
- I had to rely on myself and more importantly, to trust that the universe would create the best outcomes for all concerned.
She did…but the outcome would have been very different I suspect if I’d gotten into panic and continued to have negative thoughts when my fear arose.
Like the boy in the Polar express I kept feeling my way when all I wanted to do was give up or turn around and go back.
I stayed in gratitude, trusting that I’d be OK…
I now believe I will be just that…OK.
I swallowed my fear and ventured out, when I wanted to stay in and hide and give myself the excuse that I’d just arrived and I could go out tomorrow.
Instead, I pushed through my panic and fear and…
I ate well
I made a connection
And the crème de la crème… I found a vegan raw food restaurant on the walk home…
Guess where I’ll be eating from now on?
Kale chips a plenty!
23.24 UK time: 1.24 Pissouri time. Time to sign off