My ‘little lives’ of 2016

Every time we go to a new place, we live our ‘little life’ there.

Have you ever felt like living in a new place, even if it’s for a week, feels like a whole new life? You shed your old identity, you explore new food, people, places and you learn to create a new routine. 

I have lived so many ‘little lives’ last year that I am immensely grateful for and would love to share and to celebrate.

January 2016. Mooktawan

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Mooktawan is a meditation sanctuary where we used to hold our meditation retreats with Peace Revolution project. Mooktawan means “the pearl of the sun” in translation from Thai language. It is indeed a beautiful pearl in the jungle, and my favorite place in Mooktawan is the scenic view point, where I was blessed to guide yoga classes during January Global Peace on the Move 17 retreat. From there you can see Krabi and Phuket, sunrise and sunset, you can look at the starts as soon as you wake up and before going to bed. In Mooktawan we woke up at 5 AM, had four hours of meditation per day, enjoyed networking and playing, and had only two meals a day (no dinner to feel fresh and wake up early next day). I had lived many ‘little Mooktawan lives’ in 2015, and it was a blessing to start the year of with a new little Mooktawan life and with friends from more than 20 countries.

February 2016. Mysore

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With my head freshly shaved, I went to practise ashtanga yoga with Saraswathi Jois in KPJAYI in Mysore. My first time in India, my first time eating dosa, sweating in the yoga shala with at least forty other people, and amazing amazing friends. Love you friends.

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Totes pulling it off

March 2016. Asia Pacific University Camp

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partners in crime

Back to Mooktawan, the pearl of the sun! Students from Beppu, Japan, came for a 7day intensive meditation and self discovery camp. We took away their phones and helped them concentrate. We cleaned toilets, guided workshops and looked at the stars.

March 2016. Georgia 

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wandering around Tbilisi

Bridge Peace Fellowship 2016 in Georgia was a powerful challenging four day experience. I caught a cold in Suvarnabumi airport in Bangkok and had a fever for 9 hours on the plane and two more days of the fellowship. We worked from 5 AM to 12 AM to complete a million activities and tasks before our 35 participants from 13 countries would leave. After that I stayed in Tbilisi for a couple more days and lived my lovely Tbilisi live, eating khachapuri and wandering around the city, making three friends named Giorgi (the most typical Georgian name) and meeting the naughtiest nicest cat in Georgia.

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March 2016. Ukraine

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one of the victories over body in 2016 – my knees reached the floor!

Went back home to see my grandpa. My ‘little lives’ at home are always different, but the smell of home and mama’s borsch. I was practicing yoga, working and visiting my grandpa in the hospital every day. I also saw snow again.

April 2016. Koh Tao

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Blue beach, lazy sitting in the hot water, magical paddle boarding above corals and fish, sailing out into sunset, free diving, celebrating birthday with mama. Koh Tao is heaven on earth.

May 2016. Pathum Thani

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This gray big road industrial region of Thailand makes me feel at home because of three things – Andrii, Malej, and PIPO House. Andrii and Malej are my beautiful best friends found in 2016. PIPO House is our office, nicely designed and colorful, and a good place to concentrate on work, as it is airconditioned.

June 2016. Ukraine

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Wedding of my best friends made me feel like I got married myself. Strawberries, cherries, mama and long waited vacation – pure laziness, and visiting Lypovets – my next summer destination, a heaven for creativity and rest. Wandering around the cities of Ukraine, eating varenyky with Lisa, and finding out my book was nominated for Koronatsiya slova, the biggest Ukrainian literary contest! And going back to Thailand, to Himmawan Sanctuary.

July 2017. Pathum Thani 

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my little “Pink tank”

We were working on a very big project all summer, and I worked almost all the time that I was awake. A lot of self digging and stress led me to a new understanding of myself and my coworkers and my favorite fun of the week was writing blog at Candy Stripe Cafe.

August 2017. Himmawan Sanctuary

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Himmawan is in Loey province, in the north east of Thailand, mountains, forest and coolness. Sometimes I had to wear socks because I got cold. Losing a friend in August was a reminder to love life and caused a lot of grieving!

September 2016. Koh Samui APU camp. Chiang Mai

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My first time in Koh Samui, beautiful young Asian students, being blessed to guide yoga for them and to hear Tasnia’s laugh every day. Swimming, playing on the beach, working for the next project at night and falling asleep during guiding meditation at 5 AM, hitting my head on the microphone and waking up.

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Chiang Mai magic. Moving to Chiang Mai and finally taking a deep breath in, a deep breath out, starting improv theater and almost stopping to run around. Grounding.

October 2016. Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan

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We organized 24 meditation workshops attended by over a thousand people in Central Asia. It was my first encounter of this region and in every city we went to, I lived a little life – waking up to dust storm at Alibek’s apartment in Dushanbe and cleaning together, waking up on the roof of the world in Pamir mountains, meditating with a hundred kids in Tashkent at a chess tournament, seeing so many universities, yoga schools and companies in Bishkek, and sighing that I had no chance to see the mountains, meeting the yogis of Almaty, winning the best table topic speaker at Toasmaster’s and going to a theater, which felt just like Ukraine. Ending it with a grand birthday party of our friend in Saint Petersburg where my mom and I dressed like princesses.

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November 2016. Chiang Mai and China

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Kunming tea market – one of my favorite places in the world

Recovering from running around the world in Chiang Mai, drinking up the sun, coffee and fresh juices, and preparing for yet another trip. Meditating in Beijing, Jinan and Kunming, from north to south of China, looking for a new train after mine was cancelled, eating rose cakes and seeing my old life from a new perspective – my little China life this year reminiscing my old life in Kunming which feels like a dream blurred away by mist now.

December 2016. Facing self in Chiang Mai

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So many workshops and people, waterfalls and swimming pools, massages and yummy food. Losing my head falling head over heals in love with this city, creating creating creating, working working working, and ending the year with another ‘little life’ of a Thai massage course at ITM school, now I am 60 hour certified Thai massage giver, line up friends!

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Soon I will let myself stop and shine, stop and cry, stop and laugh. I will let myself stop next year, I will get grounded. Finally.

To live many ‘little lives’ again in 2017.

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