In case you did not already assume this, being an international yoga instructor at a boutique hotel is actually not very much work. I teach a group class every morning and some days at night, check people in at the front desk sometimes, and make myself available in case someone wants to schedule a private class in the afternoon. Since I enjoy teaching yoga, and would usually be doing it anyway, none of this feels like work at all. And in a small city like Granada where everything is a few blocks away, my schedule leaves a lot of time for relaxing and taking a break from it all.
This is wonderful. The scenery is incredible. The lack of a huge tourist population makes everything very peaceful. On the other hand, for me, there is not a very big “all” from which I am supposed to be taking a break. It would be very easy to spend days here reading entire books, taking naps in hammocks, and lounging around swimming pools. That is nice. Very nice. However, my normal life right now is one big abyss of relaxing solitude and, despite the niceness, I don't want to look back on a whole month remembering that all I did was nap and lounge. So, in true former corporate slave fashion, I have set some loose goals for myself (only three!) for the trip and here they are, en español:
Crear: This has been one of the themes of this whole year for me. I've been pushing to explore creative pursuits instead of putting them off and wishing upon a star that I get around to them someday. Someday is here, and, fortunately, for such a little city, Granada has a robust art scene with a surprising number of art galleries. Apart from that, the houses and buildings are so colorful that one doesn't have to look far for inspiration. I packed some paints and brushes, and this Central American world is my canvas.
Hablar: One helpful skill that I've acquired in this lifetime is the ability to speak Spanish. If we're talking about where I'm from, or my family, or ordering at a restaurant, local people are usually surprised that I can speak it so well. At this point, they should be more surprised at the hesitation I feel about speaking it candidly and the number of stumbles and roadblocks that come up in more meaningful conversations. I have seventeen years of experience and a Master's degree for goodness' sake. On this trip, I'm trying to delve a little further than my heavily chartered territory, and make a focused effort not to shy away from longer conversations.
Sentar: The third goal is really a tricky anti-goal. Besides the constant drive toward self-improvement that is probably a shadow from my next decade looming on the horizon, I would like to be a part of the slower-paced life that the people here are living. They're sitting outside on their patios, spending time with family, and strolling through the streets to meet up after dark. After four days of this, I can already feel myself wanting to join a gym, schedule excursions, go for a jog, take classes, try every cafe, visit every art gallery, etc. etc. I'm trying to remember that all this doing isn't always the most rewarding thing, and that the most memorable outings usually are not on the checklist.