My Chile Initiation

Until I arrived in Santiago, Chile, I had been moving around the globe quite fast. I had changed continents 7 times in 5 months already, and was moving country (not just city, country) on an average of about 10 days. My soul loved it - but it was pretty brutal on my body.

My time in Chile was set up around an entrepreneurial bootcamp I had decided to immerse myself in only days before I left fro Costa Rica - With about 30 other entrepreneurs from around the world - Most of them were male - there were only about 6 girls. Each night, it was about where they were going out - to drink, to pick up girls (or boys), and to party. It was work all day, drink all night, sleep a bit (not really), repeat. It was “digital nomadic, entrepreneurial nirvana….” It was so, not me.

Now I’m not one to shy away from a glass of wine, or 3, but this was something else. Imagine letting a bunch of teenage boys loose with mum’s car keys and an open liquor cabinet - Nobody is there to tell you to slow down or take care of yourself… so they don’t. Every night.

I was craving something more. I felt disconnected from my body, I felt anxty, and pudgy, and weak - the complete opposite of how I enjoyed feeling when I had a stable home and a routine - but I didn’t want that either! So, I went to the only place I return to when things feel off track: My Meditation pillow. Or in this case, the red chair in the corner of my apartment.

When I felt tired, I returned to my meditation. When I felt frustrated or creatively blocked, same deal. And I felt both of those quite a bit - so I was mediating for 20 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day. Within a few days, I had a breakthrough. I needed to make this, it. Because it is. This is it.  This was all I have. There is no putting off life - ever.

It was at that point I stopped drinking all together. Even though I knew I was only staying in the country for 3 months and then moving back to America, I immediately settled myself in and started acting like I was local.

It was my initiation into gypset.

I scoped out where all the local farmers markets were, and the (dwindling and overpriced) health food stores, and I made it my mission to go on an excursion to every single one - even if a jar of coconut oil was 26USD. Each week I went and purchased as many vegetables as I could, and a bunch of flowers for my apartment.

I walked as often as I could. All over town. Shopping bags in tow.

I said no to most of the party invitations, and took cans of coconut water to the parties I said yes to.

I bought a blender, and got back into making my smoothies. When I left, I gave it to the man who owned my apartment and told him it would increase the value of his property - he gratefully accepted it. I had had 3 months use out of it, and my health was worth that spend on an electrical appliance.

I joined a pilates Gym, and I trained there twice a week. I couldn’t speak a word of Spanish, and they could not speak a word of English, but I loved it. I started picking up the language just by being around new repeated words in different dialects spoken by locals.

I started swimming in the newly discovered, and freezing pool on the rooftop of my apartment building, and I spent time during the day laying in the sun there and reading books.

I found my favourite athlete on you tube and took my ipod up to the roof, and started exercising up there on my own in the early hours of the morning when nobody was around.

I went on hikes with girlfriends to see the highest heights of the city on our days off.

And when it was time to relax, we had so much fun going out and exploring new places to treat ourselves.

I immersed myself in the community, and back into a lifestyle of activity and movement that I knew and loved.

It seems funny writing this now, because it’s such a part of me - but back when I started travelling, I really had this idea of separation - that I couldn’t be myself wherever I went because it was too hard. Because I was moving on soon. Because this wasn’t it. But it is.

This is It.

Embodying a Gypset way of life has expanded my experiences in every way. Now, I feel at home wherever I go. I don’t require a gym to remain fit and healthy - nor a kitchen! Nothing can stop me from having fun, feeling entertained, and staying on track and feeling energised, because my mindset has changed.

It’s changed from “I can only do this, or that”, to, “I know I can have both. How can I have both right now? This is it. Make the most, make it count, and do it for future you”.

This attitude has taught me the art discipline, focus, and enjoyment more than anything else. Because it has taught me presence. To be in the moment in the healthiest of ways.

Gypset has trained my brain, and made me a more robust, and dynamic human being. I take these skills everywhere.


Hayley xx