In The Desert But Not Deserted


You’re standing in the basket of a hot air balloon in the desert, slowly moving inch by inch toward the clouds. Occasionally the basket will sway as the fire burns bigger toward the top of the balloon, making you perk up, but you’re fearful of heights and so focused on reaching the top to get that ultimate view that you fail to take in the experience on the way up. It’s funny how during a typical week within a predictable routine, seven days can sometimes feel like trying to reach the top while in a hot air balloon. At times, you cautiously peer over the edge to see how high you’ve gone, but what is “the top,” and how often do you pause to take in the zigzags and appreciate those moments or the physical location around you on your way there? If the thought of shaking up your regular routine sparks a flame of curiosity in your everyday hot air balloon, don’t let it deflate. Instead, fuel that curiosity by perhaps saying yes to an adventure that sits outside of your norm.

As that flame of curiosity grows hotter, push aside the fears and societal expectations, the “should be” and “what ifs, and surrender to the beauty of the unexplored. Say yes to new surroundings, new connections, and challenge the predictability of life. Roll your shoulders back, join a group of 50 strangers on an adventure through a new country, and acknowledge that you’re trying something new despite apprehension. Float through the clouds in a hot air balloon despite your fear of heights, or ride an ATV even though you’ve never driven before. Run through the desert sands and toast to newfound friends you couldn’t have imagined existed until now. Be proven wrong that you’re “too old” to make new friendships as an adult because what exactly is age anyway? Wear glitter, dress up, and jump in the pool with your clothes on. Get lost on winding, confusing streets and embrace the unfamiliar because you will figure it out. Let go of what you assume people might think and be the first person to start the dance party and watch without hesitation as others shimmy their way in.

Scream out at the top of your lungs toward the horizon and thank yourself for getting yourself here and pressing pause on a repetitious reality that, because of this experience, will be a little more vibrant when you return. Take silly selfies and dance under the desert stars as you soak in the infinite landscape around you that, until this moment, was untouched by your eyes. Breathe in and exhale, knowing that your uncertainties and anxieties are shared with others and that while you may be in the desert, you are not deserted, not on an adventure like this. Quiet your mind and trust that the timing of life has brought you right here in the now. This is exactly where you’re supposed to be. Appease those sparks of inquisition about stepping a little further outside your comfort zone and do that thing that you’ve been teetering on. Maybe doing so will be the moment where it all just clicks. The moment when you become a little bit more of the best version of yourself.

Be open about your experiences and watch how that vulnerability draws others into the conversation. Namaste next to a new friend and dance atop the shoulders of another. Put yourself back into that hot air balloon, but this time, breathe in every moment on the way up; every sway in the basket, every glance over the edge towards the top for the way up is actually the best part. Soak in every wow-ful moment, every “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” and “holy s#it, the world is so full of beauty, and I get to experience this with some amazing people.” Don’t overthink it, for each moment spent thinking is a moment passed. Take the chance on something new because the moment is now. So what are you waiting for?

✨The Inspiration

Inspired by my recent adventure through Morocco with SurfYogaBeer, my second within the past six months, I wrote this as a reflection of another incredible experience that I left feeling even more connected to myself. After returning home from any trip, I often find myself wondering how I can incorporate “vacation me” into my everyday routine. There are tangible actions I can take from these trips, like journaling or blending a different kind of workout into my week, but it’s the intangible moments that seem to stick the most. It’s not every day you marvel at the sunset with 50 others while riding camels through the desert or fiercely dancing around a firepit in the middle of Marrakech. Instances like that just don’t exist on an ordinary Thursday, but damn, how insanely cool is it that this time they did? It’s savoring those moments and inserting those memories into the day as a reminder that we aren’t living each day to get to the next.

It’s the subtle in-between moments of downtime by the pool and choosing not to wear your headphones because by leaving those behind, a conversation leads you to realize that the insecurities you feel in life are shared by so many others. It’s dancing at every opportunity because I want to and lathering every person with glitter at the party because it’s fun and makes me happy. It’s not thinking about what could happen and instead living life for you right then and there. It’s realizing that you don’t need to be in an exotic location to let the best you emerge, but booking a third adventure just to be sure. Inspired to explore the best version of yourself? Check out upcoming adventures with SurfYogaBeer.

Written by: Sara Balaban

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