I’m in love….

Everyone who knows me, knows I love languages. It’s raining in Pamplona, so I decided to sit downstairs at my hostel with a tinto de verano just waiting out the rain. Looking at the local newspaper I am trying to understand what is written. I pick up a few words but can’t really string them together. I remembered I set up google translator on my moms phone (my kids would be so proud of me) I have it on my phone in 5 languages, including bask. One of the features of the translator is a camera. If you hover over the print to be translated and then take a picture it will translate it for you. I love love love love google❣️The horoscope caught my eye (see below) It has shrunk the world to a very small and functional university, on the go! I have used the translator in the pharmacy, at restaurants and various other places in various countries. You can type and then have it spoken in the language you want translated. I always try my very best to speak the language of the country I’m in. This is a very handy tool, and you don’t need another gadget. I remember I was walking around with a translator device years ago, and it neeeeever worked when I needed it to.

Let me know if you have it, and what your experience is. My favorite language is Italian. It just melts on your tongue. I don’t care what is said, is all sounds like love

Auf Wiedersehen

I’m off to see the wizard …….

I’m on a bus to Pamplona. It’s a 2 hour ride nonstop through beautiful lush green hillsides.

The bus ticket was €15.20 for those of us that like to attach numbers to stories. Sometimes I read blogs and really wish they would have included that. So I downloaded the bus app and booked it from home, as I didn’t want to wait until the last minute only to find there are 2 soccer teams needing to go to Pamplona at the same time as I’m trying to go.

Waiting there with the other passengers that needed to chain smoke before getting on the bus, I realized that I got ill last time I was here as well. I have this lingering cough that started when I arrived in Bilbao. There is this white fluff that looks like tiny cotton pillow flying around everywhere. I brought some of my homeopathic remedies with me, bought some chamomile tea and will go to the grocery store to buy lemon. It’ll be fine.

So I was trying to put my suitcase in the luggage compartment under the bus and attempted to move this 12×12 little bag that was in my way. I mean, I saw the guy put it there without a struggle, but it was so so super heavy when I tried moving it. What on earth is he carrying in that thing? Gold bars? My son, who worked at TSA for a while did tell me you can travel with gold bars on the airplane. And apparently it’s not that uncommon. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s heavy enough to consider it a weapon, no? Sorry, overthinking. I was just ever so curious to know what was in that bag.

My hostel is only a 5 minute walk from the bus terminal. Thank god for wheels. I will use a luggage service from town to town as I do not want to carry 17 kilos (38 lbs) on my back. The service cost $5 per day to transport, well worth it.

My shoes were the most important part to get right. It really doesn’t matter where I go, I need the right shoes. At home I have at least 3 pairs in my car all the time. Here I have 3 pairs with me for the Camino. A light pair of low hiking shoes from Keen, a pair of waterproof ankle high hiking boots from Oboz, and a pair of sandals from Keen. Yeah, ok I will tell you, they totaled about $400. 😳

Oh yeah, maybe I should mention that my phone almost got stolen in Bilbao. We were in Casco Viejo, the old part of town and I know better than to have my phone in my coat pocket. It was in my hand, I put it in my pocket to itch my nose. For what, maybe 2 seconds. I reached back into my pocket to pull it out and put it in its rightful place only to find another hand in it already. WTF? I turned around and saw this tall dark haired dude with a baseball cap and sunglasses looking very surprised at me. We had some choice words and he took off.

Someone saw this and said I should call the police so he won’t attempt this with another person. Yeah, ok, did you want me to pull him by his ears over to the next police offer? Oh, wait, maybe you wanted to run after him to ask him to turn himself in?

Anyway, lesson learned! 2 seconds is long enough, and it could have been gone.

Really looking forward to starting my walk tomorrow.

Saying good bye also means letting go

The week before my flight I repacked my 2 suitcases (one for the Camino, and the other for everywhere else) 3 times. I thought for sure they would be super overweight. In the end they were only 12 and 14 kilos. It was a very different experience than last time I flew to Europe with only a rolling backpack. It seriously caused me some grief. Once those suitcases were checked though, I had this feeling of finality. There was nothing left to do, to look after, no time left to say good bye to anyone else. Whatever didn’t get done has to wait until I get back. Those past 6 weeks leading up to my departure were incredibly busy. There were so many little things that added up to mountains of work, and well, being honest here, were a little overwhelming. The room got done and rented in time, the fence got done, the garage got organized, and of course I HAD to plant 7 more plants literally just minutes before I left for the airport, lol.

Saying good bye to so many of my friends, clients and of course my family made me a little sad and also a little anxious. At the same time I was also letting go, creating room for what is yet to come. Creating space to think about what I still need to let go of that I am holding on to from a past that seems like 2 lifetimes ago. This whole adventure has taken me out of my routines and familiar surroundings. I have always been comfortable with the unknown, at least as far back as I can remember. I can make a home anywhere and feel at home anywhere. I visited with my mom and her boyfriend in Mil Palmeras for a week. It was nice to connect and just talk. I had many German breakfasts (my favorite food) that was always lovingly prepared.

Presently, I am still in Bilbao with one of my American friends who met me here. I love Bilbao, the people, it’s very walkable city, and it’s pintxos bars.

I’m leaving for Pamplona on Thursday. I saw some Pereginos walking in San Sebastián. There are many different Camino walks leading to Santiago de Compostela.

For now I’m off to get some cafe con leche🙂

Inspired thoughts from my yoga retreat


I recently had the privilege to lead my first yoga retreat deep in the Palomar mountains of San Diego County. I will admit that I have never looked at a weather app as much as I did leading up to the retreat. We have experienced a lot of rain in the past few weeks and that meant lots of snow in the mountains as well. As it turned out it was a glorious sunny weekend with snow melting on the roof tops and full streams flowing down from the mountain tops. We had a warm fire going all weekend and plenty of herbal teas to sip to keep us cozy and warm.

It was a small and intimate circle. My intention was to allow a surrender and a turning inward to each woman’s own thoughts and needs.  With gentle yoga and spiritual healing practices,  guided meditation and breathwork, healthful meals and beautiful surroundings that was exactly what transpired. Everyone gave the other space to talk, journal, walk, nap, serve each other teas, read, or be alone with their thoughts, and in turn each one became aware of and sensitive to their own feelings and needs.

Each one of them is a caretaker by nature, and each recognized the need to invest this time in themselves. Rest and self care are so very important.

“Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause”               Emma Kate Dawson

It was truly wonderful to watch what that meant to everyone individually. Maybe we need to remember, we are longing for some of the same things, but yet our journey is highly individual, our needs and ways of achieving these longings can vary.  If we give each other the space needed to explore, own our voice, and ultimately feel safe enough to be our true self, maybe we can better understand and help others achieving this as well. That is my intention not only with this retreat, but in all of my holistic healing practices. Taking a break from all of this won’t come easy to me.  When I come back from Europe it is my deepest desire to further build up my holistic healing practice and offer more retreats, workshops , women’s circles and bodywork therapies. For now I am looking forward to new adventures❤︎

I would love to read your thoughts on this post.   

Namaste, Claudia

relaxation sitting reflection statue
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Continue reading “Inspired thoughts from my yoga retreat”

It’s a date!

When my grandpa began his well deserved retirement from working at the Coca Cola factory in Germany, he wanted nothing more than to tend to his garden. What a magnificent garden it was. It changed according to the seasons and had the most delicious fruits and vegetables. It was my happy place, too. I climbed all the apple, cherry, and pear trees, picked strawberries, gooseberries, plums, carrots, green beans and devoured them until my belly hurt. I loved helping him sow the seeds, water, harvest, haul the potatoes and onions into the root cellar. Everything was done with so much love.

Two weeks after his retirement he developed a toothache. My grandpa was never ill, not even with so much as a cold, and has never been to a doctor for any reason. His daily ritual of taking a shot of vodka before braving the elements and making his way to work on a bus always made me laugh. I loved watching him do that. While he was sitting in the dentist chair he had a stroke. They didn’t take his blood pressure or realized how anxious he was. Two weeks after that he had another stroke. Paralyzed on the left side of his body, he was in constant pain. My grandma had to lock the basement door and hide the key to prevent him from throwing himself down the stairs. Seasons past and unable to tend to his garden, he watched as more and more of his beautiful garden turned into a grassy ordinary yard.

I did not know what retirement really meant, but I saw how defeated my grandpa looked and it made me feel so so sad. Before I ever held my first job I made a pact with myself to retire early, to enjoy life, to do what I truly loved and what inspired me. Over the years that desire has never shifted or faded in the background. On the contrary, it was in the forefront of most everything I did. I had some setbacks, no doubt, but those made my desire to retire early only stronger. To be sure, I’m not retiring to sit in a rocking chair on my front porch with a shotgun in my arm, yelling at kids to get off my lawn. I am retiring from a solid, benefited position I held since 1995, and that translates to 50 % of my pension, 10 years of having to pay for my own health insurance, and a mortgage payment for a house I just purchased in April. Yes, I’m aware. Unthinkable for most, yet I have never been afraid of not having enough money. I let that shit go a long time ago. I will always have more than enough. I might not be able to buy my Tesla, but honestly, if I really wanted to, I would find a way. I find ways, I guess that’s it. When I really want something, I go after it. Unconventional ways, most of the time, but they got me here to this point, and I can say that I am very excited, and not the least bit scared, or maybe I have my feelings mixed up, let me check, nah I’m excited for sure. So it’s a date then…….March 31st, 2019.

Clever title here…

In an effort to actually write instead of staying stuck on what headline to give this blog post I’m moving on…. new year, new me! Not really, lol.

I’m wishing everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous, full of sunshine and good vibes kinda New Year. I suppose a lot of us are making New Years resolutions right about now, or rather recollecting what was said during last nights celebrations. I was never a fan of such practice, but I will admit, in recent years I too have been giving it serious thought. The trouble is, I’m having a hard time deciding on what resolution to choose. The dictionary clearly states that it is “a firm decision to do or not to something”. Last year my resolution was to keep my plants alive, which has been unsuccessful all of my life thus far, and to buy a house. I’m happy to report that most of my plants are doing very well, and then some are just hanging on for dear life.

The house I bought unseen. Well, I looked at it on the internet, told my agent that I think it’s a good idea to put in an offer. I signed the offer while having a beer with my friend Sylvia at the Gypsy Den, saying to her: “I think I just bought a house”. Yes, I know to most this is unthinkable, or a totally stupid, irresponsible, even naive thing to do. “What are you thinking, woman!!!” I follow my gut feeling, my inner voice, my heart, my intuition, and whenever I don’t, I usually regret it. That doesn’t make me irresponsible, au contraire, I work hard and pay my bills, and along the way I regret nothing. In this way I choose to look at everything from a perspective of learning, or lessons learned, rather than wondering what might have happened. Is it right or wrong? I don’t know, but it makes me feel alive, present, and happy, and I truly get up every morning excited at what this new day might have in store for me.

This year my New Years resolution is all about doing more of the things I love and truly passionate about, and also a few ones, like this blog. Besides the obvious, travel, retirement, I want to get back to my creative side which took a backseat to all the DIY projects at the aforementioned new home. For now I’m leaving you with a quote I love.

“It’s impossible, said pride

It’s risky, said experience

It’s pointless, said reason

Give it a try, whispered the heart”

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