Bike riding and yoga (Noord Brabant, The Netherlands)

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The rain has finally eased off so my uncle and I can finally head out for the bike ride we had planned for yesterday. This is one of the things that’s been on my must do Holland list for years. I have always loved knowing that my uncle loves to cycle and enjoy listening to his cycling stories when we do have contact. So to have some time to ride with him is exactly how I want to spend the first half of the final full day of my two years as a digital nomad.

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My uncle has transitioned from racing bikes to ebikes over the past few years and is keen to introduce me to the joys of this specific form of cycling. So it’s on my aunt’s ebike I get and off we ride. We don’t get far before we pass the field their donkey lives in and we try to get it to come over for a pat. It decides the hay it is eating is far more interesting than two randomly dressed people wearing helmets (my uncle prefers to wear a helmet on his ebike because it can go quite fast).

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Nearby is a very cool pig farm where the pigs live in dirt mounds with chimneys poking out the tops. The pigs here have good lives, being free to roam in the mud. They live warmly in the huts too. Pigs are so cute. They always come running when people are near because their stomachs rule their minds.

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Random sights seen I follow my uncle along quiet country roads and cycle paths along the Dutch-Belgian border. It’s exactly how I imagined cycling with my uncle would be. We have a good laugh. He tells me things about the places we pass. We ride a little ways in comfortable silence. And then there is another reason to have a good belly laugh. What more could you want.

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Well, of course, the landscape is pretty sweet too. There is grass for miles, big woolly clouds that sporadically allow the sun to shine through. And structural items like trees, farm houses and church steeples to capture my attention. We even cycle along the road where Napoleon stood with his armies at the ready to invade the lands further north. It’s all pretty awesome really and I decide that I will return in the summer one year to make a 2-3 week cycle tour of this cycle mad country.

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I shower after the ride and head to my grandmother’s house for a visit before I borrow her car and drive to my aunt’s house (I should mention that my mother is one of seven and my father one of eleven so I have many aunts, uncles and cousins). I am visiting for dinner and she has invited me to participate in a Kondalilli Yoga class. She’s a registered teacher and runs Pop-Up Yoga Eindhoven. It’s been about 15 years since we last saw each other so I am excited not just to share a meal but also to be invited to something that is such a big part of her life.

I know nothing about Kondalilli Yoga. I’ve done some yoga at local gyms over the years and it’s never really spoken to me. Tai chi has always been more my style. But I am open minded and want to get to know my aunt better.

Well, let me just say that I loved the class. It was amazing. I was expecting the usual lycra-clad competitive stretching poses. But that’s not what Kondalilli is all about at all. My aunt wears a turban and white outfit. Her class wear comfortable clothing. It’s a spiritual atmosphere in the studio. It’s a simple but gentle space with positive atmosphere. I don’t have words to describe my experience of the breathing exercises, poses and meditation. All I can say is that it was exactly where I needed to be the night before I make the transition from digital nomad to entrepreneur.

It was midnight before I noticed the time after sitting on my aunt’s couch talking with her. I share some of my fears about my life after I return home. A life in which there are now no flights booked and no nomadic existence to cling to. I realise it would be easy for me to continue this lifestyle of movement and to resist the life that awaits me. But I’ve never been one to take the easy route. My life is calling me to do something more than simply travel the world doing what I please. I have found a calling that I need to follow. And knowing this takes the fear away. But for now … I needed to be here at my aunt’s house and yoga class tonight.

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