On taking a left turn

I am a planner. Can’t help it. I love staying organized. I love the feeling of being organized. Of having everything in its place. Of having projects, journeys and assignments mapped out from start to finish — knowing, of course, that things are subject to change. And when plans do shift, I’ve gotten better over the years at not freaking out. Boy, how I used to freak out.

Every so often, I am the one instigating a shift of the plans at the last minute. It’s another thing I’ve gotten better at doing over the years — being spontaneous, veering from the charted path, throwing caution to the wind. (OK, that last one is less likely coming from me. I still do a little organizing behind the scenes when I “throw caution to the wind.”)

The day before yesterday was one of my spontaneous days. I decided to ditch my last several nights at Sadhana Yoga and Meditation Center to travel to Chitwan, a region of Nepal knows for its rhinos, tigers and elephants.

What steered this left turn? I’m not exactly sure. I simply woke up in the middle of the night, felt in my heart that I gained what I needed from Sadhana, started itching for a new adventure and flipped to my Rough Guide’s chapter on Chitwan. The following morning, I booked my roundtrip bus ticket and safari lodge accommodations.

And today, I am in Chitwan.

Within an hour of getting here, I got to see some elephants play soccer at a local festival …

… stroll a picturesque rural road behind some local women …

… and gaze upon miles and miles of beautiful yellow flower fields, as far as the eye could see.

Sometimes taking a left turn pays off in memorable dividends.

Here’s hoping the next few days continue on this trajectory. Not to mention, the rest of my life …

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