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7 Lessons I Learned At A Spiritual Retreat (Or Something Like That)

Border guard: "What is the purpose of your trip to United States?" Me: "Hiking with friends".

It's just easier that way.

I am a nerd. I do not know how this happened, but given the nature of my weekends, I might as well be a 17-year old boy, playing World of Warcraft or Dungeons and Dragons and going to Comicon conferences. Costumes and all. Hence, if the below post does not make any sense to you, shrug, roll your eyes and re-read the previous sentence.


Here are the seven lessons I learned at my last… outing.

1. I cannot have nice things. Or at least nice cars.

My little Subaru HAS to live on forever, because I cannot fathom doing the things I have been doing to it, and carrying things I have been carrying in it to any other car. It currently smells like a dead dog. Do NOT ask me how I know what dead dog smells like. You may not like the answer (and see lesson #2).

This Subaru was brand new when I got it, but this was pre-racing, pre-five pairs of dirty trail shoes, pre-wet hydration packs, and pre-semi-eaten Clif bars. As well as a rotting tomato, someone else’s socks, and some Indian rupees.

2. Cemeteries are only scary at night if you are alone.

If you bring a crowd, cemeteries can be quite cozy and educational. Although for general heart health, you still better hope that the back of your coat does not snag on a fence.

3. Kids are (cute?) little vultures, and will eat all the food meant for twenty volunteers.

All the food. The scariest thing is that most adult human beings cannot resist their charms, and will hand over the food willingly. It’s terrifying. You’ve been warned.

4. Certain kitchen experiments can leave you panting.

And I am not talking about 50 Shades of Grey over the kitchen counter kinda experiments. [Although I hear those can work too].

Surrounded by all things fat and sugar, you will find yourself slapping various ingredients in many combinations, some bearing more resemblance to food than others. And pant you will. Although you cannot be sure if it’s from sheer physical pleasure or from your arteries clogging up.

Don’t believe me? Enter the burger patty between pancakes smeared with peanut butter and drizzled with maple syrup. #mindblown

5. Hanging your underwear on a couch does not reserve you a sleeping spot.

Not even close. You will end up sleeping in a serial killer barn – Silence of the Lambs style. Bonus points for the creepiest soundtrack of a century. In the morning the award for best walk of shame goes to the chick wearing lots of black eyeliner, an Indian sari and a pair of hiking boots (wait… what?).

6. Grip strength is very important when it comes to spiritual retreats.

Just… trust me on this one. You’ll need to hold on to various things. Like your sanity. And your decency. Although the grip on the latter loosens very quickly (see the lesson #5).

7. Time is of essence.

Or perhaps, time is entirely meaningless. What time is it now? What year? Are you sure?

Hugs, SOLO


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