The Compass is a weekly curated email of useful things for travellers interested in authentic experiences, self-development and finding happiness around the world.
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HOI! (HI! in Dutch)  

When I could no longer get my socks on in the morning, I knew something was wrong, still, it took me a couple weeks after that before I finally got it. 

I've had back problems for years now, but recently it reached a whole new level, resulting not just in overall stiffness, but sudden, heavy pain shoots and the inability to go about my day without having to think about how I would stand and walk, let alone drag my heavy backpack all the way around Goa in India as I did a little while ago. 

While the pills from the doctor help numb the pain, I know it's not the solution. Clearly, my body screams for a change. As I sat at the Ashiyana Yoga Centre in Mandrem in Goa, doctor Prashanth of Arth Ayurveda made it very clear: "Illness is a result of an unbalanced lifestyle. Your body failing is its last resort to tell you something is wrong, but the cause often lies deeper than that".

I've written more about Ayurveda on the blog, but I also just found this video that I really wanted to share with you. It's of Arianna Huffington being interviewed by Chase Jarvis (co-founder of my all-time favourite website Creative Live) and they talk about the exact same thing: illness (and getting too caught up in your work and daily routine) and the lifestyle chances and healthy habits that are needed to be happy in the long run. 

There are some really amazing insights in this video, and I highly recommend you watch it, but for me what stood out was the realisation that you have to create a life that is sustainable. As the interviewer Chase puts it: "Put your own oxygen mask on before assisting other people". 
You simply have to take care of yourself before you can be more effective, more productive, more creative, more healthy, in better relationships... and generally have more fun in your life.

Arianna said (quite striking) that most people, at any given time, roughly know how much battery their smartphones have ...but do they even know how much battery they have left themselves?

Ouch. Truth!

The number 1 thing Arianna says we can truly make a change in to help you perform better, is getting enough sleep. Science has proven over the years just how important it is to process the day in your sleep and simply turn it all off for a couple of hours. Still, we hold our phones in our bed and barely give ourselves the time to truly relax. I know I'm totally guilty of this at home, but also when I travel!

When you take 30 minutes before you go to bed to separate yourself from your devices, drink a hot, non-caffeinated drink (important ritual in Ayurveda as well), have a bath/shower (even if it's just 5 minutes), put on clothes you only wear at night (not also at the gym), real a 'real' book (nothing work related), etc, you can really let go of your day and allow space for creativity, new ideas and general health & wellness. 

So here are my questions for you for this week:
  • Do you remember what it is like to operate at a 100% battery?
  • Is your technology running your life or helping you lead your life?
  • Do you currently have any clear sleep rituals?
  • Are your sleep rituals different when you travel?
  • How do you build in moments of stillness into your day?
  • What truly brings you joy in your day?
I hope you found this interesting to read (and watch) and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, you can reply to this email if you'd like to share your story. Below are many more links that I found in the past week, to help you plan your next authentic, meaningful trip, while working on your self-development. Enjoy the read!

Take care, 
What You Can Learn About Ayurveda in Goa, India
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(Nick likes strange animals)
This, my friends, is a Peacock Spider. It's real. Click the image to see the video and read more about it here. They even have their own Facebook Page.
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