Wow. Wait, let me restate that…WOW. What a summer. I hope some of you made it to at least one Wanderlust Festival because they were amazing! I’m very grateful to say that my work as the Sponsorship Manager at Wanderlust requires that I be on site for each event, so I got to get out of New York for almost six weeks! Wahoo! New York in the summertime is hot, humid, sticky, smelly and crowded. It’s also fun, sunny, alive and full of free outdoor stuff to do…but somehow, for me, that doesn’t make up for the heat and smelliness factors. Needless to say, it’s not my favorite season to be a New Yorker. I much prefer clean air, lakes, cool mountain nights, and lots of space to run around and play in nature. Being on the road with Wanderlust so long gave me lots of time to fully detach from the city life and embrace my summer ambitions!
1. More Fun (Music!)
2. More Kindness, to myself and others (Yoga!)
3. More Adventure (Nature!)
I am happy to report that I totally nailed ‘em all! With Moby as the headliner at three of our four big festivals, there was no shortage of opportunities to get hilariously sweaty on the dance floor. Our staff is pretty well stocked with twenty-something yogis with sweet moves and very low inhibitions, so we spent almost every festival Friday and Saturday night dancing like crazy and having the best time. Some of my favorite music memories, however, were afterhours in the production office (where we all set up shop for the weekend). After dancing at the main stage, we’d all go back to the production office to hang out and sing together. I play the ukulele, which is an adorably tiny and super portable instrument, so I brought it with me on tour this summer. That helped a lot with Ambition #1.
Ambition #2, being kind to myself and others, was a little bit more of a challenge. The being kind to others part was easy – thank you, flower wall! (photo #3, credit Ali Kaukas) Every time I passed the KIND booth on site, I grabbed a flower and passed it on to a staffer, stagehand, random passerby, etc. I knew people would like the wall, but I couldn’t have imagined how much they would love and appreciate getting a little flower! Every person I gave a flower to smiled and said thank you, and a few people even gave me a hug! It was adorable and so fun. Finding some time for myself, on the other hand, was a little trickier. I made time in Vermont to get one class in—Detox Flow with Seane Corn—and it was AMAZING. Very challenging and really powerful. I was off to a great start, but started to lose steam halfway through the season when I was getting tired. When I realized that making time for myself might be more of a challenge than expected, I decided to be kind to myself by feeding my body only good stuff. I cut out wheat, meat, dairy and caffeine for two weeks in the middle of festival season! Lucky for me, KIND bars don’t have any nasty stuff in them, so I basically lived on them.
I’m happy to say that Ambition #3 might have been the most fun to conquer. Because I stayed out West between the festivals, I had lots of fresh land to explore! I hiked to a beach and swam in Lake Tahoe with my coworker besties. I went on a two hour solo stroll (ok, I got lost) in a forest on the other side of a field after a barn party outside of Seattle. I hiked in the Redwoods, practiced yoga on top of two or three different mountains, and watched the sun come up over the northern rainforest in Washington. I made the time, I cut the excuses, and I let myself adventure! And I think I had at least three different flavors of KIND in my fanny pack at all times. (Yep, I wore a fanny pack.)
It was a little bittersweet to come back to my Brooklyn life. Great to see my pals, sleep in my own bed, etc., but hard to let the adventure go. Luckily, we head back up to Canada for our Mont Tremblant event this weekend! We’ll only get a couple days there, but I plan to renew my commitment to my ambitions and take them all the way into the fall. Some may have to be adjusted for New York life, but I’ll keep on doing the kind thing!