Have you ever heard of Dominica?
Dominica is a tiny island in the Eastern Caribbean also known as “The Nature” island, an unspoiled paradise tacked away between Guadaloupe and Martinique.
My life was completely transformed by simply spending eight days on the island. Never before had I felt so inspired and at the same time overwhelmed by a culture with a big array of sensory stimulations that touch your soul.
Everyday I woke up in the middle of the rainforest in a place two miles off the grid reachable only by a dirt road that crossed a running river twice. Waking up to torrential rain in the middle of the night or to the deepest of silent was exciting and disconcerting at the same time. It made me wonder whether I would make it to the main road again.
In the mornings, I would allow myself to get lost wondering in thick vegetation. On the first day especially, I took a walk to the river then around a banana plantation and realized that, never before in my life. I had seen so many shades of green, not even in Oregon where I live. I lifted my eyes and I felt like a tiny creature in a vast incredible paradise of towering trees and mountains, where there were no familiar sounds, the busy and annoying freeways gone, cars gone, the sound of office keyboards gone, phone ringing gone, busy crowds gone, stress gone, it was just me, the rain forest and its concert of colors, sounds and natural beauty.
A rushing river was my only companion as it was also my only reference point to find the way back. You have to muster up a lot of courage to walk alone in a jungle without a destination or a map, not knowing much about the plants and the animals that surround you, especially at night. To be alone with your thoughts in a place completely foreign to you is to be brave. At night you can barely see your hand fully extended except when you stumble on a firefly that illuminates the path for you.
You and the immense nature and nothing else force you to go inward and take note of your fears, your joys, your emotions, and your overall state of mind. In doing so you realize that you are in the safest of places, the perfect laboratory for inspiring thoughts and ideas, the perfect time to align with your values and your passions.
Dominica did that for me. I had not expectation and not plan and found the island inspiring at every corner and every interaction with locals.
You can also test your bravery by adventuring on 2 hour hikes up stream in a river crossing water, climbing boulders and keeping your senses alert in case of flush floods. The reward at the end can be a tall majestic waterfall that you can swim under.
So, do you want to be inspired and be brave? Dominica is a destination very conducive for both.
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