Are you planning to go dancing in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic? Bachata and merengue both originated there, and it’s the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in a culture where people love these music and dance styles.
I spent two wonderful years living in Santo Domingo. On my small street, there were two colmados (corner stores) where bachata or merengue were played on full blast all day long. On Fridays and Saturdays, my friends and I would go from location to location to dance, drink Presidente beer, and hang out. As a dance-obsessed world traveler, I was in heaven.
So many people have reached out to me for dance recommendations that I’ve created a dance map of Santo Domingo. You can find it here.
The dance map includes information on where to:
1) Dance most nights of the week, as well as what to wear to each venue
2) Shop for dance clothes and shoes
3) Stay in the city
I also share many of my other favorite tips for having a great time dancing in Santo Domingo. The dance map is the resource I wish I’d had when I first visited the Dominican Republic and after I moved there. There are so many places to go out, but not all of those places are the best option for avid dance travelers. If you’re like me, you want to know where to go that has the best atmosphere and some great dancers. The dance map will save you time, money and energy, which is especially important if you don’t have much time in the capital!
For a peek at one of the hot spots, watch the video below. I created this video on my very first trip to the Dominican Republic when I was scouting for a future retreat, and it gives a great sense of the local vibe on a typical night of dancing in Santo Domingo.
For all the wonderful details about the many, many places to dance, grab my dance map!
Want more information on the Dominican Republic?
- Check out the Britannica entries about the country and Santo Domingo
- Read about fun things to do in Santo Domingo
- Check out this story in Conde Nast
- See general travel guides, as written up by Afar, National Geographic and Lonely Planet
What excites you most about dancing in Santo Domingo? Sound off below!
Africa is home to many rich and varied music and dance traditions. Artists around the world continue to innovate and expand upon these traditional styles. Modern-day dances in Africa have inspired the creativity of millions around the world. Check out some of the most influential dance styles inspiring creativity and joy.
Jerusalema (South Africa and Angola Dance)
Popularized with a dance challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jersalema inspired millions. It started as a South African song, combined with dance steps from Angola, and reached everyone from politicians to priests.
After the Jerusalem topped South African charts in December, it wasn’t until February 2020 that the dance wave started. A group of friends in Angola created a video of themselves performing a line dance to the music. They called it the “Jerusalema Dance Challenge,” and it quickly went viral. The choreography has been performed by groups as varied as Portuguese healthcare workers, Dominican nuns, and Ghanaian army personnel. The dance challenge was also endorsed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as a way to uplift people in his country during the pandemic.
Odi Dance (Kenya)
Odi became widely known when the artists Timeless Noel, Hype Ochi and Jabiddi performed it in this video. The name “Odi” is slang for ordinary. According to Timeless Noel, the choreography was inspired by his desire to create simple moves that even ordinary people could dance to. While Odi originally first went viral in 2018, it recently had a second wave of popularity thanks to a video of Kenyans dancing in hospital gowns and hazmat suits at a COVID19 quarantine facility. It is now one of the most popular dances in Africa.
Pilolo Dance (Ghana)
Ghanaian dancer and choreographer Amofa Michael — popularly known as Zigi — created the pilolo dance steps. The name “pilolo” was inspired by a game similar to hide and seek that is popular among Ghanaian kids. Pilolo made its mainstage debut in the United States in 2018 when Janet Jackson executed the moves at the end of her performance of “Made for Now” on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. In an interview shortly after, Zigi said that watching the American pop star do his moves brought him to tears.
Shaku Shaku (Nigeria)
Shaku Shaku is a contemporary Nigerian street dance. Many credit the Nigerian rap superstar Olamide for turning it into an international sensation. In 2017, Olamide featured Shaku Shaku dancers in the music video for his hit song “Wo”and his annual Olamide Live in Concert (OLIC 4) event. The internet now has many tutorials about the dance. You can find other music videos by artists such as Afro B and Wizkid that feature Shaku Shaku.
Kizomba, which means “party” in the language of Kimbundu, is a type of Angolan music and partner dance that dates back to the 1980s. Today the dance is not just popular in Angola, but also across the globe. Kizomba is now featured at many latin dance festivals and events worldwide. There is such an interest in Kizomba, that some believe it could benefit Angola’s economy via tourism. This is similar to how tango encourages tourism in Argentina. Watch a quick video about kizomba in Angola here or a video of international instructors Lucien and Isabelle here.
Learn more about dances in Africa at the links below:
DANCE IS A VIBRANT FORCE FOR CULTURAL IMMERSION DURING TRAVEL
New Book by Dance Travel Expert Spotlights How Dance Connects Travelers to Community, History, and Cultures Abroad
Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad by Founder of Dance Travel Company Releases December 2020
How can people with no shared language communicate? How can someone who has just arrived in a foreign country quickly make friends or meaningfully engage with local culture? To former professional dancer Megan Taylor Morrison, now a life coach and dance travel expert, the answer couldn’t be clearer:
In her new book Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad, Morrison demonstrates that dance can forge connections between people from different backgrounds, as well as lead to cross cultural experiences that promote greater understanding of another culture or engender tremendous personal growth for the traveler.
For many of us during the age of COVID-19, life-giving experiences are in short supply. The things we love – attending incredible dance performances, going to dance classes, or hugging people within our dance communities – feel far away. Dance Adventures brings the wonder of adventure and movement to readers, wherever they may be.
This anthology includes 19 true stories written by a diverse group of renowned performers, dedicated dance teachers, dance scholars, and other avid dance travelers who:
● Explore their craft in locations tied to their family history and discover how dance helps them connect with their heritage;
● Build bonds and community with locals through a shared love of movement; ● Challenge their assumptions, embrace the unknown and find surprising new truths by saying “yes” to spontaneous opportunities; or
● Reflect on who they are and discover how dance can make them a better version of themselves.
The contributors hail from all corners of the world, and the stories take place in 17 different countries including India, China, Senegal, Philippines, Angola, Brazil, Morocco, Cuba, China and Mozambique. Contributors include:
Courtney Celeste Spears, a dancer with the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In Dance Adventures, she writes about her experience returning to her second home in The Bahamas and serving as an ambassador between her family, her heritage, and her dance company. For Spears, dance brought the two worlds she cherished together.
Indian-American folk dancer Dr. Ted Samuel, who embarks on a year abroad in South India where his parents are from. As a member of the Indian diaspora, he initially faces the challenges of feeling like an outsider in India, but ultimately finds an important vehicle for connection in Karagattam: a traditional south Indian folk dance.
Zsuzsi Kapas, a Hungarian dancer whose family immigrated to the United States in 2000 to leave behind a life of ethnic oppression. In Dance Adventures she shares a story from her three-year journey around the world, during which she studied the healing effects of dance and movement improvisation. She writes about her time in Indonesia, where her intensive work with the creator of a dance style known as Joged Amerta Movement led to lessons that helped heal her childhood trauma.
Makeda Kumasi, who teaches West African dance classes at UC Riverside, visits Senegal for the first time. There, she fulfills her long-time dream to set foot on the land of her African ancestors and gains the firsthand knowledge she feels she needs to teach West African dance at the university level. The story highlights her final day in the country, when she visits Gorée Island and confronts the realities of the Atlantic slave trade.
Topics Megan can also address include:
- ● 5 Travel Hacks Only Dancers Know
- ● Cool Dances Around The World You’ve Never Heard Of
- ● Why Dance Travel is the Next Frontier of Tourism
- ● How Dance Changes Us: Life Lessons learned While Dancing Around the World
Each of the stories in Dance Adventures highlights a way that dance travel leads to meaningful experiences, thereby shaping a person’s identity, facilitating their personal growth, or uniting them with people from different backgrounds.
About the Author
Megan Taylor Morrison is an avid dance adventurer and certified life and business coach. She has studied local dance forms in 16 countries on six continents, as well as designed and co-led dance retreats to Argentina, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. In partnership with Melaina Spitzer, Meg debuted the talk “Dance Travel: The Next Era of Dance Education,” at the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) Conference in 2018.
Through lectures, roundtables, and articles, Meg continues to share best practices for cultural immersion through the arts. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in international affairs and French from the University of Puget Sound.
Advance Praise for Dance Adventures
“Armchair travel has never had it so good! Dropping into these cultural adventures is like landing feet first on the most dynamic dance floors around the globe. Each carefully curated story gives a dancer’s eye-view of the people, places, and practices that enrich our planet.”
—Mark Metz, publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine and founder of The Dance First Association
“This book is indispensable in light of the current social momentum with regard to Black lives and the dismantling of violent systems. Many of the stories portray the experiences of individuals in whom multiple languages, customs, and spaces coexist, and for whom dance is the unifying factor.” —Moncell Durden, Assistant Professor of Practice, USC Kaufman School of Dance
“Dance Adventures contains beautiful moments of transformation and connection through dance—a wonderful extension of Meg’s own mission. The anthology’s writers create a strong case for using dance to understand the world.”
—Mickela Mallozzi, Emmy® Award-winning TV host of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi
“I was captivated by Megan Taylor Morrison’s Dance Adventures! This vibrant and emotionally explorative collection of tales captures the power of dance in a way that transcends the stage.” —Aisha Mitchell, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member (2008–2013), Broadway soloist in Oklahoma (2019), and featured performer in The Lion King (2013–2018)
Title: Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad
Author: Megan Taylor Morrison
I love how peering into other people’s worlds fuels our own inspiration and creativity. Lately, many of my clients have asked me about my day-to-day, so I wanted to share more in case anything I’m up to sparks something for you!
Here’s a glimpse into my life:
- Book I’m loving: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. I listened to this three times over on my morning walks and it’s encouraged me to act NOW on my desires. If you need more NOW in your life or business, check it out.
- What I’m enjoying most about living in the Dominican Republic now: Eating pasteles de hoja — Dominican-style tamales. Here’s a recipe. You’re welcome.
- I’m terrified to commit FULLY to my passion project: I’m digging into the connection between African dances and solo vernacular jazz more deeply than ever (watch the dance I’m currently working on here). Because this is so close to my heart, I have a ton of resistance to following through. I procrastinate, make excuses, and — bottom line — don’t practice. So… I just hired a private African dance instructor to work with me virtually and in-person. I know this project in my heart needs to come out, and I need a lot of loving support to make sure it does! (P.S. This is YOUR reminder to get support for the passion projects that mean so much to you!).
- Cool new testimonial: I just love my client Yvette Gorman-Holmes from Grow Your Moxie Coaching. You can read it below.
- Masala Chai: All day every day. Since getting back from India, I can’t stop drinking it. Here’s the recipe I’m using. Try it for yourself!
- My book: Life Beyond Should is moving right along! I got edits back from my first readers and am incorporating more interviews with scientists. This will be a scientific, spiritual, and practical guide to embracing your authentic desires!
Stay tuned for more updates! And let me know if you try out the book or recipes!
Embrace the Adventure,
P.S. Here’s the testimonial from Yvette:
“Megan OVER-DELIVERS as a coach and keeps you accountable to what you say you want! Through our coaching together, I learned to boldly move through the inner whispers of fear and ego, as well to stop using shame to fuel my productivity. I discovered how to increase my drive in a way that builds my confidence, inspires me, and makes me feel loved and acknowledged. I raised my prices and got hired for what I’m worth, as well as created a new level of compassion, commitment, and desire in my 20-year marriage. Working with Megan has been a celebrated gift to myself. She is a driven, compassionate, fun-loving, super-organized, disciplined soul who helps you get results and leads by example in all she does.”
People often ask me “What is it like to live in the Dominican Republic?”
I lived in Santo Domingo full time from 2018 – 2020, led multiple retreats for Americans to the region of Samana, toured the country extensively, and have been traveling back and forth from the United States to the DR for the last five years. Based on my experience, I’ll answer the following questions:
- What is the cost of living?
- Can a US citizen live in the Dominican Republic?
- How much money do you need to live comfortably in the Dominican Republic?
- Where do expats live?
- What’s the food like?
- What are the best restaurants in Santo Domingo?
- How do I get around?
- How hard is it to find housing?
- Where are the best places to go out?
- How hard is it to make friends?
- Where are the best places to visit?
- What have I learned from living in the Dominican Republic?
What is the cost of living in the Dominican Republic?
It depends on the lifestyle you want. It was quite expensive for me — someone who works remotely and wanted to spend my first few months living in an upscale, furnished apartment in Santo Domingo.
My rent was about $1200 per month for an apartment in a nice building with a doorman. The apartment was located in Piantini, an upscale area of town (although there’s still quite a bit of noisy construction that happens there…). Because the internet was not always reliable, I also joined Chez Space — a co-working spot. That ran be about $150/month for use of the shared area. A private office runs about $1000/month.
For food, you can go grocery shopping at Supermarcado Bravo, La Sirena, Carre Four, or Nacional. Prices and selection there are comparable to grocery stores the United States. Bonus: You can get cool things like soursop, giant avocados, passion fruit, and other tropical foods there for cheap.
As a dancer, nights out were also factored into my budget (I’ve created a map of where you can go out dancing in Santo Domingo if you’re a dancer like me!). This is not very pricy, but I did always put aside some cash for an ice cold Presidente beer or two ($10/night to be safe).
Can a US citizen live in the Dominican Republic?
While I’m not sure about laws and regulations around residency, US citizens are able to stay in the Dominican Republic for very extended stays (we’re talking years, not months). You simply pay an overstay fee when you leave.
How much are these fees? As an example, you’ll pay $100 if you choose to stay for 9 months – 1 year. This website gives a more detailed outline of cost.
I traveled back to the United States about once every three months for work (I am a life and business coach who offers private coaching, a business mastermind program and virtual coworking). This meant, I paid a fee each time I left. I also opted for a passport with more pages (since I got two immigration stamps for each of my trips there).
How much money do you need to live comfortably in the Dominican Republic?
See the note above about the cost of living. If you want to go see different parts of the country, have a nice apartment, and otherwise keep a lifestyle similar to yours in the United States, I would reserve $3,500 – $4,000 a month.
Where do expats live in the Dominican Republic?
The United States embassy is near the neighborhood Arroyo Hondo, so many expats live there. That said, it’s pretty out of the way. If you want easier access to downtown or the Colonial Zone for movie theatres, nightlife or a more lively atmosphere in general, I would opt for one of the following expat-friendly areas:
- La Zona Colonial
- Bella Vista
Outside of Santo Domingo, popular expat towns are Punta Cana, Las Terrenas and — increasingly — the region of Samana.
What’s the food like in the Dominican Republic?
Delicious!!!!! My hot tip is to visit the food court in the Acropolis Center and eat at the buffet with Dominican Food. You can get chicken breast, rice, avocado and beans for less than $5.
Traditional Dominican foods include love morro (rice with beans), ropa vieja (shredded beef), pasteles en hoja (it’s like a Dominican tamale) and sancocho (a delicious, hearty stew made with meat and tubers).
That said, there are many excellent and diverse options for places to eat in Santo Domingo. Restaurants offer Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Peruvian and many other types of food.
What are the best restaurants in Santo Domingo?
Some of my favorite restaurants include:
- La Dolcerie: A good mix of nice dishes with a gorgeous atmosphere
- Fresh Fresh Cafe: Fresh, healthy food
- Laurel: A good mix of delicious offerings
- La Locanda: Delicious Italian
- Falafel Zona: This may be the best falafel I’ve ever had
- Forno Bravo: Tasty Italian food
- LuGa: High-end burgers and truffle fries
How do I get around in the Dominican Republic?
I recommend Ubers or — if you’re very adventurous and have a helmet — motor Ubers. That’s right: You can order a motorcycle to come and pick you up. Is it dangerous? Extremely. Is it fun? YES!
How hard is it to find housing in the Dominican Republic?
Initially, I booked places through Airbnb, which is wonderful. There are many great spots available in Santo Domingo at various price ranges. After my initial stay, I moved in with my boyfriend’s family. Now, when I go back, I stay there, with friends or in Airbnbs.
Where are the best places to go out in the Dominican Republic?
This is the question people ask me most often, so I created a map that has my favorite music venues, places to dance and a lot more. Check it out here.
How hard is it to make friends in the Dominican Republic?
In the Dominican Republic, I found my friend groups through the local dance community (click here to see my favorite places to dance), as well as through the International Women’s Club in Santo Domingo. I loved this group, as it was an awesome mix of ladies from all around the world. Most of the women are there temporarily because their husbands work for a large international company.
Where are the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic?
For cooler weather: Head to Jarabacoa or Constanza
For beautiful waterfalls: Jarabacoa, 27 Waterfalls
For wild terrain: Samana — and stay at the Dominican Treehouse Village if you can!
For the coolest shade of water you’ve ever seen: Barahona. Stay at Casa Bonita if you have the cash.
For kitesurfing and dinners on the beach: Cabarete
For all-inclusives (not my jam, but they might be yours!): Punta Cana
For dancing: Santo Domingo (check out my map of where to go dance)
What have I learned living in the Dominican Republic?
<<The below was written around January 1, 2019>>
January 1 will mark ONE YEAR since I moved here… and it’s been a hell of a lot harder than I imagined.
Just because you’re called to something doesn’t mean the journey will gracefully unfold. The universe may invite you to a situation where you have to struggle, fight, and endure. Our destined experiences are meant to teach us something, and sometimes learning those lessons isn’t easy.
Being in the Dominican Republic showed me my inherent right to massive self-expression, that I can succeed as a business owner in any environment, taught me to love my body more deeply, demonstrated that self-love is my birthright (and has nothing to do with money or accomplishments), and reminded me how lucky I am to be from the United States. For all of the troubles in our country right now, we still have so, so much to be grateful for.
My favorite part about being here? How Dominicans sing and dance so freely. It doesn’t matter if they’re any good at it. They relentlessly express themselves, and can laugh at themselves and one another with pure love.
There are other things I hate about being here. I hate the negative attention I receive as a white woman, all the mosquitos, and the pollution of the downtown area of Santo Domingo (there’s a reason I run my annual retreat in Samana, and that I only take travelers to one part of the capital city). I hate the gossip and I hate the crime.
This is just life, right? There are pros and cons. The term “double edged sword” exists for a reason. I believe all I can do is follow my intuition, listen to my heart, and accept the imperfection of every experience as perfect.
I am so grateful to have spent my year here, and for all of the DR’s challenges and joys that gave me an opportunity for massive learning.
What was the choice that led to your biggest learning this year? Comment below.
Embrace the Adventure,
Do you think success requires hard work? A friend asked me this last week, and I answered:
“Success requires consistent and dedicated work, but whether it’s hard depends on your mindset.”
I am sick of hard work. Hard work makes me feel exhausted. It makes me dread getting out of bed in the morning — even to work on a business I love! It turns my creativity and inspiration into a chore.
Instead, I focused on how to make my consistent and dedicated work feel amazing for me.
Some of my favorite methods:
1. Breaking up hard work with dance parties
2. Co-working with different people every day of the week
3. Creating partnerships with people I admire to launch cool new workshops and programs
4. Working from places that feel luxurious to me (beautiful hotel lobbies, cafes where I can get my favorite tea, on my personal retreats abroad)
5. Checking in with myself on a quarterly basis to make sure my programs, retreats, and work relationships make my heart sing (if not, I change things up!).
My favorite methods of all involve other entrepreneurs who inspire me. When I consistently connect with those people, I want to work and create new things. The ideas come easily, I enjoy the accountability and support I receive, and I get to celebrate reaching my goals with people I adore. Hard work is nonexistent.
Embrace the Adventure,
There I am on the far left, looking seriously professional.
But don’t be fooled… This was my left shark moment.
Let’s rewind for those who don’t know this cultural reference.
During the 2015 Super Bowl, Katy Perry rocked the half time show. It was great exposure for her, but the true star was one of her backup dancers — the man in the giant shark costume on her left.
“Left shark” became an instant celebrity featured on national news outlets. People talked about him for weeks because his choreography was clearly off and his improvised moves were oh-so hilarious. You can see the video here.
Ok — now back to the story!
In February, I joined a four-week women’s salsa styling class. I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn new moves and make friends.
When I arrived for the first class, however, the teacher announced we would perform the choreography.
“Are you dancing with us, Megan?” She asked me (in Spanish, of course).
I said yes.
But by the end of the first class I was worried. Most of the women were already amazing dancers. As these beautiful Latinas twirled their way across the floor, I flailed around in back like a fish out of water.
Over the next two weeks, I became increasingly nervous. I spent hours in between classes trying to learn the choreography and no one seemed available to practice with me.
A week before the show, I went to a final rehearsals.
As the other ladies turned across the floor, I stood awkwardly in place. When they did a complicated series of moves, I got lost and ended up facing the wrong direction.
“You look confused.” The dance teacher told me.
It would have been easy to give up. This was NOT what I had expected. I felt humiliated and alone. My ego was screaming at me to call it quits.
But then my coach-brained turned on: What’s the bigger thing for me to learn here?
Since arriving, I had been trying to gain friends and connect with others by looking “together,” rather than by relaxing and truly connecting with people.
I was trying to prove myself by doing things “right,” rather than loving myself — and letting others love me — simply for me. (After all, this gringa with terrible Spanish and mediocre salsa moves was actually really nice, fun, and charming!)
It was exhausting. And I decided I would rather create success from EASE and CONNECTION rather than from PERFORMANCE.
So, for the next week, I asked for support as much as I needed it (especially when I felt like it was “too much”). I practiced laughing at myself and embracing “good enough.” I practiced not taking myself so seriously and keeping things in perspective.
From this new place, I got the support I needed and had a hell of a lot more fun. My fellow dancers helped me, rooted for me, and made sure I was able to get into my costume (those tight, frilly outfits are difficult to put on!).
As it turns out, being a demand for what you want is often necessity here! If you ask once, twice, or three times, you probably won’t get what you need. No one thinks it’s pushy. People think it’s normal. (Thanks, Universe, for the opportunity to endlessly practice standing up for what I need! What a great skill to strengthen!)
By the next week, I was somewhat ready for the performance. I knew most of the moves but — more importantly — I had the right attitude.
Making FUN, EASE, and CONNECTION non-negotiable turned everything around. And I got what I wanted: better dance technique, new friends, and a memorable experience.
Was my performance perfect? Hardly! You can see it here.
But it was good enough! And we’ve been invited to perform our choreography at the Hard Rock Cafe… so I’ll have another shot and plenty more time to practice.
Readers, Where are you taking yourself too seriously? Is it killing your ability to have fun and be present? What is the experience you really want?
Whatever it is, you can create it NOW! You can choose to assume the attitude that will allow you to have the experience you desire.
Don’t forget it, and don’t forget to…
Embrace the Adventure,
In honor of International Women’s Day, I want to feature a few ladies who have made a big difference for me this year, as well as offer a free, three-hour coaching intensive to a woman who is making a difference for those around her.
Who is this gorgeous babe, you ask? Why, it’s Leah Beilhart! Photographer, videographer, and community leader extraordinaire! Leah makes a massive contribution through her community Behold.Her in Washington DC and does beautiful work for her clients — all while being kind, gracious, and quirky in the best way. She is to thank for our beautiful video of the Dominican retreat.
It’s not often your AirBnB host becomes a friend. Darys is an amazing woman and fate brought us together in the Dominican Republic. Darys lived in New York for many years and worked on Wall Street before moving back to the DR to become the first female CEO of the Dominican Stock Exchange. She came from modest beginnings and recently released a book about her path to success. She is in the midst of launching her international speaking career (just last week she spoke at three events in Colombia), and it’s been a blast to work side by side with her from her apartment. She is honest, kind, and all-around badass.
In 2017, Dance Adventures collaborated with Mickela — the Emmy-Award-Winning host of the television show Bare Feet — to run our dance trip to Argentina. Mickela’s tenacity is inspiring. Initially, she struggled to find support for her show because she didn’t look like a typical television host. She stayed with it and now has three Emmys under her belt. She is an amazing example of what happens when a brilliant woman applies herself to a project she adores.
Make sure to follow these three ladies so you receive updates on the amazing things they’re creating!
Embrace the adventure,
From the time I was young, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to find a way to work for myself and make a big impact on the world.
And yet, I was too scared to take the leap until I hired my first coach.
Now in my third year of entrepreneurship, I believe that I would have given up a long time ago without coaching.
This last Wednesday in Buenos Aires is the perfect example of why.
I was on a high when I left my hotel Wednesday morning. Here in Argentina, it’s autumn (my favorite season), our tango trip here was half-way through and going fabulously and I was on my way to a cool co-working space to work with my amazing coaching clients who are up to big things.
As I walked, I messaged a friend back home. I was literally laughing out loud about his witty reply to me when I was hit from behind by a motorcycle. I screamed and felt my phone get ripped out of my hand.
The motorcyclist then zipped off the side walk and into the street. He was gone within seconds.
What the hell am I doing running this dance trip company?
It is totally crazy to be traveling the world and balancing two businesses!
It’s only a matter of time until this all fails and I go back and find a day job.
(Funny thoughts, since both of my businesses are growing and have been since I launched them!)
In those moments after the robbery, I wanted to quit.
That’s right: I wanted to quit running my two profitable dream companies and go back to working a desk job — any desk job would do!
And, before coaching, I would have.
Here are some of the big lessons I’ve learned from coaching that helped me get back on track:
We All Have a Predictable Response to Triggers
At Accomplishment Coaching, I learned that people fall into one of three categories when DEEPLY confronted: They attack (lash out), suffer, or quit. I’m a quitter. In other words, my default is to run away from a situation when I get scared or angry. When I got robbed, my desire to quit was totally predictable. Through coaching, I’ve learned to empower my COMMITMENT (to be an entrepreneur who changes lives), rather than fleeting circumstances or emotions.
Drama is Optional
I could have made it mean a lot of things that I got robbed. I could have taken it as a “sign” that my businesses would not work or related to myself as a victim. I could have beaten myself up about having my phone out, made myself feel awful, or hyper-focused on how much replacing my phone would cost. Instead, I had a good cry, journaled and got plenty of hugs from my business partner. I then ordered a new phone with a great payment plan. I looked at the facts (not any dramatic interpretation of what happened) and allowed the situation to be a reminder to practice better safety and mindfulness when traveling.
AND Honoring Our Emotions Is An Important Part of The Process
I spoke extensively about this in my last email, and it’s worth sharing again: When we step over our emotions, we don’t allow ourselves the ability to heal and to learn lessons that are there for us. As I sat with my emotions this time, I noticed shame. I knew better than to have my phone out while walking around. This was a great opportunity to practice self-compassion and forgiveness.
Expect And Welcome Obstacles
When we are up to big things, we come up against big obstacles. That’s ok because there are lessons to be learned and BREAKTHROUGHS we can have. Rather than seeing this robbery as “that thing that ruined my trip,” I saw it as a normal consequence of running an international travel company and being a digital nomad. After processing what happened, I saw an opportunity to be a better leader and to act with more wisdom, presence, compassion, and care for myself and my travelers. In that way, facing this obstacle helped me further my commitment to who I want to be for myself and my clients.
I wish you each grace with the obstacles you are facing and send you all love from Buenos Aires.