After an enriching three months painting and creating in the United States, I flew away the day my Esta Visa Waiver ended (thanks to pure synchronicity and no means due to my sense of organisation…)
Into new lands and unexplored cultures, I arrived in Costa Rica one week ago. I was generously hosted by a wonderful artist by the name of Rodrigo Piedra www.rodrigopiedra.com in his stunning glassed wall house. He helped me buy a little van to get around the country and showed me his wonderful warehouse workshop where he makes humongous butterflies amongst other incredible things. The time spent in San Jose also clarified that I am entirely done with the city worlds, except on the occasions of necessity. There is nothing appealing to me about concrete jungles and anonymous souls. I want to breathe her in and know the essence of who you are… Finally all was ready for me to step into a new world of creation: Painting the Yogis into Costa Rica.
Truth be told, I was very nervous to be driving my new/old, cute-but-rickity minivan. Having rented new and luxurious cars throughout my time in the States, and not having driven a manual for at least 10- years, arriving safely was met with much gratitude! And so it was that yesterday afternoon I reached my first destination, geographically close to Playa Hermosa near the city of Jaco, the first of many beautiful yoga resorts to be visited during my stay in Costa Rica, VidaAsana - www.vidaasana.com. Blessings showered me once again!
Not only is VidaAsana incredibly beautiful, tranquil, welcoming and fully equipped, It is being run by the sweetest family, Sean, Jess and 9month old baby Julep (JuJu) McDonald. The McDonalds have recently relocated to Costa Rica to live a dream life running this gorgeous space and it is of full credit to them that VidaAsana is sparkling with care, teeming with natural life, and open to all aspects of creativity - including me and my visions. I have a lovely clean room, with a sweet window that looks out to the jungle, a kitchenette and ensuite bathroom. The walls are white and blank for now but might be touched by my brush before I leave. It is, quite frankly, perfect. Mornings are met with fresh coffee next to the communal kitchen space, and one of the most wonderful yoga sessions that I have ever had with a master Yogi by the name of Laura.
As with all the resorts that I will be visiting, I intend to create a number of artwork with the local yogis, that take mimetic pachamama body painting to a whole new level. Incorporating asana poses and deep meditation will allow for a deeper resonance, both experientially and observationally, in merging humanity and planet earth. It is a collaborative challenge, an experience that neither the yogis, nor myself have ever embarked upon. No body ever knows how anything is going to come about, and so it is with complete trust that I surrender this process to spirit. Pleased to announce that Laura, the yoga teacher, will be the first model for this body painting series. Stay posted!
I am working on many new projects at the moment including this new body painting series, my debut art exhibition in Australia in March, developing a reader base for my blog, conducting seminars about Healing Through Body Painting, making contributions to upcoming festivals including Cosmic Convergence in Guatemala and Envision Festival in Costa Rica, figuring out how to translate my work into financial exchanges - and the list goes one! Having a holistic understanding of my life has lead me to create a few other focuses for myself during my time here in Costa Rica. Conveniently surrounded by conscious people, yoga, nature and art, it makes perfect sense that I take my sense of wellbeing and peace into my own hands and re-develop some forgotten practices. I have filled my little fridge with fresh fruit, recommitted to drinking 2L of water a day, practising yoga and meditating morning and night, remembering to take long deep breathes as often as possible and to dwell in gratitude no matter what the circumstances. This is what will help me continue to trust the unfolding of this journey and keep myself centred and calm and stay true to the overall purpose of my work.
The afternoon air is sweet and the sounds of exotic jungle birds and creatures are the background to the clicking of my keypad. I have an afternoon english session booked in with Socrates the grounds keeper from Nicaragua and I am eager to go and spend some time with Jess and JuJu up in the main house. Since the moment I arrived yesterday, I have been drenched with the familiar sense of being in the right place at the right time. Synchronistic shared connections have revealed themselves instantly and I know that this is going to be an incredible adventure.
Blessings and gratitude. x
And then one day, I turned 30. I looked at myself and what I had become as all the stories of my life melted together and trailed off into the past... and suddenly the cogs began to turn at a different frequency and the vibration of my being shifted into a new paradigm of creating… and the story changed forever. Again.
I have been a solo traveller for 12 years, and I have been travelling and living in various places around the world for nearly that whole time. I have spent 2 years maximum in any one place and built an enriching life in four different continents. I speak 2.5 languages and can recognise universalities of emotion enough to play my cards right just about anywhere I go. This wasn’t the plan of course, but life happens as it happens in its own unexpected perfect way.
As a traveller, the most common question that one is asked is “where are you from?”. This simple question once-upon-a-time had a simple answer - but as the years passed, the complexity of my answer deepened, to the point where this question became exhausting. A constant reminder of all the places I had come from, and communities I had loved and left. A long interesting story of travel that overlooked the "why's", and misrepresented the person that yearned to find her place in this world. Based in Israel for three years whilst i performed in Festivals around Europe during the summers, gave me a taste of settled life within a world i loved, and flying away was nothing short of devastating.
The fleeting faces and friendships paled in comparison to the experience and community I had become a part of in Israel - and when I left, I learnt what I wanted most of all in life: A home in the nature, a family, and art. But time and place remain the common issue... and so my story continued, this time under the guise of searching for a home, I travelled up and down the east coast of Australia for a year, until I fell in love, tried to make Sydney my 'home' and after only one year, closed the doors on my less than happy existence playing the Sydney game. Needless to say, there was only one thing for me to do - I yanked myself out of my cosy cave and flew back over the waters of dreams, head first into my international life again.
Since then, life has been nothing short of incredible each step of the way. In full flow of creating and becoming and expanding and sharing... not a day passes that I don't wake up saying thank you for all my blessings. Infinite stories to share of the most miraculous nature flood my existence... The once dreaded question, “Where are you from?” is impossible to avoid, but my clarity to have consciously chosen this path - to be on the road again living out of a bag (albeit on wheels rather than on my back, hallelujah!) - has me embrace my answer with a new found appreciation of my own story - the more I tell it, the more unbelievably awesome I realise it has been - and continues to be! It is in the wonder and awe of the eyes that look at me, combined with my four years of anthropological training, and 12 years of accumulated travel, that i am able to see myself through the people I meet around the world, and recognise the importance of sharing my story. To my family and friends around the globe, to all my new readers out there and to the peeps who might not be listening but have helped me become ME.. . THANK YOU & I LOVE YOU. Stay posted xx
16 years world traveller, internationally recognised award winning body painter with a background in Anthropology, Orly delves deep into the enquiry of what it means to be a human being and ceaselessly expresses her art whilst following her heart. Nowadays, specialising in mimitism (camouflage), Orly's current expressions are a moving living creative and expansive entity that represents her passion for re-merging humanity with the earth from which we came, sustainable conscious living, healing the sacred feminine as we learn to respect our mother earth and advocacy for balancing commercial gain with global and local contributions.