How To Believe in Magic by Naomi Zelin

*Disclaimer hitch hiking can be very dangerous, if you want to hitch hike please be aware of an already existing safe hitch hiking culture*

I rose with the sun this morning in anticipation to extend my visa on Koh Samui. I should have taken the first boat out. Looking back, it would have been a lot easier if I would have planned this better. But I didn't plan thus I've wasted a whole lot more money and a whole lot more time on this experience. But as I sit here waiting for the next ferry to arrive I can only think that this all happens for a reason. Reasons bigger than us, reasons that cannot be explained.

I woke up ready to take a taxi, but then decided I was too broke after calculating the price of a visa extension. With that, I decided that I would take the long way and start walking. Now if you've never hitch hiked before it's a feeling that’s hard to replicate, absolute anxiety with total euphoric excitement. If you're someone who has traveled enough, this is the high of choice, the feeling of endless opportunity and of course the promise of a great story and one of a kind experience. 

I began my journey by hitching a ride with an Englishman who had just dropped his kids off at school. He tells me that he's lived on this island for 20 years now. With deep conviction, he tells me of his travels in Africa as a young man in his 20’s, stating at that point in his life he realized how big the world was. He came to the conclusion that trying to see the entire world would be very complicated and time consuming. So he decided that staying in one spot was the way to really enjoy life. 

He dropped me off half way to my destination. 

Next a motor biker picked me up to take me to the pier. He was an Indian man who wore a long string of rudraksha malas. He went out of his way to make sure I was dropped off at the right pier. We spoke little about ourselves because the wind made it complicated to chat. Our brief interaction included him asking if I was a yoga teacher and how long I will be staying on the island. He then told me he owed shop by the pier, with a big pure heart. I let him know I would come check out his shop one day.

When I got to the pier, I went to the first stand I saw and got my boat ticket. The woman at the counter said that it would be 250 bhat and the ferry would board at 12:30 p.m. I look at my phone and see it’s only about 9am, the thing about spontaneous-no-plan-travel is that it's not always the most efficient, although I can guarantee you it’s got a magic all its own. Now, it seems that I've have a few hours on my hands.

I'm in Thong Sala the city center of this small island I live on. How small is small? Well, to get to the other end of this island it's only about an hour bike ride. Most places I either walk to or hop on a friend’s motor bike, as we never really go much farther than a 10 or 15 minutes away from our bungalows. 

So here I am in the big city with time to kill, first stop is to fuel up on a light nash and some coffee, obviously. I walk around not looking for anything in particular just letting the wind and stores float me around. I head to the 20 bhat shop (think dollar store but Thai style), where I see all the many things I want to buy for my future home. Wherever that place may be. I buy a glass container because I'm sick of plastic bottles and how wasteful they are. Feeling like I've seen all I need to, I decided that it’s time to head back to the pier to see what's happening, maybe catch a few sun rays before I venture on to the other island. 

I walk past the store of the man who picked me up on his motor bike, and I walked in to say hello and thank him again for the ride. He then asked me what kind of yoga I teach and if I do any energy healing. Shaking my head vigorously I said, “Yes! I teach many styles of yoga and I am also a reiki healer!”  He looked at me deeply and inquisitively, asked if his chakras were balanced and if I could read his energy without using my hands. I reply by telling him I'm still new to energy healing and I cannot do that quite yet. 

Without any other question this man asks, “Ok so how did you hurt your back?”

Not knowing this man for longer than 10 minutes and him calling out my back problems. I get this feeling that he’s one who knows a lot more than meets the eye. Even after all the travel and healers I've met, things like this still surprise me but not as much as they did when I first began my journey of spirituality.

He asked me about my back problems and spoke to some trauma in my mind that I've buried with many layers of dirt. He gave me some insights into my pain both physically and mentally, with next to no information about me, he hits it spot on. This man doesn't advertise or try to get money from me, another sign that he is a healer from the heart and not for the recognition. The one thing I'm most passionate about it is always making an effort to work on myself, always trying to heal and reconcile unhelpful conditioning. I immediately ask him when we can schedule a healing session. He says that he’s busy with running his business and that he spends his spare time on his own meditations, this was his way of gracefully declining my offer.  Since I am persistent and can never take no for an answer, I ask again, when can I come to see you. He walks around the question with another question about me. Then he uses a pen to push at my hands. He tells me I have a pinched nerve in my back and that I should stop doing forward bends in my yoga practice. 

He says he's an energy and meridian healer, using pressure points all over the body to release trapped energy. We continue to talk about energy and he asks me how long I've been a healer for. I reply with my educational background, my degrees and all the certifications that prove me to be a healer. He looks at me with a smirk, totally unimpressed with my answer. Replying sarcastically with, “Ok now ask me about my degrees…” I shoot him a look and in unison we both begin to belly laugh. I say, I understand a degree is often just piece of paper letting others know that you passed some illusionary standard. I then went on to tell him that everything that makes me a healer is not something I was taught in school but comes from an intuitive place that I was born with. With truthful reflection, undergrad and graduate school taught me nothing that I didn't already know. 

He finally hands me his card and says that I can email him to make an appointment for some energy work. He looks at me and said, “I was meant to pick you up on the bike this morning, we were meant to meet one another.”

I agree whole heartedly with him. 

Now off to the pier to extend my visa.

By Naomi Zelin

Join Naomi on an adventure of your own to the magical lands of Morocco, March 16-22, 2018. You never know what surprises await you!