What to expect from Savannah? I did not know. So perhaps a sense of mystery. Unlike my usual (past) self who would have conducted plenty of “travel research”, I had relatively little to go on. I ended up in Savannah alone after many turns, so other than the few beautiful homes I wanted to visit, not a lot to go on.
AND my experience of Savannah, GA was magnificent – from the ease of getting from one place to another, the welcoming feel of the city itself and the comfort it offered.
But what was it within me that allowed me to experience it so? A relief for surviving the past 12 months? A sense of accomplishment for the presentation in New Orleans? Yes and yes, and more.
The more is this – it was the ‘no expectation, no disappointment’ principle. But not quite as simple.
It is usual for this phrase to be uttered in resignation when we are already disappointed, as a way of coping, to shut down, to cage ourself from fully experiencing the moments in life. You see, when we hide, we are safe and unlikely to be confronted with unpleasantness or danger. Sad thing is, neither will we encounter the joy and love that come knocking and we remain living a life of fear. And I am done with fear.
I am speaking of the true essence of ‘no expectation’. When I have no expectation, my mind and my heart are not fixed on or attached to any particular outcome. They are free and open to the possibilities that come on the journey and to appreciate them for what they are, not what I ‘believe’ they ought to be. I receive them all with gratitude.
It wasn’t that I was unprepared for Savannah – I did enough to know where I could go looking for things. The ‘doing’ part of things was fine. It was the ‘being’ part that made the difference – ‘being detached’. So with this ‘no expectation’, I arrived.
So with this ‘no expectation’, I arrived at my Savannah experience.
I was ‘greeted’ with a spacious loft apartment equipped with modern amenities and beautiful furnishings. Most importantly it was welcoming, cosy and right at the heart of the Historic District. I could easily access restaurants, shopping, museums, visitors’ information etc. – almost everything any solo traveler needed and could want. Well, that apartment was this ‘single’ woman’s home. The sense of self and space was awesome and at times, poignant.
Yet the most noticeable thing about Savannah is its people – their love for and preservation of the history of Savannah from foods, architecture, stories, culture… and their genuine and friendly manner. Always a smile and a helping hand when needed. I love solo travel, however a conversation over the bar or counter, a smile at a street corner… are part of the attraction of venturing into unfamiliar places.
This is a town where old and new co-exist, happily it seems – from the Telfair Academy housed in the antebellum styled Telfair House to the Jepson Centre on the adjacent street with its modern glass façade; from the well-known Bonaventure Cemetery History tour dedicated to the history of Savannah to the Savannah College of Arts and Design, an institution dedicated to modern art and design; and from the traditional Southern low country foods to modern fusion cuisine. Thus for me, heaven.
Yes, Savannah is a diverse city.
And the journey has been about relinquishing control, reclaiming the self and to be present in my being and doing.
I am present.
I will listen to the guidance
this life is giving me,
moment by moment.
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