World Travel with a Twist of Zen - Fields of Indulgence  
 
Serendipity, noun:  when someone finds something that they weren't expecting to find.

During our stay in the Philadelphia region, we tried to catch up with family and friends we would not be seeing for a long time. Some of the friends we really wanted to see were Zach and Jocelyn (along with their newborn baby Liam). However, Hurricane Irene had different ideas for the weekend we had planned on seeing them and we were never able to connect.

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Zach, Jocelyn, and Liam at Philly Airport
Fast-forward to September 26th as we pull up to the Philadelphia Airport’s International Terminal lugging our suitcases and backpacks for the trip across the pond. After a brief wait in line, we are busy shifting luggage around as we put our bags on the scale and pray we don’t get charged extra fees for overweight or oversize luggage (so much for ultra-light travel on this leg of the trip : ). There is a couple next to us with a crying baby and Neda thinks to herself “thank goodness we are not doing this trip with a baby - that would make it even harder!". But then, right after the first bag goes on the scale, the mother of the baby turns around and it’s none other than Jocelyn! The baby was Liam and there is Zach comforting him and getting him to settle down!


I am ambivalent about ideas of fate or destiny, but this one was just too much to wrap my head around. The only people we had wanted to see and missed while in Philly were standing right next to us as we got ready to head out of the country! They were leaving for a wedding in Belgium on a flight that left at the same exact time as our flight to Bulgaria! It was truly serendipity. And it got me thinking about the idea of finding something you weren’t expecting.

From the perspective of our Zen training, it seems life is always the most vibrant when you are expecting nothing from it. When we embody this state of "no-goal", it seems that life provides just what you need when you need it. Perhaps instances of serendipity are the subtle teachings of the universe telling us to expect less in order to receive more.

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Stara Zagora & Bulgaria on the map - also visible are Greece, Turkey, Serbia, & Romania
We touched down in Bulgaria on Tuesday afternoon,jet-lagged and exhausted, yet thrilled to see Neda’s Dad Petko waiting for us at the airport. A 3 hour drive to Stara Zagora (see above) and we arrived at our destination for this part of the trip.

We’ll take the next few months for Jeff to immerse himself in the study of Bulgarian and for Neda to reconnect with the country of her origin. Along the way we are looking forward to spending time with Nadia (Neda’s Mom) and Petko and to traveling around Bulgaria to see friends and new sites. As we travel, we’ll work on looking at how our expectations can often blind us to what is right in front of us and attempt to strip away our projections of the future to fully embrace the present.


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Nadia's homemade Surme! (stuffed pickled cabbage) Fukoosni! (that's delicious in Bulgarian)
Vili Bisheva
9/29/2011 20:18:05

Fukoosni! (that's delicious in Bulgarian) was very sweet to read :)... but if you really want to write it in latin with bulgarian sound it would be "vkusni"... Welcome in Bulgaria guys...

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