Goodbyes, hellos, and no going back!

India, special India!

The time to bid our Goan “home” of 3.5 years goodbye!

In a blink of an eye 1219 fabulously exotic days which start with a view that (mostly) resembles a seaside paradise exploding with intensely colorful palettes of sunrises and sunsets as seen on “wish you were here” postcards and honeymoon catalogues, are coming to an end. The remaining 30 days of packing and relocating not only ourselves but also our dogs to Austria, are going to pass in an even brighter blur!

A room with a spectacular view – every day – even during the Monsoon!

What can I say?

My feelings on leaving here are mixed.

What I can say is that during my time here – in the dazzle and daze of hazy day to day events, high days and bright “holi”-days it hasn’t always been a honeymoon and at times I wish I wasn’t here. We have been undergoing real-time transformation in among the frustrations and fun of this “roll-er-coast-er” time.

Happy Holi!

It’s been a transformation adventure for sure!

#transformation: having undergone change with no possibility to return to the original form or shape – like when you…

…burn wood it becomes ash and cannot become wood again. Change, in contrast, is best described as water that can be frozen (turns to ice) and then when melted it returns to its liquid form – in other words it returns to its original form or shape.

Recently, or was it as much as a year ago, when talking about going back to Austria, I was reminded that I am returning to Austria, not going back to it. We can return to places and familiar faces and in doing that we discover that they too have changed and moved on in our absence. We don’t go back. Life does not go back. Seasons slide into one another, days glide into each other, the clock hands tick on in one direction and the pages of a calendar too. And just like driving to a destination, (or moving towards a goal) we do not spend our time looking back. That would be cause for some serious s.

But as I look back on my very brief time here in Goa I realize how often and to what extent I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zones, how my belief systems have been challenged constantly and how my senses have been awakened (…wait, that’s putting it mildly – at times it felt as though they were assaulted) in more ways than I thought possible.

I will miss this place.

But then again, maybe I won’t.

Still, this goodbye is a very special goodbye. I’ve made very special friends and I’ve learnt valuable and very special lessons in the most unlikely places from the most unexpected faces. The word special here reminds me of an old (seldom used) German word “sonder” which is close to “besonders” in my other mother language, Afrikaans.

#sonder (old DE) – special, unparalleled – currently only used as an adjective
as in “sonderschule” meaning special school. India’s been my special “school”.

#besonders (DE) – exceptional, outstanding

#besonders (AFR) – special, something out of the ordinary

And then there is the Urban Dictionary definition of “sonder”: “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”.

Everyone has their own dreams, ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited cultural “crazy-ness” creating an epic narrative (or autobiography or drama) that keeps on rippling outwards, opening up and unfolding invisibly around you like an underground burrow system with elaborate passageways that connect thousands of other lives you’ll never know exist – but each one making an impact on your world. And, as you keep burrowing and exploring you might get to appear, only once, in a chapter of this incredible story of life.

This is what “my” India has been about; my adventure that unfolded in an abundance of complex and elaborate ways connecting many random passers-by getting by in their own cultural crazy-ness – visibly and invisibly impacting each other’s lives and worlds. There is a (western and eastern) science behind that. Also an Ayurvedic science. Fascinating stuff!

And this has been my gift from India – transformation wrapped up in gaudy, loud, smelly, smiling, rushed (and then again too slow), chaotic, confusing head-busting sometimes bashful, sometimes brazen beauty.  I was offered the opportunity to make my appearance in a chapter and I am ever so grateful for that!

I’ll be around to share some of my adventures as well as pick up where we left off but, what I am e-SPECIALLY excited about is that I have immersed myself into the study of the ancient Indian based science of life and emotional well-being which includes massage therapies and nutritional guidance. I will be focusing on integrating this holistic approach into my coaching for your transformation-al business/life and communication skills. But first, I need some time to settle in and find my “springtime” shoes – hopefully they still fit after three years of wearing flip-flops to my Go-an office and online sessions!

My Goan flip-flop location-free office for online coaching sessions!

I’ll tell you more about what I’ll be offering with (EU) springtime specials in a few weeks.

I really look forward to seeing you again in April! Please don’t hesitate to contact me – my contact details have not undergone any transformation 😉

Until then, enjoy the feel of warmer, lighter and brighter days and remember to keep sparkling,

 your no-buts kick-butt life and business coach!

Hester Bergh-Appoyer 
communication coach | cross-cultural connector | wannabe writer | ayurveda practitioner


  1. Anneliese Blasl-Mueller-Reply
    March 5, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Hi Hester we can only grow while leaving our comfort zone. Before such step we might feel fear but after such action everything seems more exiting than anything else.
    I am happy to see you soon.
    Kind regards Anneliese

    • Hester Bergh-Appoyer-Reply
      August 30, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      Hello Anneliese – gosh I missed you comment! So sorry – as you’ll see in my new post I’ve been very busy but its all about leaving my comfort zone and very much experiencing that excitement you speak of. I am sorry I did not see while I was in AT!
      Maybe you’ll come to visit me in South Africa?
      Regards, Hester

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