Podstel – Place to be in Bucharest

Deeply rested after the meditation course, I continued the journey in Romania. Luckily I was not alone, but had some amazing people from the course with me. We travelled along the coast to Vama Veche, a beautiful little town at the shores of the Black Sea. Although the main season had passed, we could still get a taste of the atmosphere of what is still considered to be a hippie town. Indeed it has a special atmosphere.

joyful atmosphere on the shores of Vama Veche

We had a wonderful time, with many little adventures. Walking in the beach, watching the sun set or going for a mud bath.

It was really nice to have some meditators with me and extend the feeling we enjoyed at the retreat. Finally however the day came where the boys had to go back to their lives. We thus headed back to Bucharest.

Alone in Bucharest

After the last one of my travel mates had left, I was on my own for the first time since the journey had started. Having no plan may sound like a lot of fun, but it hit me right then, that it can also be quite a challenge. Not knowing where to go and what to do next, I decided to stay some more days and see where life would lead me to.

On Couchsurfing, I found Daniel. His personal story about travelling the world and eventually opening a hostel to create a special place for travellers inspired me. I still went for an Airbnb first. The story however kept coming up in my head and clearly pointed me to go that place – to Podstel Bucharest.

Beginning of a new adventure

The moment I arrived, I felt comfortable. Stepping in to their door, I was asked to name one of my favourite musicians. I was thus welcomed with Johann Sebastian Bach’s soothing vibes of harmony. This was indeed a special place and as I would soon find out, the beginning of yet another adventure.

After spending one night, I went for a long walk with Paulo, a medical doctor from Rio, who is part of the Podstel Team. We had a wonderful day, exploring Bucharest, its historical sights and its vibrant orthodox chapels. After that walk, Paulo asked me to stay. There was a special event coming up and he wanted me to participate.

The Annual Podstel Gathering

Once a year Podstel closes down its two hostels in Bucharest to gather all of their friends which they have met during their travels, to meet up, enjoy each others company and share the knowledge gained. As fate would have it, one of them had cancelled last minute so there was one spare bed for me.

Thus began yet another beautiful week. Admittedly it was bit tough at the beginning. Coming from a retreat of deep meditation, the change to the vibrant atmosphere of Bucharest and the hostel was rather drastic. Yet a good opportunity to integrate the increased level of silence. I stuck with my program, took my time and started to get to know what turned out to be a unique and highly diverse group of people, including retired high school teachers, life coaches, young entrepreneurs, business professionals, authors, students, nutritionists and enthusiastic travellers.

In the mornings we had the opportunity to participate in Yoga classes from an Ashtanga Yoga teacher. I immediately signed up and was indeed grateful to learn some more postures, gain some new insights and share the joy of practicing Yoga together.

Throughout the day we attended a variety of workshops. Although very condensed, some of them were quite inspiring. I especially enjoyed Hannah’s talk on minimalism. I had heard about the concept before and was keen to dive deeper into the topic. The idea of stripping away the excess and focusing on what’s important appealed to me. Especially since it is not just about the things we keep, but about the emotions we feel, about the actions we perform. It is about prioritising and finding what is dear to us in this life, about finding purpose and becoming part of a community that strives to spread love and inspiration. She rounded it up wonderfully with the phrase: “create more than you consume”.

Equally inspiring was Cynthias introduction in the mucus less diet healing system. This concept was brought up by Arnold Ehret, a German nutritionist from the early 20th century. He suggested cutting out any food that would build mucus in the body, which in its essence points to a mainly plant-based diet, with lots of raw fresh food. Cynthia herself had lived on that diet for a couple of years now and it had helped her to free her body of toxins and more so, to get in tune with nature. I could sense right a way, that she spoke from a position of love and clarity. Not only from what she said, but from the delicious food she prepared for us.

These are just two of many beautiful presentations dealing with a variety of topics such as, traveling the world for free, understanding and dealing with one’s fears or the art of seduction.

Besides the inspiring presentations we went on an amazing hike, to which I will dedicate its own little entry, and rounded it off with a relaxing day at the spa. In that week I learned a great deal of transforming knowledge and more so, built many new friendships. Friendships for future travels and maybe even for common projects. I am truly grateful for that magnificent week.

group shot of the Annual Podstel Gathering 2018

Should you ever be in Bucharest, go check out Podstel. It is a wonderful place where both travellers and locals get together and share the joy of knowledge and inspiration.


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