Early Days (Before 2008)
Initially, it was all about enjoying life and its many pleasures. Running after soccer balls, relationships, parties and good food. The year 2008 represents for me a life junction. It is the moment when I started to realize that all I was after was outer pleasures. I didn't change radically and wished to eradicate them in a day - they aren't bad things in themselves – but my life needed a rebalancing.
This kind of epiphany came up with a few shaky speed bumbs : my 7 years relationship and 2 years work experience in Paris came to an end together, within a few weeks.
Time for a change ! I remember having the choice between being scared or exhilarated by the situation. I opted for the later and found myself totally free to give my existence the most exciting direction. The movie “ Into The Wild ” mesmerized me and motivated me to aim for the unknown. Realizing that jobs related to my business school degree were not fulfilling my deepest desires, I asked myself the powerful question : “ What do I really want to do ? ”
Travel was the obvious answer and became my number one objective. First, I took the word travel in its external and geographical dimension, meaning exploring new countries. The second aspect of travel, the inner adventure, would take a little longer to manifest. My girlfriend was right. I had always struggled to express my emotions. She thought I didn't want to. But actually, I didn't have the user's manual. No one had taught me and, although I desperately needed to get to know myself better, I didn't know how to do so. The years to come would help me to open to my internal world.
- Starting point of my interest for self development. As I am travelling in New Zealand, I meet Andrew, who meditates several times a day in his tent. It is the first time I hear about meditation. Andrew's great personality is inspiring me.
- On the “Long white cloud island”, I learn the english language, volunteer in eco farms and lodges and deepen my passion for hiking and hitch-hiking.
- Hired by Dragoman Overland Travels, based in the UK, my dream comes true. I will be paid to travel! I undertake the 10 weeks in-house training and pass the PCV (bus) driving licence.
- My first Yoga weekend with Philippe Djoharikian at CATCO centre, Besançon, France. I practice Yoga asanas once a week with my friend Leif and dreams of India are born.
- I start working for Dragoman as an international tour guide for an 18 month contract in South America (Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil). In this dream job, my workmate and I look after the group of passengers, book accommodations and activities, drive, fix the bus and keep everyone happy. Polyvalent and multitask job!
- In Colombia, I find a second hand book about Surya Namaskar in spanish language and begin the practice of sun salutation twice a week.
- I understand that Yoga is much more than postures. Pranayama and meditation are helping me a lot to get to know myself better.
- By sending long emails to my family and friends about my adventures in latin America, I discover my taste for writing.
- I collect traditional stories from each country I visit.
- I hike and camp in the wild everywhere I can around the globe.
- Yoga, Storytelling and Hiking are becoming the 3 pillars of my life.
- I continue to travel the world with Dragoman and my workmate Dave; we drive from England to Beijing (through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan), then to India (through Tibet and Nepal). 30000 kilometers in 9 months. It is my first contact with asian culture. I discover buddhism and hinduism. I remain in India after my contract and dwell into yoga and meditation retreats for months.
- 10 days “Introduction to buddhism” silent retreat at Tushita centre, Dharamkot, India.
- 10 days silent retreat, Goenka style of Vipassana meditation, Hoshiarpur, India.
- I fall in love with the country, Mahabharat, its people and vibe.
- 10 days yoga and meditation retreat at Phool Chatti ashram, Rishikesh, India.
- It is time to discover the western part of African continent with Dragoman (Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana).
- Dragoman contracts take me to Eastern Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe), Bhutan and Sikkim, India.
- 2 weeks yoga and meditation retreat at Karma Ling institute, French Alps.
- 3 weeks walking and camping on Santiago pilgrimage, from Le Puy en Velay to Moissac, France, 400kms.
- Creation and organisation of the 1st WEBE (Wellness Participative Weekend); unique concept where each participant leads a 90 minutes workshop on the theme of wellbeing to gain access to all the other workshops throughout the weekend. Learning together without necessarily being masters. Example of workshops: Conscious Walking, Poetry, Yoga Asanas, Improvisation Theatre, Conflict Resolution.
- I travel back to Eastern Africa with Dragoman (Kenya and Ethiopia).
- 3 weeks silent retreat, Mahasi Sayadaw style of Vipassana meditation, at Suan Mokh temple, Thailand & 2 weeks silent retreat, Mahasi Sayadaw style of Vipassana meditation, at Doi Suthep temple, Thailand.
- Dragoman offers me to work on a trip from Thailand to Mongolia (driving through Cambodia, Laos and China).
At this point, I decide to rearrange my life by working less for Dragoman, in order to allow more time to my three passions: Hiking, Storytelling and Yoga. Yoga trainings are from now onwards going to take more and more space in my life.
- 4 months Yogic Studies & Lifestyle at Bihar School of Yoga Ashram, Munger, India.
- Shamanic medicine wheel and vision quest with Eric Sunfox Marchal, Ardèche, France.
- 2nd WEBE (Wellness Participative Weekend): organisation and coordination of the event at Sainte-Camelle eco-village, France.
- “Contes d'Ici et d'Ailleurs” / “Stories from Here and Elsewhere” : creation and performance of a storytelling show in collaboration with Hervé Descombes, Anne-Laure Decobert and Léo Sors.
- 500 hours Teacher Training Course at Rishikesh Yogpeeth, India
- “Contes en Musiques” / “Tales in Music”: creation and performance of a storytelling show accompanied with music and songs, in collaboration with Christelle Humeau and Bruno Stree.
- 3rd WEBE (Wellness Participative Weekend), organisation and coordination of the event at Manaska centre, France.
- 2 months walking and camping, without money, on Santiago pilgrimage, from Alzen to Fisterra, 1200 kms, France and Spain.
- I start writing the book “Le ciel pour carte bleue” / “The sky as credit card”, which relates my 2 months pilgrimage.
- Tailor-made Dragoman 4 weeks trip for a group of friends, from Kathmandu (Nepal) to Bombay (India).
- 6 weeks silent retreat, Mahasi Sayadaw style of Vipassana meditation, at International Buddhist Meditation Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal.
- 9 months Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga Education at Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute, Lonavla, India.
- 1 year Internship as Yoga Teacher Assistant at Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute, Lonavla, India.