Dream Sea Change

I’ve just come back from an amazing holiday from Turkey (hence my blog absence) – one week of which was spent doing a Swimtrek where I swam over 25km over 5 days of swimming around Turkey. The. Most. Amazing. Experience. Ever! Veni vidi vici.

It was a great week of open water swimming. Some people pray. Some people meditate. Some people drink. Some people run. I swim. It was an exhilarating experience. A week of sunshine, sea and water. Water is home for me. I also fell in love with Turkey. Leaving was like having my heart broken all over again. Such a beautiful, amazing country! The week of nothing but swimming was very much cathartic. Such a cleansing and purifying experience of being in the ocean and indulging in open water swimming. Some people go to India, Thailand etc for meditation, yoga and Buddhist retreats – for me, this swimtrek was my meditative retreat. At the end of the week, I felt great. I felt fit, inspired and awakened. Not sure how or why. But I felt really different after this experience. Open water swimming is so liberating.

Water is so essential to my being, and although I got a bit abused by the water, I have a very healthy respect for the open water and oceans of the world. When you’re swimming 5km a day in the deep blue ocean, there’s plenty of time to think and reflect. I have spent much of my life traveling. I live for travel. It’s a funny thing that all of life’s experiences happen on land, yet more than half of this earth is water. Even our own human bodies are over 2/3 water. Considering, over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water, for me, this was an incredible opportunity to sea travel – to explore a whole new underwater world. It was a new perspective to see things below the surface and peek into an entire world that exists in water.

Words can’t really express this most amazing experience. For me, it was more than a holiday. It was almost a catalyst, or a turning point for change. I felt purified and liberated after the first week in Turkey. Something I was totally not expecting. I expected it to be like any other overseas holiday. You go away, have fun, see new things, take photos, explore a new country and then come back home to reality. It was weird, but I felt different after the first week of swimming around Turkey, in a way I can’t explain. I felt inspired, motivated, but also lost and confused at the same time. There was definite clarity but also a sense of loss. Then something even weirder happened. A few days later after the swimtrek ended, I was in a different part of Turkey and one night I dreamt of my own death. It’s scary to dream of your own death. I was a bit wary for the rest of my trip, especially that day, when I was later on a flight back to Istanbul. I paid more attention than usual to the in-flight safety procedure. Exits here, here and here. Right. Got it. What does dreaming of your own death mean? Really weird state of mind to be in, especially after what was such a renewing week of solid open water swimming. How could I have felt so alive, yet have this cloud of death hanging over me.

On my last night in Istanbul, I met up with my best friend, Em. She had flown over for 24 hours from the UK to meet up with me in Istanbul. I told her of my dream, and she shocked me by telling me what it meant. Dreams are very rarely a premonition. They also rarely foretell of the future. Dreams are what happens in your subconscious and are more a reflection of the present. Phew, what a relief. Dreaming of your own death, she told me, means ‘change’. Wow. How incredibly freaky is that. The fact that it means change, especially after how ‘changed’ I felt by doing this swim trip. It’s like what I felt had been confirmed by this dream. Dreams of your own death means change, renewal. It means a loss of a part of yourself to something new that is about to happen. It’s about transition, and new beginnings. Death of yourself is symbolic to leaving a part of yourself behind. There’s those sayings about, something needs to die in order for something new to grow, one door needs to close for another to open. This is why you dream of yourself dying. Another transition, however, lies in wait.

It is said that dreaming of your own death is symbolic of an inner metamorphosis. And almost always, dreams of your own death are a positive thing! Hmmmm. Change is a brewing. What this change is, I don’t know. It may not even be drastic or even related to job, relationship etc, but simply could be just a change in the way you feel, or even letting go of something in the past, letting go of some feeling or something. I don’t know. But I do know ‘change’ is on the horizon. It’s uncanny that I dreamt of my own death following this incredible swimming journey, this sea change. The title of today’s blog post is ‘Mukai’. The two kanji characters are ‘dream’ and ‘sea’ 夢 and 海. Together pronounced ‘mukai’ – Dream Sea. Extremely fitting in light of my dream and sea journey. The beginning of a sea change perhaps. Here is a really amazing photo (if I do say so myself) of me swimming in Turkey which captures the beauty of what I experienced – swimming towards the light. It was taken by someone else on my underwater camera. He had me swim over the top whilst he held his breath and stood a few metres under the water looking up. He was able to capture this beautiful shot of me swimming towards the light (the sun being reflected off the water).

From Swimming towards the light

Over the next month, I will be posting up a travel diary on my blog here of my time swimming and traveling around Turkey.