Follow Your Heart
This is a very special route for 2 incredible souls, and I feel so grateful to have been a part of it all!!
Nic wanted the heart-route to symbolise all the exciting new adventures that she and Sonny will now have together as Mr & Mrs! A 3 day wedding in exotic Goa was a great way to start! Surrounded by family, friends, sunshine and sea! The whole ceremony was utterly breathtaking.
I had the honour of reading out a poem I'd written to celebrate their new adventures together. Since they're both fans of Pennywise the Clown, I couldn't help slipping him in there!
Keep reading to find out how we celebrated the 3 days, PLUS all the highlights of my Goa adventures!
Kenilworth Resort & Spa, South Goa, India
I contacted the hotel a few months before the wedding to ask if there were any bike friendly paths close to the venue. After sending me a map I couldn't believe it when I saw there was a little heart-shaped route directly around the wedding venue!
Cycle Your Heart Out
The whole heart route went past all 3 of the wedding locations!
Day 1 was the Mehndi party on the frangipani lawns. The Henna symbolises positive spirits and good luck and is used to wish the bride good health before the wedding. Nic even managed to get their dog Pablo hennered onto her arm, while Sonny decided to get one of their favourite film characters.
Day 2 was the Pithi, a traditional ritual where you apply Turmeric, oil and water to both the bride and groom as it’s believed to bless the couple before the wedding. We then had more messy fun with a Holi colour pool party, sliding down those flume rides in style!
Day 3 was the magical beach wedding ceremony. Nic's dad drove her to the aisle on a quad bike, while Sonny arrived on a white horse! The whole day was just stunning, with fireworks and dancing all night, even the camera crew joined the dancefloor at the end!
I believe in a thing a called love, 8 lyrics from a song, and a love story for you all
Crisps, what's your favourite flavour? 1 line of curiosity, sonny typed into his app
They all float down here, 5 words Pennywise whispered, on their very 1st date
Come and meet the parents, Plus 10 cute alpacas, Nics invitation to welcome him to the Andrews
Fancy some fireflies? 1 miscommunication that led to Five Guys burger Anniversaries
That Amalfi coastal climb, 35 degrees, to find a closed sign on arrival, but endless views of awe
Pablo, their unexpected fur baby, 1 loveable pomsky which led to no more cinema nights, but endless amounts of joy
An entire month of yoga, 30 days straight, leading Sonny into crows pose, and a ring on Nics finger
From the Grove pub to Goa's beach, 3 days of wedding celebrations, and a lifetime full of adventures
I believe in a thing called love, let's raise a glass to Sonny and Nic Chauhan
Spread the love:
- Grateful to Nic and Sonny, a truly beautiful couple who just belong together!
- Nic and Sonny’s parents for helping them plan the most incredible, unique wedding that I’ve ever been to.
- The Wedding Waale photographers for managing to capture every single magical moment!
- All my friends for making the whole week so freaking fun, I can’t remember the last time I danced and laughed that much!
INNER RIDE QUESTION
Are you craving more adventures? What one thing can you do today to help get you there?
If you're looking for inspiration and thinking of heading to Goa, have a read below of all the places I travelled to solo after the wedding! With only a week to explore I managed to really get a taste for Goa and all the wonderful things it has to offer. I felt super comfortable travelling alone and had no problem meeting kind people. Despite the crazy roads, I even managed to find somewhere to cycle in traffic free bliss! Keep reading to find out where it was...
ARAMBOL: One of my favourite places!
Accommodation: Love Temple Beach Resort
Yoga: Ana is an amazing Yoga teacher and currently offers classes in the morning at Love Temple. I met Ana on a 10 day Vipassana silent retreat last year in England, so it was lovely to reconnect with her again all the way in Goa!
Ecstatic dance: Forgotten land with Dj Artemiy and at Shunya with Esta Polyesta
Food: Love Temple and Forgotten Land do delicious food!
Shopping: Walk right from the beach towards the rocks and you will find so many great shops along the coast. I bought my skirt for the wedding here and the owner was super fast at sewing it to make it fit better.
MANDREM: A short walk along the beach of Arambol and you will find yourself in one of the best spots to watch the sunset and relax in peace.
Accommodation: Wigwam - a half hour walk from the beach, a stunning paradise where you can shower under the stars and sleep in a wigwam surrounded by tropical plants. Nicki does chakra yoga here and I had a couple of really lovely classes with her. I also met Pranav from Mysore who shared the same zest for life, and tasty dosas!
Beach Street Eco Resort & Spa - Gorgeous beach huts with a lovely spa. I highly recommend you try the Shirodhara Oil treatment, an Ayurvedic healing technique that involves having someone pour olive oil onto your forehead.
PANJIM: The Capital of Goa
Accommodation: O Abrigo - A beautiful Portuguese style home right in the centre of Fontainhas, the oldest Latin quarter of Panjim and looks like a small Mediterranean city.
Bike Tour: I did a tour with Cycling Zens. Whilst the roads in Goa are not the most well maintained for bicycles, my tour guide Nabin took me to Chorão, a small Island with hardly a car in sight, just plenty of Banyan trees and cows.
Guided tour: I found Exotic Goan Excursions and had a great time with Mario. He was happy to explain all the history and gave me plenty of knowledge about all the sites we visited. My highlights were visiting the spice plantation and learning about how everything is grown.
Accommodation: Palm Trees Ayurvedic Heritage This place is stunning and only a short walk away from the beach. They do regular yoga classes and retreats, and the 2 cute kittens here make it hard to leave!
Food: Tantra Cafe Restaurant & Huts - They serve delicious fresh fish, plus it's a great spot to watch the sunset.
Best beaches: A short walk from Patnem will take you to a small quiet cove surrounded by rocks, and perfect to read a book on or journal.
Art: After Colomb beach you will end up at Art Resort Goa were you can do painting classes. I highly recommend you check out the beautiful bike themed art by Swaroop @ticketarts, really happy to have bought one of his beautiful paintings! They also have a cute bookshelf here so I decided to leave one of my books to help spread the love!
Want help making your own heart route?
Click below to find out how I can help you, wherever you are in the world!
(cycling is optional)
Meet Colette, we met back in 2013 working as British Cycling Breeze ride leaders. Ten years later I invited her on a heart-shaped route to help her ride inwards and get clarity on her 2023 intentions!
Step 1: Follow your heart
First we sat on a sun filled bench and took some gentle mindful breaths to help settle into our bodies. We then searched for any 'punctures' using my NEW wheel of life activity sheet (see below). This led to Colette realising her tyre was a little flat around community, and just how much she wanted to pump it up. Ironically I had the same sort of puncture!
We then listened to my heartful ride meditation and had a pleasant conversation (in our heads) with our ideal self. It's a lovely way to start your ride as it really helps to reinforce your intention, or sometimes shed light on things you may have been previously unaware of.
INNER RIDE QUESTION
Looking at the wheel of life, can you notice any punctures in your life? What area needs pumping up the most? If you need some help getting clarity, listen to my Heartful Ride Meditation on Insight Timer or download it here.
"I love what you are doing and how you're creating a greener and sustainable way of living. I enjoyed our day and found that creating my own affirmations really helped me to focus and move forward. I feel more able to make clearer decisions for myself now, thank you"!
Step 2: Location
Furzton lake in Milton Keynes, England.
A beautiful lake surrounded by swans, ducks… and dinosaurs! It's also part of the route 51 cycle network that leads you all the way to Oxford.
INNER RIDE QUESTION:
Where would you like to cycle your heart out?
Once you've chosen your country and place, take some time to collect physical maps / online maps.
If your route is in the UK, try looking on the Sustrans website for advice on bicycle friendly paths in your chosen area.
Step 3: Create your heart route
I first made this 2.7 mile route when I started riding heart routes as part of my morning routine. I found it was a great way to start the day and help reinforce your intentions.
After over 11 years in 10 countries of making heart routes, I can honestly say that the Milton Keynes redway maps are the best to use when it comes to finding heart routes!
INNER RIDE QUESTION:
Need help with your heart route? Here are my top 3 tip:
Remember your heart routes don't need to be perfect, because neither is life!
Step 4: Cycle Your Heart Out
Before we rode I suggested Colette write down a short affirmation about how she wishes her community to be. Repeating this to yourself before your route is such a powerful way to bring your intention to life. Always write it in the present as if it's already true, for example:
"I have a loving supportive community and I feel like I belong"
Once we had set off we then tuned into our 5 senses as it's such a simple way to ground yourself and enjoy the present moment. As we rode we soaked in the sounds of the chatty ducks, views of the sun bouncing off the lake, the cold sensation of the winter air on our cheeks, the smell of the half naked trees, and the taste of coffee on our lips.
Here were some of the highlights along the route:
Dinosaur Valley for scary crazy golf
Sul Lago Restaurant one of the best places for pizza in Milton Keynes!
Tattenhoe Valley for traffic free peaceful cycling and walking trails
INNER RIDE QUESTION:
How about you? Do you have an affirmation you'd like to write down and repeat along your route?
Try practicing the 5 senses activity and see how it makes you feel, look for 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
Step 5: Spread the love
After the route we practiced my 'Heartful world' meditation (coming soon) which is based on the well known loving kindness meditation. This is one of my favourite practices as it's all about sending compassion to those you love, strangers, those you find difficult, and every living being.
Sharing your route with loved ones and your community is a beautiful way to spread the loving energy that you created on your route, and a great way to bring your ride affirmation to life!
Colette lives in Houghton Regis and is hoping to grow her community around here and central Bedfordshire in England.
Here are 5 ways you can expand your community today:
INNER RIDE QUESTION:
Have you created your heart route? Awesome! Now choose 3 loved ones or communities you'd like to share it with to inspire them too!
Are you also wanting to grow your community? What 3 baby steps can you do today to help?
Now available on Audible!
Follow your heart
Cycle your heart out... home, to your true self
Sudden loss, dramatic change and heartbreak can shatter you to the core, and leave you with such a mix of emotions, that overwhelm engulfs you. You may feel ungrounded, insecure with zero energy, you may question your very existence, what you really want in life, who you are, and why you're even here.
After many months of listening to my heartful ride meditation, one city and theme kept coming up.
That saying "home is where the heart is" finally started to make sense. Deeply embedded, free from any bricks and cement, location free, lay my home, my heart.
If you're going through something similar, I hope my poem rides you back home, to the doorstep of your true self.
The Ride Home
Ride until past pain softens and future frets fade
Until your ocean breath returns
And your saddle feels like home
Ride with no real plan
To feed your soul
To find freedom
To get back on the path
And no one else's
I rode the train to Paris from Barcelona. It only took about 6 hours and left me in the heart of the 12th arrondissement, at Gare du Lyon Station. A short walk from the station was the peaceful Coulée Verte René-Dumont, a 4.7 km elevated park built on top of an old railway track, and great for walking your dog! Me and Maya spent the first night soaking in the warm sunset along the river Seine, and the silhouette of Sainte-Chapelle.
A beautiful 13.95km ride right through the heart of Paris! Creating this route involved the help of some good friends, helpful strangers, a cute bike cafe, and a pinch of serendipity!
To make the route I downloaded this map highlighting all the bicycle friendly paths in Paris, and then plotted out a rough heart shape. With no real knowledge of what I was riding past other than the Eiffel tower, I was happy when I showed my good friends Elodie and Astrid, who both confirmed the route goes past some of the most beautiful spots in Paris! I always love a good physical map in my hand before I ride, so I picked one up from a hotel and brought heart route 46 to life!!
Click here to view the the heart route on Strava!
Cycle Your Heart Out
The morning of my ride I was walking Maya along the Coulée Verte René-Dumont Park searching for a bike to rent on Google maps as the local bike app did not seem to want to work on my phone. At that moment I luckily bumped into a lady called Lorraine from Australia! She recommended a bike cafe called Le Peloton who also rent bikes! When I arrived I was served by a lovely lady called Julia from Barcelona. She was super helpful with renting me a bike with a basket for Maya, and also gave me tips of places to eat along my route.
-Jardin du Luxembourg
-Fontaine de l'Observatoire
-Cycling along the beautiful river Seine through the 1st and 8th arrondissement
-The Eiffel tower heart balloon photographer!
-Finding Maya’s twin! @ourslespitz
-Ending the ride on the river for sunset
-Seeing the Notre dam lit up at night
Spread the Love
-Elodie from Paris, my sister from another Mr! For our beautiful friendship around the world, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and now Paris! For reminding me to run with wolves, and remember my worth. For showing me the beautiful Parc de Belleville by night. It has the most incredible views of Paris, and the area was also the hometown of La Vie en Rose singer Edith Piaf!
Food and drink:
- Thanks to Fabian and Ely at L'Ébouillanté restaurant, their salmon crepe was divine!
-Lou Pascalou - try their cheese board!
Inner Ride Question
What can you do today to help get you back on
your own path?
After an intense period of change or loss, it's quite common to feel anxious, ungrounded and lost. Finding ways to cope led me to reconnect even more with my mind, body and soul. Here are some of the ways that helped ground me and get back on my own path:
If you'd like some help riding inwards, click below to download your FREE meditation.
(You can also follow and listen to me on the Insight Timer app)
I've known Vanessa since the moment I landed in Barcelona back in 2013. Not only has she been an amazing friend, but she's also been an incredible mentor for me over the years, and a source of motivation in publishing my first book. It was a joy to cycle my heart out with her today and help her ride inwards!
Follow your heart
Cycle Your Heart Out for… Abundance!
“This ride is about putting love into all the things I do and creating positive things from it. I also thought it would be a beautiful way to celebrate my birthday!
Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain
A simple 4.6km ride, click here for the map on Strava
Cycle Your Heart Out
What I love about this route is how it goes from a peaceful paradise near the W hotel, to the chaotic and busy Barceloneta center!
-Salt Beach Club
-San Sebastian Beach
-Plaça Del Poeta Boscà
-Marina Port Vell
Spread the love
Vanessa works in both English and Spanish, so if you’re a non-fiction writer and need help making your brand and books shine, contact Vanessa at Branding for Writers or on Linkedin.
Have a listen and dance to one of Vanessa's favorite songs by Axel - Celebra La Vida, which is all about celebrating life!
How can you create more abundance in your life today?
Cycle your heart out and recharge!
Cave kayaking to hidden beaches, cycling to fishing villages, and of course, heart shaped riding! These were just some of the fun ways we decided to reboot our frazzled batteries this spring.
Wanting to spend more time with loved ones and my soul this year also made me cut down on all that was zapping my precious time and energy. I realised just how much I needed to stop social media scrolling and instead focus more on what makes my heart sing! More time for painting, spontaneous adventures, and uninterrupted time with loved ones!
It's also my debut book's 1 st Birthday next month so I wanted to offer your a FREE GIFT as a thank you for all your support! Keep reading to find out more ;-)
Bike rental: Coast Supply Co
Accommodation: Porto Mós Sunplace hotel
Length: 6.09 km (view map)
After adapting the bike route suggestions from coasts website we were able to create a relatively flat route which goes past some of the best viewpoints in Lagos.
Cycle Your Heart Out
- Ponta da piedade, amazing photo spot of all the caves
- Kayak tours: secluded beaches of Praia da Balanca and the love cave! (see photo below)
- Restaurants: O António in Porto de Mós beach, Ala do Castelo in the old town (try their delicious arroz de marisco), Lucas rooftop in Camilo Beach, which is also called the "the stairway to heaven " with it's 200 wooden steps
Spread the Love
- Tiago from Kayak Tours for showing us the beauty of Lagos by Kayak. Weaving in between the stunning caves was honestly breathtaking. The best way to explore Lagos by sea.
- Richard and Joshua from CoastSupply Co for recommending the best bike paths around Lagos! Their trekking bikes were super comfortable and easy to ride up all those hills! Definitely recommend to anyone planning a visit here.
- Nora & Jose for looking after our dog Maya. It was the first time we were both away from her but she was in amazing hands and got lots of love and cuddles!
How can you stop and recharge your batteries today?
I'll share with you occasional updates on my heart route adventures, future books, meditations and freebies. My plan is that these emails feed your soul and help you to ride inwards, allowing you to live life more mindfully.
Enter your email below to join my heartful cycling community!
You'll also receive a FREE CHAPTER from my debut book
'Cycle Your Heart Out: Around Your Inner World'
Hi I'm Sarah the Heartful cyclist, author and poet
I'm so glad you found me, and would love to invite you on a ride through your own inner world.
Click below to order my debut book, download your FREE meditation, and learn how to be a heartful cyclist too!
Cycle Your Heart Out in...
Cycle your heart out with...
All Algarve Altea Amsterdam Art Barcelona Birthday Brazil Breeze Ride Brighton British Cycling Cambridge Castelldefels Copenhagen Costa Brava Cycle Your Heart Out With... #cyhoworld Delta Del Ebro Denmark Embrace Chance Empuriabrava England Europe Formentera France Frankfurt Germany Goa Holland Home Hyde Park India Italy Lagos Lisbon London Madrid Mexico Milton Keynes Munich Netherlands Norfolk Paris Poetry Portugal Richmond Rio De Janeiro Rome Roses Seville Sky Ride Spain Sustrans The Big Draw Toulouse Tulum Uk Vila Real De Santo António Your Hearts