Past and future

One year ago I was moving to yet another temporary apartment, getting ready for my adventures in Asia. At that point, I had no idea where I’d be in the next 6 months, let alone in a year. Six months ago I was walking on Wategos beach in Byron Bay, trying to decide where my journey would take me next. And here I am today, not sure where I will be in half a year, or the next 12 months. Exciting, scary, promising, frustrating? All of those feelings, and several others, I have to admit. Clearly my path is not the usual kind, where answers come automatically or at least easy. I don’t own a couch and I’ve never had a hair dryer (fun fact I noticed the other day), which definitely makes my life easier to jump from one adventure to the next.


Now it is the time for me to start planning the future, or at least be aware of the possibilities I have. In February I could be in India or in New Zealand, or if I really wanted to I could leave melbourne and move to Tasmania to do my 88 days of rural work. I don’t know, I can’t decide. On the other hand I want to have a fulfilling career that allows me to have that couch and maybe buy a hair dryer as well (yes I know you can travel with one, but I don’t really need one), and a part of this scenario would be not having to return to the motherland. But there are all of these doubts. How will I get the job? Which country do I go and try? How will I survive when I’m all alone and start eating way too much chocolate to drown my sorrows? What if what if and then what? 

The answer to all doubts ever: You don’t know how it will be unless you try. I might have an idea what it could be like going to Germany and not speaking the language (with no real passion to learn it) and trying to find a job that is not in hospitality. But unless I try the scenario, I don’t know. Perhaps that would be it for me, the place where I find peace. I have found peace (and dozens of great cafes) in Melbourne, but the immigration policies of this lovely country sure don’t make it easy for people to enjoy their stay. I am still looking for that Aussie husband, by the way, and now we’d have to live together for 12 months in country x. No worries, I’m pretty flexible on that!

Resistance, training

I thought I was yoga and pilates girl through and through, until I found high intensity interval training and F45, that is. For the past month I have vented my frustrations and sweated it all out at Australia’s new It-thing, intensive training using bodyweight and weights (and dreadful ropes and chin up bars), alternating exercise sessions of cardio and resistance. I have truly enjoyed the team sparring mentality and post workout high fives, and the exhaustion too.

After the first week of feeling sore and wobbly, I got used to sore muscles, and not going to train just because I’m tired feels way worse than pushing myself through it. Group training comes with a price tree times higher than going to the gym on your own, though. One can either consider it as being an overpriced fad alike to crossfit, or then as an investment to one’s health. I am contemplating if I can afford it or not, though their 9 week challenge commencing next week would give me that extra little push to join. I haven’t noticed any changes in the past month (besides having trouble lifting heavy things the day after), but apparently there is something happening, as my co-worker who I hadn’t seen in a while asked me if I’d been going to crossfit because of “my guns” (her words, not mine). With this amount of push-ups, walking to the gym and shoveling food down my throat, I’d hope to see some results. Oh, and I stopped drinking too. Sorry Tinder, but there are other options than drinks for dates. At least if you meet the right people.

Apparently F45 costs as much as Ashtanga yoga, so I think I’ll skip the sun salutations and opt for solid 45 minutes of sweat and breathlessness. I would definitely be curious to see how long I can do this for, how many Saturday mornings I’d wake up after 6am to have a solid circuit session with a live dj before work. You either dance the night away on Friday at the club, or….

A bit of Home

Some people feel more or less homesick when abroad, I only mostly miss my family and friends and Vitamix. Okay, forest berries too and way more affordable fish than here, but I’ll survive without. When I left Finland, my intention was to stay away from Finnish people (besides the friends who I met in Bali), and hang out with local and/or international people as much as possible. I don’t really understand going to the other side of the word to only speak your own language, like so many backpackers do. Until now I had only spoken Finnish to my cousin in May, and a few awkward words in a coffee event here in Melbourne where Finnish coffee and pastries were sold. But social media brought me and Anna together.

 

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Anna found me on Instagram, sent me a message and we hang out a good while yesterday: long enough to walk from the city to Prahran and back to have tea. After first awkward Finnish words I found out we have a lot in common: more than with anyone I think. This is a good thing, and very refreshing, to have someone who understandands exactly what you’re going through and how you feel. Anna was brave enough to do her farm work like a good girl, so she can stay for another year whereas I am still trying to get my shit together and avoid the 3 months in the bush. Plans B, C and D are brewing, we’ll see what happens. In the meanwhile…

 

Ridin' the waves.
Ridin’ the waves.

 

6 things I’ve learned in Melbourne in 6 months

As it is inevitably already August, I realized I am halfway through my (hopefully not last) year in Australia. I’ve lived mostly in Melbourne for the past months, trying to live somewhat ‘normal’ life, but with a refreshing one month holiday up north. I don’t think my Working Holiday experience has been like most backpackers’, but then again I don’t consider myself as one. Hopefully I’ll get to see more of my surroundings these upcoming months, but who knows. Here follows 6 things I have learned these past 6 months.

 

Got double suprised at work just because.
 People are extremely friendly. Of course this can vary from city to another and the outback is a whole other story, but in general Aussies and travelers alike are a friendly bunch with their “howyagoin” greetings and other funny stuff they say. One rather effective way of meeting people is the ever so popular Tinder-game. Just keep your expectations low and don’t expect to meet the love of your life, and you might end up with a few new friends (Or the awkward situation where you think you’re friends, and the other person has other ideas…)!

 

Keep your eyes open, you mever know what comes along
 Timing is everything. This applies to finding a job, a house, even friends! I met my best friends in H&m and on a tram, and I got my current job by walking past it before they had opened. When it comes to work, be persistent. If you are looking for hospitality jobs, even Instagram can help you (@cafejobs_melb)! I am still trying to figure out the sponsorship possibilities, oh dear, they do not make it easy. Some days I wish I was a radiologist or a brain surgeon, just to feel wanted here.

 

Sippin herbal tea in my yogapants before yin class
 Take advantage of cheap fitness trials. Or in my case, intro yoga/pilates passes. most yoga and pilates schools offer intro deals for about 50$ for (unlimited) 2 weeks. I have so far been to 6 different studios offering either only yoga or a combination of yoga and pilates. Besides the CBD, South Yarra is the mecca for stretching activities. At the moment I am doing a free 2 week trial at F45 Port melbourne, doing intensity interval group training, which is pretty much the complete opposite of yoga. I love it after the first class, but the location is rather inconvenient without a car.

 

All the things you learn by just walking around!
 Stay on top of your city game. There’s too many things to do and events to attend, new restaurants popping up, and don’t get me started on my endless “must go” cafe list. In terms of activities, I keep myself aware of my surroundings with newsletters from The Urban List, Broadsheet and TimeOut. If these three are not enough, Concrete Playground is a good addition.

 

My kind of supermarket
 Shop smart. Take advantage of the markets (Queen Victoria especially), and go there in the afternoon. Cheapest produce you can find, no doubt, and the experience is way nicer than going to Safeways or Aldi. I challenge myself not to drown myself in drink coffee every day, both to stay clear of the addiction as well as to save me some dough (to eat out more than ever before).

 

Brunch outside in the dead of winter, not freezing.
 The winter isn’t that bad (if you come from Northern Europe). I was dreading for Melbourne winter that everyone seemed to regard as being from hell, but seriously it’s not unbearably cold, and even during the chillest days you can always just layer up sipping your coffee.