Spending time

I have now successfully spent a month(!) in Queensland, doing things that are mostly just-for-fun productive. My biggest accomplishments have been making pulla and pulla 2.0 (with macadamia and chocolate spread, also with raspberry jam), and also baking gingerbread cookies aka Ultimate Christmas Food. I have felt relaxed and happy to just unwind, but also occasionally stressed and pressed about the things that I should be doing and how to move and do and create and develop and earn money and and and…but this is all good. I am here, playing with the dogs (first wrote gods, oops), going to the weekend markets, eating vegetarian sausage rolls, reading and breathing and learning about all of that. So much learning sometimes my brain starts buzzing!

Some days you feel like  wreck on land - but then comes high tide and it's all good
Some days you feel like wreck on land – but then comes high tide and it’s all good.

I am re-creating my website, and thinking about life from now. I have studied a lot about professional this and that and how to make 5-number salary online. While this kind of information can be inspiring to one that has no profession and a severe case of wanderlust, I realised that the more I read about creating revenue and email lists and online courses and how anyone can do it and it takes only a bit of dedication and just only these programs to do, I got very anxious and it has pulled me away from the joy of writing, of creating and sharing. We went to Fraser Island the other week, and I wanted to write about that but it never somehow happened. My writing has never been aimed to create revenue or to get as many people to read my posts; I have been writing for myself or like I would write to a friend who lives halfway across the world, not having to give a rats ass about making the post SEO friendly and having 5 sentence paragraphs and bullet lists and all the other things that make blogs read-worthy.

Lady on le beach
Lady on le beach.

Anyhow, in the near future this blog will probably move to the new site, and I will continue writing as I feel like, not abiding to the rules of all the people who want as much dough as possible.

Things I enjoy learning right now: Patience. Things will come in their right time. This life is precious, and everything is more than alright. I have the chance to just be and enjoy being, I’d be crazy to not make the most of it when I can. Who knows where I’ll be in 6 months, how hectic life will be. Now that everything is good and I can just pick a pair of boxers and ski around wearing them all day, why not enjoy that to the fullest. I’ll have time to work and run around like a maniac later. Until then… smoothie bowls and hugs and kisses for days.

Someone climbed to a fire tower for pictures. Someone else has no spiderman skills
Someone climbed to a fire tower for pictures. Someone else has no faith in their spiderman skills.
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On Sailing

Sometimes it seems like life is just a vast endless sea with constant storms and enormous waves that rock your boat and splash water on the deck, making you afraid if you are going to make it to the next safe harbour. But steady waters don’t make a sailor, at least this is what I keep on telling myself. Maybe I seek discomfort and new challenges, to feel like I am developing my sailing skills and enduring bigger waves when ever they might hit me?

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A year ago I had but a thought in the back of my mind to go to Melbourne to discover what life so far away from home but yet in so familiar culture would feel like. Now I am pondering whether I should really settle, at least for another year, making compromises with my life (studying mainly just for the sake of getting a visa and to have some steady foundation in life), staying in the ah-so-familiar and already a tad numbing hospitality work, or to sail away to the unknown waters. This decision making and endless see-sawing back and forth has made stressed, anxious and feeling low at times. I have never been one to jump to things head over heels, without using excessive amount of energy and brain capacity to try and see the matter from different perspectives. Sometimes this approach bites me in the ass, like in this case when both of the possibilities I have ahead of me are wonderful (or potentially equally miserable), no matter what happens.

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Sometimes in life you have opportunities that present themselves only once. Other possibilities are possible to go back to at different times. I love Melbourne. The city will stay there for me. Maybe not the same, maybe not from the same perspective, but I will have the opportunity to return, with one visa or another. The opportunity to explore, the world and myself, will also be there. Not in the same form, and less likely to actually happen, but I am the captain of my boat and I have the power to decide where I steer myself. Life will figure itself out, and going with the flow and surfing your own wave is something one should always keep in mind. You can only trust that the waters lead you to where you’re supposed to end up in.

Oh, I have actually never been on a real sailboat, I can only hope to experience it at some point.

10 Things I’ve Learned in 24 Years

And so it came, the day I was born 25 years ago. If I start thinking about it, quarter-life crisis could be on it’s way, but I have decided to take the “age is just a number”-approach and just be in denial about being too old to do certain things or too much all over the place and not doing what one is “supposed” to be and have done by the magical 25. I started to reflect on the things I consider my most important discoveries, lessons and revelations so far. Not in any particular order.

Appreciate the small things. Whether it be a nice cup of tea, great market haul on fruit and veggies, or someone letting you get first in to the tram/train/in the doors to where ever, the small things are what make the bigger picture.

Enjoy the moment. This moment is gone in a second, and all you are left with are memories. If you spend all your time living somewhere else and mentally yearning for something, you end up missing all the beauty and opportunity that is right now, right here.

Do something. Anything. It might be something big like going to a foreign country, or something smaller like going for a bike ride to the beach. As the cliché goes, you only regret the chances you didn’t take.

Looking back.
Looking back.

Don’t take things so seriously. In a few days/weeks/months/years you’ll look back and hopefully laugh or at least smile at the things that once seemed so serious and detrimental.

Give back. If it’s only giving a muffin to a homeless person, or giving a compliment to a co-worker, it is important to acknowledge others and try to impact their day in a positive way.

Take care of yourself. Your body is your home, so take care of it. Eat foods that make you feel more energised, not lethargic, and rejuvenate yourself from time to time. Move your body and embrace the ability to move and feel.

Looking forward.
Looking forward.

Love. Animals, people, nature, music, food. There’s nothing better than appreciating something, or someone. Surround yourself with like-minded people and you’ll feel your quality of life improve.

Learn. Whether it be to surf, to cook a new dish, a new language or to deal with tough situations, improving youself and getting small victories makes life better. There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment.

Be you. Express yourself in a way that’s true to you, do what your gut tells you to do and not what others tell you should do. You know yourself, and by time (and making mistakes) you’ll learn to know what’s best for you.

It will all be okay. Even in the worst times, there’s always something better coming, and you can learn from the hardships and grow as a person when shit hits the fan.

Year away

A year ago I packed my stuff in boxes and showed them to my dad’s tiny attic, piled all that I thought necessary in my old backpack, and left for a trip that was intended to be 2 months of yoga in Bali, then a bit of Vietnam and back home. A year later I did not do yoga but instead started surfing, ended up going to Cambodia too, and have been living and working in melbourne for 8 months, and a myriad of unexpected things have happened.

New skills learned: Surfing, driving a scooter, scuba diving, selecting cacao beans for chocolate production, letting go of things, proper headstands, knife skills, how to survive alone in tight situations (ie you’re not allowed to enter a foreign country and you find that out at the airport, or how to escape a motor vehicle accident situation in another…or how to change the scuba diving BCD vest in pitch black darkness in the middle of the sea)

Gili Trawangan, Christmas with friends.
Gili Trawangan, Christmas with friends.

Appreciation for things: Sunshine and warmth, fresh fruit pretty much straight from the trees, sea and marine life, nature, bicycles, people’s help, good company, trial periods at yoga studios and gyms, exercising, work, having the opportunity to do basically whatever, learning new and growing. New friends!

Bali style breakfast by the pool.
Bali style breakfast by the pool.

Best foods: Crate cafe breakfasts, Gado Gado and fresh mangos in Bali, tuna steak at Christmas dinner in Gili, rice paper rolls in Vietnam, the delicious meals at Hariharalaya in Cambodia. Smashed avo and poached eggs at Organica cafe in melbourne, Hummus from South melbourne market. Drinkwise: Fresh coconut water and coffee coffee coffee.

All the (vegan) rolls.
All the (vegan) rolls.

Accommodation: 3 Bungalows in Bali, one private villa. One month in the same hostel in Canggu. Hostel in Vietnam, one night in a “family stay” in the mekong Delta, and another one in a border town hotel. 4 hostels in Cambodia, one night in a bus, 10 nights on a retreat. (Luckily) I’ve only spent time in 1 hostel in Australia, and times of homelessness I was able to rely on the help of 5 friends.

Pretty much deserted island in Cambodia
Pretty much deserted island in Cambodia.

Love life: I learned that the Finnish word for love, rakkaus, apparently sounds like “crack house”. Fair enough. I’ve had more action this past year than ever before, mostly because I’ve been open-minded and just gone out. I have definitely learnt more than I thought I would have, and even though I got sick of dating and lost my faith in finding “the one” (or even someone I could imagine spending a whole weekend with), I am now closer than ever to realizing my feelings and where I stand in life. Winning!

I made someone popcorn for their flight.
I made someone popcorn for their flight.

Dealing with health: Eating probiotics, eating local. 2 Doctor visits, one dentist. In Cambodia I got bitten by a mosquito in the eyelid on the day I was supposed to go on a scuba diving trip to a remote island. Early trip and waking up the only doctor of the hospital to get cream I didn’t end up using, luckily that was nothing more serious. In melbourne I went to a GP to see if I have sinus infection (I didn’t), and had my wisdom tooth pulled.

Holidaying in Byron Bay.
Holidaying in Byron Bay.

Public holidays: I have pretty much skipped every holiday; Christmas I spent on a beach having a barbecue, New Years I was at another beach, Easter I only hid eggs for my housemates but that was it…I have enjoyed the Queen’s Birthday, and I understand why Anzac day exists, but having a public holiday for football and horse races is a bit strange to me. Nevertheless, I’ll take any reason to have a special day!

Halloween pumpkin at work.
Halloween pumpkin at work.

In the last year I have had more experiences I would never have had if I had stayed home, and going out of my comfort zone has proven worth it and beyond. I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring along! And in the sad poor pictures front, by the end of the month things will look brighter and I will be able to write my hometown with a capital letter again! YAY!

I love love love that animal suit.
I love love love that animal suit.

On Working Hard vs. Hardly Working

There was a time when I got barely 2 days of work per week. The last week or few weeks I have been working more than sleeping or doing anything else. Somehow you adapt to the 12 or 14hr workdays and when you actually have free time, there’s this odd emptiness about what you should be doing to be more productive and as effective as possible. Working in Laneway Greens for the past 4 months has taught me a great deal about over the top cleanliness (it must be the cleanest kitchen in the Southern hemisphere!), dealing with extremely busy service, and to handle stress. I think the biggest learning I’ve got is to let go and not stress about work too much. There are only so many things I can affect, and so many things I can do. After making a mistake, it is best to learn from it, and to let it be. No point in dwelling and feeling like a loser. I think realizing not to stress (oh boy did I stress about anything and everything for a good few months) makes you actually work better. It definitely improves your mood.

I needed more hours and, to be honest variety to just whirring the Vitamix, so I snatched a job in the kitchen (looks more like the setup of a food truck) of a non for profit bar just around the corner from my old job. The place is very relaxed, I am basically my own boss since I’m in the kitchen alone most of the time, and I work with a bunch of people who never say no to a staff meeting (aka shots behind the bar meaning in the kitchen). The job is very social since I’m making the food in front of customers who sit outside, and I think having that aspect is good for me. Doesn’t make me feel so bad about spending my nights at work. And after the shift I can sit down, have a drink (yes the times of sobriety ended as I started working a bar) and go see a gig downstairs. So it’s like having a night out, without actually having to go anywhere. Too easy, as they say.

Summer is coming. I’m riding my bike everywhere. Trying to get a tan, started reading books again. Have grown a muscle next to my knee. Have no time to cook or go shopping, so saving money. Have no time to exercise like a maniac, but still do as much as I can. Exciting things coming up next year! And a new computer soon, so pictures again, yaaay!

Stay chill my friends.