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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Healthy fare Melbourne

After hitting all the cafes I mentioned here, one should definitely check out the following clean eating spots while in the mecca of all things food, aka Melbourne.

Clean Eats and Treats (non cafe)

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The best airport snacks I didn’t get to enjoy; the glass bottle smashed on the floor. Sadness.

Green Press, Little Collins Stret, CBD

This little shop offers cold pressed organic juices, raw treats, smoothies and clean lunch options. They’ve created their own version of a donut, made with pumpkin and almond meal. My favorite juice: Captain Planet with blue green algae, coconut water and grapefruit.

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Ex salad master of Laneway Greens waiting for her smoothie.

Laneway Greens, Flinders Lane, CBD

This small salad bar on Flinders Lane should make the cut to any list of salad bars, great lunches, healthy food, smoothies, and value for money joints. I might be a bit biased to talk about this place since I was part of the team from day 1, but at least I can say that they really ARE what they preach. No cutting corners, all clean and hearty fare, big enough portions to save some for later, and smoothies that are the best money can buy. I can’t recommend any one salad, since all of them are to die for, but the Miso Salmon would probably be my favourite, along with the Seared Tuna. All dressings are made in house, with no extra sugars or additives. You can also get your smoothie bowl and chia pudding fix at LG, or grab a fresh pressed juice to go. 

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Glass box of pure goodness at Pana.

Pana Chocolate, Church Street, Richmond

This little chocolate shop on Church Street sells the most delicious handcrafted raw treats you can find. In addition to their chocolate bars, Pana sells different slices, pops (think ice cream pops but made from chocolate, coated with nut crumble), truffles and such. Guilt-free indulgence at its’ best! 

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Guilt-free lamingtons. Nom.

Terra Madre, High Street, Northcote

Not a cafe or a quirky small independent artisan shop, but the best shop for all things organic, natural and eco-friendly. Fresh veggies, breads and eggs, huge bulk section full of nuts, seeds, flours, spices and dry cooking things, and everything you could imagine buying for your kitchen (and bathroom). Cheap cheap, too!

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Bulk goodies at Terra Madre.

Yo-Chi, several locations

Froxzen yoghurt to the win! They usually have one soy option and one coconut-based option for vegans, otherwise the flavours speak for themselves: how about rose, matcha or mango? The various toppings seal the deal. Other great sweet tooth fix: Frozen froyo on Chapel street and Melbourne Central. 

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Nordic Food Co. selling homey goodies in Alma Park on Saturdays at the Hank Marvin Markets.

Markets: Queen Victoria, South Melbourne, Prahran – and pop-up markets such as Hank Marvin

Fresh seasonal veggies and fruit, delicatessen and anything you might need for a picnic in the park, the markets are my go-to place when it comes to weekly shopping or being ingredients for a dinner with friends. Best hummus in the world: South Melbourne market, Steve’s Deli. You can also find coconut cheese from South Melbourne market! 

Byebye Australia – For Now

Leaving Australia after building a life in Melbourne was very sad, something I had ticking in the back of my head even a few weeks before leaving. I had booked a flight to Christchurch, New Zealand, just because I needed to go somewhere, not because I necessarily wanted to. In Melbourne I had friends, a lovely laid back job with great work mates, and still heaps of exercise places to try out, it was the best season of the year…and I needed to let go of it all, get rid of the clothes and things I managed to hoard in 12 months, move out of my apartment and figure out what’s next in life. Easy to admit, the last few weeks have been a tad hectic. I was lucky enough to have a lot of work until the end, and to still managed to have the time to check out all the cafes I’d wanted to go but hadn’t had the chance yet…it was living life to the absolute fullest, with minimum time for rest and oh-so important me-time. One chapter of my life is now over, and I am off to the adventures awaiting me. To the Hobbit land!

Brighton beach huts.
Brighton beach huts.

After going to eat breakfast out for 4 days in a row, having farewell drinks and games and bbq (finally, a real bbq experience!), I got myself to the airport with my expensive cold pressed organic juice and only 17kgs of luggage, just to drop the juice to the floor and find out that I won’t be let in New Zealand without a ticket out. After a quick panic attack, some phone support and Skyscanner scanning, I chose to fly to the Gold Coast after 20 days in New Zealand. I calculated that 20 days would be enough to get me from the south island to the north, and to see ALL THE THINGS on the way. And what an adventure it is going to be…

Last meal in Melbourne in Auction Rooms.
Last meal in Melbourne, Auction Rooms.

Melbourne will always have a special place in my heart, and I am pretty content I will return there some day. There is still so much to see, do, eat…! I have made lifelong friends, gained tremendous amount of great memories, learned heaps of life and myself, and developed myself both professionally and personally. What a great year, regardless of the rough patches throughout. I have definitely become stronger, and also learned that from now on I will not risk having to buy tickets at the airport. It is stressful and not fun. While starting and sorting out my New Zealand adventures, I will post some foodie things from Melbourne.

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.