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.

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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.

More things I love about Melbourne

Previously I summed up my top 3. things about Melbourne, but the list gets longer and longer. Bare with me, folks. 

1. The ‘winter’. Sure, June and July are the coldest months of the year, instagram is full of cozy “baby it’s cold outside” posts and Urban List lists bars with a fireplace. Sure, its not t-shirt weather (all the time and every day), but baby this is not cold. Just put a jumper on and buy a proper jacket, man. I haven’t even used my beanie since May, and even then it was mostly indoors (because some houses are freezers). 

Wintery morning walk to work.

2. New things. For now it is the new job that keeps me occupied 60hrs a week, but also the new stuff that’s everywhere to be found, if you just keep walking.

The National Gallery, right next door. Wall of flowing water, cool eh?

3. Aussie ways. They have different sizes for clothes, so when H&M gets mislabeled underwear (EU size aka something I understand), they are sold for 3 dollars. Score! Winter night market in July, selling hot mulled wine. Aussie language. Random discussions with random people in random places. Random stuff in general.

 

Every day learn something new!
 
4. Yoga (trials). I wonder how long I can practice yoga without committing to a studio: most places offer two week intros for a reasonable price. I want to be sure to choose the best one, so for now I am yogashopping. And to be honest I think Pilates is a better workout anyway, though practicing forearm stands is pretty intense. Anyway, doing yoga is sweet as.

 

Move yoga in the CBD, interesting variety of classes.

  5. Smashed avo and poached eggs.

Every single self respecting breakfast offering establishment has smashed avo and poached eggs on their menu. Period.