Never Give Up, but Always Let Go

For the past few weeks I have seriously been thinking that its time to move away from home and live abroad for 6 months or more. I feel so overwhelmed all the time by things I have to do, places I have to be, people I need to see at home. It is all self inflicted and stems from me constantly overcommitting to things and subsequently stressing out when I have too many plans in my diary. As I grow older and wiser I am realising that I need time alone and occasional isolation to recharge my batteries. I need to honour my need for downtime.

This trip was a challenge for me to just be, not fill my schedule with a million things to see and do. To just be in the moment, enjoy the silence, reconnect with myself and relax.

It was only meant to be a 6 week trip.

It started with a week in Ubud immersing myself in the culture and spirituality to prepare myself mentally and physically for my yoga teacher training.  I attended varying classes and workshops at the Yoga Barn and Radiantly Alive. I am so glad I chose to do this as I managed to start shutting down the emotional and mental connection to my ties at home and started the journey inwards. I also set myself a challenge to not eat any meat or drink any alcohol in the lead up and during the training. By the time I caught the boat to Gili Meno I was completely ready to let my guard down and give myself completely to whatever I might experience during the training.

I spent 3 weeks on Gili Meno living and breathing yoga. This was the most transformational and amazing experience I have ever had and I shared it with 18 other amazing human beings who have become like a family to me. I will write more about the teacher training one day as I don’t believe I have digested everything fully and want to write about it more once I have had longer to reflect on it. Basically along with learning the asanas, pranayama, meditation and other limbs of yoga I spent a lot of time cleaning and clearing the rubbish I store inside. It was hard, and sometimes it broke me but the calm and peace I felt on the other side was nothing short of magical.

Halfway through the teacher training I called my husband in tears, he had to change my ticket and extend my trip. I NEVER, ever wanted to come home (I have the tendency to be slightly dramatic)… but in the interim I was definitely seeing out the full 60 day visa and staying in Indonesia. I was in no way ready to come home and go back to my old life. I needed more time on this journey, to continue working on myself and being free from the restraints and the commitments at home. Luckily I quit my job to come here so apart from my husband and dog, I was free to do as my heart desired.

Following my Gili adventure my husband and I reunited in Seminyak. It was amazing to see him after almost a month apart. We met 15 years ago and have been together for the majority of that time, minus a couple of brief interludes. I married him 2 1/2 years ago (in Bali) and this was definitely the longest time we had spent apart for years. I couldn’t wait to share everything I had learned and experienced while I was away. There were so many times that I wished he had been there too because the knowledge I learned about life was indescribable and I wanted him to have shared it with me.

The night we returned to Bali a few girls from the course and I hit the cocktail bars in Seminyak, my first drink in months. My new family got to meet my old family, and it was a really special night. My husband and I then moved to staying in a little Air BnB villa on the outskirts of Ubud. We checked out the Bali Spirit Festival and did lots of exploring on the scooter.  We scootered the mountains of Ubud, the streets, the dirt tracks… Sanur to Canggu, every day a different ride to somewhere. Then we decided to move to Canggu to see out the rest of the trip. At home, we have lived with other people for the majority of the past 2 1/2 years so it has been nice to spend time alone together, and enjoy each others company again.

Since being in Canggu we have been checking out rentals as we are seriously considering moving over here. It has been a struggle at home over the past couple of years. A lot of our closest friends have been successfully having families and settling into that lifestyle. Their happiness and joy is wonderful to see and their kids are beautiful. However, it’s hard to be around that at the moment. I want a family more than words, its all I ever have known I have wanted. I had a tumultuous childhood and I used to dream of the day that I would have a happy, safe and secure family of my own. I remember looking at my husband when I was only 18 and saying, ‘that boy will one day be the father of my children’.

That being said, IVF seems to be our only option and I found the whole process too heartbreaking, challenging and expensive. It takes a strength that I am not sure I have, not again, definitely not yet. Plus I would prefer to look back on my 30s and say that I explored the world, challenged myself with positive experiences and outcomes, honoured myself and my feelings, and most of all enjoyed life. You only get one life and I don’t believe my life was meant to be spent in hospitals, having needles, not having sex with my husband, being in constantly obsessed with what I am putting in my body, fighting and crying, feeling lost, alone, and miserable.

No, that is not the life for me. I am a happy positive person. I enjoy laughter, sunshine, salt water and loving people completely without resentment. So its time to be happy right now, always focusing on the moment and the circumstances that I find myself in. Not wishing my life away on the one dream that can’t be my reality, right now.

Deep down I desperately hope that through following my dreams and desires that my ultimate one will come into fruition. If it doesn’t, I hope that these experiences teach me enough to realise that I can be happy and complete without my own children.

Until then, maybe its time to explore new things, make myself a new reality that involves sunshine, yoga, salt water and loving my husband completely.

Onward bound xo

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OCD – Obsessive Coffee Disorder

I like coffee, I love coffee… I would sell my soul for coffee. Yep definitely took it too far there but I do really enjoy going out for a decent cuppa. I am a serious coffee snob and my heart breaks a little when I get a bad one. I don’t drink a lot of coffee, it is definitely quality over quantity. I think I travel sometimes just to try out different coffee shops. It actually would be no word of a lie to tell you that shortly after checking into any hotel next on the list is a skim through trip advisor to suss out where I am taking my first coffee stop.

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Having been travelling to Bali for the past 7 or so years I have to say every time I come here the coffee gets better and better, with so many amazing little coffee shops opening up over the place. Canggu is the final stop on my two month Indonesia adventure and I have definitely saved the best for last. This place knows its coffee!

Here is a list of some of the the most impressive locations I managed to sniff out in the past few weeks in my travels:

Anomali Coffee, Ubud

Tasty coffee, always busy.

Cafe Seminan, Ubud

Good coffee, although the little platter it gets served on is novel, after about the 2nd or 3rd visit it loses the excitement and ends up taking up too much room on the table. Cool vibe here, a hangout for lots of yogis, entrepeneurs, and writers.

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Freak Cafe, Ubud

This place gets a lot of good reviews from what I have seen and they definitely pack some caffeine into their coffee. Halfway through my coffee I had to do a mad dash to the bathroom, it was far too strong for me! If you like yourself a strong coffee.. this place is for you.

Revolver Coffee, Seminyak

Seriously delicious coffee. It is an awesome dark hipster joint with a wicked vibe. Love it.

Betelnut Cafe, Canggu

This is the place to be in Canggu. The coffee is great, and they have Vegemite. At this stage of my trip that is a definite drawcard.

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Hungry Bird, Canggu

This coffee is the bomb. It is always bumping here and the staff are really friendly. They do the most epic little pictures in their coffees.

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Milk & Madu, Canggu

They use the aforementioned revolver coffee. This cafe has an awesome layout and its always really busy. They have a rewards system if you are sticking around long enough (which everyone in Canggu seems to be). Side note: their chia pudding will blow your mind.

So thats some of the fruits of my labour, coffee touring around Bali. Twelve more days to go and I am really looking forward to trying some other little quaint coffee shops I have seen on my scooter travels. They are going to be pretty hard to beat!

Onward bound xo

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Wind beneath my Wings

My sister is 11 months and 13 days younger than me. Yep my parents wasted no time in getting jiggy with it after my birth (GROSS) but this is completely surreal to me as I am talking about two people who cant be within 100m of each other without the start of WWIII. I am fairly sure that my siblings and I were the product of not one, but four immaculate conceptions.

I seem to have deviated…

Back to my sister, during those two weeks we would dress exactly the same. We were TWINS… Even to this day in our 30s sometimes we will dress the same but in all fairness it is probably for only one day… not quite the dedication we had in our youth.

She means the absolute world to me, she is my life force in many ways. She is the one that picks me up when I am feeling down, makes me laugh in ways noone else can, sometimes she drives me so crazy insane I want to slap in her the face, yet she is my best friend and has been since the day she was born.

Unfortunately she was born with cerebral palsy. During labour there was a loss oxygen to her brain so her life was predetermined early on; she was never going to walk and never going to experience life the way I was. That has never stopped her and she continues to astound me with her strength and capacity to grow and kick goals, above and beyond anyone’s expectations… She was never meant to operate a wheelchair, let alone attend a normal high school (which she did right along side her big sister). She has a killer sense of humour. She brightens everyone that she encounters in her life with her determination and basically being as cool as shit. Last year she shaved her head to raise money for cancer, just because.

Sometimes I need a reality check and to find gratitude in the small things in life, because I am incredibly lucky and blessed to have what I have; use of my limbs, the ability to get up and walk to wherever I want to go, to travel, to practice yoga, to ride a bike, to speak and be heard. She has been my shoulder during my infertility woes despite knowing she herself will never carry a child. She manages to smile no matter what the challenge she faces and its beyond inspirational. Every time I lose my way, she is there in the background to give me a pep talk, shower me with love and affection and make me feel ten foot tall. I hope I make her feel even half as good as she does me.

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After 6 weeks away from home I am really starting to miss her company.

Onward Bound xo

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And so it begins…

Well hi there from Bali!

I am not really sure what I am doing here, I don’t have a ‘theme’ for my blog, I have no idea where I want to take it and I am at a loss of what I want to share… I just know I have a story, well lots of stories, musings, and ideas, and they are taking up far too much space in my head. Time to get them out.

Why am I in Bali? This is my 6th week on a life transformational journey that I am taking at 32. If you had told me last year that I would have quit my job of 7 1/2 years, enrolled in a yoga teacher training course and spent two months finding myself in Bali I would have not believed you for a second.

This time last year I found myself in one of the more challenging times of my life. I had just come out of a couple of really traumatic months within my family. I had been failing miserably at falling pregnant since I had married 18 months before and had just booked in my first (to be unsuccessful) IVF cycle. I was in a pretty hectic cycle of anxiety and panic attacks. It was a shitty start to the year, to say the least. I was unhappy.

Now here I sit watching the sunset over Echo Beach, my mind calm, my body healthy and my soul shining through. I can’t have believe that my world could change so much over one year.

Ce La Vie; thats life. The world is constantly changing and no situation is ever the same as before. This is the truth for bad times, so have faith that through the darkness will come light. The pain and hurt in any moment will pass with time, and healing will come.

No moment will ever be repeated. I will never see this beautiful sunset with magical shades of blue, orange and pink ever again. I am learning to live in the moment, live without fear, live ruled by love, and live knowing that every experience has brought me to this place, right here, right now. Its a very special place and I am extremely lucky.

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So, there you go looks like my first post is a heavy one… I also really like food, coffee, beaches, sunset, and cheeky beers while I watch those sunsets.

Onward Bound xox

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