31 January 2015

My European journey of self exploration and becoming a positive being.

I always used to think that my life was a happy one, filled with positivity, surrounded by good people, well spent weekends, a whole bedroom filled with clothes and shoes, even the way i spent my money was fine. Drinking and shopping every weekend, but complaining when I only had $100 to spend rather than $1000. 
My outlook on life, work and even love I thought was down pat. I had a 'don't care' attitude which sometimes came across as rude when referring to people that I had stereotyped or judged as making the 'wrong decision' according to how life should be through my eyes.
"Why the hell is she dating him hes so old, why the hell would you get that tattoo, why why why." 

I was always judging people that I had no idea what their idea of a happy life was. This, is the main problem why there is so much hate, debate, disagreement and war in the world. We are conditioned from the moment we are born to think a certain way, act a certain way, buy this product, buy that car and any other type of useless materialistic items that we actually get over shortly after use. We do however, grow up under the influence mostly of our parents, but of course every child and teen go through rebellion, acting exactly how our parents do NOT want us to act. Then there is the pressure of growing up with friends. Always striving, needing and wanting to impress people which as you grow older, you don't even like. The influence of media on how we 'should' look, training us to live in a consumerist world, spend our whole pay check on new products, get our hair done, spray tans, gym memberships, hair removal... 

It was until now, at the age of 26, after travelling Europe for 5 months, and living in London for a further 2 (with much longer to come) that I can confidentially call bullshit on that. The quality of life I have now, is without a doubt so much richer than I could have imagined.
If you were to ask me 7 months ago that I would be 10 times happier, wiser and truer to myself but 10 times broker and no real future careers planned, I would have laughed and said 'not possible'. 
I always had the idea that I would get the job of my dreams and become a corporate success, earn so much money I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I had cut out pictures and planned my 'mansion', with a swimming pool and the nicest car and a whole large room just for my shoes. What I want now for my future lifestyle couldn't be further from that.

Our quality of life is measured not by how much money you have and how much you can buy with it, or by how many cool things you own, the way I measure it personally is by; 
- how many people you can meet and leave with a positive impact,
- how true you are to yourself and others,
- how much of the world you have immersed yourself in and gotten to understand other cultures,
- how much you look after your body, because health is a platform for being naturally happy.

The day I left Melbourne was the single most exciting but scary moment of my life. I was about to embark on a 2 year adventure, with no plans set in stone for where I was going to live, what job I was going to do and how much money I would need to set myself up. 
I did however, despite my attitude towards how everyone is brainwashed into a money dependent way of life, saved around $20,000 for this journey. You need money to catch a plane, obviously.

I moved straight to Ios, Greece. One of the most popular party destinations in the world. I worked every single night of the week for 2 months straight at a nightclub where i got free alcohol, made a million new friends, created memories and stories, and got to spend every single day on the beach dancing and drinking until sunset with my new extended ‘family’. 
It was there on the alcohol and sex fueled island that I learnt the importance of letting go of all inhibitions without being afraid of what people thought of you. Each night we would get so drunk and do the craziest things that just don't happen back home in the 'real world'. Pissing yourself was a common occurrence, even shitting yourself was deemed normal. Not that I ever pooed my pants but anyone that did was never judged, just laughed ‘with’. 
It was in Ios that you could pretty much be whoever you want, be yourself, show your weirdness, be open about your sexuality and no one would bat an eyelid (unless you happened to screw 6 guys during your shift). 
Everyone got along and embraced each others individuality.

Spending 2 months on the island really taught me that what people think of you doesn't really matter anyway. Behind every negative remark, there are positives. Its called constructive criticism and is vital to growing up, it all depends on how well you can manage it and weather you take offense or take it on board. 
Where ever in the world you are, if there is someone that doesn't like you, there’s a whole island of people out there that will.
I've come to understand that if someone doesn't like certain aspects about you, its actually got nothing to do with you at all. Its got to do with what their idea of what a ‘normal’ person is. I admit I’m not ‘normal’ at all, and I like it. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I’m totally OK with that.
You also learn that when you come across these ‘haters’, you no longer have the urge to be nasty or spiteful towards them. It’s a really powerful moment when you can smile at them, and walk away with no negative thoughts.
“Treat everyone with kindness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, because you are.”

If you’re happy, tell people. Tell them why. Don’t be afraid to gloat about something good, however there's a fine line between sharing your happiness, and making yourself seem better than others. Its contagious and the more happy people you surround yourself with, the more positive energy you create 
A ‘friend’ that is jealous of your successes, that tries to hinder your progress and convince you ‘is not worth it’, or ‘it will never happen’ is not a true friend at all. A true friend praises and encourages each and every decision you make.
When someone I know booked a year long trip around the world, all they got in response from their closest friend was “whatever, you're leaving again and now I have to reschedule all these things…” and he genuinely did not talk to his mate for 2 weeks.
You know you’re a grown up when you stop thinking of yourself and be happy for others choices in front of your own. 

Now, as much as drinking copious amounts of alcohol and experimenting different types of drugs, is a massive part to travelling, its not the entirety of it. At all. Fair enough that you come to Europe to go to the most talked about festivals and clubs in the world, but while you're over here, embrace the culture, acknowledge your surroundings and immerse yourself in a whole different way of life. 
Ive met so many people that ONLY talk about going out and getting loose and want to know where the best party scene is as opposed to the most intriguing history and jaw dropping landmarks.
Try and learn the language, only the basics, because its such a great feeling to be able to order a coffee in another language, or simply say "Hi". The locals love it as well and are always willing to help you.
In my 7 months overseas, I have taught myself basic Greek, German, French, Spanish and even a little bit of Arabic when I visited Morocco. 

My time in Morocco was such an eye opener. The culture there is so vastly different to what we're used to. I had to cover my body, even in 52 degree heat, and abide by all the 'rules' as a woman in an Islamic country which I totally do not agree with at all. For example I was never allowed to sit in the front of a car, men got priority. Men got priority of everything. There were hotels I wasn't allowed to go in just to have a look because I was a single female and even the gym wouldn't allow women to work out. But that's their culture, their religion and all that they know and I was happy to experience it for my own understanding. 
I was happy to learn and practice out of respect. 
I wore a skirt above my knees one day which was passable in the Medina as its very touristy, but the further out I went, the more I could sense judging eyes and looks of disapproval as if I was the town bicycle. And it made me severely uncomfortable. Imagine walking down the street an having literally every man and woman you pass look you up and down in disgust, I actually felt naked wearing a knee length skirt and t shirt which is such a huge contrast to actually pretty much being naked everyday in Ios, but, as judging and manic as everyone seems, they're peaceful, dedicated and always willing to help. Waking up to the sounds of morning prayer at 530am over the loudspeakers was eerily beautiful and you could sense the whole city just stop for that moment and pray to Allah. 

Prior to Morocco I had spent time in Portugal. I spent a week in Lisbon which is extremely underrated. I had never heard anyone talk about travelling there before actually arriving and its one of the more beautiful cities I have visited. Every single building in the city and outer are covered in incredible tiles and black iron balcony's, the roads, lanes and streets are all cobble stone, and the castles are enchanting.
Lisbon was not originally on my itinerary for Portugal as I was heading to Boom Festival, however after 2 months of putting my body through such distress in Ios and for Ultra Music Festival in Croatia, i booked a week before Boom to regenerate brain cells and nutrition as Boom was a 7 day affair of hardcore psy-trance and endless stomping in the bush.
It was at Boom that you get in touch with yourself and learn to love everything about you, others and the world. People were dancing in the lake naked and there was not one judging eye. Everyone embraced them as their natural beings. To reach that level of full self love I dont think I am anywhere near.
Its completely natural to have hang ups about your body. You have your own idea on how you think you look best and this is thanks to what I wrote earlier about the media conditioning us to feel like we need to look like models. 

I will be honest, I took alot of acid at Boom. A lot of people look down on acid because yes its a drug, its a hallucinogenic that can make people go crazy, but any drug, alcohol, weed, prescription medicine can make you go crazy with excess use.
I do not encourage drug use one bit so talking about it here does not make it OK, but I will share my experience. 
Acid opens up parts of your cerebral capacity that you cannot normally access on a sober level, and it opens and expands your thought process and changes how you see life, how you see evolution, how you see nature and the government. It gives you a positive insight to how life should be spent. It opens you up to the possibility that everything as you know it, is wrong. 

During my trip, I saw the world in such a beautiful state, the colors of my surroundings were so vibrant and alive, the flowers were dancing and I saw an aura around everyone. It was a positive loving environment and everyone was beautiful. The few people that weren't having such a good time, or just generally weren't that friendly, did not look so beautiful. 
This is because acid perceptually processes everything you see. What is in front of you, reflects as what you perceive it to be. A lot of people are scared of trying acid because they hear stories about people that spend the whole 8-12 hours freaking out and seeing horrible things. The only way you're going to see horrible things is if you take it with the negative 'perception' of how its going to be. If you constantly think things are going to be bad, 99% chance they will. However, if you go into a trip with a happy attitude and positive outlook, you'll have a great time.
It put into perspective for me that we find beauty inside people. I know its lame saying "Beauty is not only on the outside" but when you meet new people and get to know them, their personality and their charisma is what shines through the most.
I still have an awareness of wrong doing and in-agreeable behavior, but I always try to see the best in everyone even if they're not physically appealing to the eye.
I have a better understanding of how much we're currently destroying the environment and I try my best at all times to throw my old habits out the window, not my rubbish. 
If any of my friends litter, or even throw their cigarette butts on the ground, I pick them up and tell them they should bin it. Its so simple. You don't need to have a degree to know to that its disgusting. Its also really unattractive. I've gotten into the habit now to not leave any rubbish lying around. Its not much in the whole scheme of things but every little bit counts.

Looking after your body while travelling is probably the hardest thing. You visit countries where they serve the biggest loaves of bread with every meal, there's nothing but deep fried, fatty, carby, oily foods everywhere (I'm looking at you Amsterdam) or where the signature cuisine is sausage or potato and cheese. 
I've definitely yo-yo'd the last 7 months. I lost a lot of weight in Ios because I was only eating Greek salads everyday and dancing and walking every night, I gained again in Morocco with endless bread, rice and cous cous, lost again in Berlin because I spent 6 hours of every day (for 6 weeks) walking everywhere as I had no job and had to occupy myself, I was also living alone in an apartment so I had full kitchen facilities to store and create healthy meals. 
Amsterdam I was high all the time and ate more pizza than ever, and now that I'm London where its cold, the motivation is low but I am eating ridiculously healthy again and have JUST started going to the gym again. By 'just', I mean I have done one session but its made me feel really good.

But clean eating as a whole is a platform for your natural well being and happiness. If you pump your body full of healthy, organic fruits, vegetables and salads, you generate endorphin's and cleanse out all the bad toxins in your body. When you feel healthy, you feel more energetic and generally happier. 
If you constantly eat oily, fatty food, the fat clogs up all your vital organs and stops letting all the nutritious antioxidants through that you need. 
I can tell a massive difference in my energy and mood levels when I've been eating bad as opposed to eating really healthy.
Treat your body with respect and it will reflect in your attitude.

Another trait I've picked up and encourage, is spreading knowledge. I may not know much yet about being the ultimate happy being, but what I do know so far is doing a pretty good job. 
When you travel, you become more in touch with what you like, who you are and you become wiser. The saying “you find yourself”, yes its corny but its so bloody true. The next step is to ‘spread yourself’. Spread knowledge on who you are, spread your happiness and love for everything, because it rubs off on people. Send people home with a smile. Send them home with a positive attitude towards you, towards life. Have a positive impact on everyone you meet no matter the location or situation.

I have not had one single negative day since leaving Melbourne, because there is nothing, in my life surroundings, to be unhappy about. 
Sure, London is becoming dreadfully colder and hitting -5 degrees, its wet and I have -£11 in my account, but I've seen parts of the world I'd always dreamt of seeing and it makes me so proud to know that I worked so hard to achieve my travelling goal.
I've met some absolutely incredible people, I live with people that have the most genuine hearts and carefree attitude that all accept each other for who they are, I can call them my family, I've fallen in love, not only with a boy, but with everyone, with every country, with every culture and with life.

11 February 2014

My bucket list....

Good morning beautiful readers... Its been quite a while since Ive posted. Since my last post Ive taken the courage to book a one way ticket back to Greece to work for the European summer, and then following that travel the rest of Europe. Ill be working the the UK and hopefully Germany (apparently its very hard to get work in Berlin) and will return home when my heart feels is the right time (or when my bank account tells me I cant continue).

I wrote myself a bucket list quite a while ago and just thought I would share with you the types of things Id like to do in my life....
The ones in bold have already been done...
1.      Get a Tattoo
Get a half / sleeve completed

2.      Skinny Dipping

3.      Skydiving
Do the AFF course $2000

4.      Bungy Jumping
Bungy off highest in the world – Colorado (321m)

5.      African Safari

6.    Snowboarding
Canada or Japan

7.      Visit mums kids at the orphanage, Nepal

8.      Trek through the Himalayas

9.      Hike to a traditional Minority Village, Northern Vietnam

10.  Sail through Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

11.  Walk the Great Wall of China

12.  View Paris from the Eiffel Tower

13.  Go to Rio CarnivalÄ•, Brazil – Mid to late February

14.  Overlook Rio from Christ the Redeemer lookout

15.  Go to Holi festival in India – Mid March

16.  Peru Inca Trail / Machu Picchu

17.  Go back to Great barrier Island (NZ) and climb Mt Sugarloaf one last time

18.  Cruise through Venice on a Gondola

19.  Go to Oktoberfest in Germany – Sept 20th to Oct 5th 2014

20.  Statue of Liberty, New York

21.  Swim with sharks

22.  View New York from Empire State Building

23.  Swim in the largest swimming pool in the world in San Alfonso Del Mar, Chile

24.  Sleep on an overnight train

25.  Ride an elephant

26.  Road trip across USA

27.  Spend a New Years Eve in New York

28.  Have a white Christmas

29.  Ride a camel through the Sahara

30.  White water rafting

31.  Great Pyramids of Giza and Karnak Temple, Egypt

32.  Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

33.  Visit Auschwitz Concentration camp, Germany

34.  Sunset in Santorini, Greek Islands

35.  Go to Disney Land

36.  Be an extra in a movie

37.  Party in Cancun, Mexico

38.  Donate Blood

39.  Walk through Central Park, New York

40.  Have an organic fruit and vegetable garden and chickens!

41.  Coachella Music Festival, California – Mid April

42.  Take singing lessons

43.  Take dance lessons

44.  Shop in Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles

45.  Live in New York or LA

46.  Hollywood walk of fame, Los Angeles

47.  Gamble in Vegas

48.  Have breakfast then Tiffanys, New York

49.  Own a fashion shop/online

50.  Shop in Marrakech, Morocco

51.  Go to Mardi Gras, Sydney

52.  Glastonbury Festival, UK – June

53.  Burning Man, Arizona – Late August to Early Sept

54.  Attend a native American sweat lodge ceremony

55.  Finish a course
56.  Buy a house by the age of 30 (pushing it) BUT POSSIBLE!!

57.  Invest money in the stock market

58.  Swim with the dolphins

59.  La Tomatina in Valencia, Spain – August 27th 2014

60.  Stay on a farm/coastal town in Ireland/Scotland

61.  Tomorrowland, Belgium – July 24th 2014

62.  See Parthenon and Acropolis Ruins, Athens, Greece

63.  Witness the Northern Lights

64.  Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

65.  Snorkel in The Great Barrier Reef

66.  See The Grand Canyon

67.  Ride a fan boat through The Everglades, Florida

68.  Walk around/climb Uluru

69.  The Kremlin/St Petersburg, Moscow, Russia

70.  Stonehenge, UK

71.  Big Ben, London

72.  The Louvre Museum, Paris

73.  Ride a bullet train, Japan

74.  Start my own business

75.  See the Queen of England

76.  Go to a Victorias Secret fashion show (and then be depressed)

77.  Go to the Cannes film festival

78.  See a Cirque Du Soleil show

79.  Have another Hangi party

80.  Attend a form of marathon/tough mudder type event

81.  See the Playboy mansion? (is it possible to tour?)

82.  Get my palms read

83.  Have my portrait painted/drawn

84.  Audition for a reality TV show (The Amazing Race/Geordie shore style/Big Brother)

85.  Drive around Australia

86.  Get my clothes designs made professionally

87.  Own an amazing coffee machine

88.  Design and build my own house

89.  Adopt a child

90.  Volunteer/ charity work in a third world country

91.  Hike up the Inari Temple Shrine mountain, Japan (the one in Memoirs of a Geisha)

92.  Explore Chichen Itza, Mexico

93.  Walk through The Imperial Palace gardens, Japan

94.  Akihabara/ Electric City, Tokyo, Japan

95.  Travel Croatia – Go to ZRCE beach

96.  Ride a ‘cable car’ through San Francisco

97.  See Petra Ancient City, Jordan

98.  The Taj Mahal, India

99.  Go to football match in London

100. Walk through the Collosseum, Rome