|Isn’t it amazing that I’ve almost been here for 4 months, yet I feel that I’m just starting out my year abroad. I’ve learnt so much about myself in these months of constant transitions, which makes me excited to know myself when my time is up overseas. Not that the start of my wanderluster adventure was negative, more so challenging which has brought to me here, living by the ocean happy as a clam.
I don’t know if I mentioned this, but my new years resolution this year was to be more selfish. I realize that sometimes I’m too much of a people pleaser and don’t listen to myself enough. So this year, it’s in my hands to live independently and selfishly.
The holidays were busy and awesome, but I was definitely ready to chill out a bit more and refocus on myself when they were over. I’d been having bouts of sleeping anxiety. I’d waking up numerous times a night in a panicked state talking out loud. Veronica, if you’re reading this... I totally understand your earlsmares now. Poor Fiona, she woke up every time I did naturally, because we share a room. My roommates all joked about me sleep walking and I was wondering when I was going to sleep through the night again.
Kirsty reassured me that Brook also talks in his sleep and that maybe it was genetic... I thought that was cute. I think the anxiety was a mixture of different things, but mainly the lack of me using exercise to relieve my tension and also taking time for myself.
I noticed a ten class bikram yoga pass for 20$ in Bondi junction (short walk or bus ride away from me). I have just finished the challenged, and loved every second of it. I usually went in the morning and feel much more refreshed, and am seeing big improvements in my practice which makes me excited to continue. The teachers have all been wonderful and give lots of feedback which I appreciate. My favorite teacher, Jana massages our feet with her feet and a towel when we lay in savasanah and she opens the door to give us fresh air. Our hot yoga studio had a special guest, Jim Kellet into teach our class at the end of my challenge. He’s Bikram’s right hand man that teaches in India and directs the teaching school in San Diego. His class was extra long, intense and so inspiring... I felt lucky to meet meet the tribal tattooed, balding ponytail yoga guru. I am going to continue doing yoga everyday and sleeping like a baby, amen.
Besides yoga, my favorite activities include going for runs or walks along the beautiful coastal walk (path that winds through all of the eastern beaches) I like to sit on the rocks or in the caves at the end and listen to my ipod.
The Paris cafe has closed for a few weeks for renovations, they’re expanding and getting a bar which will make it an evening venue as well. I’ve actually had to buy groceries and have been cooking alot now that I’m not spoiled at the cafe anymore. I made red curry stir fries every night this week because I overestimated how many fresh veggies I could actually eat in one week.
I’ve been filling my time off with my new girl friends and flatmates. The girls I’m becoming really close with are the girls I worked with at Paris cafe. Let me tell you a little bit about the girls I’ll likely be writing about.
Ashley is 29, and from California but has been living in New York. She’d been traveling by herself all over Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines before she ended up here. She’s taken a year abroad from her life to see the world. She’s naturally crazy, outgoing and really relaxed at the same time. She was a bartender at a famous hotel in NY. She’s a wonderful person and has been introducing me to her circle of friends. She loves to drink coffee and eat anything organic, dairy free and gluten free. She’s a wonderful person, has alot of experience to share and has great taste in music. Ash is always up for crafty projects which I adore and loves to plan dinner parties and different outings. Oh, and she loves to shop and dance.... the girl has some moves.
Rachel is 26 and from St. Paul Minnesota... so close to Winnipeg! She’s a teacher and spent the last year in Thailand teaching English. She had some amazing travel experiences in India and Indonesia before coming here. After her year there, she moved here to be with her boyfriend Brad, from Ohio that she met in Bali. Rachel is hilarious. She has such a good sense of humor, her and I clicked right away. She has these huge dimples, big eyelashes and makes me belly laugh all the time. She’s always up for joining me for athletic activities, and planning activities to explore the city which I love. Rachel is so personable and outgoing and has proven to make really great snacks. Rachel babysits part time for families here, sometimes I join her to help her out. Today it took Rach, Ash and I to take the two little kiddies to the beach which was not an easy task. It included tantrums, eating sand and the little boy peeing in the stroller... Rach and Ash were both covered in pee while successfully comforting the little guy. I was off the hook because I had to go to an interview from there.
Bex, 21 from England. Bex has been traveling all over the states, Australia, and Asia with her boyfriend for a year. They’re such an awesome couple and are having a blast together. She’s really genuine and funny. We spend most of our time together meeting at the beach after our shifts and exploring vintage stores which is Bex is a pro at.
Her and her boyfriend just moved to Asia for three months, so we bought their couch, side tables and lamps from them. Bex also gave me a fan, a hanging rack, a mirror, a nail polish collection, two purses full of jewelry and an outstanding collection of clothes..... IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everything fit, and it was actually better then christmas for me. It was so generous and I appreciated it so much! I did her hair for her and took her out for a date in return but felt like I couldn’t possibly repay her. Bex and I spent a lot of time hanging out on my balcony talking about traveling. I would love to end up in England to stay with her on the east coast and we’ve talked about her showing me around Europe. She’s very mature for her age and I loved getting her insight, wish she didn’t have to leave so soon... but hope to see her again!
Emily, 24 from Manchester. She’d been traveling India and Asia before coming here. She’s such a gem of a person, down to earth, genuine and friendly. She hates when I can’t understand her mumbling and tells me I’m rude when I don’t put an “x” (kiss) at the end of every text message. Em is very happy go lucky and loves to plan any type of mini adventure that involves enjoying the outdoors which I love. Em and her boyfriend from South Africa have just left to work on a fruit farm for six weeks so they can get their second year work visas and then I’ll see them back here.
Scotty, 32 and a real Bondi local. Works as little as possible at the cafe and lives his life to the fullest. Scotty is like the second manager of the Paris cafe and seems to know every person in Bondi. I was talking about having a twin the other day with him, when he told me he was a twin as well. For the first time ever I saw Scotty very serious when he told me she’d passed away five years ago. Good thing is was a rainy, quiet day at the cafe... as he pointed to the necklace he never takes off I noticed it was a broken heart with a photo of his twin sister on it. It really choked me up, as I know how he feels as a twin yet couldn’t imagine how hard that would’ve been for him.
Apart from taking time for myself and spending time with my new friends, I’ve been venturing out of Bondi as much as possible to explore the city. We’ve been to quite a few back alley bars. They’re hidden in random locations and you often end up in a alley way at weird entrance, then end up in the neatest places. There are so many places to go that are relaxed and pub like but with very different flairs. Some of my favorite activities in the last couple weeks have been...
-Discovering an outdoor cinema in Centennial Park. We went to see dirty dancing and everyone was all sprawled out on bean bag lounges and surrounded by picnics. There was also a “biggest salsa lesson record” set that night. We all stood up and danced, led by a professional team and then they put on a show before the movie, I loved it
-Myself and some girlfriends went Suping (stand up and paddling) at the Harbor in Rose Bay. We rented paddles and boards and set out for sea. Our goal was to make it to Shark Island. When we were sure we were close, a rescue boat came zooming out and told us we had to turn around because the wind conditions were unsafe. It was quite the trek back in followed by a few spills into the water.
-Paris cafe had a closing party before the three week renos (or more) commenced. After work on Sunday the cafe was flooded with people, trays of food, and lots of drinks. I went to watch football with my room mate Tyler and some of his American friends, that’s where I met Chris Beck’s twin... I could not get over it.
-Getting internet installed... FINALLY! HALLELUJAH!!!!!
-Sitting on balcony on our couches, lighting our tiki torches and listening to music. This is what I’m currently doing while updating my blog. Although tonight I’m snuggled up under my blanket avoiding the wind and blaring my music.
I have a few more updates so you’ll be hearing from me soon!