I thought it was time for a more personal post about my journey over the last couple months. After all, lots has happened! Many of you have asked why I came to Australia and how I am liking it, so I thought I would share some of my experiences here.
As you may know, I had never been to Australia before and had not yet found a job or apartment to live in when we arrived, though we had a lovely friend who accommodated us for the first three weeks. So it was a pretty scary and bold move, to say the least.
A bit of a background on me: I guess you could call me a third culture kid, having moved around a lot and never having lived in one place for longer than 2-3 years (except when I went to uni). I was born in Germany and I feel very connected to my home country, but in the end, home for me is wherever I feel comfortable. Because of this, I'm pretty used to the constant moving around, adapting to new cultures, learning new languages, finding new friends etc.
It's been exactly four months since I stepped into a plane that would bring me to Sydney, and I can say that I already feel pretty darn comfortable here. Sydney is my home now.
Why I moved to Sydney
I had "already" lived in Switzerland for four years (with the exception of an internship in London) and I was starting to get that tingly "Uhhhh-I-really-want-to-go-out-and-explore-and-could-use-a-scenery-change" feeling. Can anyone relate?
But the real reason was that I had always admired the seemingly massive health and fitness community in Australia. At least from what I could see (I know, Instagram doesn't count as a reputable source hahaha....), it seemed that everyone was always being active, going surfing, hiking, catching up with friends over scrumptious-looking organic food and was just living a super healthy active lifestyle.
And I wanted in.
My experience at uni was pretty much the opposite of this, as most people's priorities revolved around....well, what most uni student's priorities evolve around. When everyone else wanted to pop champagne at the bar to celebrate the end of exams, my celebration of choice was hitting a new deadlift PR at the gym. When we wanted to organize things for the weekend, it rarely included going for a barre workout together and grabbing a green juice afterward (actually, that never happened).
In short: I never quite felt like I reeeeally had anyone to share my passion for health and fitness. Vic was the exception to this, and I am incredibly grateful for having met her in my last year (+ she just moved to Brisbane for an internship yaaaaaaay!) But you know, overall I just felt like the environment I was in wasn't 100% supportive of my lifestyle and even though I had lots of AMAZING close friends, we rarely bonded over our common obsession to gyming, the latest yoga pants and vegan protein powders.
Then, during my studies at IIN, I got my first taste of what it means to be surrounded by like-minded people. As it's an online course and people all over the world are doing the program, it enabled me to (e)-meet and connect with some truly beautiful souls. After every face-to-face meeting or Skype session, I would be utterly inspired, bursting with energy and be jumping up and down like a little kiddo on Christmas eve! Community, allies, support group, mastermind, tribe, whatever you want to call it, I felt like I found it. And from what I had seen/heard/been told, I was pretty certain that I would feel the same in Australia. Everyone that had been to Australia before and that I talked to about potentially moving there, was super encouraging and assured me that I would fit right in.
By this point, I also knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry. I knew that I wanted to start health coaching and help young girls and women with the same struggles that I had overcome. I knew that I only wanted to work for a company where I would be excited every morning to get up and go work for them, and who's company values I aligned with. And as I've said many times before, Switzerland (Europe in general) is still far behind on the trend and there simply aren't many companies that got me super excited. So, I thought that in Australia I would:
- Find my "tribe"
- Be able to follow my passion and create a life that I love!
And so we (we as in my BF and I) took a leap of faith and packed up our lives to come to Sydney. And you know how when you take a big decision and feel all good about it and then when the moment comes you're like "OMG what did I do, this was a terrible idea, I have no clue what I'm getting myself into, help get me out of here!?!?" Yup, that mode hit in. It's always been like this for me. Every move I felt super excited about everything, but the moment when the plane takes off, all the anxiety and stress from the weeks leading up to the move sink in and I have time to actually ponder and think about what's ahead of me. I started thinking about how I didn't have a job yet, I started worrying about how I was going to finance everything and came up with all kinds of reasons why I should grab my bags and jump out of the plane, ASAP!
I'm a routine person and thrive off to-do lists, schedules and like to plan things well in advance. Dealing with uncertainty has never been a strong suit of mine. That might come as a surprise considering my constant moving around when I was a kid, but I guess back then there was always the security of moving with your family, who would take care of everything and you just had to worry about which room you wanted to pick in the new house.
This time it was a conscious decision that I took on my own, and I would have to deal with the consequences if it didn't work out.
"Feel the fear, and then go ahead and do it anyways"
The Power Of Surrounding Yourself With Like-Minded People
But from the moment I got here, I knew I took the right decision. You know when your gut feeling just tells you?
I feel very blessed that, thanks to my blog, I was able to meet so many like-minded people right from the bat. Already before coming here, my calendar was full with coffee dates with people that I previously connected with through social media. What a funny world we live in. But seriously, with the power of technology and the internet it’s easier than ever to truly immerse yourself with other like-minded people. No matter what you have a passion for or interest in… you can find a group of people online. Isn't that the coolest thing ever?
And it didn’t stop there. Words of encouragement were everywhere. I don't know what it is, but I feel that people here are so incredibly giving, welcoming and hospitable. Every encounter I've had so far left me feeling welcomed, understood, encouraged and supported.
I never truly understood the power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people until now. But now it is becoming blatantly clear. I mean, think about it: If you surround yourself with people who are driven to succeed, who are passionate about what they do, and highly energetic then that, in itself, is contagious.
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
+ Spend a few moments thinking about the five people you’re closest to.
+ Write down their names right now. Review your list. What do you think?
+ Do these five people love, support and bring out the best in you? Or do they drain your energy and leave you feeling exhausted and unmotivated?
What you need in your life is people that lift you higher, encourage your dreams (no matter how crazy), celebrate your success, and make you feel like a million bucks.
Some of the people that have supported, inspired and shaped me in recent months, in both small and big ways:
- Ange from Three Graces Health And Beauty - After being diagnosed with leukemia and thinking she would only have five months left to live, she fought her way back, decided to go back to study and follow her passion for beauty and open up her own beauty clinic. Woaah!
- Vic from Training For Chocolate - for helping me with the job hunt and being an incredible support even months before I moved here
- Jessica Sepel from JSHealth - for showing that it's OK to be vulnerable, and that sharing and owning up to your story makes you stronger
- Caroline from Greener Resolutions - yet another beautiful soul with an inspiring story that she has embraced and is now using to inspire and help others
- Bree, Allie, Tash and the girls from ClassPass - for all the words of encouragement and letting me tag along to all events
- Charlie from The Clean Treats Factory - for inspiring me with her bad ass "Just do it!" attitude
- Hollie - for welcoming me with open arms and showing me around the city
And then there are the yoga teachers at my favorite studios, the barista down the road who always has a smile on his face and asks me how my day is and all the other encounters with strangers that have left an impression on me...You guys rock!
And here's some more nuggets of advice that I've learned along the way. I always thought they were super clichée, but now I feel like they just ring so true with me and encapsulate everything that I have experienced over the last three months:
- Replace fear of the unknown with a sense of desire for what’s to come - being in the unknown can be scary as hell, but there's lots to learn from the situation. Instead of focusing on the fear, take 5-10 minutes every day to visualize the future. What does it look like? What would your ideal scenario be? How does it FEEL? When you stay in this beautiful state of desire, you're more likely going to manifest positive vibes.
- Trust your gut instinct -We tend to look outside of ourselves for advice and ask others for their opinion. But when the inner voice keeps telling you to do that one thing, trust it andfollow it. It was my inner voice that took me half way across the globe without knowing a soul, and in doing so, I've created a life for myself that I love. What big bold move is your inner-voice telling you to take?
- If your dream doesn't scare you, it's not big enough - Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. If your dreams scare you, it's a good thing!
- Practice daily self love - When we take the road less traveled, it's more important than ever before eto stop, breathe, and nourish our body and soul in whatever way works for us. Change is scary, but instead of pushing those emotions away, learn to sit with it and work through it.
I now look back at the last four months and am amazed and all the changes I've gone through. I am the healthiest and probably fittest that I have ever been in my life. I've started health coaching, which completely lights me up and I also started working for Vie Activewear, a company which I've loved for a long time.
I trusted my gut instinct, let go of my fears and followed my heart. And now all the pieces have come together and I'm living a passion-fuelled life of doing what I love most.