One of my colleagues recently asked me if I still write as I haven’t posted anything lately. Her question caught me completely off guard. Do I still write? Where did I forget the blog? I realized I haven’t as much as thought about it in the past couple of days – a rarity in itself, may I say – but yes, I do still write. I’ve given myself a break from the blog, tried to stop stressing about it, but I do write, every morning. Three pages by hand, a.k.a. my morning pages, which I’ve skipped way too often lately.

I’ve been stressed, super stressed. But about what, asked Anna, my Finnish friend. Ehm… Everything? But what exactly? Hmm, well… Where I’m going to end up, I guess? Not that there’s any way for me to know that, so I might as well forget about it, but still. That familiar feeling of anxiety that’s there most mornings when I wake up because I haven’t done this or I didn’t finish that... because I fell asleep while reading a book at 7.30 pm because I was so tired, so tired… It’s not pleasant, especially not at 4.45 am.

I came here to live a simple life, an enjoyable life, and here I am. Where did I go wrong? I mean I’m only working in a café. How hard can it be?

Let me tell you.

Real or perceived serious demands imposed on one person by another individual or group” or, simply put, pressure.

I put so much pressure on myself that it’s insane, thinking I should – yup, here we go again! – become a blogger and a yogi, rich and famous, and super fit in addition to all the things that modern society and picture perfect bloggers tell me I should in order to be cool, hip, successful, while at the same time my primary reason for coming here in the first place was to one day be able to go home and become a cleaning lady (no offense to anyone who is) if I so feel like without having to feel like I’ve downgraded from a successful career in business.

Contradicting, is it? Yes, I know. It’s all in my head, it’s all in my head, but not knowing what’s going to happen next stresses me out, and yet I came here to live life one day at the time and enjoy it. Enjoy it. Where did I go wrong?

Every now and then, however, I manage to surprise myself. Like today.

I was working in North Bondi. The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny, so the café was packed with people brunchin’ and catching up with friends and family. The playground across the street was full of kids celebrating someone’s 2-year birthday, and the dogs, oh, the dogs! I’ve never, ever been a big fan of dogs; I mean I like them but I’ve never been crazy about them like some, but something’s clearly changed because all of a sudden they’re everywhere and I cannot get enough of them, one cuter than the other I see them everywhere. I need a dog.

I decided to walk home. On my way I was listening to my travel playlist, the one to which I’ve been adding songs ever since August last year. It had been a while. Hearing some of the songs made me think of all the experiences I’ve gained in the past 8 months, especially the people I’ve met. Quite a few of my friends in Sydney have left in the past couple of weeks, which reminds me of the pros and cons of travel, but also about the fact that I, too, can choose to move on and leave this place whenever I feel like it. Nothing forces me to stay here, which I seem to keep forgetting time after time.

It is the people that makes the experience, and today when passing by Bondi Beach I was washed over by a feeling of deep gratitude. Thinking back on life in the past 8 months and how, against the odds as I might have thought before I left, I’ve managed to build up all of this from scratch I cannot but feel grateful for having dared take a step into the unknown. How amazing is life, really. Did I ever think that one day I’ll actually find myself here living the life of a local, just like I used to stay? Having broken out of life as I used to know it in order to go find my inner compass with which to navigate through life? No, I definitely didn’t, but I’m so proud of myself.

As we all know, however, there is no finish line, only a journey. The only way is forward, so we’ve got keep moving, we’ve got to keep taking those leaps into the wild because that’s where the magic happens, that’s where it’ll hit you.

This is life, and it’s pretty darn incredible.

Anzac Day sunrise with Rachel (on her last full day in Australia) and Laure.