Are holidays a priority, if not why not?

I’ve had such a very blessed life, of course I’ve created it myself but I’ve had a bloody good run.

I had a bit of a slow start with the want to travel as I bought a property at 18 and was locked into a mortgage for a few years and didn’t value travel as I now know it. I was driven my material possessions then lost the lot in a bitter divorce and some unsavoury life choices in my early 20s. But that’s what life is all about isn’t it. Living and learning.

When I was 2o, I went on my first overseas trip to New Zealand, that really showed how much I loved my comfort zone! Beautiful landscapes but how boring on the cultural front! I had a pretty bad flu and the most active thing I did in that week was hire some bicycles and rode to the cemetery to learn some history about the local area. The other thing I really enjoyed was watching the local TV. They really embraced their indigenous culture, so much better than in Oz, well this was back in 1999. We have improved but back then I was pretty impressed with how many indigenous people was on the telly in New Zealand, compared to Australia.

Yes, my travel partner and I was pretty conservative at the time! Luckily many of us evolve and some lucky people branch out and say YES to international travel.

After returning from New Zealand, I didn’t travel internationally for a few years. However, I still adore jumping on a plane, regularly darting around my own country. Travel within Australia is brutally expensive. Especially living remote in the Northern Territory, the upside of that it’s cheaper to visit Asia than Tasmania.

I assume what contributes to this is our small population. It doesn’t help in the economics of our travel industry, and making travel a priority. Yet, I was always darting around the capital cities as much as I could visiting family, friends and having time out as much as I could.

Then in about 2009 I went to India for a month and adored it! I was terrible in learning the language, looking back quiet disrespectful not learning many sentences at all, relying on my English speaking friends to translate. The culture shock us huge, and it opened up my life to a world of international travel.

I was hooked! The next year I went to on a plane again. I had the opportunity to go overseas in for a World AIDS conference in Austria and my world opened up! Whenever I travel, I try to experience the real life of the country. I hardly stay in hotels, and network heavily to have contacts in the country I’m visiting. I wanted the authentic experience and sit down with families at their dinner table.

Then I went to America for a month and fell in love with San Fransisco. I attended a film festival and travelled with a awesome group of people and met the most amazing activists. I fell in love with the rainbows, the drug law reform, ( I stayed with many if the original activists) the history, The dog friendly public transport and supermarkets and the overall vibe of the place… Take me back to San Fransisco!

Since then, I’ve been to Vanuatu, Singapore, Philippines and Bali. Some places you just need to visit when you live in Darwin. So close to our Asian neighbours.. Why wouldn’t you go and explore, even for a long weekend!

I have another trip booked to Bali in early February.. This unborn child of mine will definitely need a decent sized passport if I get my way! 2 overseas trips and visiting at least 3 states of Australia while he is in my womb. Great start I reckon!

Not to mention a multiple times I’ve travelled to Tasmania from Darwin, each year I’ve lived here. The most breathtaking scenery  you could see in Australia. It’s where my parents live and of course I live as far away as possible in tropical paradise because I can’t stand the cold. Rather my body dislikes the cold. My bones ache, my back plays up, I get stiff and sore..don’t mention the hay fever!

Im at a time in my life that I’m regretting not purchasing property and panicking about my future. I’m such a hippy deep inside, so owning a big block of land living as sustainable as possible.

So what is the dream? Living in the middle of nowhere, not needing to commute to work back and forth every day, just networking constantly online, assisting people to improve their lives and traveling around the world would be ideal with my child.. Yeah, of course it is you say. But that’s the goal, and you know what.. I’m going to be working towards that. Without saying too much, too soon.. I’m happy with what I’m doing in the background to create this before I’m 38.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful life to remind people about the magick of travel. The importance of creating memories. The important of work life balance and to take your holidays and move outside of your comfort zone. Because afterwards, you can look back at your life and have either no or a limited amount of regrets.

If you have any positive stories of traveling, mixing business with motherhood and creating success and most importantly happiness.. Feel free to contact me on Instagram Ms_Sanna_Darwin

 

 

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Shiny new things! Bring on the Dopamine.

Isn’t it fascinating how consuming makes us feel, bouncy and in a pretty good mood. Even just for the short term and how can we have these feelings without spending the cash?

You’ve probably known about dopamine before, and its effects on the brain. The feel good chemistry…. Linked to sex, a new relationship, lust, love, a new hair cut, presents or simply a new set of freshly painted nails!

So it’s really the “shiny new stuff” that gives us the high, not so much the actual consuming. The handing over of the credit card, handing over the cold hard cash or signing the loan documents- it’s rather the new stuff physically in your hand that gives you the feel good vibes!

This week, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a brand new car. I’ve been consuming quiet a lot over the last few months since according to my “My Pregnancy” App on my iPhone, today I was technically 6 months pregnant and I’ve been preparing for babies arrival since the moment I knew I had conceived.

Prams, cot & cot sheets, clothes, baby bouncers, baby wipes, some nappies.. Yes many hours of scrolling on the iPhone on Gumtree searching for bargains!

So today, I was in a pretty good mood. I was thinking, “oh yeah, I’ve got this”. Wearing my new purchased blue and green yoga outfit, my purple fancy thongs ( shoes not gstrings!) I drove down our brand new main street in our small city, with storm clouds covering the sky that was quiet delightful in the December heat. As I park the car, I look around and the Christmas tree was up, it was spitting rain, my brand new- only-driven-100km-matching- my-outfit-blue car was pretty awesome and I was about to attend my first 11am Yoga class in a month or so.

I missed Monday’s Yoga class as I was purchasing my new car on Monday so after my inspiring Yoga post last weekend I flopped- yet had a pretty good excuse!

Anyway, for a moment I was feeling pretty awesome with my life. It was still quiet early in the morning so my “afternoon bubba belly had not popped out” so I’m looking pretty awesome for being 6 months pregnant, driving my new car and being all healthy n chilled attending a yoga class- I thought- gosh my life looks pretty awesome from the outside right now, but why is that? Or is that just me? Maybe I’m still a little high on life after picking up this new car and taking my first phone call from my dad asking what I’d like for Christmas.  Yes, I was rather impressed to take the call from my car Bluetooth- yes such a cool novelty for me after driving a 10 year old Ford!

Or maybe I felt so good after that awkward moment when I arrived 1.5 hours early for my yoga class that same morning and I then ran across the road to the coffee shop and turned up soaked from the rain and ordered a Latte and yummy fruit salad. While I was  waiting for my coffee, I reckon a bloke was chatting me up! I could just tell in his eyes. That made me laugh so much. It’s been a while! First he thought I’d gone for a run. ” No, I just turned up early for a yoga class and got drenched in the rain” This look does not include any type of sweat or glowing from running! I ran across the road, does that count?

Secondly, he asked what I was doing over “Chrissy” and I explained I was staying here, but normally went to Tassie, that quickly moved to the subject of the weather and how it was incredibly hot “Down South” in Adelaide and Melbourne. A bloke had apparently died from working outside, just like this tradie. Tough gig!

Thirdly, he noticed I was pretty scattered after I kept sitting there for about 30 seconds after receiving my coffee, then clearl noticed I didn’t need to wait any longer. “Did you have a big night on the town last night?” Umm, no. I recall restraining myself from going to lay on my bed just before 8pm as I knew I’d have trouble sleeping later in the night. Talk about buggered on a Friday night! I bit my tongue and didn’t tell him that it was a good chance of being “baby brain” since I was actually 6 months pregnant. But he wouldn’t had noticed that I was pregnant due to me sitting at the same table and hiding my bubba tummy.

This was just the new me, vague, questionable and many times throughout the day wondering… “What the hell am I meant to be doing right now?” apparently you don’t get your pre baby brain back for a while either. Oh joy, this is going to be fun.

So between the highs of buying a brand new car, getting maybe chatted up for the first time in a while, reaching the 6 month pregnant milestone and actually succeeding in attending my first Yoga class in months- some silly thing within me was pretty proud of myself.

Purhaps with the pending full moon this was another mood enhancing day that I should just be grateful that I had, after a few days of some pretty serious down moments that I blamed on the hormones and the mixture of the stress of making some pretty big financial decisions in my book.

Yeah for the magical moments and brain chemistry of feel good vibes that consuming and reaching your goals can give you.

I guess it’s our outlook on life that really impacts on our moods. If you get up every morning going out of your way to look at all of the negatives in life you are going to be pretty miserable in life. Depends how well you know yourself- if you know that a good massage, try to the hair dressers for a spruce up, a class at the gym to get the endorphins flowing, or some lunch with a good mate to have a yarn.. You could help yourself in bouncing back from a low or stressful couple of days.

The Christmas period can be quiet stressful, you can choose to allow it to consume you or pace yourself and don’t feel bad if you need to say no to someone or something. Please try to do a self check in and if you notice your mood changing, do what I subconsciously do.

First look up at the moon and check where it is in the cycle. ( The moon really does rattle me!)

Think about what’s happening in your life and don’t be too hard on yourself. Write it down if it helps. Write down at least 3 things you are grateful for and then do something for yourself, or someone else. Depends what motivates you into a good mood- everyone reacts differently. If this doesn’t work, reach out to a family member, friend or a professional.

Did I say my colour matching Buggaboo pram fits perfectly in my car boot.  Yeah, I’m so on my way to appearing I’ve got this new life as mummy sorted! 😉

 

Yoga.

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As a 30 something female that is juggling a full time job, study, community service and a pending pregnancy I have ironically been frantically researching about a better way to live. After living with a ongoing slight anxiety over dealing with “life” I’m actively looking at all options.

I don’t mean a 12 week health challenge to loose 5-10kg, buying a few exercise DVDs for home, buying a juicer, I mean a completely new way to live that gives me not only a healthier physical body but also giving myself the best chance to have more clarity in my life and setting time aside to have some “me time” even if it was only an hour a week.

Yoga is a ancient mind- body system of well being which originated in India. What I really adore about the Yoga community it’s oh so positive, it focuses on gratitude, happiness, empowerment and a kind daily basis reminder that you have the power to change ( just about) anything you don’t enjoy in life and as the wise Dalai Lama says, “Happiness is the highest form of health”

I believe I’m half way there already, my core beliefs are very similar to the men and women in the Yoga community and I’ve attended the odd Yoga and Pilates class but never taken it to the next level and taken regular, positive action to improve my mental clarity. Pilates is based on strengthening the core, but I’m looking for something deeper.
I’ve never opened myself to create a regular relationship with a Yoga teacher.

Honestly, the thing that has been off putting is, I was about 100kg, with a very bad back and the odd yoga class didn’t really “do”much- it hurt, I felt awkward, I was pretty intimidated by all of the fit women around me and most of all I didn’t fully commit to regular classes.

Now after I’ve sorted out the physical side and lost 30kg, so my back isn’t so painful carrying around all of that extra weigh, it’s now time to focus on the inside. We must all remember, “Allow yourself to be a beginner, no one sip tarts to be a beginner.” I wish I started a year ago, imagine if I had continued with weekly classes over the past 12 months while I lost my weight. I could be a remarkable women of Zen, calm and peacefullness. So when is the 2nd best time to start? Now.

So I’ve purchased my own yoga matt, some of the worlds most comfortable leggings and I’m committing to 2-3 yoga classes a week- I even purchased a 8 week pass and I have a feeling that my physical and mental state will improve by attending these classes with the delightful yoga teacher, Miss Devine Star. No more Sunday classes, it’s time to ramp it up to a more regular time slot!

It’s time for new beginnings, new mindset, new focus, new start, new intentions that will result in new results.

I really liked a photo I saw on a Yoga community Facebook post while researching this topic, Yoga is a everyday practice to be your best self.

Half way, yet the beginning.

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for years, if not decades.

Now, half way through my pregnancy with my first child and studying professional writing there is no way to get out of putting ‘pen to paper’ as its a requirement of my study to start a blog and a great excuse to start documenting this special journey!

I’ve considered the theme of this blog, what on earth could I contribute to the World Wide Web?  As a “30 something” female living in a small city in Northern Australia, on a journey of facing my fears… This could get interesting!

In Feburary 2013, my world changed forever with the death of my twin sister, Tara Lynn.

This has changed my life, in many aspects.

Both of my grandparents are alive, together with my parents and I had never loss anyone so close. A death this close and so unexpected  rattled me to the core.

This opened up my life to the world of being a twinless twin, a journey that no one should endure. But they do, thousands of people all around the world of various ages are faced with this pain. There is a huge part of the population in so much daily pain, living without their “other half”.

There wasn’t many times that I regretted not having children, I had always planned to have children, yet now after the passing of my twin it was a painful regret.

Instead of increasing my drinking, going a little crazy and doing silly things like quiting my job and basically loosing my mind, I carefully and intentionally used the strong power of grieving to tackle my biggest fears, including basic fears of writing. Leaving school     early, very frustrated with the system that didn’t support my unique learning style and I never really facing my lack of confidence of writing, even though really enjoying the process.

Not long ago I was quiet overweight, with ongoing health problems like disk degeneration in my lower back, infertility and generally having a on going battle of the bulge.  I had already started a typical New Years workout program in 2013, after Tara’s death I quickly needed to shake off off the stress and I started doing “dedication work outs” that was similar to setting time aside, thinking about Tara, talking to her, recalling memories, while listening to her favourite songs, going to the gym and going hard. Thanks to pre gym work out!

Yes, doing frantic workouts while listening to her funeral music. Bizarre when you write it out like that. I did this for about 18 months. The same songs over and over again. From Pink, Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke, and one of the last bands she danced to for the last time, The Lumineers.

I also started cycling and kept using my sisters determination as a “no excuses” motivation.

I said yes to many things I wouldn’t dare do and I’ve never looked back with the new way at looking at the world. I was now closer to my mid 30’s, had to be quiet mature about this situation- there was no way I was going to have a melt down and let depression overcome me like it had in the past.  I was aiming high for the complete opposite.

After my beloved twin died, the reality that no one in our families next generation would experience my sisters pure joy for life, they would not hear her laugh, feel one of her unforgiving strong bear hugs, hear her say “I love you” and “thank you” or genuinely be totally inspired about her daily pure motivation to overcome her disabilities.

The night before Tara passed away, I was spending time in a town called Katherine and I was incredibly emotional, I was trying to loose weight to improve my fertility as I had been having ongoing fertility issues. The night my sister unexpectedly died, I said to myself, it’s all too hard. Just give up on the idea of having a family. I recall going for a walk, I was wearing a yellow work out outfit and it must had been a full moon or something and I started crying so hard, after that thought.

The type of crying that I’d never really felt, however shortly after became a very regular action in my life. That feeling that you have so much internal pain in your life at that exact moment, that it literally takes away your breath, as you start to hyperventilate and ask something, anything to take that emotional pain to be taken away. There were many moments I could easily turned to drugs to dim the pain.

I felt that feeling twice in a very short time, within hours. The moment I said, fine I give up on trying to start a family, the on going pain of being frustrated every single month, then about 12 hours later when my brother called and told me that my twin sister had passed away, I felt it again. The shock, the intense feeling of so many feelings. Love, guilt, regret, unbearable sadness. It’s hard to explain.

Tomorrow I’m going to have my 20 week scan, and find out the sex of my first child. I’m so excited. I first thought bub was a girl, then most people have said its a boy, now I’m unsure, so keen to know so I can figure out what name is best for this little miracle.

I believe in guardian angels, I believe in recarnation and I know Tara would be so proud, so happy and would had enjoyed being a Aunty so much. This is when I wish I didn’t wait 15 or so extra years so have my first child, but it is what it is.

This pregnancy, my first child that would be born around the time of my twins 3rd year anniversary of her death and has impacted  on my on-going grief journey, perhaps in a positive way. With many day dreams of what it will be like to be a mother,  breast feeding this much wanted child in the nursery themed as Elmo, my twins faverite character and hoping to feel her presence in the most special times.

As im writing this, the Bub has started doing handstands, well it feels like it, out of the 6 or so hours a day he or she is awake, I’m liking the timing of these kicks and moving around!

This blogs theme will be a mixture of the joys of a new born, the struggle of being a new mum,  the mixed feelings of after loosing 33kg in the past year, intentionally to improve my fertility and now slowly putting back on at least a quarter of that loss and within a election year here in the NT, I’m sure I’ll add in there some points of view of a socialist mum! Please join me in my journey!

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