Mondays for Sure Could be Worse

Fourth day into surfing, laying on my board, exhausted from paddling, on the East Coast of Australia between Sydney and Brisbane at Woolwolga Beach, waiting for another good wave to take, my surf teacher said: “Well, Mondays for sure could be worse…” and that’s how this text came alive. His sentence really made me appreciate the moment and my life in general here in Australia so much.

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Mondays for sure could be worse…

When you get up at 7am, fully recovered after an amazing night sleep. Still a bit sleep-drunk heading to the breakfast area and appreciating the amazing view of a campground right at the beach, surrounded by huge palm trees that slightly move from the ocean breeze. Everything is covered in this beautiful golden light from the sun that just rises and will get stronger and stronger every minute.

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You hear the ocean, the waves rolling to the shore while you grab a big bowl of warm oats with lots of cinnamon, sliced apples and banana.

After you refill your energy for the day, you put lots of sunscreen on, grab a wetsuit, grab a board and head to the beach with your surf group. Learning more about waves, good surf conditions, boards and so on from people that could not be more passionate makes you not just super stoked yourself, but also remember the facts a lot better.

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And then it’s finally time to head into the water, into the big wide ocean and learning to ride those huge, powerful, scary, wonderful and fun waves.

 

Walking, paddling, jumping on the board, waiting for the right wave, paddling like crazy and then standing up, the feeling of the power underneath you taking you towards the beach, riding the wave.

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What an amazing feeling. I can never get enough of it, even though the paddling is so exhausting and the enjoyment so short. It is worth it all.

But I won’t lie. You also get knocked over, thrown into the “washing machine” of the ocean, drown, don’t know which way is up, have salt water in your eyes, mouth, sand in your ears, hair, everywhere. That’s part of the fun.

Your muscles are sore, your skin irritated from all the saltwater and sun and you are so ready for a refreshing shower when you get out of the water.

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Taking a nap or just relaxing for a bit until it is time for lunch. All the good veggies, carrots, salad, tomato, cucumber, olives, onion and chickpeas rolled up into a wrap, cheesy toast or pasta salad, whatever you desire until you are round and full.

Applying big amounts of sunscreen, grabbing a towel, water and my ebook and heading straight to the beach afterwards to spend the whole afternoon reading, sleeping, relaxing, watching surfers, swimming, walking on the beach and of course: sunbaking a lot.

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Walking along the beach for a nice quiet space in the sand with some shadows to do some afternoon yoga and stretching to make your sore muscles and your soul feel more grounded.

Afterwards, you head for another cold shower. Washing all the sand, salt, sunscreen and sweat from your skin and hair, moisturizing your skin after all the sun and getting ready for dinner.

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Dinner was the highlight of the meals every day, especially when they have amazing vegan options and you also get to eat a super creamy, flavourful vegan Mac’n Cheese.

Sitting next to happy, exhausted, tanned faces from all around the world, getting to know each other, rambling about surfing, travelling and life.

After dinner, the day just stated for some. Others – like me – were happily reading all evening in bed or in one of the hammocks outside under the stars, feeling the light ocean air and hearing the waves breaking until it is time to wander from the reality that could also be a dream into the dream world.

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When I think about it, I feel endless happiness, joy, gratefulness and overall love that this is what I call my life. I could not be happier anywhere else and I try to stop myself every day to soak up all the appreciative feeling to remember these happy lucky days forever.

What does your endlessly happy day contain?

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Loneliness – The Downsides of Solo Travel

When my cousin left me after three weeks of travelling together, I could quickly feel the negative sites of travelling solo.

I was really in love with it beforehand for two months, enjoyed my freedom and the advantages of hostel life and meeting people easily when you have no other chance of socialisation.

But after I fell in the laziness and easiness of living in Airbnbs and spending every day with my cousin, it was harder to get back to it than I thought.

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There also were a few problems I had to face that didn’t make it easier for me to get back to it: First of all, my flight from Sydney to Perth got cancelled and the stress and tiredness affected my mood. I also had a lot of blog work that I wanted to catch up on after enjoying most of my time with my cousin, which made me feel like I want to be alone to work. On the other hand, I missed the socialisation and talking to others, but my hostel in Perth was also home to some alcoholics (yes, they really were, starting to drink in the morning and already being drunk after lunch) who didn’t make me feel comfortable to stay in the common area for long. In that period of time, I also met two nice boys/men that I started spending some time with, but who started liking me more and saying/doing things that annoyed me and made me wanna rather spend time on my own. Knowing that my family would arrive in only 3 weeks made the time even harder, as I knew it was so close but still not there yet.

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Of course, there were also silver linings. Knowing that my family would arrive in Australia soon and that it wasn’t many days to get through until I could finally spend some time with them. Long phone calls with my parents and friends, that almost made me feel like sitting on the sofa next to them talking. A lovely German couple I met and spend two days with baking brownies and playing lots of cards. Using the time to treat myself – sleeping in, working out in the morning, having a big healthy brunch. Watching Youtube videos in bed without feeling guilty for the time I could have done something productive.

Experiencing the feeling of loneliness and being homesick is part of travelling solo and I think that every traveller faces these kinds of days in some stage and at some point of their travels.

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For me, this week in Perth was the first time on my Australia journey of negative emotions for several days. Before I was feeling very comfortable in my situation, knowing what to do to keep me feeling great, but after my cousin left I kind of fell into a hole that I couldn’t get myself out of completely.

Luckily, I never felt a really strong depressive mood or anything, as I always tried to keep myself busy, around some nice people and thinking positive, but I also didn’t get back into feeling like myself.

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Because of that, I decided that it would be time to change something and as I had really amazing experiences so far with taking part of guided tours for several days (like I did on the Great Ocean Road or in the Outback), I booked another 6-day-tour to see the beautiful South-West of Australia.

I knew that having an adventurous and busy schedule with many great places to see and awesome things to do, as well as a group of people around me,  would make me feel good and just like I hoped so, it was a great decision. The six days flew by very fast and even though I returned to the same hostel and the same dorm room afterwards, everything felt different.

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I had a much better experience being in Perth afterwards, even though I didn’t have touristy things to keep me busy and have things to do, but instead I had met some nice people on the tour that I also spend time with afterwards back in Perth and I also met new faces in my hostel that I could hang out with. Once again, I used the time to work on my blog, work out and take time for myself and this time I could luckily enjoy it much more.

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Things that Help Me when I feel Unhappy, Lonely or Homesick while Solo Travelling

  • Surrounding myself with people. Going in the common area/kitchen, find people to talk to or just listen to their conversations. Working on my laptop in the common area instead of the dorm, going into bookshops and reading/browsing through their books, going in the park to listen to music/podcasts.
  • Watching your favourite Youtubers that make you feel cosy, inspired and just overall good
  • Focussing on yourself. Taking time for body and mind care, working out
  • Call or text with people that you miss. It might make you miss them more, but sometimes all we need is crying a bit and feeling better afterwards
  • Thinking about all the positive things. That I am currently living the life of my dreams and doing every day whatever I desire
  • Keeping myself busy with touristy stuff, blog work, food shopping and cooking, working out… find something that you like to spend your time with
  • Reading, listening to podcasts and audiobooks or music
  • Book a tour for a few days. In my eyes they are worth the money and you meet great people and have great experiences. It is also great for couples/travel mates that are together 24/7 to be on a tour with more people to hang out

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A n t i c i p a t i o n

–  The excited feeling for something upcoming in the future.  –

That tingly feeling you have in your stomach. Mixed with a slightly little fear of not knowing what will come.

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But I try to stay confident. That’s what I’ve always wanted, dreamt of every night, in every daydream. Since four years, I’m looking forward to this time if my life. All I ever wanted was to be free and exploring and that’s still what I want.

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Nevertheless, it’s my first time traveling alone.
My first time being away from my family for more than two weeks.
My first time being on the other side of the world in Australia.
My first time flying alone.
My first time traveling with a backpack.
My first time being on the go for longer than three weeks.
My first time traveling alone in Australia far away from my family and friends with a backpack for a long period of time.

So many first times and my anticipation is huge.

I know that there are many wonderful, beautiful, adventurous, calm, exciting, happy times ahead of me, as well as hard, scary, lonely situations. That’s what traveling is all about and I am ready for them all. Or at least ready to learn, grow and master situations that I haven’t had to conquer before. I know that I can.

There are a few things that I need to get done before. A few things to buy, to safe, to organize, to apply and to inform myself about.

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Today I had to say goodbye to one of my grandparents already because they are going on vacation for four weeks and we are not going to see each other again before I leave. It was such a weird feeling. I still cannot imagine being away and not seeing them for so long.

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On one hand, I cannot wait to finally start my adventure. On the other hand, time flies by so fast and I try to enjoy every left moment at home with my family, friends and my cat.

Exciting times are ahead of me. And I can’t wait!