My Journey

Hi!. I’m Tish. Welcome to my journey…

A journey inwards to my heart and soul.  A road to self-discovery, transformation (self-doubts to self-acceptance) and lots of adventures!.

Buckle up!. It will be quite a ride 🙂

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All smiles in front of iconic Ayers rock in the far distant.

So here’s what you have missed so far…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had an adventurous, free spirit. I never quite fit in or followed the crowd. Growing up, I would rather be outdoors, exploring than do what most girls my age were doing.

Migrating to Australia as a child brought its own challenges and really feeling out of place which lingered into adulthood. I still recall being called ‘weird’ by this girl back at university which was a blow to an already ‘low self esteem’.

As a young adult, whilst rest of my friends were career focused, pursuing secure jobs, I found myself working casually only to save up and embark on my next big travel adventure. I also felt the constant desire to spend time in nature and not in an office cubicle which is what I was doing most of my day.

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Feeling alive and at peace being in mountains surrounded by nature and seeing the wonders of the world (in Machu Picchu).

While working the corporate jobs, I was often full of anxiety. I constantly felt like I didn’t belong there and feeling not good enough, like a ‘village idiot’ (even though I was good at my job). I was even critical of myself for not being like others at work. Often wondering why I wasn’t motivated by the cushy office work or career driven and wanting to climb the corporate ladder like those around me. Unlike others, I hid from leadership roles or being in the limelight.

For several years, even though my soul screamed otherwise, I let the big paycheck trap me in that stressful environment.

My only escape was once a year big overseas trip where my soul came ‘alive’ exploring beautiful, unique landscapes and meeting people with different ways of life. I felt free of anxiety and self-doubts. I felt like my true self.

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Jumping with joy at the unique salt flats in Bolivia

I spent a big chunk of my life working then going on new travel adventures which led me to around 40 countries with unforgettable experiences.

I started out to see the 7 wonders of the world but instead discovered that the world is FULL of wonders.

Being a passionate photographer, I captured my travels through photography and found myself inspiring others with my travel photos.

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Posing with two little Peruvians during days of solo travels around the world.

Eventually, working the stressful corporate jobs for so long was really getting to me until I decided I just can’t keep going.

I was spending most part of my day and my life being anxious and miserable (and full of self doubts).

My soul wasn’t happy working to ultimately help the rich banks get richer. The constant never-ending deadlines and pressure for outcomes that didn’t align with my own core values wasn’t doing me any favors. What I truly valued was helping people. To make a positive difference to others lives and to feel free and purposeful.

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Experiencing the interesting desert life  and meeting beautiful people in Jordan.

I felt hopeless and lost but didn’t know where to go from there. I didn’t want to spend years studying to find another potential career which may or may not make me happy.

Finally I saw hope, when I started training as a yoga and meditation teacher. The course itself launched a journey of personal growth. For the first time, I felt fulfilled in my work. I was actually making a positive difference to others well-being as well as my own. I also started teaching dance classes which uplifted me as I loved dancing since I was a kid.

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One of my most fulfilling travel experiences – spending time with these gems in an orphanage in Nepal where I learnt valuable life lessons.

Time went on and even though I was much happier work-wise and had a deeper level of inner satisfaction, life started to get more serious or rather I got too serious after gaining more responsibilities that comes with having a new family.

I let the everyday stress and chaos get the better of me.

Despite preaching to my yoga and meditation clients, I wasn’t really walking the talk. I wasn’t living fully, not being present in the moment or doing things that made me truly happy (apart from teaching yoga, meditation & dancing). I got too ‘busy’ with things that I thought was important.

The stress of being a new mum also took its toll mentally and physically. And against my gut feeling, I made a decision to go back to the corporate job full-time to ‘boost my savings’ (which I thought at that time was ‘important’). I also told myself, this time, I will ‘grow’ by tackling the stress (yeah right!).

Before I could make the move, to my complete shock and horror, the universe threw me the biggest curve ball.

 It sure knows when to intervene and boot your butt to the right path. Especially, when you have been ignoring the signals of the heart and the body.

I was faced with the
biggest, scariest, toughest challenge of my life.

Boy, was it time to buckle up… 

There is nothing like staring death in the eye to truly wake you up to life.

The greatest journey of my life had began….the journey to heal myself. A journey to my inner self. It was time for some serious self-reflection and inner work. The traumatic time awakened a level of awareness I never had before. I had a whole new perspective on life. I had a deep knowing of what I needed to do. I had to SLOW DOWN and really appreciate and BE in the present moment – not in my head where I lived most of the time, or busy myself with ‘digital distractions’ or run around for things that just wasn’t important or ‘needed’ which I did quite often.

Most importantly, I started to do what I never really did before (being an over-thinker), that is, to listen to my gut (my higher self) and go with it. The message was clear –

I had to live life fully and from the heart, in order to truly heal. I had to focus on what brought me most joy.

So I returned to my greatest love of travelling and being outdoors. I started to feel alive again and heal from the inside. Once again, nature called me like never before and I began spending a lot of time in nature. The beaches and ocean became my best friend.

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Spending lots of time walking barefoot on beaches and letting the ocean ‘heal’ me with this munchkin in tow (who can only be described as ‘pure joy’.)

It was also time to stop being an uptight adult and let my inner child play and have fun. I had to stop trying so hard, to excel and achieve everything and finally realized that I am ALREADY ‘good enough’ just as I am. Talk about revelations!

The journey also put a spotlight on my FEARS and boy did I have a lot of them. Fears from my childhood and brand new fears about the future which I still have. I felt the need to overcome them. This led me to one of my greatest lessons of them all;

To have FAITH in myself and to TRUST the universe.

To let go of controlling so much and learn to surrender. No doubt, this has been and still is the hardest part.

I learnt to really
ACCEPT and APPRECIATE myself
(flaws, weirdness and all) and my uniqueness.

And NOT be so critical of myself.  It finally hit me that I have been my own worst enemy. Sound familiar?

I’ve bought many many self-help books over the years but nothing teaches you like LIFE experiences – the TOUGH ones.

Mind you, none of it has been easy. I still struggle with it. But that’s part of being human, part of all our journeys. It definitely isn’t easy to let go of a life time of conditioning and old habits and false beliefs. I still have a long way to go but I am slowly getting there. I am not out of the woods yet, but I’m learning to literally stop and smell the flowers along the way.

I realize now that there was never anything wrong with me. I simply wasn’t listening to my inner guidance or aware of my true inner worth.

I rediscovered what truly gets me in the ‘zone’. A new passion emerged, which is writing about my travels and I found myself once again inspiring others.

So here I am inviting you all to join in on my journey (my abnormal life) to explore the world, to live life fully and freely and appreciate the beauty around us including ourselves.

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Feeling on top of the world when I see natural beauty like this.

Since having a baby and being mostly on one income (and not a high one), I can no longer just drop everything and fly off to my next big solo overseas trip. But what I’ve learnt is that you don’t need to spend a fortune or go far to have great adventures, enjoy and discover or re-discover yourself. There is magnificent nature all around us, right where we are.

We just have to stop, observe and be in the present moment.

Even if it means looking up at the sky at passing clouds when you are overwhelmed with the chaos inside and around you.

I started to observe the world with a child-like curiosity and see the wonder in the simplest of things. I found watching birds interesting, something I would not have done before. It’s funny what small wonders you notice once you get out of your head and GET PRESENT.

Yes, there is no denying there is a lot bad stuff going on in the world but let’s not forget the beauty around us because believe me, there is great beauty and serenity in the nature around us and within ourselves and each other.

I also had a deep inner push to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle..

To live more simply, which helps me to focus on what’s really important and feel mentally de-cluttered. This is a real challenge when you have a baby but it’s doable. I no longer have the desire for a bigger house (which I would have filled with more ‘things’). Instead, I feel the need to own less. It is no longer about earning more but needing less. Not about accumulating more things but having more meaningful experiences.                                                          

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My recent meaningful experience – Climbing Mt Kosciusko for Rare Cancers Charity event.

My definition of success has changed

It is no longer based on how society defines it or what I have been culturally brainwashed to believe i.e about job titles, education level or material things like how much money we have in the bank, being married, awards or recognition and so on but about simple things in life like enjoying time in nature, quality time with loved ones, doings things I love, making a positive difference to others and importantly how much I am growing as a person.

In terms of enjoying life more, I thought, having a baby would limit my travel adventures but I was wrong. We have been able to have great travel adventures with the baby, even climb mountains! – this year, the three of us climbed Australia’s highest mountain peak (which seemed to inspire some fellow hikers). Yay!!

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Family adventures – climb to the top of Australia’s highest mountain peak.

We started camping in the wild…

It allowed us to have awesome adventures, get close to nature (where we feel most peaceful), without spending a fortune.  These days, living in an increasingly expensive, crowded big city, we are determined to escape the ‘rat race’ as much as possible by getting off the beaten path and camping out in nature. It is also one of the best thing  we can do for our child’s development. We want our baby to grow up exposed to nature like we did and not in a concrete jungle distracted with ‘digital gadgets’.

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All smiles walking barefoot in grass

When outdoors, the crowded, touristy places don’t interest us. We love exploring the peaceful, quiet, unspoiled places. Importantly, we want these places to remain beautiful and unspoiled (not be littered with rubbish, become overcrowded etc). I encourage you to always be mindful to take care of the environment wherever you go. After all, the air we breath depends on it!.

What are ways you are able to have wonderful experiences without spending a lot? What experiences make you feel ‘alive’?

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We love the time spent around camp fires.

To my surprise, we are learning that there is amazing adventures and breathtaking sceneries to experience right in our country (I always felt like I had to go overseas to experience unique places). I am sure there is beautiful places to explore exactly where you are. So go out there and start exploring! Don’t forget to tell me about it :). I’m always keen to learn about new, unique places to explore.

I also encourage you to find your OWN adventures. It doesn’t have to be big endevours. Even walking a different street to one you normally walk and observing new things is an adventure.

As well as my new adventures, I am going write about all my past travels and this time take you along with the ride with me.

My stories are not just about travels, but my meaningful life experiences and what I’ve learnt (and still learning) from them.

I would love to hear your stories as well, what valuable lessons life has taught you and not only from travelling?.

I want to also use my blog to share my passions, ideas, inspirations and any aha moments.

Today I embrace my abnormal life. I’m CHOOSING to do things differently to the crowd around me. It’s taken a long time, but I’m finally happy with it – living it my way.

I hope you get something out of my journeys. Somehow I feel compelled to share my story. Call it a deep gut instinct …which I’ve learnt not to ignore. It feels like nothing so far has been a waste. All my struggles in life as well as my passion for adventure, nature, travel, yoga, spirituality, photography, helping others (and now a passion for life) has led me to this point.

I’m learning to TRUST my struggles. Trust yours.

Everything happens for a reason, there is a purpose to it. Don’t compare with others who have their own struggles. Trust your own journey.

My message to you is that life is truly a gift (I found this out after nearly loosing my own). Every moment is precious.

It is also what you make of it. I have learnt to see the lessons and blessings in the toughest of challenges which led me to a happier, more meaningful life. Don’t wait for the universe to shake you up, and even if it does, trust that the purpose is to make you stronger and wiser.

Let’s live life fully, focus on what is really important, what brings you most joy.  It might be dancing, spending time with animals, painting or something you have yet to discover.

Importantly, don’t forget (as I did) to appreciate who you are (don’t be harsh on yourself), listen to your heart and follow your dreams. ‘Be kind. Be silly. Be weird’ (today if I got called ‘weird’ – I would take it as a compliment :)).

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Facing the fear of heights – skydiving in Queenstown, NZ

Enjoy life RIGHT NOW no matter what situation you are you in. I know it can be bloody tough and downright scary. But there’s always blessings in every struggle. It is amazing how powerful we are and what we can overcome with our willpower.

Let’s live life so we can look back on it all with a smile :).

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One of our most enjoyable adventures – a hike to New Zealand’s majestic Mt Cook.

P.S – All photos on this site are my own photos.