Wednesday, 31 May 2017

APRIL & MAY GRATITUDE DIARY - LIVING IN AUSTRIA!


I have had the most amazing two months here in Austria thus far. I’ve seen so many beautiful places and sights. Met the most amazing people that I know are going to be lifelong friends and I have learned so much about myself already. I’ve belly laughed more or less every single day and I have had a heap of beautiful experiences that I will cherish as memories already. I am endlessly grateful for the experience I have had here in Austria and I’m even more grateful I got to share it with such wonderful people. Without further or do, I shall list the other things I have been feeling particularly grateful for too:

Riley: At the beginning of April, Riley and I were inseparable and I miss that. When I return to the UK or we go and live somewhere else together – I will never take Riley for granted, not that I did anyway. That dog is the apple of my eye, he’s beautiful and so full of character and just writing about him is making me want to cuddle him right now. We had a little facetime session yesterday and it was lovely to see him run for a boy when I told him to fetch it. It also gave me a lot of comfort because he needed to know I haven’t abandoned him and I was still very much alive. It’s probably more me who needed to know that he knew that, but either way, it makes me feel a whole lot better about living abroad without him at the moment.

Good Wi-Fi connection is one of the best things on this planet. At the house I was staying at before the one I am in now, there was no Wi-Fi and although it made us do things like play cards, read and communicate better – it wasn’t very productive for getting around, keeping in touch with people, and working. I will never take having good Wi-Fi for granted ever again and I am so grateful that it should be all good from here on out.
Good healthy vegan food. Austria is very good for vegan food. In the larger Supermarkets like ‘Eurospar’ there are usually huge vegan sections in both the fridge and shelf aisles. I LOVE whole foods and have been eating lots of that here too. There’s nothing better than eating well. I love a good free-from section, it’s proof that people are waking up and treating animals better, and it's happening everywhere.

At first, arriving to and adjusting to a house share in Austria made me feel so grateful for what I actually had back in the UK. I LOVE having my own space; I love having my own living room to chill in with my beautiful little dog and I love having my own bathroom where I can have a bath with the door open. It made me realise how luxurious and comfortable my life at home actually is. I missed having all the kitchen gadgets you could wish for (and I still miss some of them). I miss having an abundance of herbs and spices to choose from. I miss being able to get all the vegan food I could ever need and I’m grateful that my home is in somewhere I can do that. I am also grateful that I have that to go back to. However, now the tables have turned; I feel so grateful for all of my housemates being around, my roomie and good friend Hattie makes my days so lovely and all of us are all so comfortable with one another now so I actually feel super grateful to be living in a shared house (albeit very cramped).

I am grateful for kind hearted souls that I happened to have landed myself with. They all make being away from home so easy because they feel like family. I love making new friends with people who have a similar mind-set to you. I have made new friends that I know I was meant to, who have had exactly the same life experiences. One of the things I have always been blessed with, is very good friends and I am so happy that I have made some more of those.

For the second time in my adult life, I am actually super sincerely happy and grateful to be single. I have no one to answer to. No one to have to talk to constantly and no one to ‘check in’ with. There are no arguments in my life, there’s absolutely no bickering, I don’t have to listen to any unnecessary opinions, I don’t have to compromise or be interrogated, and I have no obligations for another human beings feelings. Due to the absence of all these things – there is therefore, no bullshit in my life right now and It is fabulous. I love knowing I can go anywhere or do anything without anyone getting pissed off or having a complex about it. Literally I don’t think I’d give this up for anyone below the most amazing person, - ever, ever, ever again. I get so much more work done, and have much more me time to do things for just me. I am also so much more sociable for it because I like being around new people. I don’t hold back from any opportunities that are thrown my way that I may have done while I was with someone.  Also, when I think of even dating right now, I just think, what is the actual point? I don’t want to share my life, I want to be wholeheartedly selfish and look after number one only. When I am single, I am free.
Leading on from my above point about essentially being a strong independent woman – I thoroughly enjoy that I am intelligent and brave enough to just go by my own time and pace in life. Lot’s of people put a pressure on themselves to have ‘achieved’ something by a certain age and feel they should be somewhere they aren’t necessarily at, but I don’t feel that at all. I go by my own time; always have, always will, did it then, do it still.
Here in Austria, you will see views of a lifetime. Driving through the clouds is a personal favourite. All of the beautiful mountains and greenery is something I couldn’t see myself ever getting bored of, and then there are the beautiful lakes too. Austria has so much to offer when it comes to nature and waking up to views of fields and mountains inspires me daily. I am super grateful for Austria as a country. The people are friendly, everything runs efficiently and as I mentioned, the beauty of this country is just spectacular. The food is good, the shops are good, and the students I have been teaching have all been so kind and welcoming. I love the Austrian schooling system, they wear slippers in school, they have a break after every class, they play ping pong and other games in their break, and their day begins at 7.30 am and ends at 13.20, so they get to go home and enjoy the whole day and be with family – which is the most important thing in the world.

This is a bit of a bizarre one but I really love getting up early. I get up at 4/5 am every morning here and it’s amazing. It means you get to see the whole day, soak up all of the vitamin D, do lots with your day and feel productive. It’s not the best if you don’t go to bed early but I have been doing that so it’s turned into a new love of mine.
I am so grateful for all the qualifications there are in the world. I am so grateful for the ones I have already obtained, the ones I am working towards, and the ones I plan on embarking on in the near future. Qualifications mean meeting lots of likeminded individuals, broadening your professional horizons and learning so many new things. You learn a lot about specified topics, but you also learn a lot about yourself, which is what we are here to do. My dad always used to say that ‘Education is your passport to life’ and he was correct. Qualifications do nothing but open doors and enable you to put yourself forward for the best opportunities!
A decent shower cleans the soul. I love having a shower. At home, when I have a lot of time to myself. I really enjoy having a bath, but when I have a shower, I realise how refreshing and convenient it is. I would say I prefer a shower because I have one at night and one in the morning. I read somewhere that running water cleanses and rinses away any negativity and I believe it’s true. After a nice shower, I always feel so much better about everything and so much better in my own skin.
While travelling around Austria and Italy: I have realised that I find something so fulfilling about knowing I have everything I need in a tiny case. All you really need is a little bit of money, a passport, your toothbrush, your deodorant and clothes. It gives you the feeling of absolute freedom and I love it. I know some people hate it, but I love living from a suitcase. I know I don’t need a load of material possessions to feel good in this life, and it’s a great lesson to have learned.  
Having an open mind – instead of getting angry, it’s nice to realise that if someone has a different point of view that you don’t agree with - it’s their perception and opinion due to their own experiences and personal conditioning. Even if people are rude or nasty to you, remember it is internal to them and where they’re at, not where you are. I also love others open minds. Like attracts like I guess because I have met so many open minded people here in Austria. It’s another elemant of life that makes you feel completely free.
I have tutored for years, but before I came to Austria, I was super nervous about teaching in front of a class, but I pushed myself and did it, and found out that I LOVE TEACHING. I love it, it’s one of the most worthwhile, rewarding things you could do with your time. There’s something profound about sharing a skill you have with a group of people. I have so much fun with the students, I actually prefer working with teenagers as opposed to the little ones which was a surprise as I thought it might be the other way around. You can have a laugh and a joke with the older ones and it’s like hanging out with a bunch of friends.

Me: This may come across as a strange one to put on a gratitude diary, but I really appreciate who I am and my own self. I love lots of things about myself, like how I am very funny, super warm and kind hearted. I love how I am so loyal and kind to myself too - if I have a negative thought about myself, I think about the little girl me inside or if I would say the same thing to my best friend and it’s made me realise how caring and positive I am. Being around others and seeing their reaction to you is also helpful when learning to love yourself, as you get a reflection of what you put out. I love what I put out, I love what I get back and I love who I am!

People that are giving too. If you're a giving person, there is nothing worse than being around people that are only out for themselves and only know how to take. I prefer the whole 'I'll scratch your back and you scratch mine' - I am not saying one should give to receive because I think you should do things for others because you want to and nothing more. However, what I am saying is; if you feel someone is taking advantage of your kindness and not giving you anything at all in return, drop that scenario like a hot potato into a pit. Stop doing favours and kind things for them, and focus on doing those things for yourself instead. Luckily here in Austria, our house is a kind and caring one full of helpful people. We all help one another with out strengths and knowledge and it's just lovely.

I am so grateful for the memories I have been making here in Austria. A few weekends back we took the train over to Italy and explored. On Wednesday we went for a beautiful meal, on Thursday we went to our friends house, on Friday we had a basement party, on Saturday we had a road trip, Saturday night we went on a relaxing walk and we have made so many nice meals and had so many nice conversations within the house too. I am so happy I am making these memories.  There’s always something to do with this bunch and they’re all wonderful company.

Random little things I am feeling grateful for are: new food combos (strawberries, strawberry jam and avocado is a new fave), my hair straighteners, my hair, listening to music, reading, long car journeysfeeling cosy, lazy days (only had one or two so far in Austria and I LOVED them), my bed, a good nights sleep, feeling clean after a shower, homemade face masks, pamper evenings, an English cup of tea, a nice cold beer, my laptop, my phone, duolingo, chalk boards, cute classroom work displays, being organised, cute stationary, the sound of rain, the sound of church bells ringing, when somewhere has English tea and vegan milk in their fridge, the feel of the sunshine on my face, the sound of birds singing, the sound of crickets,  potatoes, tofu, vegan sorbet, bananas with peanut butter, dates with peanut butternatural beauty products,  health food stores, my vitamin supplements, melba toast, balconies, being outside, being beside water, the sound of water,  flowers, cute churches, candles, meals out, all of my previous work experience, NETFLIX, WhatsApp, Skype, getting the giggles and I am grateful I push myself outside of my comfort zone.


'There are always flowers for those that want to see them' - Henri Matisse

Peace out Potatoes xo

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