Happy thoughts

Life updates

August 21, 2016

Hi guys, how have you been? Long time no see, huh? I’m writing this on a reverse side of a printed train ticket on my way to Leuven from Amsterdam, typing it in Kyiv a few days after, almost unedited and, finally, publishing from Amsterdam, two months later.

“This post is about what’s been happening recently, it was quiet on the blog – I’ve been busy. Since the last post, lots of life happened – I’ve gone to Singapore for a conference and it was fun (will share it here in a bit). There’s been some career updates too – I’m now a Product Owner at Booking.com (related to this post). I’ve also created a place for my professional portfolio, do check it out if you’re curious what I do when I don’t work full-time, travel, read and run/yoga.

(When writing this) I’m mid-way through a 3-week trip to Europe, so far it’s been good – Amsterdam, Leuven, Munich and now Kyiv. I’m posting a lot of photos of this trip to my Instagram. One thing for sure – I do feel more at home, not afraid and safe in Europe. I don’t feel safe in Malaysia.

 

So since it’s a “thoughts post” I wanted to discuss a thought here. About making things happen. Scary things, uncomfortable things. Things that make you curl up into a little ball of fear because there are just so many unknowns it’s paralysing. Like giving up everything you’ve just settled and moving to a new country. All your routines, the autopilot you’ve worked so hard to develop, the familiar light switch in the bathroom. Things like how to pay the electricity bills, how to budget things and a ‘feel’ of expensive without converting to a more familiar currency. Things like your favourite shops to buy stationery and feeds you follow that keep you up to date with the city happenings. Even better – after a while you are just being invited to events and all you have to do is choose.

I know this feeling. But I also know, too well by now, its sister – the feeling of being stuck, of being too comfortable and cozy. When you are on autopilot and so familiar with things, life starts feeling a bit too cozy. That’s when I know it’s time to move. Like Baron Munchausen pulling himself out by his hair out of a swamp, it’s time to get moving. Sometimes, a change simple as taking a new route to work in the morning can already brighten things up – new connections start forming in your brain and you feel a bit more alive (watch this for inspiration: “do something new everyday”).

So long, Kyiv, see ya in a bit 🖖 #Ukraine #peacefulsky #Ukrainesky #upintheair #tinyblackbirdblog

A post shared by Olha (@yohansen_v) on

 

This time, I’m doing the scary thing again – I’m moving countries. I knew it time to move on when I realised the itchy feeling of “oh, we haven’t yet been to Myanmar” and “we can’t leave yet – we haven’t travelled to Japan and it’s so close” was gone (I call it FOMOT: Fear of Missing Out on Travels). I don’t feel like I under-lived here anymore. I guess I’m just tired of Asia, or maybe my priorities changed (I need a better work-life balance, safer climate, more stable economic environment, places to walk outside, for heaven’s sake!). There are many things I’ll miss, definitely, but what’s coming ahead is also exciting. And it will shrink the world a bit (you know what I mean if you travel the world – it’s really not THAT big).

And however scary it sounds, it’s very doable, you can make things happen. You just need to decide what is it that you want, what makes you happy and do it. Coming from a person who moved countries 5 times now. So here it goes. Life update and thoughts on a train.”

 

Since then Anton and I have moved to Amsterdam, we’re settling in now, it’s a complex process I can blog about if you’re interested (let me know in the comments). We have gotten used to living with things that fill 2 suitcases. I don’t even know what’s in those 20 boxes that are on their way here from KL, will probably sell most of them once they arrive. Lots of life events in the short few months.

Coming up next: first month in Amsterdam, Belgium, an amazing new interview of Girls living in… (about time!) and more. Stay tuned!
Love you, guys!

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