The following is a guest post by Catherina Donkersloot. Originally from Holland, Catherina now lives in Sydney — moving there alone a few months ago. You can connect with her on Instagram @cathventure


My journey is only halfway done

A little dreamer – that describes me perfectly.

Still, after these couple of months, I am that same dreamer. With a change of mind however, that I would’ve never expected to happen. I can truly say that I’ve never been as happy as I am now. The weather, the positiveness of the people and the freedom to design my own life are major gifts that Australia has given me. If my journey would (for some reason) end now, I would’ve learned one major life lesson: don’t ever let someone else squash your dreams, no matter how crazy they are.

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Sydney sider all-over

I think I’ve adjusted to life in Sydney pretty well these past six months. Partying here, dining there and enjoying the beautiful beaches daily. I moved from the city (Glebe) to the beach (Coogee) for the summer and met the most amazing people, including – funny enough – mostly Dutchies. Sinterklaas is coming up, a Dutch holiday with loads of candy and presents, so I genuinely can’t wait to celebrate with my Dutch friends in the sun!

The biggest mindset-change I had over the last few months was noticeable just this week. I recently found out that due to visa regulations I can’t stay at my job. If I heard this news last year at this time, I would’ve cried for days. It would’ve felt like the world had just basically ended, but after months of living in Sydney my positiveness has exploded. Nothing can knock me down. Sure, this news is pretty bad but I’m positive and still have a smile on my face, because I know it’ll be alright.

You shouldn’t stress about the stuff you can’t change. Just stay calm, be happy and trust that everything will work out.

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The amazing Oz

One of the main things I came “Down Under” to do was to travel. My trip to Melbourne was amazing! (If you visit Australia for a good party with European standards – meaning good techno, amazing vibe and long, long hours – definitely go to Melbourne!) One of my friends is living in Melbourne, and he took me around this amazing town. St. Kilda with its beach, South Yarra with its great restaurants and hip hotels, and the CBD with shopping streets that possess a European-vibe that’s hard to miss. And a little nostalgic.

My most recent ‘big trip’ was to Northern Australia. I wanted to experience the real Australia on this trip, so I met up with one of my friends from Thailand in Darwin. Together, we traveled to Kimberley and took a boat up the river, floating between freshwater crocodiles. Seeing crocodiles jump up from the water for meat was truly an outback experience!

New plans

There I was sitting on the plane, with six long-hours ahead of me. Even though I had learned over the last few months not to be nervous about the things I can’t change, I have to admit – I was extremely nervous. Because I knew that the guy I left behind half a year ago in the Netherlands was now waiting for me in Bali.

What if things had changed? What if I had changed into someone he no longer wanted? When I exited the terminal, there he was. There it was. The moment I had nervously anticipated. But to my pleasant surprise, nothing had changed. Even after all of that time away from home, the people and the things that needed to stay consistent and solid in my life, had not changed.

My Australian journey will end with a countdown until my ‘big trip’ to Japan in April and a final flight back to Amsterdam in May. Honestly after that, I have no clue where my journey will lead. Last year I would’ve been panicking about not having a plan, but I’ve learned to embrace this adventurous lifestyle and relish in the fact that I have no idea. Moving abroad has given me life experience, knowledge and ultimately made me a happier person.

Having zero expectations, means that every opportunity, moment and thing that crosses my path is truly amazing. And I love it. 

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For more content like this, read Catherina’s previous contribution, “My Own Choice: From Rotterdam to Sydney” here.

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