So there I was, entrenched in the corporate world in Dubai, in my pencil skirt suit, high heels, sleek shirt and all. In front of me, empty coffee cup in hand, was Haydee, fortune teller, saying, “Bianca, your life will change one hundred percent, one hundred percent, one.hundred.percent!”
She is Persian and her English words are limited. But I SO understood that she had mentally pressed ‘italic’, ‘underline’ as well as ‘bold’ on every single word.
And it happened! Everything changed…
(My little hut in Koh Phangan, a sweet little island in Thailand. What you see through the cracks is actual sand. Yep, that's how thin the floor was above the stilts. Every time the dog (who liked to sleep on my day bed outside) would wag its tail, the whole place would shake! And that's why a stick on the door was adequate protection - nobody could try sneaking in without the whole damn house shaking with every step!! )
Off came the heels, the suits, jackets… Off went the alarm, as in turned off indefinitely, only to be turned on to catch a flight to go somewhere, as in anywhere else, far, far away.
Always a lover of love, I now write about people and how they fell in love on my website CrazyLoveStories.com.
(Nicole and Philip. Nicole was my colleague and I was absolutely delighted to be writing this particularly lovely, crazy story. They are finally settled in the USA enjoying their new home. Read their story here.)
(Eunjung and Yves. I met them when I was looking for a psychic reading and there she was sitting in front of me - literally. They are a magical couple who are healers, mystics, psychics - you can imagine the beautiful energy that surrounds everywhere they go. Their love story is, of course, also nothing short of magical. Read it here.)
Always a lover of travel, I now write about new faces, places on my travel blog HappyHipi.com .
(Hiking Red Rock in Las Vegas. My idea of real excitement - good for the body and wonderful for the soul.)
Always a lover of making things, I now make pretty things and sell them on Etsy, or the yoga studio, or anywhere life takes me.
All of the above makes me smile.
How do I survive? Is daddy rich? Silver spoons anywhere?
(A multi purpose broom that doubled up as my door lock in my little bamboo hut by the beach in Koh Phangan. Not quite luxury living.)
Here's how this worked out:
This change actually happened past my 40s. (Yah, I know, kinda went the other direction with aspiring to downsize and minimize when all my peers were aspiring toward a bigger title, bigger house, bigger mortgage :-D )
After working for many, many years, I ended up back in the right place (Dubai - where I grew up) at the right time (the Dubai real estate BOOM! That word really does merit every single capital letter there).
I was thus able to buy property.
And I was thus able to secure a modest income via renting my apartment in Dubai out as I travel.
My basic income thus decreased umpteen times of what I used to make (yes, decreased).
My happiness levels thus increased to umpteen times more of what they used to be (yes, increased).
Ok, granted, my happiness levels were already higher than most purely because I was blessed with my mom’s happy Polyanna genes.
But the quality of happiness has changed: it’s now deeper, more vivid, calmer, richer all at once… it’s more real…
(I've always wanted to be a clown to make kids laugh. Bad idea! Granted, clowns are scary. Next time I will be a princess. Mom & I in Turkey.)
All of it is also coated with a HUGE dressing of gratitude… working like a blissfully ignorant happy donkey for 20 years does have a way of bringing out profound appreciation to every single minute you spend away from your desk, away from office politics, away from the system.
Add to that the lack of anxiety over the usual package that comes with working, starting with the effort of waking up, getting ready, getting in the car, dealing with traffic stress (amazes me how this has become such a part of everyone’s everyday life that no one even realizes what torture this is having to deal with it every day and even finding it normal!!), getting to work, spending most of your day there doing things that might not give you genuine inner joy and inspiration, rushing back, trying to fit hobbies, exercise, socializing, meeting people you love, family, lover, husband, kids, getting chores done into one evening, unembedding the lego from your foot and not having the time to kick and curse over it, then trying to fall into a night of ‘blissful’ sleep…
How can deep, blissful sleep find your psyche after a day like that?
(Note-to-self: A fringe - perfect alternative to Botox. Hmmmm... Oh, did I just think that out loud??! Especially when I'm at a yoga retreat in Goa being all inwardish and not superficial??)
I remember thinking, ‘There’s gotta be another way to live - there.must.be!!!'
My initial idea was to take a year off and just travel, see how life unfolded. The equivalent of spreading your arms, closing your eyes and falling backwards with nothing more than faith in your heart.
(Om Baba & I after a peaceful Satsang in a space in the woods devoid of electricity.)
My aim was to do this January 2014. It was March 2014, I was dragging my feet, still working. Destiny got impatient. Destiny kicked me out of my comfort zone, my office and into my dream.
And life has never been the same.
Thank you God!
(My first jumpy photo ever! The beautiful beaches of Mirissa in Sri Lanka.)
‘Follow’ me, join me in my little world where I will share stories of life, true love, travel and serendipity ☺
With much love,
(Why am I on the floor looking like Medusa? Erm, I'm female. It's an 'I have nothing to wear' type thing. This was the only angle I liked :-D )
PS: Did you think ‘Wow, wait - I have a sweet love story: mine!’? Then hit me up!
Every story is beautiful and I’m still looking for one that has failed to make me tear up - seriously, not kidding!
Send me a message and let’s catch up virtually over coffee and I will get your story. The only rule is that you still need to be together with the exception of the ‘death did you part’ part.
No other rules :)
Here’s to always choosing love.
<3 <3 <3