Today we’re meeting yoga teacher Mette. “Meet” is a series of interviews with interesting people in my network. They are all different, but all have one thing in common: the passion of travel!
Because Mette is an inspiring online yoga teacher who sold almost everything she owned last year to follow her dream of practising yoga in Bali. She had no itinerary nor a date for returning (or an apartment to return to!), but decided to go with the flow and see where life would take her.
It really takes courage to do what Mette did and I admire her so much for letting go of her material values in pursuit of her dream.
All pictures in this blog post belong to yoga teacher Mette and may not be used without her consent
First of all, thank you for participating Mette! I really have been looking forward to this interview as I truly admire what you do for a living and the guts you had last year when travelling solo.
You are a yoga teacher and I know you had been dreaming about travelling to Bali for quite a while. Why didn’t you just book a 2-week holiday instead of leaving everything behind?
I had never done the popular “gap year” after high school like many of my friends had, and oddly enough I never travelled long either during my eight years working in the travel industry. After I started practising yoga the idea of a long stay in Bali started spinning in my head. A vacation for a couple of weeks just wouldn’t be the same.
And why Bali?
I felt like I was drawn by Bali in some way. The green landscapes, the yoga and the spiritual aspect talked to my senses.
What made you take the definite decision about selling your apartment and buy that one-way ticket?
My boyfriend and I had just split up, so I was somehow “free” to go. Bali kept spinning around in my head and I couldn’t let it go. I honestly couldn’t afford it at all, but I felt like I had to do it now that I had no personal commitments at home. I decided to sell my apartment and I had confidence in my project. I would never have done a thing like that in fear, but as I was so passionate about it and had confidence in everything would work out fine, I did it.
How did you perceive Bali?
I had extremely high expectations when I arrived at the airport and it was a bit surreal to finally be there after dreaming about it for so long. Like everyone else arriving to Bali, I was met by the insane traffic, which honestly surprised me a bit. I had expected more quietness.
I started in Canggu and moved on the Ubud after a couple of days. Ubud is like the centre of yoga in Bali and I ended up staying there for 17 days and practising yoga at The Yoga Barn and Taksu, both some very recommendable places. The fascinating thing about Ubud is the constrast between the busy streets and the total calm yoga centres.
I found Ubud to be very friendly and open-minded and as an easy place to meet strangers, as there are many solo-travellers there.
I had expected to stay longer in Ubud, but decided to move on to Sanur after 17 days. I grew up in Denmark where we have the sea nearby almost everywhere, and I felt like I needed the sea. When I arrived to Sanur and sat in the sand on the beach, I started to feel the kind of peace that I had expected to feel earlier.
I know you had planned to visit Singapore for some days and then get a new visa and return to Bali. However, you ended up going to Sydney and not coming back to Bali. Why?
I can’t really explain it, but I felt attracted to Sydney instead of Singapore, so I decided to get the Visa for Australia and look for an Airbnb in Sydney.
By coincidence I found an apartment with the description “Sunfilled apartment in Bondi Beach” and a beautiful picture, and I knew I just had to stay there. It was a room and the owner was such a sweetheart. I really enjoyed staying at her place and after being on my own for a month, it was nice to come home to someone who was interested in knowing how my day had been.
I am a very introvert person by nature, so I was a bit nervous about living with a stranger, but I must say that it was a great experience.
Now that we know that you weren’t quite blown away by Bali, I am interested in knowing how you felt about Sydney?
When I arrived at my Airbnb in Bondi, I felt a certain immediate calmness. It was the feeling I had expected to feel in Bali but never really did. There was just something about the light in the area, the view to the sea and the nature that talked to my senses. There were no hawkers nor taxi drivers offering to drive you everywhere, there was just people hanging out on the beach and I really enjoyed it. Just to be present with no interference. Even tough I need to say that everyone in Bali were super friendly, there were just someone around all the time!
Do you have any tips for anyone visiting Sydney?
Trekking around the Bondi area is amazing! The rocks are so beautiful. And then of course Bondi Beach itself where I loved to enjoy a fresh salad and a juice and just watch life pass by at the beach.
You ended up being away for 2 months. I know you had been planning on travelling longer. What made you return?
When I left Copenhagen I had decided to go with the flow and see where I would end. After spending a month in Bali, then some time in Sydney followed by Melbourne and Byron Bay and back to Sydney again, I felt ready to go home. I guess that many people who have travelled without an itinerary will agree that just as exciting it is to have all possibilities in front of you, just as hard is it to be planning your next step all the time.
Even though I have to be honest and say that I felt a kind of disappointment to have this feeling of going home as I had expected to travel longer. One day I met a stranger who said, that if my intuition told me to go home it would be the right thing to do. And so I did.
When I worked as a flight attendant I often found myself discovering different cities in my own company, which I loved. I wouldn’t mind traveling solo again for a weekend or so, but two months? How was it to be on your own for such a long time?
I definitely felt lonely at some point, but travelling solo also gives you the opportunity to meet new people. And some of my best memories actually come from the people I met along the way.
Oddly it is the hard things that also turns out to be the best things when travelling solo. E.g. I found it challenging to have to take all decisions by myself all the time; where to go next, where to stay, where to eat etc., but at the same time it was also wonderful to have no-one but myself to take into account.
As a solo traveller I was very humble to all the attention I met everywhere. Especially the Australians are extremely openminded compared to the Danes and I was surprised about how little one has to do to get another person feel “seen”. One day a stranger in a bus in Melbourne asked me if I had had a nice day. Such a small thing, but it meant the world to me that day. And I really do believe that we humans need each other.
Now back to the “leaving everything behind in pursuit of a dream”. Do you have any recommendations for other people who dream of quitting their jobs and chase the dream of travel?
I had had my dream for quite a while and one day it hit me that the only person who could make it happen was myself. I had to go online and buy that one-way ticket, I had to call the real estate agent to sell my apartment. It seems obvious, but we often forget that we are responsible of making things happen.
And lastly; what is your dream destination?
Hawaii is definitely my dream destination. I would also love to return to Australia once and discover other parts of the country. And return to Byron Bay, which was one of the highlights of my trip.
However, right now I would like to return to Bali. Now that my expectations are more matched with the reality I think I would have a different experience there. Strange as I sounds, I feel drawn by Bali again.