A chance meeting in Portugal that changed my life forever

A chance meeting in Portugal that changed my life forever

6 years ago in Portugal I met this bubbly little beauty who inadvertently changed my life, twice.

Kelly told me all about this nifty thing called

super yachting.

I was enthralled to hear that she was being paid crazy money to travel around the world on a yacht.

We hung out for a couple of days before she was summoned back to the yacht, and I haven’t seen her again until a few months ago.

Two years after we first met I found myself packing up my life in Sydney, selling everything I owned and moving to the south of France to walk the docks.

I spent a life changing two years working on superyachts where I had the time away from the ‘real world’ I needed to work out what was important to me, while evading the guilt of not having a ‘real job’ by earning a hell of a lot more than any of my friends back home, while also wakeboarding in the Maldives and drinking an unhealthy amount of rose in Montenegro.

While I was working on the yachts

I was desperately trying to work out what it was that I wanted to do with my life back in the ‘real world’,

because I’d decided for sure that

being an architect just wasn’t going to make me grin every day for the rest of my life.

In the meantime, superyachting solidified my yoga practice, because it was such a physical job and my inflexible back couldn’t handle it without yoga. I couldn’t even touch my toes back then. I also learnt about mindfulness from books I read while living on yachts, and found it invaluable to practice while doing such mind numbingly boring jobs as vacuuming ceilings and ironing beds every time a billionaire sat on them.

These were my first moments of learning to accept whatever situation I found myself in, no matter how dull. It changed the way I look at everything and everyone.

One day I came across a link that Kelly shared on Facebook – a Mind Body Green article about

how meditation and sex do the same thing to the brain.

I didn’t know much about meditation, but I was as always intrigued by sex. It was that article that introduced me to my sex coach, Kim Anami, who I quickly decided was my hero. From there I became more and more interested in Mind Body Green articles, and so the seed was sewn… I realised that what I was really passionate about was learning everything I could about living a bloody good life.

So essentially, Kelly accidentally put me on the road that lead me to the awesome place where I am today!

It was amazing to catch up with Kelly yesterday and discover that she is now the

“vibe creator”

and global headquarters designer for massive tech companies SoundCloud, Airbnb and Couchsurfing, and she also teaches yoga in Berlin and spends a lot of her life travelling around the world. Yesterday Kelly did a headstand in front of a bunch of corporates at WorkTech 2015 in Melbourne and spoke to them about how mindfulness and yoga is coming to the corporate environment!

Ready or not, here it comes! (Yippee!)

Her next stop is LA, where she’ll be meeting with the founder of Headspace (the meditation app I recommend to all my clients), Andy Puddicombe, to design the Headspace global offices!

So the moral of the story is:

  • Never underestimate how much small conversations and seemingly meaningless connections can change your life in the most unexpected ways
  • Travel is so much better than sliced bread
  • Travelers are usually travellers because we’re seeking something other than what the ‘real world’ can give us.
  • And almost all of us eventually end up finding it in mindfulness and self development in one way or the other.
  • Kelly took the unconventional route and has ended up with phenomenal jobs which see her flying around the world helping to create awesome spaces for people to work in and speaking to huge corporate audiences about the future of the workplace.
  • The unconventional route does not mean living under a bridge with bubble wrap for shoes!
  • Mindfulness is coming for you, ready or not! May as well jump on the bandwagon early and make your life a whole heap easier.

Have you checked out our blog lately? I’ve written about overcoming procrastination, increasing confidence, and how not to lie awake at night thinking so much (among many other things)! Check out all our posts here.


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G'day, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness facilitator and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in my unconventional mind-taming program for indecisive overachievers - Bloody Good Life. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.