As I sit on my balcony having just finished a summer at sea, I find myself wondering, what next?

This question comes with a lot less pressure these days though.

If I have learnt anything over the last few years, it is to trust in life and relax into the journey a little more – because the fact is, nothing ever works out exactly as we planned, so we might as well enjoy the ride.

For one, there are always more curve-balls than we can ever anticipate; so the less rigid we are, the more chances we have to either hit those balls out of the park, or at least avoid getting smashed in the face.

Secondly, life has a far better imagination than any of us, so trying to plan the details would be like dictating to Michelangelo how to paint, or Sinatra what notes to sing – we would strip away the beauty, creativity and a possible masterpiece.

If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be married to a Captain and living in Croatia, I would have told them they were crazy – for a starter I had no idea where Croatia even was! Yet… here I am.

I am done trying to force my life to be something it isn’t. Every time I have pushed in a certain direction that I thought was right, inevitably I got blind-sided. Everything magical in my life has come when I let go of control, when I stopped trying to see the bigger picture and just listened to my heart.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

To step into our greatness, we need to have courage to follow our heart and faith that it will all work out – no matter how it may look right now.

I trust that all of my experiences are leading to something great.

I still have moments of doubt, I believe we all do, this is natural.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to have it all figured out, but no matter how hard we try, there is no way to get a bird’s eye view of our lives, there is no way to see the complete picture.

All we can do is act with our greatest integrity in every given moment, follow the signs and whispers of our heart (no matter how ‘crazy’) & believe that it is all leading somewhere.

“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Our lives are bigger than one definition, one moment.

So what do we do when we find ourselves at the end of one chapter, stuck or panic stricken over the course of our lives?


Then, take the next step, make the next move, connect the next dot... we don't need to have all the answers, we simply need to follow our intuition to make the next best possible move AND believe in our heart of hearts that we are slowly constructing the masterpiece of our life.

It is also worth mentioning – just like art, not everyone will understand our masterpiece, that’s OK, they don’t need to.

I have no idea what life has in store for me next, but whatever it is, I intend to say YES.

And right now? My next right move is to make a cup of tea, relax into the evening and come back to myself. After a season of looking after others, it is time to get grounded again.

Go figure, here I am again.

Staring at my computer, at a dozen half-finished blogs and feeling, well, like a really shit writer.

The struggle is real.

Since writing 30 blogs in 30 days, I have barely had anything in me to write 1 per week.

I feel so uncomfortable with my words at the moment, like an old, itchy woolen jumper. Everything irritates me and nothing feels right. Even these sentences.

To be fair, I am in the middle of my last week on the yacht, which will make for 14weeks of 14+hour days of being on my feet and around people.

I think I am currently running on my reserves and while I gained so much from completing my 30 blog challenge, right now I am in survival mode – physically and mentally.

I promised myself I would post every Friday and I intend to follow that through, this piece is less than adequate, but it is done.

I know I will get back on track, but as I finish my last days on the yacht, for now I just need to feel the wind on my face, let the Adriatic soothe my soul, watch the last few summer sunsets paint the sky and prepare for the changing colours of a new season of nature and life.

I am learning a new definition of integrity this week. Even though someone else’s words and actions are trying to stomp all over the person I am, I also now know that integrity is not something someone else can take away from us.

In this sea of emotions, my integrity is my life jacket. No matter how rough the waters get, so long as I hold onto this, I cannot drown, I will not let another pull me down.

In saying this, I am posting this blog because I made a commitment to post every Friday. This is not refined at all, I want to write an eloquent and insightful piece about all this, but right now I just need to feel the feels, I just need to stay afloat

5 years ago I met a man who stopped me in my tracks and kick-started my heart.

Then I left the country for 5 months.

4 years ago I returned to Croatia, back into the swing of the season – the spark was still there but we let it lay dormant for a while.

5 weeks spent together at the end of the season to see if there was truly something there...

Then I left the country.

I spent every moment trying to convince myself it was just a summer fling.

8 months later he was still on my mind; so I booked a one-way ticket to Croatia to find out. Brave or fool?

2 years and 3 months ago I arrived back in Croatia.

After 2 weeks we were in a rhythm. After 2 months we knew this was it.

5 days to plan a wedding.

1 day before the BIG day my father flew in to surprise and support us. 

2 years ago today I married the counterpart to my soul. 

We were both always whole, but we need each other to shine a light on the half we had shielded all these years.

One day at a time we grow more into ourselves, we work at our relationship and our love continues to blossom.

2 years ago I married my love, today I can say that man is my best friend.

I can’t imagine 1 moment, 1 day, 1 life without you.

Here’s to many more years of love in numbers.

Two years ago today, I received the best gift of my life. Thinking back my heart still floods with emotions and every time I tell the story I get all prickly-eyed.

What better way to honour the moment than a small note…

Growing up, our childhood was let’s say – colourful.

Our mother left when we were young and our step-mother left when I was in my early teens. Both of these moments came with the emotional upheaval you can expect.

But when everything you know gets burned to the ground, from the ashes will always spring new life.

Once the dust settled in our downsized family, I discovered the best thing a girl can have – my father.

As a shearer, my father was away a lot as a child. He was a strong, hard-working, humble man whom I always loved and respected, though it was my step-mother who ruled the foreground of our lives (not always with the most positive hand either).

When she left, my father thought he had failed us by losing another woman. He thought this created a hole in our family that only a mother could fill (he was wrong). It swallowed him for a time, but then he came back stronger than ever.

And what began to grow in that space was love. I discovered my father to be a far greater man than I ever knew. As he finally came to the foreground of our lives, we forged a strong, new relationship built on love, trust and respect.

There were plenty of moments where I am sure he wished there was a woman around. But he took it all in his stride and handled each topic as only he could.

On feminine matters – out grocery shopping, he turns to me and says – “you need any lady products – throw em in!”

Or the ‘sex-talk’ - when I started dating someone older than me, my father decided it was time to sit me down and our chat went something like this –

“So, erm, *clears throat*, I know you are a certain age and I know that there are things like injections or pills, so if you need me to take you to the doctor, I will”.

I did my best not to laugh as this was the most uncomfortable I think I had ever seen my him; my response: “thanks Dad I am already on the pill”. A little shock washed over his face before he quickly recovered – “ok, good, that’s all I had to say”.

Then there were times I pushed the boundaries – like when my best friend came around to my house in tears and covered in bruises once again after being beaten. I told her she wasn’t going home, went inside and said “Dad, she needs to live with us, I am not letting her go home”.

Having already raised a tribe of children himself, another mouth to feed was more than most would take on, but in his ever calm and fair manner, he said “first I need to have a conversation with her mother”. When he returned, there was little more said, he merely confirmed she could stay with us, then added – “you live here with us, you are part of our family and need to abide by our rules.” That was it.

The list could go on to depict the incredible man that I am lucky enough to call Dad.

There were so many moments when he took action and showed his integrity of character, then, there were moments when one would expect a father to step in, but he didn’t.

Like when I finished my law degree, then decided to manage a restaurant instead. Or when I last minute decided to move to Australia by myself, got engaged, moved to London, broke up with my fiancĂ©, went on a nomadic streak, ended up in Croatia as a tour leader on boat, fell in love…

I can’t imagine having a daughter, watching her run so wild and not feeling compelled to add my 2 cents and steer her on the ‘right course’. But he never did.

He didn’t idly sit by; it wasn’t that he didn’t care; but somehow he had the wisdom and discipline to allow me to forge my own path whilst showing me nothing but unwavering love and support from the sidelines of the arena – even when I was face-down in the mud.

This has led me to making a hell of a lot more mistakes than the average person. I have stumbled, tripped and fallen time again, but I have always risen stronger and more determined – and I have no doubt as to why.

I thought booking a one-way ticket to Croatia for love, was the crescendo of my wild and untamed ways. I was wrong.

After 2 months here with the man I loved, we knew this was it. We got on skype with my father – the first time they met each other – and Mirko asked for my hand in marriage (a modern day romantic gesture).

His words were – “I don’t have anything to my name, but I am a hard-worker, I love your daughter and I will do anything for her.” (Looking at this now, I realize he could not have said more perfect words speaking to my father).

Dad was sitting there with his amazing partner Celia and never one to be taken aback too easily, he barely hesitated in saying –

“Well I don’t know you, my daughter will make up her own mind, but as far as I’m concerned - as long as she is happy, I am happy” – this was a yes.

We knew we were going to get married, the only question was when.

We contemplated doing it in NZ or Australia after his season on the yacht, but as the end of my 3-month visa drew nearer, we realized we didn’t want to wait. This was it.

As fate would have it, I visited the registry office in town, the next available time they had was in 5 days (2 days before my visa was to expire), Mirko was able to get off his yacht for a few days, his mother and sister were in the country, so we thought the ultimate – fuck it – and decided to get married.

Living on the wind comes at a cost.

Though I knew this was the right thing for me, I was steeling myself for the fact that I was about to have one of the biggest moments of my life with none of my loved ones around.

There was no way I was going to put the financial stress of my personal choice on them, so I played it off as nonchalantly as I could (following in my father’s footsteps).

“It is just signing the papers, it is not a big deal, we will celebrate when we come to Australia to visit…”

This was a lie. It was a big deal, but I didn’t want them to feel bad and I couldn’t allow myself to think too much on it otherwise I would crumble. So I was convincing myself as much as them.

I spent the week trying to be as Zen as possible; though my emotions were like a plastic bag in the breeze – blowing this way and that, no order, no rhyme, no rhythm.

The day before the BIG day and I had dealt with my emotions as best I could. After meeting a beautiful friend who came to my rescue as the only person to represent my loved ones; we were patiently waiting for Mirko to arrive from the 11pm ferry.

11.10, 11.20, 11.25, no sign or word from my love. 11.30 he burst into the boat we were on and was  acting all kinds of strange. After a very confused exchange, he told me I needed to turn around.

I was annoyed at him, because he was being so aloof, but acquiesced nonetheless.

Standing there in a casual t-shirt and shorts was my father.

I was momentarily stunned and turned to Mirko in disbelief. Then the tears came and I jumped on Dad.

It was like one of those clichĂ© scenes from the movies, except it wasn’t a movie, my father had somehow flown from NZ to Croatia with little-to-no notice and was standing before me on a yacht in Croatia.

I have never doubted his love, but this was more than I ever expected. Once I finally caught my breath enough to stutter a few words, I managed to say “You’re here, I can’t believe you’re here!!”

As always, my father had the perfect response –
“You’re my daughter, of course I am here”.

Even as I write those words I am tearing up.

Tomorrow I will celebrate my 2-year wedding anniversary and there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that the example my father set, is the reason I have found such an amazing, grounded, hard-working, humble man to be by my side through this journey of life.

But today, on the eve of our anniversary, I will forever be reminded of the strength and depth of my father’s love.

Love is not measured in words; it is measured in actions (unless you are a writer of course…)

Thank you Dad for all that you are and all you have given us. There was never a hole in our lives, your love was always enough.

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