Posts Tagged With: New Zealand

Looking back after 3 years in Kiwiland



Stubborn Adventure

Stubborn, sensitive and impatient, these characteristics are all known to me. I see them as strengths, they have brought me where I am today: New Zealand. Three years ago, I stepped on a plane to follow my heart with two suitcases filled with clothes and shoes. What else do you need? I said goodbye to my dear family and friends. My mum was crying, I wasn’t this time, since after being separated for six months; I was finally going to see my love again. All the preparations were finished, I was going to step on a plane and start a new adventure. I couldn’t wait! A one-year-try out, that was the plan. We had hardly been together since the first time we met. He went off to China and I went off to Africa. After 4 months I finally came back in The Netherlands and in the meantime he had booked his one-way ticket to New Zealand. We fell in love anyway and enjoyed our time together for the next two months. In the midst of a starting relationship, when the butterflies are abundant and the love is intense, we had to say goodbye. He had made his decision to go back to his beloved New Zealand, a final short love affair would be a good way to end all his years in Holland, was the thought in the back of his mind. I don’t think he realised he was dating a pretty stubborn young lady, who was going to follow her heart, no matter where that would lead her.

Sensitive Challenge

Three years later, we have bought a house and I am teaching yoga and guiding people through inner Journey. I could never have imagined my life would be like this, if you would have asked me five years ago. I exchanged my pushbike for a car and my apartment for a spacious home with a bit of land, chickens and a veggie garden. I exchanged my busy life for a more back to earth relaxing lifestyle. My birthday is now in the middle of ‘winter’ and Christmas is celebrated on the beach. I have exchanged the plenty of good shopping opportunities in Holland for plenty of beautiful quiet beaches in Northland. Lots of change and challenge have appeared for this sensitive soul and will still appear. When I was in my teenage years, I decided to get my driver license as the first one of my sisters. My parents were a bit surprised, their sporty, spiritual, environment friendly daughter was going to get a driver license? Most of the time in my childhood we were without a car, we did everything by bicycle. I really treasure those memories, of our special cosy family. I have never been a fan of driving a car, although I really love my car now, especially on a rainy cold day, so I stay warm and dry. My one secret reason to get my license, was the idea I had in the back of my mind: working in the midst of Africa doing development work and driving around in a jeep. I imagined myself making a real difference to the world, and to truly assist others living a better/happier/healthier life.

Finally feeling and finding love

After several trips to Africa, my eyes opened. Do I really make a difference? Why do I want to make a difference? Do I want to boost my ego? I realized I had so much more work to do on myself, before I was truly able to assist others. The people I met on my trips appeared to look more joyful and happy than the average European. Who needs to learn from whom? I realised that I was trying to do good, while my inner world was rumbling: insecure and restless. If you haven’t connected with the peace, quietness and contentment within you, how are you going to create more contentment in the world, outside you? The Journey was extremely helpful for me to live a more joyful, happy, content and truthful life. One of my last trips to Africa involved Journey Outreach: this was a rewarding, fun, challenging and interesting time. Doing journey work while in the so-called developing countries and my beloved Africa, would be the perfect combination. While occupied with travelling and where to go and live, my love suddenly arrived. As impatient as I am, I had been longing for romantic love for a long time and had written down plenty of pages in my diary on how my ideal partner would look like, behave and so on. I often doubted if I would ever meet the right guy. I promised myself, I would rather stay by myself than choose for a relationship that didn’t feel 100% truthful, fulfilling and happy.


We have learnt and experienced so much together. I can’t imagine living apart anymore. So yes, I would recommend everyone to follow your heart, no matter how scary, unknown, uncertain or awkward that might be. If you really trust your heart, your life will be an amazing journey. My uncertainty and doubts about work has completely disappeared when I decided to teach yoga and meditation. I feel immense grateful to be able to share my passion to follow your heart and live the life of your dreams. I believe that if I can assist in creating more inner peace in myself and others, I truly make a difference in the world. It is rewarding and so empowering to do and live your passion. My dear friends in Africa, I haven’t forgotten about you. My intention is to promote a more mindful way of living to benefit the whole world. Yes, I dream big. I hope to arrive again on African soil one day; to integrate my practice on and off my yoga mat. As a thank you for how Africa taught me to slow down, to appreciate the little things in life, to truly live like we are all connected as ONE.

I deeply bow to all the teachers in my life, especially to one of the most inspiring, wise, empowering and enormously missed woman in my life: my mum.




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Confessions of a yogini

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I am a stress chicken. I can create trouble, worries & anxiety in my mind, skilfully & abundantly and without much effort. At times it feels like my default nature. This is the main reason why I turned to Yoga in the first place, to ground myself, to create stability & ease in my body and life. One of the first things I can do is to bring my awareness back in my body, through asana (postures), through pranayama (breath), through dhyana (meditation).

Asana helps me to start the journey from my mind to my heart. To start to connect with my creativity and inner child, to move, to dance, being playful and going upside down. Asana while in nature is Divine. It brings me back to my childhood, playing & running outside, being adventurous, trying new things, feeling the wind in my hair & sun on my skin. I hear the birds singing a beautiful song, feel the sand or grass in between my toes. From here responsibilities & worries starting to slide of my shoulders, I start to connect more deeply with the world around me. I come back home in my body and in this moment. My breathe starts to deepen & my heart starts to speak; expressing her desires. Time Stops. Life Starts.

I am

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Kiwi Time

The other day I was texting with my partner to find out when the plumber was going to arrive at our place. “In the afternoon, ‘kiwi time’” was his answer. This made me smile. This was the first time I heard someone say ‘kiwi time’. On google, I learned that Kiwi Time is also a San Francisco band. While in Africa, I experienced the well-known ‘African time’. According to Wikipedia African time (or Africa time) is the perceived cultural tendency, in most parts of Africa, toward a more relaxed attitude to time. Especially in the beginning when just arrived in Africa, I struggled a bit with Africa time. Though, after a while I got used to it and thereby adopted a more relaxed attitude to time and also to life in general. I felt more relaxed and at ease compared with living in a society where time is a stricter concept. My adventure in New Zealand started in Auckland; the biggest city of this beautiful country. In Auckland the attitude towards time was for me comparable with that of The Netherlands. Although, I definitely experienced a slightly more relaxed attitude towards organizing and structure, something I had to get used to as an overly organized control lover. Since moving up North and arriving in Whangarei, kiwi time is more present. Meetings and appointments are there to be cancelled or changed, last minute often. Don’t expect a well prepared and perfectly organised company or event, this will save you frustration. Why strive for perfection and thereby stress? Living with the flow of life that is what seems to happen more here. In my opinion this makes people friendlier as well. People have the gift of time and therefore the attitude to help each other. Quite often, strange people call me ‘sweetheart’ or ‘love’ if I buy something in the local supermarket for example. I quite appreciate this part of the culture and learn to let go of my tendency to control or prepare everything perfectly in advance. I keep on learning and especially learn to let go not to stress about small stuff. Relax, everything is going to be all right, just chill & relax, that is my new mantra.

Kiwi Time

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Spreading the love through: Liebster Award


I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Claire from Cupcakes and Asanas! The Liebster award is focused on supporting upcoming bloggers. Liebster is a German word, meaning love or beloved. Since other small bloggers nominate fellow bloggers and they on their turn nominate another 11 bloggers, love is spread and new inspiring blogs discovered. As a nominee I will share 11 interesting facts about me and answer 11 questions Claire has given me. I’ll nominate 11 small blogs and provide them with 11 questions as well.

11 Facts

  1. The first time I went fishing in New Zealand (and at all); I caught an enormous Kingfish – most fishermen are pretty stoked if they catch a fish as big as mine. Though, I’m still not a fan of fishing. But keen to hop along on a boat to increase my chances to meet dolphins!
  2. My nails are most of the time pretty short – no I don’t bite my nails. I just prefer them short, so they can’t break or tear easily.
  3. My partner calls me a ‘stress chicken’ – I can appear timid and quiet, but my true friends and family know better. I can worry and stress about almost anything.
  4. My weakness: cutting bread in slices. I always end up with uneven bread. Even after quite a lot of practice and advice from my love, it is still not one of my top skills.
  5. I received countless proposals while living in Africa – like most white ladies have. 😉 I didn’t say ‘yes’ to any, instead I promised them to find them a nice future wife in Europe/ New Zealand. So let me know if you’re keen!
  6. My parents told me that I kicked my twin sister out of my mum’s womb, since she came first into the world. I followed 2 seconds later and believed for a long time that I was the dominant aggressive one who violently kicked my twin sister out of the womb.
  7. Apparently my first name ‘Jacinta’ is more common in Africa and New Zealand, then it is in The Netherlands. So I guess It was meant to be  that I left Holland.
  8. My life goals when I just graduated from High School were:” Free Tibet, meet the Dalai Lama and brave the Himalaya.” I haven’t been able to meet any of my goals yet.
  9. If you look carefully you can see a scar on my forehead, as a toddler I didn’t dare to go down the slide, instead I jumped. Resulting in a trip to hospital.
  10. As a child I loved climbing trees and lampposts. Later in life, as an adult, I discovered rock climbing. A great adventurous and enjoyable sport and also a great way to meet new partners, as a woman.
  11. In Auckland, I fell in love with my favourite hot drink:  Chai Latte. An addiction is starting to develop.
A delicious chai latte

A delicious chai latte

11 Answers

1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Inspiring others and connecting with like-minded people.

2. What do you do when you need a pick-me-up?

Put on my favourite music and dance in my living room or go for a walk in nature.

3. What is your favorite movie?

The Intouchables

4. What is the best book you have read recently?

The Woman’s Book of Yoga & Health – Linda Sparrowe & Patricia Walden

5. What is the happiest piece of art in your home?

Two wooden carved Maasai people given to me by my dad – reminding me of my dad and the special and strong people I met in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal and The Gambia.

6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?


7. What is your favorite decade in American history?

This decade. Since I’m living Now.

8. What is the best vacation you have taken?

My first time in New Zealand; spending 6 weeks with my partner (only the weekends though, he was working during the week) after we haven’t seen each other for 3 months. The weather was amazing! We went to two weddings and did lots of fun stuff together.

9. What makes a meal “good”?

A meal made with love and attention and consumed with gratitude by your loved ones and/or friends.

10. What is your favorite workout?

Vinyasa Yoga

11. What is the best bit of advice you have ever received?

My mum gave me the following quote of the Dalai Lama to help me deal with my ‘worrisome character’.

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”


11 Blogs

  1. Amanda is a yogini, single mum, financial journalist and author. Her blog is a fusion of her interest, passions and skills. Her kind heart and warm character shines through her blog: Amanda Morrall
  2. An interesting blog about anything to do with a vegan life style. Although, not a vegan myself, I find her blog inspiring and enjoyable to read: Honk if you’re vegan
  3. Looking for inspiration, a laugh or motivation? Have a look at this easy to read blog full of short movies, quotes and images: Every day power blog
  4. This blog is simple, inspirational and peaceful. Her life goal is to live local and create a life that is as simple, peaceful and in tune with nature as possible. This definitely sparkles my interest: Drops of magic
  5. Sara is a young woman who has been through a lot already. She lives life to the fullest and motivates you to do the same: Sarafry
  6. Sophie is a beautiful woman and a great yoga teacher! She has done extensive study in terms of stress management, dance, pilates, yoga and ayurveda. In her blog she shares her yoga wisdom and experience and her beautiful presence –  inside and out: Body poised
  7. Looking for more simplicity and inspiration in your life. This blog is worth looking at: Simple strive
  8. This amazing woman is full of energy and loves power yoga. Besides she also a mum, life coach and health food fanatic. Her blog is full of photos and videos; interesting and funny for every yogi & yogini. Live Love Yoga
  9. This yoga blog is easy to read and beautifully to see as well. You’ll learn more about yoga as a lifestyle – so not only on the mat, but off the mat as well: Omlinkblog
  10. Another beautiful yoga blog from a yogini based in Melbourne. She loves to write about her yoga addiction and is not afraid to show herself: Andrea Leber
  11. Knowledge. Inspiration. Chakras. Spirituality. Healing. Tarot. And more is what you find on this blog: Sacred Gaze


11 Questions

  1. How does your perfect Sunday look like?
  2. What is one of your most embarrassing moments in your life?
  3. What are you the most proud of in your life?
  4. What are your goals for the next 10 years?
  5. Please finish the following sentence: I couldn’t live without……
  6. What is your favourite item of clothing at the moment?
  7. What would you like to receive for your next birthday?
  8. What is your favourite quote?
  9. If money was no issue, what would you do with your life?
  10. What is the craziest thing you ever did?
  11. What does religion mean to you?



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The realisations of my dreams are journeys, not destinations

I’m so happy to share my latest news: I have registered myself for a Yoga Teacher’s Training!!!!! I’m so excited to have made this decision. It is a part time training; one weekend per month for six months and will start in February 2013 in Auckland in New Zealand.

Last night while I was lying down in savasana (corpse pose) to end a great yoga class, I realized how good it feels to follow my heart & dreams. All the decisions I have made using my heart, resulted in beautiful life changing experiences. For example, I remembered the one day I just felt I had to register myself for The Journey Practitioner’s Programme of Brandon Bays. My mind worried a bit about how I was going to pay for costs as a student, but my heart just screamed for it. So I did and it caused a breakthrough in my life.

When I moved to another city in The Netherlands without a clear purpose or reason, I felt lonely in the beginning and blamed myself to have made this crazy move without job or a social network in a new environment. Hindsight has taught me how I have grown personally and developed myself because of this spontaneous move. In addition, I met amazing people, including my perfect partner.

And then the BIG move to New Zealand to live with my partner. A lot of people say I’m brave and strong to move to the other side of the world far away from my family and friends and again without work. Though, I have never made a decision so quick and easy. My heart almost begged me to do this. Even though, we had only been together for a couple of months. Here I am, living in New Zealand for about 14 months already. Of course, I have my difficult and emotional moments at times, but in general I can say I feel really grateful & happy to live in this beautiful country together with my lovely partner. My new life in New Zealand has provided me with time, energy and space to develop and deepen my yoga practice and to finally make the decision to start a Yoga Teacher’s Training. It feels so right.

Now and then my mind disturbs me with doubts and worries; ‘It is a lot of money and your temporary agreement is almost ending!’, ‘You’re way to insecure to be a Teacher’, ‘Your English is not perfect enough’, ‘You’re not flexible enough’ and so on. Then I remind myself, it is not about the destination, but about the goal. So maybe my journey to become a yoga teacher will take a lifetime, so be it. At least, I have dreams and goals to live for and from. 

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