In the words of Ricky Gervais, “Australians all seem so positive & well balanced. Is that possible to have a whole chilled out nation?”
In order to work this out, let’s rewind. “Timehop” and “On this day” do a bloody good job at forcing me to rewind. When I look back I mostly see images of myself working towards my dream job; Me and Jenn in uni working late delirious, me and Jenn travelling to London portfolio crits at Agencies… etc.
You go Gina, two for you Gina.
Then something happened, a fork in the road in 2012, what Pocahontas was describing as “just around the river bend” was my first break up. It happened in November, I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, as the clock striked 12am on New Years eve I escaped my cheering singing family, walked to the pub toilet and cried. Jenn convinced me to travel to Budapest Party hostels to get over it. (See post here about that magical place) and there, I made friends from all over the world, a huge portion of which are Aussies who I adore. Within this group I met a guy who had postponed his flight specifically to meet me after he’d seen me on Facebook, he was obviously Aussie, and I am definitely English. Bit of an issue there. However, he was adorable and I immediately wanted to be around him in whatever capacity possible. After a holiday romance and letting off a whole lot of steam, Jenn and I flew back to England, moved to London and got a paid internship.
My first year in London I struggled with awful anxiety. I was interning, had no money, was working 10 hours a day and struggling to get to know a new boyfriend who was in a different country and who I only saw every 3 months. I spent most of my time worrying about what would happen in my relationship and what wouldn’t happen in my job. I remember sitting on the tube boiling hot, sweating and my mind screaming. I felt like I was going to be sick. I mean, I was underground so basically TRAPPED GUYS. I couldn’t do anything but sit still until it went. I sat there frozen and missed my stop by three stations.
I don’t think people realise that anxiety is actually completely debilitating at times and the worst part is you’re not entirely sure why it’s happening. I spent almost a year like this which resulted in my boyfriend flying from his job in Greece, to see me after months of being apart. I said I wasn’t happy. I was going out with someone who was never there I was terrified of the future. I have to focus on my career. We sat in Costa and cried for an hour. He said he’d move to London. I said no, too much pressure. He insisted.
And now, HEY it’s November 2015! Jordy’s been living here for a year, my anxiety’s basically gone, i’ve quit the job I worked so hard to get, to go travelling for a year and i’m the happiest i’ve ever been. I’m pretty sure the reason for this is due to me living my life more like Jordy does.
He essentially turned me from someone who worried about their five year plan every single day to someone who doesn’t know where their money is going to come from and isn’t even worried about it.
It’s because he’s a wonderful person, but it’s also because he’s an Aussie.
He did it without ever having a conversation with me about my worries. He teaches by example.
Australians (well, all the Australians I know) have a great outlook on life, they’re a pretty laid back group of people, and in the process of spending so much time with Jordy, who is a typical Aussie sea dog, i’ve found myself a happier, more laid back person.
Here’s five thing’s i’ve learned from Jordy, backed up by the Aussies I know.
- Make the most of the outdoors. The reason we Londoners have the highest anxiety in the UK is because we get so involved in the daily grind (whether you love it or not) that we forget to slow down. We don’t have enough space. Most Londoners will escape from the city every now and again for just that reason.
Australians have it easier, living in a hot and sunny climate sure, but even a bundled up walk in the woods will do you a world of good.
- Nothing is more important than mates. Always be ready for new ones. Aussies seriously have their mates backs. They’re like a tribe. Maybe because it’s such an enormous country for such a small population, friendships are made and generally grow together. Whatever the reason, they’re fiercely loyal and probably due to the amount of exploring they do, are also extremely social. They know how to meet people and how to make you feel like you’ve known them for years.
- There’s always time for an adventure. There’s only 23 million Aussies, which is 0.33% of the global population, yet most major country in the world are swarming with them. Aus isn’t the most convenient place to travel to and from, but that doesn’t stop them… they just need to explore. And it’s not just travelling… road trips up and down the coast, surf trips, exploring the landscape around them, they’ve got itchy feet and need to see the world. No wonder they seem so fulfilled.
- Work hard. There’s a reason why so many Aussies land jobs over here. Their work ethic is second to none. It could be something to do with working in harsher conditions down under (outside work, labouring, working in the mines), or the incentive of more money, but when they do a job, they do it properly.
- Play hard. Aussies can drink, ooohohohoho can they drink. This however, comes more from the insistence to enjoy their life and have fun than from a much jibed-at ‘cultural alcoholism’. Fun is important to them, yet we see it as a frivolous luxury. If you insist on playing hard in your twenties in London, you can be mistaken for not being “serious about your career” which we all know is entirely untrue, man alive can you have fun and work hard in London.So to answer Gervais, yes it is possible to have an entire chilled out nation, if we follow this advice; Chill out. Don’t worry about the future and don’t think about the past. Live for the day and have a fackin’ ripper time mate.