One year ago, I quit my cabin crew job, packed my bags and moved to Australia with my partner.

I had no idea how things would pan out. I just knew it was time to make a change. And to explore the possibilities that a new life could bring.

Earlier on, a friend had texted, ‘The world is your oyster’. I was curious to see how far I could stretch my ‘oyster’ experience.

As I packed my bags, I made sure to hold onto those things that mattered to me. Photos, salt-shakers( weird, I know) my work badge, and fridge magnets.

For me, those things held a degree of significance far beyond what they looked like. You see, they were not just ‘things’.

They were a huge chunk of my life.

They were precious moments.

They were long hours of hard work.

They were jetlag.

They were shopping sprees.

They were a testament that I had left my footprints in over 80 countries.

To say I was excited to start a new life is an understatement. Because I was dying to!

I craved a life without deadlines, alarm clocks, and time slots. I wanted to sleep in until I lost track of time.

I yearned to lay hold of the freedom that had eluded me for years. I longed to watch TV until the frame of my body formed a cast on the couch.

You see, by the time I was hanging my boots from my flying job, I had accumulated so much fatigue I could literary sleep anywhere, anytime.

For the most part, my body felt heavy like a sack of maize. Brain fog had become a part of me. My body constantly felt as if it had survived a tornado.

Years of flying under low oxygen, jetlag and irregular sleep patterns had wreaked havoc on my body.

Oh, my back was the worst! It felt like a piece of cracked wood, about to split into two.

It was payback time for all the years of subjecting it pulling and pushing carts, containers, and bags.

My first months in Australia felt like I’d been dropped from another planet. Quite literary.

It was a completely different life from what I was accustomed to in Dubai.

It took me about nine months to begin to untie the threads of fatigue. A short while later, the brain fog started to dissipate and slowly, clarity began to stream in.

All this took lots of rest, exercise and reflection.

But as I won those battles, others were slowly brewing in the background.

I didn’t know that this much-anticipated change would push me to the limits. I had no way of knowing because I was fixated on the next chapter of my life.

It wasn’t long before this newly acquired freedom soon morphed into boredom. And then into loneliness. Heaps of it.

I mean, how many hours can you watch tv? How many months can you sleep?

I had to learn to embrace the unpredictable weather. Adjusting to the three degrees mornings was the hardest.

And a far cry from the hot country I’d lived for an entire decade.

I made peace with the fact that my dresses could only be worn for about three months of the year.

A lack of social life was another big thorn in my flesh.

Sure, I had my partner, but that was not enough. I needed more. And that pushed me out of my element even further.

This pursuit to change my life has stretched me in ways I couldn’t possibly predict.

It has pulled the carpet from right under my feet. I am still trying to find my balance and create my new life from scratch.

That being said, I can’t have it any other way. I don’t regret having made the move.

Because change is a prerequisite for growth.

Its the only way to grow in health, marriage, career, education, fitness and everything else.

Here are three valuable lessons I’ve learned in the past year.

  1. Change is the only way to grow.

Nothing happens unless something is moved. Albert Einstein

Whether it’s health, marriage, career, education or fitness, change is the prerequisite for growth.

Think about it. You’ve got to be willing to stretch if you are to lay hold of the life you want.

And stretching is no fun, especially because comfort zones are so tempting.

But let that not fool you, because your comfort zone is your greatest enemy. They never do you any good.

The only thing they’re good for is digging your grave deeper. And when they are done, bury you in it.

Here’s why; anytime you are not creating, you are in fact, disintegrating, though you may not see it at the time.

2. Its the process that changes you the most.

When you dock on the other side of the shore, then you see it.

This is when you realize what’s really valuable isn’t what you get, but rather how you change in the process.

And that’s the best part. Nothing beats that.

Besides, success fades. A sexy, hot athletic body withers — and dies eventually.

But what’s embedded in you is guaranteed to last ages.

It is through the process that you unravel a masterpiece of strength within you.

Little by little, you begin to discover insights about your personality you never even knew existed.

As you learn to accommodate new people, situations, and events, you are able to transform into a more flexible person.

3. Your mindset is what will push you through.

It’s your greatest power.

Because therein lies the magical key to unlock the life of your dreams. After all, no one wants to live off the memory of your childhood dreams.

You want to attain them right?

It all starts with how you choose to perceive things. From this axis, your world starts to shape up. One step at a time.

It goes without saying that as you try to change things in your life, you’ll run into obstacles.

Because let’s face it, there are always unpleasant surprises lurking somewhere in the shadows of our progress.

One day you are going so well, the next, you are confronted by an event or situation that threatens to abort your mission.

Such is the world we live in. It’s full of variables.

But here’s the great part; your mind is a constant. It’s always within your control.

It’s your best anchor.

Aim to anchor your mind to positivity and in no time, you’ll be able to change the external outlook of things.

Wayne Dyer illustrates;

Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.

New beginnings bring excitement in your life. They usher in new doors of growth and opportunities.

A positive mindset is a mast that stabilizes your boat as you navigate the waters of change.

The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe it 100%.

Arnold Schwarzenegger.