Home sweet home…wow, what a year it has been!

After a whirl wind of an adventure I have finally made it home to the most liveable city in the world (according to a recent survey at least), literally almost bottom of the globe, Melbourne, Australia.

Awesome city I am from, Melbourne, Australia!

I had been told time and time again that this year was going to be the most exciting one of my life, but nothing could quite prepare me for what I have witnessed and lived through for the past 9 months. What more can I say then that taking myself away this year, on my own, was the best decision I have ever made in my life.

Although photos and social media updates are one big long string of smiles, the honest truth is there certainly have been ups and downs, with me facing more emotional challenges and identity defining moments on my own then ever before.

I can wholeheartedly say that I have walked away from this trip with exactly what I had set out to accomplish. Knowing that I wanted to end the last chapter of my life, determine my next career moves, and become reacquainted with myself, 2012 has proven to be a successful mission.

Amazing view as I flew into Barcelona, Spain

Yes there has been amazing food, gorgeous scenery, and months spent in NYC..a place that is seriously “out of this world”. However what I noticed was that the whole time, the thing that left the most engrained memories were the relationships that formed, evolved, or strengthened over the year. It has been the people that shaped the positive and negative memories, and it is those that I will cherish forever.

My new good friend Hila from Sydney Australia

Having been exposed to a ridiculous number of men who outrightly tried to cheat on their wives, women who proudly verbalise that they are looking for a man to provide them with the materialistic possessions they see as important, and people who pay $300 a bottle just so that they can be let in and seen at a a particular nightclub, I can truly say that there are parts of this world that I do not fit into.

My good friend Michael from Australia who has looked out for me this whole trip!

On the other hand I have been lucky enough to have friends from back home that have been on the end of the phone at all hours of the night when I have been in tears and in need of  support, to find men that truly care about me and who have shown me that love can come at totally unexpected times, colleagues that have welcomed and included me completely unnecessarily, and of course family that have gone above and beyond anyones call of duty to make sure that life runs smoothly no matter what challenges have come my way.

Just a handful of the lovely dietitians in the USA who have included me this year

There are a few people that I have to make a special mention to who have really left a stamp on my heart this year,

Brenda, my Canadian mentor, Mark, my guiding and supportive lecturer, Michael my Australian friend who looked out for me in NYC at all the most important times, Jonathan, a new best friend from literally the opposite side of the globe, and Hila, a divine young woman who I know will be a friend for life.

My friend Jonathan being a wonderful host in Finland

I will say a special thank you to a couple of my best friends, Lex, a gorgeous dietitian who helped me manage my business for the first 6 months of my trip, and Laurie, my rock.

To my sister and parents, a thank you probably doesn’t do justice to what you have done for me, but I hope that me being back for the traditional family events at this time of the year shows you through my actions just how grateful I am.

Great family out for dinner in Milan, Italy

NYC is known for its dating culture, and I can certainly say I have been exposed to some truly phenomenal men this year who I have no doubt will make some lucky girls very happy. It was amazing for me to come across one young man who from the word go had me crying of laughter, declared his love for me (l’m guessing the alcohol helped with this..unless love at first sight really does happen!?), and truly just got the way my mind worked. It is comforting for me to know that this exists (I had seen it between others, but hadn’t been privy to it myself in quite some time). After quite a few rattling moments, the optimist in me certainly remains.

Travelling dietitian remains optimistic

I know it seems like all I had been doing over the last 2 months in NYC since returning from Europe was walking through food markets, taking photos of misleading marketing claims, and enjoying myself with friends, however the truth is I actually had been up to something somewhat more productive. Those that know me personally would not be surprised by this!

I am happy to announce that I have completed draft one of a very exciting book that I can not wait to share with you all once it is completed (which will be as soon as humanely possible!).  I also have an absolutely fantastic chef from LA on board, Susan Irby “The Bikini Chef” who will be contributing delicious recipes to help inspire our readers to implement the recommendations made throughout the book, and a very unique personal trainer from over the other side of Australia, Mike Weggelaar, who has kindly contributed his tantalising high protein bar and slice recipes. Lets just say this book will prove tempting for a number of reasons, no matter what your underlying goals are!

If my English teacher from back in my final year of school new this..oh wow..I think she would be in shock! Put it this way, my mother had been trying to prompt me to get a tutor throughout my entire final year given I was more a science student than humanities..but me being me said I wanted to see how well I could do on my own (there certainly was an element of shock in my mothers face when I got my final result, positive or negative..I don’t want to ask!).

Although I am back in Australia, I will be sure to keep the entertainment coming all your way, and hope to share with those of you who haven’t made the trip over to us Aussies amazing country, the amazing food, gorgeous scenery, and excitement that can be found in our special piece of the globe.

Great Asian food is a standard in Melbourne!

Having now claimed the title around the world as the “Travelling Dietitian” I guess I will just have to make sure I live up to the name and keep the plane tickets or weekends away coming..

NYC, I have absolutely no doubt I will be back within the next 12 months (I already miss you!)- the pace, entertainment, amazing food, driven people, endless possibilities and sheer support of everyone being allowed to be completely themselves, definitely makes you a tempting and suitable option for me in the future.

NYC up in lights

Melbourne, I am happy to be here in the presence of my good family and friends (and my puppy of course!), feeling appreciated and being understood should not be underrated by any means.

What’s to come next..I seriously do not know; but I’m going in with a positive attitude and look forward to sharing with you all this next chapter!

For now,

The Travelling Dietitian x

Good feelings about this next chapter of my life!

About The Author

Kara Landau aka "Travelling Dietitian" is an Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian based in New York City. She is a world explorer, healthy foodie, social butterfly, and barre class lover. When she isn't trying new cuisines, researching new product innovations in the health food space, or speaking to the media on behalf of her food industry clients, she can be found quietly conjuring up her next idea in how to make this world a healthier and better place.

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