‘I want to live on the countryside in a self-sufficient community’

Inessa (29) is a free spirit who has been traveling the world for six years. For now she found herself a peaceful place in Sri Lanka working as a yoga teacher and a masseuse.

What does happiness mean to you?
To know yourself and what you want to do in life and being able to let go of expectations.

What is your background?
I was born in a small town next to Helsinki as an only child. I admire my parents, they have amazing personalities, but they were both fully focused on work. We never really connected with each other. When I was sixteen and my parents moved to Estonia. I lived in Helsinki in a supportive community with other under aged kids. School was hard for me because I am hyperactive. Since I was a kid I searched for more answers than teachers tell you. I believe you learn by questioning and experiences. It makes you more creative. When I finished high school, I choose to do a sport massage course. When I was twenty-two I started to travel as a masseuse. I first hitchhiked through Europe and then travelled through Latin America and California. On the way I gained extra money with working on a vineyard, in bars and restaurants. In California I met someone who worked on a sustainable farm owned by his family. It is the most magical place in the world. Everything they have created is sustainable. I felt a strong connection with the owners and kept coming back during my travels. I loved living and working on the farm but my family expected me to come back to Finland to spend more time with them and study. And so I did. I lived as a free spirit and didn’t have a home. I stayed with different friends. Being surrounded by people with real jobs made me think I had to apply for a study too. I applied for Biology and in the meantime I went to India to do a yoga course. Due to this training I opened up and learned more about my inner self. I realized this study wasn’t what I wanted, but when I heard I was accepted I had to give it a try. Back home I got very sick and ended up in the hospital cause of a lung disease. My first half-year at school was tough. When it came out there was mold in the university, I didn’t want to sacrifice my health, so I left. I chose to follow my heart and started to teach yoga lessons while traveling. I learned by practice about health, body and mind and try to focus and learn more on the mediation part. I barely have contact with my parents because they unfortunately don’t support my lifestyle. I don’t drink; I wake up at 5 o’clock to do my morning yoga and to surf. I work every day and don’t go to parties. I really don’t understand why my parents don’t support me.

Where do you stand in life?
I am still super hectic but I finally gained to do what I love. When I start my yoga course I always listen to what the group wants to focus on so I can give them a lesson they really want. I want to knowledge myself more about the mediation part of yoga but I have barely time for my own practice. I teach four times a week, I give massages and I commit myself to surf twice a day. But at the same time, being able to do what I want gives me energy.

Are you familiar with the 30 years dilemma?
Yes I am aware of the transitions you make when you become thirty. It involves Saturn. The planet takes thirty years to turn around the sun. Every thirty years means a new phase. In Ayurveda you are a child between 0- 30 years, young between 30-60 years, and adult between 60-90 years, and old between 90-120 years. I am almost thirty and my last three years I had my struggles but the experiences made me understand more of life. Life is driving you and I have decided to enjoy the ride and its views. Everything in life is possible but you are not in control. You are here to work on your karma in the best way you can.

 Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you have a dream?
The first time I set foot on the farm in California I knew I wanted to live on the countryside in a self-sufficient community. I like the Mediterranean climate so maybe I want to live in California, Australia or Europe.

What wise lesson did your parents teach you?
To respect yourself and other people and to find trust and faith in them.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
The only thing what can’t be taken away from you is your knowledge and craft. So concentrate and work on those two things in your life.

When was your last moment of happiness?
A few days ago I shared a special moment with a close friend in the waves. Water has a healing power. Every-time I go into water, either surfing, swimming or just when I shower I feel released.

Under the same sun is an ongoing travel log which you can follow on our travel and lifestyle blog Meet You at the Bridge. The reports show the similarities and differences on what it means to be happy for women between the ages of 25 and 35 who hail from different cultures.

Click below for all interviews.