Originally from Portugal, I’ve arrived in Australia 8 years ago, straight out of university, where I did a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. At the time, because I didn’t have a job and was still financially dependent of my parents while studying, I decided I wouldn’t do a masters straight away and I would come to Australia instead, hoping I could just get any job, save money for a few months and then go travel the world.
Back then, I had no idea about visas or what it meant to move to another country, and obviously nothing went according to plan!
During the first couple of years, I was working to pay for my next visa, and my next visa, and my next visa...until I was able to get sponsored through my job as a Restaurant Manager! That’s right, before I did my diploma in Remedial Massage, I worked 6 years in the hospitality industry.
When I got to Australia I had never worked in Hospitality before, but my willingness to learn and my hard work paid off and after one year I was assistant manager of a small restaurant on Beaufort Street. The sponsor I got, once it was granted, it was permanent residence straight away. So, after 3 years of working 2 jobs with barely any days off I could finally breathe. Once my permanent residence was granted, I booked my flights to Portugal to go see my family for the first time since I had left.
A month after I came back from my holiday, I fell pregnant. This was a completely unplanned surprise and at the time it was hard to know what to do. I had only been with my partner for a year, adding to this, he’s from New Zealand so all his family is there, and all my family is in Portugal, it would be just us two. We decided to take up this challenge, and today we have a beautiful and healthy girl named Sophia.
How did I become a remedial massage therapist? Well, my last job as Restaurant Manager at the Joondalup Resort was absolutely draining and it was making me feel really unhappy. I’m grateful for everything I’ve learnt while working in hospitality, it made me step out, out of my comfort zone, taught me to speak up, speak with lots of different people and was also my ticket to stay in Australia permanently, but after 6 years I had had enough and it was time to move on and do something that I like.
Life is too short to stay stuck in a job that make us feel miserable, and Australia is the country of opportunities! We can literally do whatever we aspire the most.
So, I quit my job and applied to the Diploma of Remedial Massage at North Metro Tafe. One week before I graduated, I came to a job interview at Nextmove Physiotherapy and Wellness, and I got the job! Honestly it feels like it was meant to be, I’m so happy at my work, I love my colleagues, my boss and all my patients. It’s such a rewarding job, it’s an amazing feeling to make someone feel better, reduce their pain medication, live pain free and improve their wellbeing.
While I was studying, I became more aware of the body-mind connection, and realised I needed to be able to help the mind of my patients not just the physical body in order to be truly helpful. And to help I mean, to help them relax and feel less stressed. That's when I decided to do a Meditation Facilitator Course. It was a 6 months journey of learning a lot about myself as well. Meditation really changed me and keeps changing, and I feel I’m on the right direction, I’ve figured my path and I’m closer and closer to where I need to be, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I love to share the benefits of massage and meditation and wish everyone to feel like they’re on the right path and everything feels right and that it’s meant to be. Even the harder days and situations are just opportunities for learning and personal growth, we just need to learn how to take advantage of them.
Sara Camarinha Pedras