We Eloped in Hawaii!

We eloped in Hawaii

On the 8th August 2016, I married Ryen (The Hawaiian) – my bestfriend and the man of my dreams. Mahalo to everyone who has shown us love and support in celebration of our special elopement. Here’s the breakdown of what happened, the why the how and everything in between.

How We Knew

It was just over 2 weeks since we first met that we started dating (all the details of that is in my previous post of how I met the love of my life in Hawaii) and it was the 2nd or 3rd day that I got home and my Grandma, asked: “So if Ryen asked you to marry him, what would you say?”

Without hesitation, I said I would marry him. I just knew. He was the manifestation of everything I had asked for, and more. He felt the same about me. So we knew very early on that we would spend our lives together and after 9 months of dating in July 2016, we talked about it.

“Why don’t we just elope?” I asked him.

“What does that mean?” he asked. I laughed and sent him the definition. He thought it was pretty romantic and sweet. He smiled and agreed. “Let’s do it!”

This way, it can just be about us. We could strip it right back to the core of why we’re together. We treat each day as though it’s our last; why wait? Why not just remove self-imposed barriers like money, time, other people’s schedules, venue availabilities, etc?

Ryen has a big heart and a gentle soul, with creating a family being his key priority whereas I’m more practical and independent and could just as easily stay single for the rest of my life. But when someone loves you so much despite everything, it really changes you. We got through some really hard and trying times where we showed each other the most vulnerable parts of ourselves that we didn’t know existed. So if you can make it despite all that, you better cherish them.

I remember during some of these tough times, he would tell me that I’m all he has in his life and his only goal is to make me happy; it broke me down and made me realise how much I wanted to live for this man and give him everything his beautiful soul deserves. He is adamant that if anything (heaven forbid) happened to me, he would have no reason to live, unless we had a family together. He would never remarry and never ever be interested in another woman.

I believe him, because of how he is (I should write about this in a separate post) and so I’m even more motivated for life – a life with him.

So with just 10 months and 1 day of dating (and not even 11 months of knowing each other), we decided to get married.

The Date 8/8/16

HIs birthday is 11th July and mine is 20th August. I figured if we were to marry in a few weeks time, a date between our birthdays would be good, also the number 8/8/16 adds up (ha) and 8 has always been a lucky number for me. Plus, we can write the same date in both Aussie and American date formats (side rant, the whole MM/DD/YYYY is so stupid, it isn’t logical and I don’t understand it along with their measurement systems).

$500 Budget

Not wanting to spend much as we were going on holidays later in the year, we decided to minimise all costs and save it for our bigger ceremony with family and friends. We spent about USD$500 total, the majority of it really wasn’t that necessary either:

$150 – mani/pedi for both of us. This went from a $30 mani/pedi special that went overboard when I added Shellac plus some nail designs and some designs for him (although he got his toes airbrushed for free because he made the nail technicians laugh during the 2.5 hour session) plus tax and tip. We went to Essy’s Nails in Pearl City and highly recommend them (that’s a story for a whole other blog post!) They even put a photo of my nails on their Yelp page and said “Nice to meet you guys!! And congrats!!! Sweet couple!”

essy nails pearl city

Ryen got the date of our wedding on his right hand, then our initials on his left. His toes say 808 (Hawaii area code) and “BOW” on his big toe to reference “Bow Toe” which means penis in pidgeon/local slang. He’s crazy.

Katrina Nails Ryen Nails

$65 – marriage licence (paid to the State of Hawaii)

$104 – Marriage Celebrant, Rev James Chun, an absolute legend and highly recommended

$40 – engagement and wedding rings. We got sized at a jeweller then I just bought a few different ones online that we could choose from. The first ones we got were the Khal and Khaleesi engagement rings, handmade and a token of our Game of Thrones obsession. He chose the black tungsten Superman ring as his favourite which cost just over $2. The other rings I can resell on my eBay store so we’ll actually make profit, maybe enough to cover the entire wedding celebrations

$60 – dinner that night at Cattle Company, a place he’s been to before so he knows it’s safe (he’s allergic to shellfish and we ended up at the ER one night after Teppanyaki in Waikiki, another blog post to come!) We shared a huge steak and got a free dessert, it was pretty good

Dinner Dessert


$40 – leis for the ceremony. It wouldn’t feel like a Hawaiian celebration without them

$40 – to get a new long sleeved white shirt and white shoes for him

Getting Ready

We didn’t really have to do much before the wedding day, just get our marriage licence and book the marriage celebrant. I wore a white dress I bought back in 2014 to wear for my work Christmas party, but on the night decided I didn’t care and just kept my work clothes on. So I had never worn it since then and was glad I brought it to Hawaii. I had nude shoes I always used for work that I brought too.

I tried to style my hair with some soft waves at the front but it was so humid and my hair was not cooperating. Luckily Ryen kissed me and told me it doesn’t matter because I look beautiful anyway. For make up I just put on some concealer, light face powder, some mascara, white eye highlighter and then tidied up my eyebrows; real simple and natural looking.

So Ryen doesn’t own white casual shoes, or an iron so about an hour before the ceremony, we went to Ross’, a discount department store. He quickly found white canvas shoes for $22 and a matching long sleeved white shirt for $8 and we were on our way to get the leis.

There were two colour options since we got to the florist just before they were closing – orange (his favourite colour) and purple (a nice contrast to my white dress).

Then we drove to the ceremony location which was a park overlooking Pearl Harbour and was only 5 minutes away from our apartment, as well as the marriage celebrant’s house. So it was real easy.

The Ceremony

It just so happened that Rev James just bought one of those 360 degree cameras and was willing to try it out for our ceremony. I was just going to film the audio on my phone but this was a blessing. He was absolutely brilliant and we highly recommend him to anyone looking to get married on Oahu. Everyone else we tried calling never called us back, real unprofessional.

He usually had 2 waterfront locations to choose from but because of the recent tropical storm, they were dirty and full of bacteria so he chose a nearby park. There were old people doing Zumba in the park’s hall and kids playing soccer on the other end. It was random but the storm had cleared up and we were happy to see a rainbow through the light summer showers. We’ll save the beach wedding for the bigger ceremony.

Ryen decided to take my last name as his, as he grew up without a father and feels a lot closer to my extended family who he’s known for a while, which is really cool. My grandma thinks it’s hilarious and says he’s like the woman in the relationship now.

Here’s the video, just move it around to see the 360 degree views.




We relaxed at home for a little, responding to everyone’s messages after we posted the news and one of my life friends, Pauler facetimed me for a while which was nice. I can’t wait to celebrate with everybody.

Then we had dinner nearby, shared a steak and dessert and went home to sleep. Ryen had to work at 6am that morning and again the next morning so it was important for him to recover after such a long day.

The Big Ceremony

We’ll plan it sometime later. I don’t mind whether or not we have one, but my mum really wants a Hawaiian wedding and it’ll be nice for our families to meet for the first time. We’d want it to be very traditional Hawaiian with a Hawaiian minister and a luau with Hawaiian food, hopefully at a nice beach location.

At the end of it all, this experience was a great intimate one for us and relatively stress-free. You cut out all the bs and make it about you and your forever love, with the option of having a bigger celebration later down the line. I’d rather use the money to travel and show this Hawaiian what else is out there!

Mahalo for reading <3

How I Met the Love of My Life (in Hawaii)

one day someone will walk into your life and make you realise why it never worked out with anyone else

Here is our love story so far, told from my point of view with The Hawaiian’s story to come in a future post. We believe in sharing our experiences so that whoever needs to find inspiration or just some light entertainment might find it in our journeys.

September 2015

My girlfriends Anna, Stacy and I had only planned to stay for 5 days in Honolulu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village as we anticipated we’d need some R&R after partying non-stop across the USA and before getting back to Sydney and full-time jobs. Then when I handed in my 4 weeks resignation notice in early July 2015, I immediately extended my Hawaii trip to add 4 weeks because $400 was worth the extra time hanging out with my Grandma and family over there before heading back to reality and possibly job hunting in mid-October.

The view from our room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

The view from our room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

Stacy leads the way across the beach

Stacy leads the way across the beach

Honolulu with my ladies

Cruising round the island eating ice cream sandwiches

It was only in the last 2 weeks that I met him; Ryen the Hawaiian as I call him. He was my cousin’s bestfriend for the longest time and I had always heard about him from my family. My grandma likes him a lot and advised me to not judge him based on his looks, because he’s quite nice, he just talks a lot. I later found out that my cousin would tell him about me for the past 4 or 5 years that I’d been visiting Hawaii on a yearly basis to spend time with Grandma. He was in a relationship that whole time but this time, he had enough and wanted to call it quits. They had issues for the past 8 or 9 months and he was done with it all.

Meanwhile, I was loving life, including being single and travelling with my friends, partying in different cities and eating as much fried chicken and burgers as we could stand. I didn’t care to be in any sort of relationship, and it was about three and a half years since my last one but I was determined to stay solo until I found someone that I just knew would be the one to make me want to settle down.

So on the 21st Sept 2015, my cousin texted me to say his mate Ryen was down to go on an adventure but after his mum’s birthday dinner. It was already 10pm and I was tired, asking him if we can reschedule. He pushed for it, telling me that it’s probably the only night Ryen will have free to hang out, so I said “Fuck it, YOLO” and put some pants on when they told me they were outside the apartment.

I wore no make up, my hair was tied in a half ponytail on the very top of my head, I wore a Lion King t-shirt and ripped up jeans with Nike free runs. Ryen later tells me that he was so attracted to me and loved the natural look. I didn’t even try to dress up for him or plan to impress him in any way. I was just looking for an adventure. And little did I know, he was full of them.

I didn’t have any expectations of him, but as I told him later, my first impression of him was that he looked like a Puerto Rican thug. He’s not even Puerto Rican, my grandma told me he was. His shaved head, sleeve and neck tattoos, nose + lip + tongue piercings with a lifted and gifted Jeep, he was the total bad boy package.

We said hello and they handed me a beer; my cousin remembering that Blue Moon was my favourite and they got a 6-pack just for me, so sweet. I hopped in and didn’t ask where we were going because it didn’t really matter. I was down for whatever.

Stopping at a convenience store, he bought us large bottles of cold water and got extra napkins “for your va-jay-jay” he noted, since there weren’t any toilets where we were going. He also let out a huge fart before he shut the car door and went inside. I thought, this guy is nuts. His energy is too overwhelming for me right now, so I kept drinking to get on a similar buzz.

They like to blast reggae music and sing along loudly. It was mostly local Hawaiian artists, and they get shocked when I tell them I haven’t heard of the songs or the band. It’s not like they play it in Australia nor did I ever seek them out. It’s most appropriate for driving through the Hawaiian islands for sure, adding to the whole chilled out vibe that us Aussies love so much.

We stopped in front of an area that had blocked off four-wheel access to the off-road tracks. It was a place where the mountain meets the sea with a road in between. Parked in front of the boom gate and headlights on the road, we played some hip hop and my cousin and I started breaking on the gravel. I’m not a bgirl but I love toprocking; floorwork is too painful for me and I lack the upper body strength to support the moves. But we had fun and later Ryen tells me that he was so impressed with how I just got down, rocked out without caring about getting dirty or sweaty or messed up. I was just loving life and dancing under the stars on a road with the ocean on my left and the mountains on my right. It was magical for me.

We headed to the next stop and walked through a dark alley in a residential area to get to a beach. No one else was there since it was about 1am I think, and we brought the beers and sat in the sand, talking about life. I asked Ryen where his girl was at which prompted him to launch into a tirade of all the reasons he’s fed up with her. She sounded crazy and he seemed like he had tried so hard for so long to work on the relationship, but it drove him insane.

From the praises that my family had sung about him, that he was a good, honest person who worked very hard and so on, I just felt that he deserved better. I had a mission of sorts for the longest time, determined to meet people who had lost their confidence and were in situations where they clearly deserved better; I wanted to help them realise that they should gently let go and make room for bigger and better things. This happened to me so often so I had plenty of experience to draw from.

So, after he was done (it was about an hour, the Portagee as he refers to himself sometimes, can really talk. Grandma wasn’t kidding…) then I launched into my narrative. I told him from what I’ve seen in the few hours since I met him and based on what my family has had to say about him, that he deserves so much better. He should be with a grown woman who treats him like an absolute KING, and there are plenty out there. I never once thought I’d be talking about me though, since I wasn’t interested in him or attracted to him at this stage.

Based on the stories he told us, his ex was crazy, like batshit insane type. The kind who stalks you using your phone’s GPS and shows up to wherever you are; the kind who goes through all the numbers you call or text and contacts each one to find out who’s on the other end. Oh, but there’s more to this part of the story.

So we called it a night and I got home after dawn, exhausted and full of emotion. I felt for the guy. It wasn’t right, how he was being treated and how unhappy he was. I prayed that he would end the relationship and allow himself to find the right woman for me. Again, I did not think about me when I said that.

Because you deserve #peace. #positivity #motivation #inspiration.

A photo posted by Mz Trina (@mztrina8) on

After he ended things with her, he was very straightforward in his intentions with me. He told me he wanted to take me on a date and I made him get my family’s blessings first, mostly just to troll him and see if he’d actually do it. He did, with much enthusiasm. This is our conversation of that moment:

First FB Convo Kekai Katrina 8 First FB Convo Kekai Katrina 9

We continued hanging out, I introduced him to some delicious Filipino food and he got me to shoot some hoops at the YMCA.

It was a great balance and he would shamelessly flirt with me the whole time while I kept my distance. I guess I was used to being single for so long and I didn’t know how to react to someone who was so forward in terms of a relationship and not just a casual fling.

Straight away he would contact me to hang out, while dealing with his ex. She refused to accept the fact that they were over and continued her stalker ways. She of course found my number and my Facebook profile, sending me ridiculous accusations like “HOMEWRECKER!” and telling me that she’s his fiancée and do I enjoy hanging out with another woman’s man? I immediately deleted and blocked her stupid ass, trying to take the classier route and stopping myself from responding with comments like “yeah it’s fun hanging out with him, heard he dumped your ass like a week ago though, better update your Facebook status.” She called me nonstop for about an hour before I decided to block her.

Then he’d tell me about all these crazy incidents as soon as they happened almost every day.

One time, he left his apartment and noticed her following him so when he got to the freeway, he had enough and pulled over as did she. They argued about where he was going, her accusing him of going to see me (which he was) and how crazy she is to be camped outside his apartment, waiting for him to leave so she can stalk him.

There were two separate nights that she came into the apartment after she moved out but refused to give back the key (what a psycho!) One night, he was sleeping in his bed when he felt a presence in the room. He opened his eyes to see her lying on his bed in front of him, face to face, watching him as he slept. How crazy is that! He jumped up and told her to get out while she bumrushed him and tried to make him kiss her. She did the same another night after he dropped me home and her friends saw us out in a restaurant, texting her photos. She thought I’d be there but lucky for her I wasn’t. I am not afraid to bitch slap someone who was harassing my family (she was texting and calling my Auntie and Uncle and even they were scared that she was parked outside their apartment) because that really crossed the line.

From what I heard there were a lot of pleads for hugs and kisses, at one point a few weeks later she begged him to sleep with her one last time (obviously to try and get pregnant and emotionally blackmail him, but he was so disgusted and refused to even speak to her in the future unless he absolutely had to). Meanwhile, I was kicking back and enjoying my last few days on Oahu and spent the last few days (four days to be exact) with him.

What can I say, we connected from the get go. I gave them space to sort their shit out because drama was the last thing I wanted while I was cruising in paradise with no stresses in my life. I went back to Sydney for a few days before heading to Japan and Taiwan, all the while talking to The Hawaiian for hours every day. His drama continued for a few weeks and I was so over it and glad to be in another country while it was happening.

I don’t really hate on people now (though I used to drink a lotta haterade) because I just know the stress and energy in thinking about them isn’t worth it; I let karma do it’s job. It does it a hell of a lot better than any justice I think I can achieve so that frees me up to enjoy more of life. Ok, I did leave this message for her when she told The Hawaiian that she stalked my photos and thinks I’m ugly. I laughed when I heard this. This coming from someone who will wear makeup all the time, including concealer when she goes to bed. I’m really grateful that she spends so much time and energy looking at all my photos on social media, like she’s my #2 fan (after her ex that is) hahahahahaha.

Later meaning NEVER! Last night I heard a crazy bitch called me ugly, amongst other things. I laughed! I hadn’t heard that word in a long time, because I don’t use it at all. Beauty is more than a painted face, styled hair and a good selfie. But you don’t understand that. If you’re jealous of someone you think is super ugly, then what does that say about how you feel about yourself? I am way too busy loving myself and my life to worry about haters. I’m in Tokyo, Japan right now on my way to Disney Sea. I fucking love life! Thanks for thinking of me and checking up on me on social media though ✌ #peace #IDFWU #IDGAF #hatersgonnahate #haters #motivation #inspiration #love #laugh #dream #takerisks #takeaction #believe #bebrave #fuckhaters #lifeisbeautiful #adventures #blessed #life #lifeisgood #beauty #beautiful

A photo posted by Mz Trina (@mztrina8) on


Meanwhile, my bond with Ryen is strengthening and the more I get to know him, the more I realise that he is my ultimate dream man. Everything I’ve ever wanted and more in this island lover package just solidified my beliefs in things like The Law of Attraction and manifestation, in integrity and sticking to your morals and code of conduct for life. For those interested in what my wishlist included, it doesn’t really focus on specific physical aspects because they are so limiting. You have to find a balance between what you want and how broad you make it. But let me tell you something, wishes do come true.

One thing I made sure of when I was making this list was that I myself uphold all these values and offer the equivalent to that partner, so I’m not having double standards or being hypocritical. I had to own all of these before I could expect to find them in someone else, let alone deserve such a person.

My Ultimate Man Wish List

1. A Lover Like No Other

The best lover I could ever have. I’m not going to go into more detail but this is all about intimacy and being sexually compatible. We can’t keep our hands off each other; it’s wild, crazy, passionate love.

Ok, I will say there are vibrating tongue rings involved which is one of the firsts for me.

No time for mediocrity. 💕 #love #passion #quote

A photo posted by Mz Trina (@mztrina8) on



Integrity Definition


After all the sexual stuff comes the most important quality I look for in a partner. Along with integrity comes reliability, honesty, faithfulness, etc. It really summarises the key ingredients needed for a partnership to work.

Famous person reference = Harvey Specter (Suits). Ok he’s not real but I was drawn to his character.

Ryen has this down. He is just a pure soul with an honourable character and lives by a moral code which has shaped him into an incredible man today.

Adventurous & Energetic

Show me new things, new experiences, explore with me, open my mind and make the most out of the time we have here. Have so much energy you can outrun a Jack Russell and keep fit while you’re at it. Because I lead an active lifestyle and I can’t be with someone who would rather stay home than hang out and exercise with me in the gym or outdoors.

Like I’ve said in my previous post, The Hawaiian is like Mowgli from the Jungle Book. We started out by going on adventures that he would take the lead on, and this made my heart race like nothing else.

Bad Ass

I love the whole bad boy vibe with a twist. Someone wild but who’s mellowed out and has matured at this stage. I’m fascinated with bad boy stories and The Hawaiian and his brothers have a lot of great stories growing up that I would love to write about in the future. I don’t mean a dickhead or mentally disturbed. I couldn’t really define ‘bad boy’ until I met Ryen and saw he embodied it but for example he’s always respected women and was never the player type despite all the chicks throwing themselves at him. He just always wanted that one woman to settle down with and have a family with. That’s the type I’m talking about.

He’s a fighter but only for defensive reasons. I can’t remember a story where he was out looking to beat someone up without a good reason. A lot of the time he was defending a friend or brother or someone just picked on him because of how he looks. He’s still respectful but edgy at the same time. I do love feeling safe with him, knowing he can defend us if he ever needed to.

Treats Me Like A Queen

First you gotta be a Queen and I mean really love yourself and pursue your goals and take care of you and your family. When you lift yourself up this way, then your standards for how you are treated are justifiable raised. Treat yourself like a Queen and don’t settle for anyone who treats you less. I learned this the hard way but stayed single for 3.5 years until I found The Hawaiian who treats me like an absolute Goddess.

How? He massages me whenever I want which is daily. I have a lot of aches and pains from sitting at a computer for so many years and he loves touching me so it’s a win-win. He does all the chivalrous things like opening doors, making sure I’m always comfortable, giving me piggybacks when my feet hurt, etc. He really pampers me. He treats me with a lot of respect, puts me before anything or anyone else (alongside his immediate family) and lets everyone know he is off the market and tells our love story to complete strangers a lot of the time.

Ha! #Yeezy #selflove #quote #1

A photo posted by Mz Trina (@mztrina8) on

Excellent Communicator

This is rarely given the focus it deserves in relationships, yet it is can be one of the main reasons why they are successful or not. Especially in a long-distance situation, communication becomes more delicate and essential to keeping everyone reassured and happy. He constantly reassures me with the most open and honest conversations about all sorts of things that would otherwise create pressure and misunderstandings. Without me ever asking him to, he tells me his itinerary for that day or the following day, lets me know who he’s meeting and the conversations they have, how long it will be until he gets time to video call me and keeps me posted by sending regular updates during the day.

I wasn’t used to all this but I realise how much I appreciate it and how it’s made our relationship across borders so easy and simple. He’ll usually introduce me via video chat to whoever he’s with, sends me photos all the time for updates (though a lot are just dick pics or selfies but I enjoy those too). It’s less about disproving any wrongdoing and more about sharing our days with each other.

Family Guy

How he treats his mother shows a lot about his character. I wanted someone who is close with their family and prioritises them, respects their parents for everything they’ve done for them whether good or bad, and wants their own family someday.

His dad left their family when he was young and he has vowed to never desert his family, ever. Once he’s made up his mind about a woman being his wife, he will stick it out till the end. I remember a friend of mine mentioned he went through a tough break up and he just wanted to find someone and stick with her, forgive her for any indiscretions and make it work until he dies. I thought, wow I want to find a man like that too! And then I did several months later.

Treats Others With Kindness & Respect

I can’t stand people who treat strangers like shit because they think they’re beneath them. I saw too many high brow douches in the banking world and it’s such a turn off. The Hawaiian will ‘talk story’ with anyone and a lot of the times, he’s too generous with his time and effort that people take advantage of him (a lot of them woman who want the D) so he’s learned to go the other way and protect himself from being treated that way. He’s a real empath.


Who really wants to be with someone who has no goals for themselves? I’m an ambitious person and I need someone on a similar wavelength. Keep pushing yourself to be better and make a better life for yourself. Success doesn’t mean money and material things, but the quality of your life and how much freedom you have to pursue the things you love.

It’s cool that he runs his own business and hustles hard. I admire that and feel that I can provide a lot of value in helping him with this. It strengthens our bond and we get to see each other in the zone.

Good Vibes & Laughter

No one wants to be with a negative nelly and being a realist optimist, I find it very difficult to spend 5 minutes talking to an emotional vampire or self-proclaimed victim of external sources. I just want someone who’s always about hakuna matata and doesn’t take themselves so seriously.

For example, here’s The Hawaiian in a Ninja Turtle costume on his snakeboard outside a shopping centre.

Im told I'm craaaazy, I'm random , I'm spontaneous …. But the truth is I just love who I am… #take the lead never follow…

Posted by Kekai Isip on Wednesday, October 28, 2015


For those yet to find theirs…

I hope you find yours if you haven’t already. Just remember to…

  • Celebrate love, don’t be jealous of it
  • Be worthy of it and believe you’re worthy of it
  • Love yourself, I mean really appreciate who you are and what you have to offer
  • Gain clarity in the sort of partner you want but keep it broad with qualities more than material or physical aspects
  • Work towards your goals and work on yourself
  • Be good to others but cut out those who don’t deserve it
  • Let go of the negativity and drama in your life

With love and light,

– Katrina

How I Quit My Job: My Detailed Escape Plan and Journey to Freedom

The secret of happiness is freedom

One Monday morning, I walked into work, took my manager aside and said to him, “I would rather sell my body than work for our bosses any longer.”

I can be pretty dramatic but this time I was pushed to my absolute limits. Rage had been building up inside of me for the last 12 months and I was DONE. I figured that people willing to pay me to use my body valued me more than the company and the senior management did. Luckily, I was very close to my manager who had really fought hard for me that I felt bad for him having to be the one who mediates the issues that came up.

At first I wrote a few drafts of a post about WHY I quit rather than how, but it just became a big rant and I was over ranting about it. To summarise, why else would you be pushed to leave a job without having a solid plan in place? Shitty management, non-alignment with the company, tired of the politics and so on. Nevermind that I had stuck it out for 8 years thinking loyalty was something they would favour.

NEWSFLASH: they don’t give a shit.

You’re always going to be replaceable.

I was tired of the hypocrisy. My flexi-work time was removed because they wanted me in at work at 9am when they rarely showed up at that time. I was denied from attending professional events that were held by a supplier that I was the vendor relationship manager of. I was left out of meetings where they presented my work and I don’t know if they gave me credit for it (probably not). The final straw was being bullied and not having any higher level support as well as HR support because they took the other person’s side who convinced them I was the troublemaker.

This happens too often in the corporate world and I want to share my experiences so that others might realise that they shouldn’t put up with being treated like shit because life is too damn short and too damn precious for that.

I decided to finally stand up for myself.

So, now for those who are interested in making a change, whether it’s a new career or a new lifestyle altogether, here is EXACTLY how I planned my escape, although I didn’t have much of a plan of what I would do after. I was just going to go with my gut and follow my bliss… and guess what? It was the best thing I’ve ever done.

I didn’t set a date for when I would quit, but on 1 January 2015, my sole goal in life was to quit my job within that year. So here goes:

set a goal

5 years prior

Getting my mindset on the right track

I thought about leaving the corporate world completely, just to start my business and/or travel. I was scared and talked a lot about it, read a lot of articles and started learning about other people’s journeys to freedom. I devoured case studies and thought-provoking blogs until I started believing it was possible for me.

4 years prior

Started gaining clarity about what I want and don’t want

decide what you want

I began by reviewing my life and what I actually wanted. There are many exercises you can do that I’ve discovered from people who are now living their ideal life, and the best was actually just doing whatever I really wanted to do and be the best as I possibly could at it. It took me a very long time to start (about 3 years actually) but I finally got there – I’m talking about writing and decluttering. Simple.

3 years prior

Started exploring alternative options

This was as simple as applying for many jobs that I would actually want to do, rather than just for money. The experience was great since there was no pressure to find a job, and it helped build my interviewing skills and self-confidence since I turned down job offers for various reasons (location, money, size of the company, growth opportunities, etc)

2 years prior

Addressed my worst case scenarios

This is a simpler approach and more specific than addressing your fears. For example, your fear could be that you can’t find a job that makes as much money as you are now, or in the industry that you want or that will cover your bills each month etc; but maybe the worst case scenario that you can think of is that you have to get a minimum wage job.

My worst case scenario for the longest time was that I would have to sell my body to get by. I’m not sure why I believed this, but my mind is pretty messed up. Everyone I told about this just laughed and told me it didn’t even have to be an option. I could easily get a minimum wage job and still have enough left over after paying all my bills if I moved back home.

My actual worst case scenario was that I would move back home, cut all my spending then look for a job, any job that will take me that doesn’t involve taking my clothes off. Once I realised this, the worst case didn’t sound so bad. It sounded pretty fun and it was pretty close to what I did in the end.

worst case scenario

Networked with entrepreneurs and small business owners

I went to events like The Entrepreneurs’ Unconvention, MeetUp group nights for Sydney entrepreneurs, joined my accountant’s MasterMind group, attended more industry events and said YES to every invite to anything related to entrepreneurs.

1 year prior

Became obsessed with my finances

I sort of wish that I had moved back home sooner and saved $2000 per month on rent, bills and groceries. But the idea of commuting was not appealing so I weighed the pros and cons and decided that I preferred the convenience of living within walking distance to work.

I would scrutinise my spending, then calculated that I would only need $1500 per month to survive on and realised that was manageable. That’s about $50 per day. When you start putting things into a different perspective, you begin to reassure yourself of the possibilities.

I saved $6000 by the time I quit as my absolute backup money in case I don’t get any income for 4 months so it’s up to you how big you want your safety net to be. If it’s a higher amount, then it’ll take longer to save up and this could actually demoralise you from being comfortable enough with quitting and you could keep procrastinating on making the leap.

warren buffet save money quote

6 months prior

Started writing down at least 10 ideas each week on ways I could make money

When you make it a habit to get creative and explore alternatives to working at your current job, you open up a whole new way of thinking. You refine the things you are more interested in and seem like less effort. Life doesn’t have to be shitty and it doesn’t have to be hard. This is really key to getting unstuck. It’s all in the mindset.

make money challenge accepted

I came up with things like

  1. Apply for 10 jobs a day
  2. Become a freelance digital marketing consultant
  3. Become a freelance writer
  4. Blogging about my expertise (digital, marketing) and interests (dancing, personal development)
  5. Sell stuff online (eBay, my own e-Commerce website, etsy etc)
  6. Build websites and do online marketing for local small businesses
  7. Partner up with someone to help with their business
  8. Go full time on my dance studio and expand it
  9. Teach dance classes and workshops
  10. Hold dancing-related events

4 months prior

Refined and took action on 2-3 ideas

I started telling my close friends about my plans to quit my job and start freelance consulting while writing on the side. They all supported me which helped give me good energy to keep on this path, while they would also always try to think of ways they could help – like putting me in contact with people who might want to hire me or work with me.

Then I decided to just have 2 clients and focus on building success with them while I make time to write and recharge my batteries.

3 months prior

I booked my Dirty 30 trip across the USA

This trip will have a series of posts dedicated to it because of how much we got up to and especially about how I met the love of my life in Hawaii. Remember at this point, I didn’t know how soon I was going to quit my job, but my Dirty 30 trip was non-negotiable. It was almost not approved, but my manager fought for me and I was so grateful to him.

2 months prior

Started writing

I started writing, but only got to one blog post. It was ironic because I wrote about how to overcome self-doubt which I constantly have to deal with, but then my self-doubt about my writing stops me from publishing posts consistently. I’m still trying to find the courage to blog and the support has been amazing from the post prior to this.

1 month prior

Started decluttering

I visited my parents each weekend to go through my old things that I could declutter in my new journey to minimalism. I was only focused on the things I could throw or donate. I knew later I would then focus on what I wanted to sell or keep. It really simplified the process for me even though most general advice would tell you to categorise everything into sell/donate/throw/keep. Find what works best for you.

1 day prior

Gave my landlord 4 weeks notice of moving out of my apartment

It was a Sunday in early July 2015 and after months of waking up every morning and lying in bed for about an hour thinking about how much I hated my life, I decided enough was enough.


I couldn’t wait until the end of the year when things would slow down at work.
I couldn’t wait until February the following year after my bonus was paid out.
I couldn’t wait until 2 years time when I’d reach my 10-year tenure and get my long service leave.

I was finally going to stand up for myself and what I believed I deserved – a better life, surrounded by people who respect me and support me.

So I called my landlord and gave notice, then called my parents letting them know my plans of moving back (I’m so blessed they always give me this option) and booked removalists for the bank holiday weekend.

On the day

Handed in my resignation


Had it printed out, came to work just after 9am and spoke to my manager for a good half hour. He was very supportive and knew it was coming, just not sure when. I had given him a heads up months ago about wanting to quit that year, so we worked together on a succession plan. Again, I can’t thank him enough for everything he did for me.

Texted my parents, my close friends and colleagues

I told my family and a few close friends who knew about my plans and they were all so happy for me. I was dancing around the office, meeting people for coffee and sharing my excitement.

Extended my Hawaii stay for another 4 weeks

After getting the OK from my Auntie in Honolulu to stay with her for as long as I like, I decided an extra 4 weeks would be enough to add to the 5 days we had booked there and was worth the additional $400 and change from a Qantas to a Jetstar flight.

Added a road trip to Melbourne with my parents for the start of my Dirty 30 trip

They were down to yolo with me since I was going to be gone for 2 months.

Celebrated with some fried chicken for dinner

I can’t remember who I was with but it was glorious. I guess I got pretty drunk that night.

I’m in heaven #korean #friedchicken #foodporn

A photo posted by Mz Trina (@mztrina8) on


My mood had changed, my outlook on life was more positive. I was constantly feeling great and danced every morning before heading to work, which meant I arrived after 9am but guess what, I didn’t care. I still put in good work, did a decent handover and stayed respectful.

There were farewells happening every day in the last 3 weeks, then my final week was only 4 days thanks to the bank holiday and I departed on my 8-year anniversary with the company. To think that I started as a bright-eyed 21 year old who was hired as the second digital (back then we called it online, or ecommerce) person in the company after my boss, and finally heading onto a new adventure was extremely bittersweet.

#courage #bebrave #wisdom #inspiration

A photo posted by Mz Trina (@mztrina8) on

In the 7 months since that last day, I:

  • travelled for 3 months through Sydney > Melbourne > LA > Vegas > LA > Chicago > New York > Hawaii > Sydney > Melbourne > Tokyo > Taiwan > Tokyo > Melbourne > Sydney
  • met the love of my life in Hawaii who came to visit me over Christmas and New Years holidays and we have talked everyday since we met
  • started an eBay store which has become my main obsession and sold just under 200 items in the first 3 months becoming a PowerSeller and Top Rated Seller
  • began blogging again about my adventures and how I’m still jobless and loving it, hoping to inspire others in similar situations.

My Monday To Do list in Melbourne. #yolo #gym #bacon #sleep #todolist

A photo posted by Mz Trina (@mztrina8) on

Now I truly believe that anything you could want is possible. All it takes is getting your mindset right, gaining clarity and having plans for your worst case scenarios. I welcome you to reach out to me if you have more specific questions about this journey and look forward to supporting you on yours.

With love and light,


6 Months Jobless & Why I’m Loving It

whatever's good for your soul

It’s actually almost 7 months that I left my corporate job of 8 years for a #yolo lifestyle and I don’t regret a thing. I catch up with friends who wonder how I’m able to sustain a job-free existence and travel. That’s a whole other blog post but the summary is I planned, saved money and let go of my fears. The process was about 5 years or so since I told myself I needed to leave my job and see what else is out there.

I went through some pretty traumatic stuff at work and I realised that it was just pushing me onto better things. So after my last day, I headed on a 3-month trip that started out as a 4-week Dirty 30 bash, expanded my life experiences across 8 cities and met the love of my life in Hawaii.

Refreshed and back in Sydney sometime mid-November, I kicked back and hung out at the beach, caught up with friends and continued my decluttering obsession by posting my first items on eBay on 1 Dec.

Clothes, shoes, accessories, books, DVDs and so on – my goal was to sell 1000 things in one year. I had way too much stuff, and travelling with a 15kg suitcase for 3 months just confirmed that I had 1000x more items that I actually needed. I had never done a big clean before so this was an epic task that included my family’s things also.

I used to spend hours shopping online and that habit evolved into looking for things that I use and can get cheaper if I buy in bulk and sell the rest. So I added makeup items to my eBay store, one product at a time. I got the hang of the packaging and shipping and now I’m running a pretty successful eBay store, achieving PowerSeller in just 2 months and on my way to being a Top Seller in 3 months.

eBay Powerseller

I realised that my background in digital and marketing meant that selling items online was a piece of cake for me. I work from home, I walk to the post office every day and get my daily quota of exercise, and have plenty of time to do other things, most of which involves talking to my boyfriend “Ryen the Hawaiian” or just “The Hawaiian” as I like to call him. I don’t really see the need to get a job now, maybe ever.

In about 3 weeks time, I’ll be heading to Hawaii for 6 months, spending time with my love and helping him with his business, selling things at the markets and generally exploring the island and writing about it.

The Hawaiian fascinates me with his life stories, his passion for the local culture and his randomness. I find myself wanting to share parts of our daily 3-5 hour conversations and our relationship in general. He reminds me of Mowgli from The Jungle Book, or Tarzan in his loin-cloth attire with his island-living ways.

😍 @umop_n #mcm #Hawaiianbabe #mylove #snakeboard #oahu #hawaii

A photo posted by Mz Trina (@mztrina8) on

I remind myself that if I hadn’t taken the risk to quit my job and extend my Hawaii trip from one week to five weeks, that I may never have met him and be in this constant state of bliss despite the long-distance relationship challenges we face time to time.

My spiritual journey has taken to a whole new level with my new obsession with Abraham Hicks for those who are aware of them, and it’s helped me keep a state of calm and focus on manifestation.

When I quit my job, I didn’t really have an idea of what was next. I was going to enjoy myself and do things I craved – exploring, creating, LIVING. And it’s worked out so well for me that I’ve become addicted to this lifestyle. #followyourbliss


The Declutter Series Part 2 – eBay Selling Tips

1000 things store header screenshot

Almost 5 months ago, I published my first “Declutter” series post and updated that for a few months afterwards. Then I decided to quit my job in August and ended up travelling overseas for 3 months. One of the things I realised while living for a quarter of a year with just a small suitcase and backpack (with a total of just 18kg), is that I don’t really need too much stuff. Even then, I only wore half the things I brought with me and just did laundry two or three times a week.

Coming home to a multitude of unpacked boxes and bags in my bedroom and the storage sheds, I was overwhelmed. Travelling gives you such a great different perspective on life – especially as Tokyo, Japan was my last stop. I learned a lot about minimalism and the use of small spaces: being compact. I read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” by Marie Kondo (or rather, listened to the audio book) and “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” by Greg McKeown. I watched even more Hoarders shows on YouTube and read a lot of “minimalist” blogs like Zen Habits.

I have a lot of stuff. At least 200 pairs of shoes, and more clothes than I can wear in a lifetime. It was over 2 years ago (12 Aug 2013 to be exact) that I registered the domain 1000things.com.au and decided that was what I was going to use to sell at least 1000 of my things. I told one friend and he thought it was great. Then life got in the way and my idea was pushed to the side.

Finally, after some back and forth, creating my own website then disregarding it after 4 weeks in favour of an eBay basic store and I’m up and running. I have no idea how to sell on eBay and just start to experiment. I tweak my listings constantly and thanks to my marketing background, I realise that I already have an idea of how to sell. From what I’ve read, there have been a lot of changes to eBay to make it easier and more affordable (i.e. less fees) for the average person to purge their things. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

1. Prep the clothes

I’m surprised at what things sell over those that don’t; an old Supre knit dress, work tops and skirts I wore weekly and don’t think I’ll need anymore. You just never know what other people will pay for, so if it’s not ripped, stained and in reasonable condition, it’ll most likely sell eventually, if you prep the clothes.

  • Wash the clothes if they’re musty and/or have stains
  • Use a fabric freshener if they don’t need a full wash
  • Iron out any super wrinkled stuff

2. Take great pictures

Lighting, angles and close ups

eBay used to charge you for photos after the first one was free, but now you have 12 free photo spots, but I find that 3 is enough, my average is 4 for clothes to get angles, close ups, hanging versions and mannequin shots. So get a lot of good natural lighting and frame it well. I just use my phone camera and transfer via the eBay mobile app.

20151206_142500 20151206_142507 20151206_142521 20151206_142535 20151206_142629


Mannequins (good if you can get ’em)

3 in my family are fashion heads and somehow got a bunch of mannequins that live in our house. So I’m lucky enough to use these to model my clothes since they are a size 6 and most of my clothes are size 6-8. It was very interesting dressing and undressing this mannequin; I felt like a pervert at first then got over it. What is wrong with my mind? Here’s how I would typically undress it:


Look at the difference in photos below; someone bid on the item a few hours after I uploaded the new mannequin version:

1000 Things Australia eBay Shot - Before


1000 Things Australia eBay Shot - After


3. Give detailed descriptions

I tell a little story for most pieces whether or not I’ve worn them; “I bought this in Hawaii but realised I have 6 other white summer dresses so it has to go…” to “An impulse purchase in Japan while hungover and excited by the uniqueness of their fashion lines…” or even “this would look great with a white blazer and black pencil skirt for work…” means that it takes longer for each listing, but it’s sort of my little ‘thank you and goodbye’ to each item, which is a concept that Kondo’s book introduced to me.

You don’t have to do this but at least answer questions upfront like:

  • Are there any defects i.e. rips or stains?
  • Why are you selling it? (Some people get sus and think something’s wrong with it)

I tell my story in every item description, about how I quit my job to travel the world, then fell in love in Hawaii (another whole series of posts to come) and came back determined to spring-clean my life.

4. Price it based on demand

This will take longer if you want to get the best price since you’ll be researching average selling prices on eBay, easily done with the ‘sold’ listings you can browse through. I usually don’t bother with this because I have an idea of what I’m willing to sell the items for.

Pre-owned (used and good condition)

Usually the cheaper items I put through auction with eBay postage costs for $7.15 and minimum prices from $0.99 to $2.99. These are the clothes I would’ve donated but for some reason, people will still buy them for a good bargain, and it’s good to try and raise your positive feedback score. For items I’ve used once or twice, I will price them higher, around $10.

New without tags

These I’ll price from $10-$30 for clothing, $5-$25 for DVDs (based on single or season packs), and just wing it for other items.

Brand new

I will price these at the same retail price or just above the lowest price on eBay. It amazes me how people can buy something on the retailer website for the same price but still buy my item.

5. Simplify postage

This was the most confusing thing for me at first, then I realised how much they’ve streamlined postage in the past few years. If you have several items, you’re best off ordering the eBay flat rate satchels in 500g and/or 3kg from the Australia Post website and keeping shipping to Australia only. Also give the option of pick up if you’re in a relatively accessible area and don’t mind meeting with people. I have given this option but I realised I can’t be bothered coordinating meet ups with people so I’d rather stick to postage.

6. Have fun, gamify it

For me it’s a win-win-win situation. I’ve been obsessed with trying to declutter for the past few years and now I can focus on it. I want to practice more direct selling which I didn’t get to do in my job, and understand the process while gaining experience with eCommerce. Then there’s the money part, which can grow based on how smart you get with the whole eBay selling concept.

I make a game out of it, to see how much stuff I can get rid off. It’s a big relief when you can clear out space in your house and get rid of that storage unit you’ve been spending money on or taking space in your dad’s garden shed/man cave like I have been.

So if you want to shop for a few cool things, check out my store 1000 Things Australia on eBay.