Live Like A Local: Sydney’s Kaja Troa

The yoga teacher, Reiki healer and senior museum officer shares her life well-lived in Sydney

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“It consistently and instantly gets me out of my head and grounded. I tap back into my inner calm and always get aligned with my higher self. To put it simply, it makes me feel empowered and like a goddess – a goddess can handle anything,” says Kaja Troa of how yoga has helped her to overcome the challenges that life often brings.

She’s spent the last 25 years practicing yoga, and seven of those years sharing her love of the practice with others as a yoga teacher.

It’s been Kaja’s way of handling big curve balls thrown her way – including being married then divorced – and she credits yoga with helping her navigate her way through it. “With every breakdown is a breakthrough. I believe love is the most powerful force of the universe so to be able to experience true love and even heartbreak is a gift,” she says. “Rather than reacting to life’s challenges, I’m more equipped to respond with ease and grace,” she explains of her daily practice.

The duality of Kaja’s life is apparent through her opposite career choices – she teaches yoga at Yoga By The Sea Australia in Sydney’s Bondi, and also works as a senior museum officer at the Reserve Bank of Australia Museum. It’s an interesting mix, and one that Kaja says she fell into after changing tact from her previous acting career. “I started working at the concierge at the museum, and found it was stable and easy work, so decided to commit to 500 hours yoga teacher training on Sydney’s northern beaches in my spare time,” she says.

“The ethos of the yoga school I attended was ‘finding balance in a busy world’, which was fitting as with most international yoga training it’s hard to integrate yourself back into ‘normal life’ afterwards. I wanted to bring yoga into the corporate world, as there is a strong need for it on every level. I loved working at the bank – its cultures and values – so my manager suggested I apply for the senior museum officer role.”

Her previous experience in the acting industry helped Kaja nail the interview and she got the job. At the same time, Kaja had been clocking up her 500 hours teaching yoga, and had already secured a job with Yoga By The Sea teaching sunrise and sunset yoga before receiving her certificate seven years ago.  “To teach yoga classes amongst the beauty of nature (and sometimes curious whales, dolphins and marine life) is really living the dream,” she says.

Kaja Troa, Picture / Supplied

It’s an interesting mix, sure, but Kaja is grateful for the multiplicity of her 9 to 5. “Earning a living by doing what you are passionate about is a gift.”

Sydney’s Reserve Bank of Australia Museum often flies under many people’s radar when visiting the cosmopolitan city, Kaja says, but adds there are many reasons to check it out. “The Museum tells the story of Australia’s banknotes against the background of the nation’s economic and social development, from colonial settlement through to the current era. A banknote is not just a monetary value, it’s a work of art, design and history,” Kaja says.

The Sydney lifestyle suits Kaja down to the ground. The outdoorsy type is most at ease in nature, and loves living close to the water. “Where else in the world can you leave the city, a suit and tie, and go for a surf in under 10 minutes?” she says.

When she’s not soaking up the beauty of her surrounding neighbourhood, Kaja embraces the multiculturalism of the city she calls home, especially when it comes to food. “We are a city of diversity, so if you are a foodie like me then you’ll be spoilt for choice with the wide variety of restaurants and cuisine.

Discover the best of Sydney’s gastronomic offerings according to Kaja below.  

DINE LIKE A LOCAL

  • Icebergs Dining Room in Bondi is great for the fine dining element and its stunning location. I love the freshly shucked oysters, and the the ‘Gamberetti’ which is lightly dusted local shrimp.
  • Hugo’s Manly is the best place to take in the sunset over Sydney city, and serves up award-winning pizzas. I always order the gluten-free chilli prawn and mushroom pizza and a margarita (or two).
  • Sake – The Rocks is a sexy vibe and the service, atmosphere and quality of the food is superb. It’s Japanese cuisine at its best. If you’re into dessert try the Dragon Egg – it’s truly something else.
  • The Well in Bondi Beach serves up organic, locally grown fare on their nourishing menu. My pick is the gluten-free smashed avo with a green juice. 

DISCOVER SYDNEY’S HIDDEN GEMS

  • The Manly to Spit walk and Bondi to Coogee Walk (which are not so hidden)
  • Be sure to visit Wendy Whitely Gardens – just behind Luna Park
  • Manly has some great little hidden Bars like the Boatshed, Boathouse, Ivanhoe, Rooftop Bar at The Steyne, and The Hold, which makes you feel like you are inside a Pirate Ship and the cocktails are insane.
  • Check out The Glebe and Bondi weekend markets.
  • Take a Kayak and picnic to Store Beach in Manly
  • The 3 Olives Greek Restaurant in Newtown is an authentic home-style cooked Greek food at its best and nicely priced. The Yia Yia even comes out to great you from the Kitchen.

Winging your way to Sydney is even easier with Virgin Australia. Every all-inclusive Virgin Australia flight across the Tasman includes a tasty meal and drink to keep your energy levels until the wheels hit the tarmac. During your flight, enjoy Virgin Australia’s in-flight entertainment menu, accessible on your own device. If you can’t face the thought of being without a WiFi connection while cruising at 30,000ft, you’ll be delighted to note Virgin Australia offers 15-minutes of free WiFi available on selected aircraft.

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