“Melbourne is busy!” I had been living in Melbourne for only a few months and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Before I flew into Melbourne as a teenager, I had been living in a small, outback town. The nearest capital city was an eight-hour drive away and that city, Perth, has the reputation as being the most isolated capital in the world. The gold-mining town I was living in, Mount Magnet, was only populated by about a thousand people. Time slipped away slowly - there were less than ten kids in most of my classes at school and weekends were spent wandering the dusty desert backstreets or taking the four-wheeled drive out to secret picnic spots.
I decided to catapult myself from this sleepy country town existence into a fast-paced city-kid life filled with back-to-back school schedules, traffic jams and that general motivation to be active. That’s when I was told by my step-mum that Melbourne was in fact “busy” and I felt committed to that. What I didn’t realise was that I had arrived into a energetic lifestyle of being pulled into a million directions.
That’s when, on summer school holidays, we would travel to our regular camping spot beside a lake. We would spend long, balmy days swimming, sunbathing and water-skiing. Nights slowly led to bed-time in a caravan or tent, but not before eating campfire dinners on our laps. I would rug up in a cosy jacket by a crackling fire to sip piping hot mugs of sweet tea and dive into lengthy chats with my family. There was no TV or phone to distract me and no alarm to wake me at some outrageously early hour the next morning. No one was telling me when to go to bed either.
Those childhood days spent travelling were adventurous and fun. At the time, I didn’t realise that those days of early travel were teaching me a valuable lesson in self-care. Those days spent in Nagambie were giving me the time and environment in which to relax and rejuvenate. Water-skiing was also helping me maintain my focus and the chance to throw myself into more activities I loved. School, part-time jobs and household responsibilities were all left purposefully in Melbourne. Eventually, my days in Nagambie would dwindle down to when we needed to drive back home. Among dreary hours sitting in the backseat made me wonder if I was already home. My mind was calmed, my body felt energised and I felt a burning sense of motivation for the school year ahead.
Travel has since been a constant necessity in my life to help me:
- Stop or minimise the ‘busy’ and ‘overwhelm’
- Rest, rejuvenate and nourish my mind and body
- Express myself more through those seasonal activities I love
- Educate myself about my world in a new environment or destination
- Be surrounded by the goodness that nature can provide
At those moments in life when I need to find my way back home, I can find it through travel.
How about you? I’d love for you to share your story on how you benefit from travel in your life. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.