Local travel can bring many benefits. Last Friday, I attended my local Maroondah City Council International Women’s Day Breakfast. It is an annual event where local women gather to share a meal, stories and friendship. This year, I was lucky to listen to guest speaker Meredith Gaston. Meredith is an acclaimed artist, best-selling author and passionate wellness advocate. During her time onstage, and over a delicious vegan breakfast, Meredith spoke to the topic of wellbeing and creativity in daily life.
Not only were there many take-out points from Meredith’s speech, there were delicious plant-based menu items to sample. From Meredith’s book, The Art of Wellbeing, three recipes were replicated for breakfast guests – The Greenlover Smoothie, Sweet Potato Brownie and Little Lemon and Coconut Bliss Balls. All three breakfast items were vegan and (luckily for me) glute-free.
While breakfast was a nourishing a delightful affair, it was Meredith who stole the show with her take on wellbeing. What does this have to do with travel do you ask? Well, travelling locally to this event underscored the fact that for our travels to have the most impact, we should consider travelling at a local level. This is what Meredith does best and travel is a crucial way (for me, anyway) that we can all echo some of her thoughts. I am going to decipher Meredith’s points from the perspective of travelling the vegan road.
Meredith was keen to share her story, and underscored the fact that we all have powerful stories to share. It’s the stories that help us learn more about travelling the vegan road. In particular, we can learn from the female role-models in our lives as well as those who we welcome in our lives briefly.
Vegan women travellers also have a skill that can be shared – being passionate wellness advocates. The key here is to understand how we can bring wellness into our everyday lives. For me, this involves travelling regularly when I can (local, interstate, international), eating a vegan diet and getting the rest and relaxation my body needs. This is what Meredith refers to as the balance of the mind, body and spirit. We can balance these three crucial components of ourselves by practising sell care, the act of giving and contributing, and choosing joy regularly.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to put ourselves first and this looks different to each woman depending on her circumstances. Meredith believes we should be putting ourselves first on our to-do lists, so we can love ourselves, care for ourselves and nourish ourselves; “fill our cups” as Meredith said. Then we can be sure that we can be the example to others – be lighthouses for one another.
I have found in my own life that rest and relaxation are important, necessities, for my wellbeing, to ensure that my productivity and its quality can be realised. Even just the simple act of getting out in nature helps with this. Travel helps us all to do this, as we are making a true connection with our earth. Hiking, going out for a relaxing meal, or even a nap or proper sleep helps our wellbeing. As Meredith revealed, sleep deprivation is a global issue currently and we can’t “run on an empty tank”. Choosing a “happy and healthy diet that’s spiritually nourishing and energising” is another big tick.
In closing, there were three final points from Meredith which resonated with me and I’m sure you’ll find them helpful, too:
- Wellbeing is the whole picture
- Don’t be concerned with perfection
- Start the day with a full glass of water, stretch into the body and eat a nutritious breakfast
So, how do you find wellbeing for yourself and how do you incorporate travel into your life? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
You can learn more about Meredith Gaston and her book The Art of Wellbeing at her website. You can also follow Meredith on Facebook and Instagram.
Disclaimer: Justine de Jonge did not receive payments or concessions for the views expressed in this blog post. Entrance fees were paid for in full.