It’s quite lovely in Holland at the moment.
The colours outside are turning Orange and Yellow.
When I catch the wind doing its thing and blowing outside my window I can watch the leaves as they are falling.
There are glorious layers of coloured leaves covering the ground everywhere I look. Continue Reading
There are a lot of things I know about myself and still a lot that I’m figuring out as I go.
I am a bit of a journey(wo)man. I love the journey.
The day I hiked to the summit of Mulhacén, the peak of that hike wasn’t reaching the top.
It was the wonder of gazing across open valleys as the sun rose, the hikers I met on the trail, the mountain goat who showed me that way across the river, the satisfaction of doing it on my own and the pushing through when it got tough.
The summit – that was just the candy. I only spent 10 minutes up there between the cramping and the freezing cold wind. I wanted to get back to the the 9hr and 50mins I would spent on the trail that day.
The journey isn’t always lovely, nope – sometimes it’s hard, uncomfortable and it can hurt.
But when the good stuff happens – the moments you notice, the love you feel, the strength you dig into that’s yours that you built, the truths that reveal themselves, the stuff you make, the people who make everything meaningful – that’s the sweet stuff.
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~ Dorothy Parker
As I write a book about my travels and the journey towards that decision I’m writing this weekly journal alongside it.
I suppose it would be normal then that the themes will overlap here as I look to my daily life for examples of the ideas I’m thinking about and exploring in writing.
My life makes sense to me when I see it through a bunch of connected stories.
‘I’m bored’ whined Lucas yesterday. ‘That is so brilliant’ I tell him. ‘That means you need to go and make something or think about what you’d like learn about or play with. Ask yourself Louie what you want to make?’ I challenge him.
The Travelodge left us yesterday. In the same way she arrived, she slipped out with Greg in the driver’s seat and Tommy as the co-pilot. While I did make my way downstairs to take this snap I wondered if I should have made more fuss, said goodbye with a bit of fanfare. But then, I’m not really the kind for goodbyes and fanfare. I’d rather slip out the side door too and I’m quite seasoned with letting go. We’ve living in ‘chapter Holland’ now and we’ll have a lifetime of wonderful memories and stories to share, that’s enough.
“As instinctively as the swallows, I have always known the time to go to a place and the time to leave”. Juliette de Bairacli Levy
I’m a bit obsessed with swallows at the moment. Throughout my whole life I’ve had a reoccurring dream of flying. In my dream I can fly. Mostly I fly freely but I can control the flight if I need to slow down, speed up, go higher and I can bring myself down safely. It seems a little swallow like doesn’t it. They fly high, following the seasons as they travel great distances. Yet, they always know when to come home.
It feels like we are home. One day the camper was home and the next day we step into this home. Ready and of course a little excited. I do understand to a lot of people that moving across the world must seem like a giant step. To me it feels like the next step that followed on from the previous step and the one before that. I’m not sure how to do justice to explaining that. Maybe like Jimmy as he learns to write his name. One day he’ll write his name and he’ll feel elated and then he’ll simply get on with learning to write another letter beyond the J.i.m.m.y needed for his name. I move in a forward motion and for me because of my character or is it DNA (I’m not sure, my cousins say it is) I often build new nests. That’s not usually the tricky bit for me.
What the heck has happened here? It feels like Mount Inspiration the volcano has erupted. The lava is spilling and spurting, it’s in free flow. I can stop the lava, the words. There are stories at every turn, in every conversation, the words are forming sentences in my head as I run, they invade my dreams. Heck, last night I couldn’t even sleep on account of the words that wanted to be written. You’d think for someone who wants to write that’s a good thing right? Except the more I write those words, the more my heart goes out into the world and in creep the niggles followed by the doubts.
Aren’t kids the greatest teachers? Little mirrors into ourselves. This morning on our way to visit family Jimmy is wearing a shirt and it’s hot, so he asks me to take it off. ‘Wait, when we stop’ I say. Jimmy, who taught himself to ride before I could even think about the old ‘hold the bike with a scarf’ trick decides he won’t wait. He slowly works his way up those buttons and teaches himself to undo them. Of course he does, he is dogged that one.
It’s a great privilege to be alive, to feel alive:
To give a smile.
To receive a smile.
To share kind words.
The gentle unfolding of what I would do in The Netherlands began here. In this moment, at the Sagrada Familia. I didn’t realise it then but a significant shift was moving within me.
‘In the shadows’ I called the shot. I’d looked for the typical tourist shot. The one that would capture this grand, whimsical masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí, architect and artist.
“Let yourself gravitate to the writers who attract you, pull you in, because their work is showing you something of yourself. Let yourself imitate them, until you notice those spaces where you can’t help but do something different. In those spaces, you start to make your own voice.” – The fabulous Justine Must.
That is conscious consuming right there. For me it’s a pull towards the voices of brave, honest women sharing their stories and seeking their truths. Women who want to make a difference be it food, environment, each other, lifestyle, travel, adventure all while choosing their own path and using their hearts. Living creatively.
Writing, well that’s conscious contributing, to yourself, the people in your life, those who read your words and one day if you keep at it, to what matters. All the voices count.
Today I took another step towards finding my voice and contributing to a conversation that I think matters.
I’m going to quote myself here.
“Adventure with kids is about having fun, stepping out of the routine, [developing skills] and spending time together. It’s about instilling a lifelong passion for the outdoors and the real world while creating an opportunity to experience quiet and stillness in their increasingly busy lives”