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
This week I’ve been reading my early posts about Ireland and looking at the Instagram photos I posted back then that captured how Ireland felt for me as I begin to write about that time in my book.
It reads like a love affair.
An unexpected full blown love affair.
I was swept off my feet by the Emerald Isle. 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.
Fade: the process of becoming less bright, to disappear.
Audacity: boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions.
Creativity: the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.
I wrote last week that I’ve committed to the 12 week Artists way program by Julia Cameron. It came about as I was looking for a bookclub to join in Amsterdam. I’ve never been a part of a book club. For many years I didn’t even read books, it wasn’t a priority. It wasn’t something I grew up with in my home either, neither was homework for that matter. Don’t worry I don’t need therapy for that. I played outside most days (all day) and I lived near a national park so my head was full of stories and my imagination was wild.
I still need to daydream, my imagination is still wild but now I need to read too. Mostly I read for curiosity, a little for escape but I prioritise reading. I call myself a minimalist which in my mind is about principles not necessarily stuff. Although many of us live without a lot of stuff because we have other priorities, daydreaming and reading are among my priorities. Now that I think about it my mum always have a stack of Mills and Boon next to her bed. Maybe she read to escape, she’s a daydreamer too.
Around this time last year I watched a few insta friends as they took to the streets snapping photos for the @24hourproject.
Could I do that? No way. a. I would need to ask people if I could snap them (remember I am a shy introvert). And b. I’m a photo-taking hack, not a photographer.
Fast forward a year and a I’ve taken a whole lot of photos. I have built some confidence after helping Zoë with her One Girl fundraiser. That fundraiser showed me that one of the reasons I keep my life simple is so that I can jump on board when something I care about crosses my path.
So, when this year’s project came up and it turned out that I would be in Dublin on my own for the weekend and a little gentle encouragement from Rachael aka @thebowerbirdgirl (an actual real street photographer), I signed up.
It would have been easy to say no but what an adventure I would have missed out on. I’m not sure how it happened but I adopted the persona of Fran the street photographer. I actually thought I was one, maybe I really was.
Some time ago I decided to create a life that I didn’t need to holiday from.
The majority of my life has been lived in this way, moving, adventuring, trying new things.
It’s not that I can’t commit or that I don’t like to nest, I love both of those things. I’m just a mover.
When I was younger it was just me, and then just Greg and me. No one questions you when you’re young and moving. Everyone’s doing it.
I am also a minimalist. Again, I’ve always lived like this, wanting less, letting go, moving on from situations that don’t serve me well.
As we leave Ireland after 3 months of slow, quiet living to hit the road in our 6 berth camper for the next 5 months I think it’s important to acknowledge that a trip like this and living like this isn’t something that you do overnight.
It’s also why this doesn’t feel like a holiday for me, it’s the next life chapter.
This post uses photos from a recent camper trip to County Kerry, no doubt Ireland has a little of my heart. It’s a lyrical country with a language that sings and a landscape that touches your soul.
There’s a reason so many poets and writers come from Ireland. As Seamus Heaney said ‘it’s the thing that’s in the air and part of who we are’.
“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”
Oh Ireland, you are lovely as your seasons change.
February has breezed through (sometimes howled) and with it new learnings, adventures, family visits, a change of season and the arrival of ‘The Travelodge’.
In the background a little niggle, some uneasiness. Something is shifting, in part the season and definitely me. I’m changing, adjusting.
March is now upon us and the shift is slowly unfurling and we’re in Spring, full blown Spring.
A layer of clothing has been shed and we’re surrounded by daffodils and blossoms. The tiny buds are appearing on those big, strong, bare winter trees.