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The Art of Slow…Living

Australia Garden, Cranbourne

Australia Garden Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia

Australia Garden Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia

Australia Garden Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia

Moonlit Sanctuary

Moonlit Sanctuary, Victoria, Australia    Moonlit Sanctuary, Victoria, Australia Moonlit Sanctuary, Victoria, Australia    Moonlit Sanctuary, Victoria, Australia

moonlit sanctuary, Victoria, Australia

moonlit sanctuary, Victoria, Australia    moonlit sanctuary, Victoria, Australia

Lunch in Sorento, Victoria, Australia

Point Nepean National Park

point nepean victoria australia

point nepean victoria australia

point nepean victoria australia

point nepean victoria australia   Sorento, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Sorento

Sorento, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Around a month ago, I celebrated my 28th birthday. I asked Boyfriend not to buy me anything, but to  simply take me on a day out somewhere in Victoria, and away from Melbourne. We were lucky to be blessed with a warm and sunny early spring day, which we ended up spending walking through the beautiful Australia Garden, feeding wallabies and stroking koalas at the Moonlit sanctuary, walking on soft sand at Point Nepean national park, and then finally stuffing our faces at the amazing Three Palms restaurant in Sorento.

It was the best birthday of my life, not only because of all the wonderful things I did, but because, for some time, I had been practising the art of slow living. Being such an advocate of slow travel, I recently realised that I did not have the same approach to life. I rushed through life, did jobs I did not enjoy which made me wish day after day away until my next trip. I didn’t want it to be that way. I wanted every single day to be precious, and my working hours to be more than just a way to earn money.

I changed my job, found something which I was passionate about, and which , if I worked hard, would reward me financially. It was not easy, and I almost ended up with no job at all, but somehow, the risk I took worked. I rediscovered the pleasure of going to the supermarket once a week to stock up on fresh produce which I would then slowly turn into yummy food, and so cut down on heavy take away. I took time to work on the novel I’ve been wanting to finish for years, and went out to see places around Melbourne and in beautiful Victoria.

Travel is always at the back of my mind. In November, I am going to explore Northern Thailand for a week, then in January, I’m finally visiting the stunning Whitsundays. In May next year, I am going home to visit family and should be able to squeeze another European destination, though I am still not sure where (I am thinking Italy though).

But travel no longer defines me. Travel is no longer the only thing which makes me happy and gives me a deep sense of peace. Simply looking out of the window of a train on my way to work when the morning light falls softly on the Melbourne cityscape does. So does cooking a good meal at home, and setting up a table for two, then having fresh strawberries with cream for dessert.

I will always love travel, but I am glad that I have found a way to live my life slowly as well.

What things give you joy in your everyday life? I would love it if you could share.

-Text and Photography by Denise Pulis @www.theartofslowtravel.com. All rights reserved. This is part of Travel Photo Thursday.

15 thoughts on “The Art of Slow…Living”

  1. Not only the images, but even reading your articles give a sense of peace and a hint of what “slow life” or “slow travel” could and should feel like. Thumbs up for the blog!

  2. Belated Happy Birthday, Denise!
    Life is really about more than money, more than rushing from one place to the next. It’s about the things and people that bring us joy. You’re fortunate to discover this. Wish you all the best with your new adventures, your new ‘slow’ life, and new book.

  3. What a great way to spend a birthday.

    I find the older I get the more I appreciate the little things. I take real joy in gardening, in going out with my camera just for the fun of it and in watching the birds.

  4. Hi Den, Belated Happy Birthday. I’m so glad you had a wonderful time. You photos are adorable. Thanks for the lovely post and for making me think about what I love about my daily life. I realized I love almost every minute of it! I love getting up in the morning knowing that I’ll have that great cup of coffee. I love seeing and kissing my husband off to work – he leaves an hour before me- and having that hour to myself before I go. I enjoy my 12 minute walk to the subway – chatting with the crossing guards along the way and waving to the school kids I see walking to school daily. My commute is a bit long (40 minutes) but I love that it gives me more reading time. I look forward to when my train goes over the bridge, it gives me a chance to take a glimpse at one of my favorite sceneries – the Manhattan skyline (I never get tired of it!). I like that when I get off that train, some tourists would stop me to ask for directions. You see, it’s just my morning. Theres a lot more!
    I so so love traveling. It’s one of my greatest passions. But I so so love being home as well and I’m thankful for every little thing that I’m given to appreciate.

  5. Belated Happy Birthday! I’m glad you had a wonderful day to celebrate it. Love those koalas and wallabies. As a mother, spending time with my kids – no matter what it is are the ones I cherish. With a hectic schedule of work for us and school for them, I enjoy those little moments. They really do grow up too fast. Of course, I also enjoy the quiet times I have when driving to/from work enjoying the California sunshine. Beautiful shots!

  6. Wishing you a very happy belated birthday. I agree with you that travel is fun but creating a life that you don’t feel a need to escape is important, too. Today, I was just thinking how one thing that I enjoy about living in Malaysia is the slower pace compared to the USA. I really like how the lines of the 3rd photo echo the lines of the life preserver in the 2nd picture. I was going to ask if you were doing NaNoWriMo, but perhaps that is the opposite of doing things slowly.

    1. Hi Michele,

      Oh I wish I could write a novel in a month, but for me it’s more like 3 years :) I should be finished by the end of this year though, finally.
      Thanks for the lovely comment.

  7. Hi Denise,

    and a belated Happy Birthday to you. Slow travel is such a wonderful concept, and I agree that slow living should be practiced as well.

    Tom and I visited Melbourne a few years ago and found it very interesting. We loved the Twelve Apostles, and searching for Koalas in the trees. I’m not sure where the park was that we visited, but the wallabies were friendly and inquisitive.

    I can only wish we had learned the necessity of slow travel when we visited. We only had a week, so the memories sometimes jumble together with all the others. It was a long four months and seventeen countries were way too much.

    From now on we intend to do slow travel also. The lucky part is that we don’t have jobs, so we’ll just travel wherever we choose and stay as long as we like. Here’s hoping you’ll get in more visits to many countries where you can practice slow travel and get it down to an art.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      Thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, when I start planning my trips I always want to cram too much but then I end up stripping it down so it’s more manageable, or increasing the time spent in a country to see it more properly.

      You are extremely lucky to not have jobs and be able to travel however long you want. I am jealous!

  8. Hey Denise! Happy belated birthday! It looks like you have had a wonderful birthday! I look alayws forward to my travels, but there are also many things that make me happy besides of traveling! It would be rather sad just to live for your holidays and not enjoy life besides that… Doing yoga, spending weekends at the beach, surfing, exploring, hot chai tea, taking pictures – all things that make my heart smile! We should catch up for a drink soon, would love to hear about your new job!!
    Kristina x

  9. I love how that koala is just calmly hanging out there.

    I like your approach. It doesn’t make much sense to slowly, carefully get to know the places you visit and then rush through everyday life without enjoying where you actually live.

    1. Hi Jess,

      Those Koalas are so lazy! They get petted by people everyday, but they don’t seem to mind as long as they’re chewing on their favourite food.

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