Australia Garden, Cranbourne
Point Nepean National Park
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.
-Text and Photography by Denise Pulis @www.theartofslowtravel.com. All rights reserved. This is part of Travel Photo Thursday.