I traveled 6,500km from Perth to Darwin in Australia during July in a Wicked Camper van. It was an incredible journey giving me time to reflect on life in general. Having no internet or phone access was refreshing and made the month feel much longer. For the first time in ages I had time to read several books, at a craft market in Broome I stumbled across a book called Wildwood by Roger Deakin “about the element wood, as it exists in nature, in our souls, in our culture and our lives”. It was brilliant and reminded me why I love being outdoors and the importance of our connection to the natural world around us. The woman who sold it to me had a twinkle in her eye and said “I think you will like this” I said “it’s funny how books have a way of finding us”, after reading it I realise the irony that I had to travel half way around the world to realise something fundamental about myself and home.
The journey also gave me time to write and to ponder, the days were simple with the mechanics of life being the only real concern (preparing food, eating, washing up, showering, washing clothes etc). The evenings were long, with sunset around 5:30pm, so we were in bed by around 9pm every night and up at dawn. I generally felt calmer, more healthy and more in control, I’m sure the simple routine, coupled with exercise and a simple diet had much to do with it. Since returning home I have made an effort to keep the TV switched off at nights, read more and take more time to just sit and meditate. In the modern world we are continually plugged in to TVs, mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc. You have to consciously fight to unplug yourself, but when you do the rewards are almost instantaneous. More time, calmer thoughts, less anxiety and generally a more positive outlook on life.