This post is not about today, although today was a gem.
About ten years ago I quit the job I thought I'd do for the rest of my life to set up a business that would, among other things (see Ergo) offer Maria and I new freedoms. Around that same time Johanna started school so Maria's life changed dramatically too. We set out to create a life that asked 'why not?' We chose to believe we were not stuck. We set out to live with a 'no regrets' policy. About three years ago we bought a caravan with the intension to create a lifestyle that included doing some things we might typically have relegated to retirement years. That was tens of thousands of kilometres ago.
Our first real (place) goal was to explore the NSW coast between Port Macquarie and the QLD border. Although some of them relate to yurting in Victoria, the story of that exploration is now captured in 200 posts, many with photos, on this site. Next week, this phase of our yurting aspiration ends with a week in Port Macquarie.
We've not seen every bit of the coast by a long stretch, but we've given it a fair go and we've spent some time over the last couple of days reminiscing. Part of that has been sharing our favourite spots. Naturally we like different places for different reasons, but funnily enough, we agree enthusiastically that our favourite town, one we've returned to a number of times, was the first one we stayed at: Brunswick Heads. I've re-posted a photo from that first day, taken from our site looking over the river and the footbridge to the beach that lifts our spirits whenever we see walk down onto it.
This is wonderful country. The winding country roads alongside majestic river systems with postcard farmhouses and riverside hamlets are beautiful. The countless coastal villages that provide the backdrop for the national pastimes of board-riding, fishing and seaside holidays are living examples of iconic Australia. We have grown to love so much of this part of our amazing land.
Not surprisingly, we have started to wonder about which parts to explore next. We've got a longer trip through remote central and Western Australia slated for a few years down the track, but we are wondering about QLD next.
These days, there are countless lists around claiming to offer the 'must see' places before you die. I saw one just tonight on Facebook. It is true that there are some standout places, and I confess that Maria and I would love to visit each of Grif Rhys Jones' 7 greatest cities before we get too old. But the premise of many of these lists is a crock. The idea that bigger, more exotic and adventurous experiences somehow make one's life better is rubbish.
What is not rubbish is the capacity to open our eyes and see beauty and goodness wherever we are. If life offers us the opportunity to travel and see different and interesting places then our appreciation of them, I think, is directly related to our appreciation of our own neighbourhoods, homes and families.