Something strange blew into my being the other day. It must have snuck in with the five second mini-cyclonic wind that blew off our neighbours awning in our Darwin campsite.
An intense desire to return to a settled life.
I won’t say home because I don’t have one. Not one that’s calling me in Australia anyhow.
But I am craving a laying of the hat in a place I can call my own.
One with friends close by. Those you can just pop in to see for a cuppa, or a glass of wine on a Friday – with ice in it, because that’s what us girls do now we’re a little older.
One where travel is a true getaway – a break from normalacy, rather than being the normalacy.
I’m longing for my own space. An office. A bedroom for the girls. A love nest for Craig and I.
A sacred altar for my crystals, candles and meditation bliss. A grassy back yard for my morning yoga routine – just me and the mildew earth, the birds and a gentle breeze.
The Queen of Chaos and Living in the Flow suddenly wants a bit of structure and routine. The adventure always lies in the something new.
I want to grow my own herbs and veggies and spend hours in the kitchen – my kitchen with everything in its place – to create meals made from whole foods and a whole lotta love.
I want to host dinner parties with family and friends. Sit around the backyard fire roasting ‘smores, drinking whiskey and laughing over memories. Maybe even just kick back on the couch for a bit of X-Factor and even footy on the weekends with Craig.
I want slumber parties and play dates for the girls with their friends. To watch them pursue sporting and creative art talents, silently cheering from the sidelines (because I don’t want to be the parent that gets carried away with screams and rants.)
I long for a routine of exercise – maybe even a personal trainer. I might even do something crazy like run a half-marathon. Then again, maybe not.
I want to sit in my own office with quiet space for hours at a time to create all of this within me waiting to come out. A space filled with inspiration and Zen. I want dates scheduled in for conferences I can attend as a student and a teacher. Meet ups and mentoring groups – all those other things I love about my business that have been pushed aside.
Now I’m in a bit of a conundrum.
Is this just a pause that’s needed or is this a winding down of a 16 year travel life?
This grand Australian road trip adventure is teaching me how to give up trying to adhere to the shoulds of life and just allow it to be defined by my feelings. They tell us what we need and if we give into them, life effortlessly leads us to the experience that satisfies them.
Perhaps my desires for the settled life were really calling me to rest. To pause for awhile and allow some of these things I like to seep in and be savoured.
I felt it the minute we drove into Broome. An unwinding of tension, a lifting out of the exhaustion and a sense of peace.
A recognition of a return to home in a place where my soul once felt so alive with promise, freedom and adventure. Even though much of my life has changed since we worked here in the pearling industry ten years ago, that connection to home still remains.
I cycled down to the Buddha Sanctuary the next morning at 6am. The red dust following me, Cable Beach to the left, the sun rising to my right. The palm tress swayed in the breeze and the air was cool with a hint of the top end warmth to come.
I bounced up and down on my seat with the glee of a five-year old. I was on the way to a 90 minute yoga session.
After that, a play in the surf with friends and dinner under a balmy, starry sky at Matso’s Brewery – the taste of their famous mango beer still lingers ten years later.
I’d found my Happy Place.
My mind raced with plans on how we could make a more permanent stay and how perfect that settled life would be.
But, thoughts crept into my dreamlike state reminding me of the nature of imperfection. In a few months time Broome’s stifling heat would arrive along with the wet season replacing the vibrancy with lethargy. My happy place would change.
How can I ever find a Happy Place that always stayed happy?
What was really making Broome a happy place for me?
Hot enough to live in singlets and shorts and spend the day swimming, but not too hot to leave you trapped indoors lying in a pool of sweat under the AC. The ability to get around by bike. Family moments. Beautiful beaches. Nature walks. Great friends. Vibrant colours. Starry skies. Singing insects and birds. Starting my day with meditation and yoga. Defining how each moment of the day from there on out looks. Magical sunsets kissing us goodnight and reminding me of miracles.
Happy. Happy. Happy.
A happy place is not really a location, but an experience or way of being.
The trick is to learn what defines that happy place for you so you can take it with you wherever you go.
Perhaps the pause was all I needed.
We’ve got about six months left of this trip. I don’t want to stop it, because I love it. This opportunity won’t come again and I love being with my girls every day while they are young enough to love being with us.
Sometimes it’s hard to own your gyspy heart.
But, at least I know wherever the hat is laid, it will be a happy place, as the happy lives in me.
You can read all our posts on Broome here.
In fact why not use the hashtag #HappyPlace from now on to share it with us when you manage to capture what that is for you? We’d LOVE to see them.