How Travel Makes You Present

‘One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.’

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Since leaving the constructs of the week-by-week ethos – I have found an incurable desire to uncover the unfamiliar. Travel fuels this fire, and the rhythm of being in a new city every few months has become the new ‘routine.’ Me and my beau (!), have packed up our lives a few times in the last year, and created fresh little ‘homes’ around the world. We worked in a rural village in Tanzania for two weeks, creating amazing relationships, building water pipelines and renovating the local primary school. We spent a month living in the middle of London – in a shoebox apartment with a little basil plant on the windowsill and our Oyster ticket getting a firm weekly workout. We bought a little caravan and this extremely exciting moveable home idea reached new heights. We scaled the British seaside – him learning how to lure fish and ensure crab pasta was a regular on the van menu – while I freelanced as a graphic designer from my laptop and took walks in the (cold but lovely) British air along the Jurassic Coast. I collected flora and subsequent design ideas.

We then drove our little van onto the ferry to France and embarked on a whirlwind trip around Europe for a few weeks – delighted in the freedom of being able to cross a border by car (a novelty for Australian folk). We stayed in friend’s houses along the way, made silly decisions to drive through the skinny roads upon the cliffs of Lake Como, bunked in for the night in a French Chateau with a lovely host who cooked us a 6 course regional meal complete with truffles from the neighbouring forest. ¬†We have been blessed by experience – but also left our own little blessings along the way.

Being in a new physical place everyday allows your mind to break it’s patterns. New ideas flow, you become present and open to the true vastness and variety of our world.

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Before embarking on this trip and shaking the 9 to 5, I was studying Graphic Design full time at a university in Melbourne, undergoing a rigorous Part Time Acting course at a prestigious drama school, and working 4-5 shifts a week at a pressed juice shop. I was running myself off my feet – trying to please every passion I had whilst making ends meet and fitting in time with the special people in my life. I was so stuck in this idea of ‘the struggling student’ that I felt I couldn’t break free from this. I thought it was a right of passage – and that in order to get anywhere in life I had to first work myself into the ground. As soon as I boarded a plane however – the fog in my mind lifted. Being in a changing landscape every day did something remarkable to my frame of mind – but also very simple. Seeing new things everyday made me PRESENT. I was living in the now, rather than running around and thinking only of the next due date approaching. Travel forces presence – because it makes you open your eyes to what you’ve never seen before. And when you become present, and excited about life – more abundance flows in the form of ideas, new interesting people, career opportunities and love.

For anyone who feels they are stuck in a rut – save your pennies, do everything in your power to book a flight somewhere. It will change your life.

Olivia is a freelance Graphic Designer, Actor and wellness enthusiast from Melbourne Australia, currently balancing creative careers whilst travelling the world.

travels  Р@oliviatownshend 
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