Category Archives: Travel

Slow travel, fast kids and making counter-cultural choices

“Slow living is kind of this weird duality of being prepared, organised, systems in place, knowing what’s coming, managing expectations, and being flexible and fluid and understanding that life happens.”

The hostful is back, baby, and this one is big. We’ve got a personal and travel update, a heap of excellent listener questions, and we reveal the new Slow Experiment for May!

It’s been a while since we sat down and answered listener questions, and it feels like something of a homecoming. Your questions never fail to inspire me, and I often find myself thinking about them for days and weeks after. This episode is no different as we talk a lot about flexibility versus rigidity, spontaneity versus organisation, and expectations versus reality, not only in answer to your questions, but also as we do a deep dive on what the past few months have taught us (some of it has been rather uncomfortable, if I’m being honest).

On a similarly uncomfortable note, the North American release of SLOW is fast approaching, and with the official release date being July 10 and pre-orders now available, it’s feeling very real. As Ben and I discuss early in today’s episode, plans for tour events are coming together and I can’t wait to share them, but we’re also going to need your help. A cross-country book tour is no joke and if there’s any possible way you think you might be able to help – venues, media, logistics, bulk food, grocery and restaurant recommendations (seriously!), must-see stops along the way – let us know via email. One thing I’ve learnt about myself over the past few years is my tendency to take on all the jobs and then slowly wither under the pressure, so this is me getting honest and telling you that I can’t actually do that.

This provides a really beautiful link to some of the questions we answer in today’s episode, as a number of them revolve around the theme of expectation – both our own expectations of what we believe life “should” look like and the expectations we feel from external influences such as friends, family, social media, marketing, advertising etc.

A number of the questions ask specifically about slow living with young kids:

  • How is it possible to live slow when kids are fast and noisy and endlessly curious and messy?
  • Is there a way to extricate yourself from the busy-ness of young kids (activities, birthday parties, etc) without upsetting people?
  • How can slow living apply to families with one or more kids who have additional needs?

Then there are some questions that relate specifically to slow travel:

  • How did we know it was time to pull the trigger on our trip? What signs were there to show that we were ready for a huge change?
  • How are we managing the day-to-day of slow travel? What does that look like?
  • What has surprised, challenged or delighted us most about our trip so far?

Peppered throughout the entire episode is the theme of going against the norm, or making counter-cultural choices in the face of resistance. I think this is at the heart of all of slow living, whether you’re making changes at home with young kids attached to your knees, if you’re travelling the world, both, or somewhere entirely different.

Ben and I talk about the idea of living against the grain, the emotions it has brought up for both of us, the fears it awakens and the rebellious joy it brings too. There is something so liberating about removing the blinkers from the ‘shoulds’ of life, asking the big questions and then living in alignment with the answers, but I also understand why it is so scary. It’s my hope that talking about the ups and downs makes it more accessible and realistic, rather than some unattainable, romanticised version of life that nothing will live up to. It’s hard work to live against the grain, swimming against the flow, but man is it worthwhile.

Towards the end of the episode we also reveal the May Slow Experiment, which is all about daily creativity. If you listened to the March experiment you may have heard us talk about the impact of time in nature on our creativity (we spoke about it a lot in Episode 5 of the experiment). Following our nose, this seemed like the most obvious continuation of our experiments and we’re both really excited to see where it leads us. to As always, we want to keep the experiment flexible and accessible to as many people as possible, so the rules as such are very simple. We’re committing to an act of creativity every day in May, and we’d love you to play along too. That’s it.

Now, for those of you thinking you lack the basic creativity required to take part in this experiment, I’d encourage you to look outside the box when you consider what ‘creativity’ entails. It can be the traditional arts and crafts, writing or knitting, of course, but the way we view the world, the way we solve a problem, get dressed in the morning or choose to view things from a different angle can all be acts of creativity too.

To get you started, and to keep you motivated for the month of May, I’ve created a simple PDF for you to download and print out, and it has some suggestions on creative acts you can try throughout the month, as well as a colouring chart for every day you create.

Personally I’m excited to see what, if any, impact a daily creative practice is going to have on my:

  • problem solving
  • mindfulness
  • paying attention to tiny details
  • focus
  • creativity in work

and I can’t wait to hear the impact it has for you too. We’re getting started on May 1, and as always, will be using #slowexperiment over on Instagram to talk about our progress. Feel free to join in and share your experiment too!

In the meantime, enjoy!

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

The Great Outdoors: Part 1 – A Slow Experiment

Let the experimenting begin! Yep, the #slowexperiments are back for 2018, kicking off this month and happening every second month hereafter. As we mentioned in last week’s episode, March is all about the great outdoors, and the experiment is to prioritise spending time outside every single day.

Ben and I are aiming for 60 minutes a day, but if you’d like to play along, you don’t need to try for an hour if it doesn’t work for your schedule. Simply find an amount of time that works (for you) and try sticking to it. The aim is to keep it simple but consistent, and to put “spend time outside” a little higher up your to-do list than normal, even on the days when it seems too hard.

We all know at a deep level that spending time in nature is good for us, and in this poggie I talk about some of the symptoms of “too much inside time” I notice in our family: irritability, excess energy, feeling cabin fever-y and craving that delicious buzz of tiredness that can only come from spending a day outdoors. Sound familiar?

And while we know, on that deep level, that spending time in nature is good for us, we’re going in with an open mind as to what we’ll get out of the experiment. In preparation for this month we’ve done a lot of reading on the topic of time spent in nature and its impact on our overall well-being, and it’s been fascinating to dig in to the research that’s been happening over the past 15 years. Increasingly it shows that spending more time outside in nature has a massive impact of many areas of our lives, from mental and physical health to emotional wellbeing, as well as performance in school and work. We talk about some of those studies in today’s episode, as well as some different and creative ways you can try to incorporate outside time, from the big to the small, as well as some ways to feel the benefits even on the days when getting outside is literally impossible.

Stay tuned for the experiment episodes for the rest of the month, where Ben and I will talk through our own efforts to spend time outside, as well as diving in deep to some of the benefits and research that’s been done. If you’re playing along, don’t forget to share how you’re going over on Instagram using the hashtag #slowexperiment!

In the meantime, how are you going to get outdoors today? If you’re stuck for inspiration, you can download a Great Outdoors Scavenger Hunt checklist here.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

Welcome to the great experiment of 2018

A belated Happy New Year to you and yours, my friends. I hope the holidays were good to you (as forever ago as they may feel) and that 2018 is off to a great start. We’re coming at you from the amazing Rocky Mountains in Canada, just over a week in to our year-long experiment, and in today’s poggie, the first new episode, we talk about the past couple of months and all they’ve entailed.

Since December, we’ve sold our house in the Blue Mountains, given away the vast majority of our belongings, packed up all that was left, said goodbye to family and friends, and flown off to the great unknown. And even as I write those words it seems surreal. As though I’m still imagining those things rather than living them.

In this poggie Ben and I go deep in to everything that’s happened over the past couple of months since we last recorded. First we talk about the head, heart and hard work that went into selling our house, moving out, saying goodbye and getting on that plane. The amount of energy and emotion involved caught us by surprise, and at times Ben found himself in a really stressful place, potentially taking tilting a little too far. We talk about the role that planning and organisation played in getting through that stress relatively unscathed, and the fact that so often we overlook the importance of the unsexy administrative and logistical work in living a slower simpler life, instead favouring the big, showy changes.

We also talk about the specifics of what went down during January, including our garage giveaway, having a super slow New Year’s Eve, the emotions involved with leaving our house (specifically the garden) for the final time, packing and the difficulty of saying goodbye (especially to our dog).

It’s been a big few weeks, with some really big emotions, but never once have we questioned whether we were doing the right thing or not. Two days in to our big adventure and we really are living in the unknown, doing the experiment.

And speaking of experiments, as we mentioned at the end of last year, the slow experiments are back! They’ll be happening every second month, and the first one will kick off in March, so stay tuned.

In the meantime though, thank you for your patience as we took some time to settle in to our new situation, and for the wonderful support you’ve given us this year already. I’m so excited to share our discoveries, mistakes and realisations with you over the coming months, but also wanted to assure you that the poggie is not going to become The Slow Travel Podcast! Starting next week we’ll be back on deck with some great interviews with people who have embraced a slower, simpler way of life.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 3.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

The Check In: Part 2

It’s been a few months since we shared our 2018 plans with you and we thought it was time for an update, because HOO BOY things have changed. Head back to Episode 193 if you’re curious to hear all the previous details, but in a nutshell next year we’re packing up our life here in the Blue Mountains and heading off on an adventure. First stop will be Canada for a few months before heading to the United States for a book tour to celebrate the release of SLOW, and after that, we really don’t know. (That part, at least, hasn’t changed).

Up until recently the plan was to rent out our house here in the Mountains, work remotely and home school the kiddos while attempting to travel in a slow way, living like locals wherever possible. It was going to allow us to travel, experience the world and still have somewhere to come back to at the end of the trip.

Now? Some of those plans have changed and some of them have become clearer, and in today’s episode we give you a big old run-down of what we think things will look like now. We talk about why we’ve decided to sell our house, why we’re giving away all our stuff, and why 2018 is really, at its heart, all about experimentation and asking the question, “What would happen if…”.

Honestly, I’m equal parts excited and nervous to share this with you. This is a big freaking deal for us and the looseness of this conversation is probably a good indication of just how nervous we are. So, here she is:

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!