Refreshing your outlook
Here in Australia it isn't spring, it's autumn. However, "spring cleaning" is something that can be done anytime of the year, especially when we feel burnt out, disconnected and stressed. Over Easter, David and I traveled to Noosa, where we spent 4 days surrounded by breathtaking nature. Nature provided some much needed therapy in a few subtle ways.
Watching the sunrise
Each day we woke up around 5:30am in order to watch the sunrise from Noosa Heads National Park. There's something fantastic about waking up in the darkness and hiking through a gradually lightening landscape. Noosa is a top surf spot, so there were many surfers already catching waves as we hiked towards the East. I have made it a goal to focus more on creativity in the coming months. A sunrise's ever changing colors were perfect inspiration for my photography. However, I only took my camera with me for one sunrise. These days it's so easy to miss what is right in front of us. That's why I began and ended my trip with camera-less sunrises. To spring clean your mind, try to watch at least one sunset and leave your camera behind!
Pay attention to the sounds of nature
As I write this, a siren is wailing nearby, I can hear construction and cars are honking on their way home from work. In Noosa, we rented a boat and spent a good 40 minutes of our 4 hour journey anchored next to a group of trees, listening to a cacophony of sounds from several different species of birds. One of my favorite things about living in Australia is the variety of wildlife that I've never seen (or heard) before. Get lost in a forest and close your eyes. Notice the sounds around you. Notice the silence. Spring clean your mind by listening with intention to the natural world around you.
Going somewhere you've never been before is thrilling, and maybe even a little dangerous. Suddenly you are more aware of your surroundings. You must make choices, but you can't predict the outcome. In Noosa we went hiking every day. We took wrong turns. We got lost. And we discovered beautiful, quiet corners of the national park. Luckily, you don't need to travel far to explore. Even if you live in a city, there are many new places to discover. Spring clean your mind by going on an adventure. Come home and tell the tale.
Get to Know yourself
We spend so much time these days worried about what others think about us. While social media is a great tool for connecting people from around the world, it is also incredibly harmful to how we view ourselves. Spend some time in nature and I guarantee that you'll forget about your Instagram feed, what others are doing with their lives and the stresses of daily life. Take this time to reevaluate your goals. What would you like to do when you get back home? What would you like to do this month? This year? In Noosa, I took some time to ask myself these questions. While I like having a travel blog and YouTube channel to share my travels, I also want it to have a purpose. I want to focus more on creativity, natural remedies, self-love and mental health awareness. I want to make a difference in someone's life because of the information I share. To spring clean your mind, spend time with yourself and reflect on who you are, where you want to go and make a plan for how you will get there.
I hope that everyone had a lovely Easter. Please share this article with anyone who might be needing a little "spring cleaning" inspiration.
As always, happy travels!
Jamie and David
A year in Egypt and Spain sponsored by the rotary foundation
In 2010, I landed in Alexandria, Egypt and began a year studying Arabic thanks to the Rotary Foundation's Ambassadorial Scholarship. Keep reading to find out how I earned a $24,000 scholarship and how you can find similar opportunities to go abroad!
Our First Hurricane Experience was a Wet One
Last Thursday, Cyclone Debbie dumped a month's worth of rain on Brisbane in just 24 hours. The rain began on Wednesday evening and didn't stop. David arrived at work, but was told that he could go home since some of the train stations were already underwater. I worked until 12pm, when the Brisbane CBD shut down. Although my shoes were soaked through from my journey to work, at noon the rain was light enough to walk home in. As I walked down Queen Street, passing huge chains like H&M with handwritten "We're closed due to severe weather" signs, I knew I was in for a wild ride.
I left my house for work at 8am. At 7:45am we had discovered that water was leaking from the ceiling onto the sofa, wooden cabinet and floor. We placed buckets under the leaks and hoped for the best. By 12:30pm water was down constantly dripping from four points in the ceiling, as well as coming from the baseboards in the kitchen and dripping directly on an electrical outlet in the bathroom. The worst part, however, was the humidity. No matter how much or how often we mopped, the floor remained soaking wet. Rain continued to pour down at an alarming rate, the sky dark grey and ominous.
Around 6pm the wind started to pick up. It reached 120 km/hr in Brisbane. While this was nothing compared with the winds that blew over the Whitsunday Islands (around 260km/hr), it still caused debris to hit our fourth floor glass windows. David said the loud thuds were birds. I'm convinced they were bits of palm trees. Either way, we couldn't see anything, so who knows what it was.
The day after the storm, the sun came out in full force. Our floors that had refused to dry were suddenly dry. However, the damage remains on our floors, ceiling and walls. Luckily, we didn't lose anything important like so many Queenslanders did, their homes and possessions still submerged as I write this.
I must say, I've had quite a few Snow Days in my life, but this is my first Flood Day, or Cyclone Day.
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