Have you ever gone on a trip that leaves such an impression on your mind that it feels indelibly etched? We had one of these adventures years ago and it was like something from a bygone gypsy era.
At the time it was simply a birthday weekend for our 13 year old daughter. But little did we know how special it would be. Looking back on it now, five years on, our horse drawn wagon trip resembles more of a meditation. Here’s why:
Slow and Steady
This is Pixie, our Clydesdale and transport, trained by owner Patrick Hedwards from The Colonial Way, the last horse drawn carriages in Australia. We adapted easily to her slow pace and the hypnotic clip clop of hooves soon became a rhythmic part of our day.
No license required – just trust and patience
We’re taught how to drive but Pixie knows exactly where she’s going, she’s done this hundreds of times. It’s totally invigorating to be behind such a powerful yet gentle beast. And with each hour that passed at the reins a curious sense of camaraderie and bond quickly developed with her. Patience, trust and a sense of awe dominated.
Not just the destination, but the journey
We traveled barely fifteen kilometers each day and the most traffic we passed was cattle grazing. Sometimes in life we’re so focused on reaching somewhere that we forget to enjoy what’s right in front of us and what we pass along the way. But not on this trip.
Fuel stop was a bale of hay and carrots for Pixie and morning tea for us. Simple and nourishing. Similarly, as we travel through busy days it’s important to take care of ourselves, to rest when we need it, take a break and put the right fuel into our bodies.
Live in the Present
Each day we settled into a new campsite and when evening came we sat around a blazing fire and savored the ultimate outdoor cinema under a starry sky. We had fun together with only the basics. It can be easy to forget how to do that, relying on technology and external stimuli, forgetting the most important things are all round us in the people we love.
Savor the Moment
Slowing down to a calm and steady pace under a big sky made us appreciate every single moment. And we can do that anywhere. All we have to do is step outside, savor the moment and enjoy the beauty of nature and fresh air. It’s free for us all and it’s abundant.
Find your passion
Little wonder our daughter fell so in love with Pixie that she now has her own horse. A weekend away sparked a life long passion. For her and for us. For a wonder lust for travel and the simple things in life. And so the journey continues.
In or out of the saddle may we all have the chance to slow down and find joy in the journey, in each and every moment, where ever it leads us and where ever we may be.