One of the joys of being a freelance travel writer is seeing stories come to life, long after they’ve been travelled and written about. That thrill of seeing my words and pics in a magazine, in newsagents across the country, never goes away.
In the last few months I’ve had a few more articles appear in print and I’ve loved being able to relive them, particularly given the times we’re in.
At a time when we’re travelling no further than the local supermarket and in the spirit of armchair travel, let me share some of Australia’s beauty through my most recent published articles.
The Soul of Yorke
I absolutely loved Innes National Park in South Australia, so much so that I dubbed it the “Soul of the Yorke Peninsula” in my latest feature which appears in the April edition of 4×4 Australia Magazine.
There’s a world of natural beauty packed in this small area: pristine beaches, rugged coastline, shipwrecks and wildlife and views that take your breath away. There’s a lot to love about the Yorke Peninsula.
It’s where we spent the start of this year. I wrote my first blog post of 2020 from our van, camped at beautiful Marion Bay. In my post I dubbed this the year of Clarity. This is part of what I wrote:
“Seems 2020 is the year of having perfect vision. Or at least aiming for it. It’s the year of clarity.
Like all of us, I’m a work in progress and it’s a constant ebb and flow. I’m loving the journey, even though it’s fraught with failure which are really lessons in disguise and fear which can be very real and life changing.”
At the time Australia was in the midst of a devastating bushfire season. Little did I know that less than three months later we would be in the midst of a global pandemic and lock down.
Fly me to the Moon
The title feels like an episode from The Twilight Zone given the current crisis we’re living in.
Fly Me to the Moon wasn’t my original title for this story, but I suppose, the outback can be pretty otherworldly. And right now, perhaps it would be nice to fly to the moon!
Late last year we visited both Mungo National Park and Pink Lakes in Murray Sunset National Park, two destinations that epitomise the magic of outback Australia.
Vast wilderness, surreal landscapes and sunsets and sunrises I’ll never forget. It was a special time that became the inspiration for a number of stories and blog posts.
Regular readers will remember our ingenious boys windsurfing on the salt lake floor with a tent. Then yours truly unceremoniously sank her white shoes into black mud for the ultimate foot bath. The Pink Lakes combines a scintillating mix of adventure and relaxation.
Then there’s Mungo. I’ve written about it before, the aura that emanates from this place. A sacred sunset walk on a dry lake bed, that thousands of years ago was the livelihood of our ancestors, is like stepping into footsteps of an ancient past.
Awe inspiring, mysterious and magical. That’s Mungo, one of the most under rated destinations in Australia. Visiting is like stepping into the Dream time.
Printed stories become a journal of our adventures, much like our blog posts.
My latest write up on both these places is in the April 2020 Edition of 4WD Touring Australia, which I consider one of the most beautiful photographic travel magazines in Australia today.
More of my stories have been written and accepted, and will hopefully make it into print. But who knows. So much is uncertain now, in every area. Still and in the meantime, each day is a new page in our own story, a story about how we’re living through these unique days of social isolation and lock down.
While travel has temporarily stopped, our van sits patiently in the front yard. I try not to think too far ahead, accepting each day as it unfolds, although the dreaming and wander lusting remains.
There’s no denying the allure of what lies beyond the horizon and on the other side of this crisis.
I reckon that when we do get to travel again we’ll do so with even more joy, gusto and appreciation.
These days I wake and watch the sun rise from the decking. I smell the morning dew on the grass and smile as the coloured rosellas flit through the gum trees. Sometimes I sit with my cuppa and watch the clouds roll by. Simple pleasures.
The wildlife is oblivious to the social distancing concerns of us humans, as rabbits chase each other through the back reserve and kangaroos graze together.
I listen as the world wakes up, as birds sing their morning chorus. It’s the closest thing to camping. It’s my haven and world.
Nature calls me outside more and more. Every day I feel drawn to it. And as I walk in the bushland close to my home, even a small variation in my path uncovers new beauty. I’ve never felt more open and connected to the earth.
“The future is completely open and we are writing it moment to moment.” Pema Chödrön
Times might be strange and uncertain but the earth is quietly rejuvenating as we isolate and rest. And in doing so we’re unwittingly writing the next chapter of our story, and that of our world.
My hope is that it’s a more compassionate, kind and harmonious one.
Stay safe, well and hopeful everyone.
In light and love
Here’s to all the places we’ve been to, the places we’ve yet to go and that state in between, of dreaming and anticipating, of a better world.