This is the story of an artist and a family about to embark on an adventurous journey.
Why travel? I am really more of a homebody hobbit than a wild and free adventurer. I enjoy the comforts of home, good food, order and coziness. So why leave? I guess it is about staying fresh, gaining inspiration, changing perspectives and challenging myself. It is good to get out of my comfort zone, because the uncomfortable edges are often where the most growth occurs.
This six month jaunt around Australia with the family has three main purposes for me.
The trip is a chance for me to focus more fully on my art work, and for my husband to get a clear idea of how his work can fulfill him. I am taking my paints, sketchbooks, easels and other art paraphernalia so that I am able to create constantly on the road. I will have six clear months to hone my style, find clarity in my own creative voice and to fill my well of inspiration, without the expectation of having to go to a job and earn money. I expect that I will return home brimming with ideas for new paintings.
Also important is family bonding. Our kids are at an age where the world is opening up for them, and friends, sport and outings are becoming more important. This trip is a chance to become reconnected with them at this stage of their childhood, before the teenage years when they will naturally break away and find their own way in the world. This time is a chance to fill them with strong values and the abundant love and support that they will need as they face the challenges of this next phase of their lives. They will have opportunities for learning and growth unmatched by anything they can experience at school.
And the third is all about nature. For six months we will be living outdoors, with only canvas between us and the natural world. We will be experiencing the wild extremes of Australian nature, red dirt desert, lush tropical rainforest, beaches, abundant ocean reefs and so much more. Living life away from the classroom, the office and electronic devices will cleanse, strengthen, soothe and heal us. Deep listening and looking in nature feed my soul and my art in a way that nothing else can.
My hope is that we return home inspired and changed in ways that are obvious and not so obvious. And that the memory of this trip will endure in our family for a lifetime.