When I left school I went straight to university. When I left university I got a job. Then I started a business, got married, had a family. I made a conscious decision to skip the ‘Big OE’ and instead focus on building a successful career. My reasoning at that time was that I wasn’t interested in fritterous travel without focus. Instead I would travel later in life as part of my work. It was a noble – albeit naive – approach. 20 years later I look back and think, perhaps I was actually scared.
I’m a homebody. My favourite place and pass-time is pottering in my home. Cyndi Lauper on the stereo, windows flung open. Re-arranging objects, fluffing cushions, making each room look it’s best. I appreciate order and routine – branching out when I choose to and getting annoyed when others dictate change on my behalf.
When I go away I take as much joy in the planning, as the holidaying. It’s when my love of research proves useful. First I ask Instagram: #coolplaces #interiors #coffee #raglan. Then I ask the web: cool places to shop in raglan. I follow the rabbit warren until I emerge with a list of groovy places from my fellow tribe. Armed with proof that I will be greeted with good coffee, boutique shops and interesting people, I book my holiday.
This approach has served me well. I have travelled to many places where research is easily done from the safety of home. I’ve chosen my destinations with the peace of mind that I would feel ‘at home’ there. With low risk of ‘odd food’ or ‘strange cultures’.
Well that is all about to change.
When my partner Matt announced he would be taking his second trip to India for work my initial response was panic. Who would make my coffee in the morning, walk the dog, take out the rubbish…my beautiful routine was about to be interrupted. I had two choices – stay at home and complain or take the leap and travel somewhere unknown.
20 years ago, not only was travel not on my list, a place as busy as India was at the very bottom of that list. What changed my mind ? Watching India unfold through the eyes of my favourite stylists. Megan Morton of The School in Sydney and Sibella Court of the Society Inc . I’ve turned my view upside down. Now I can’t wait to get my own view of this fascinating country.
There has still been the usual researched approach to planning, with the help of the ever-knowledgable Fiona Caulfield. I have booked some charming accomodation, have a list of shopping places that will most definitely fill my suitcase (and my partners!) and even created my own google map with seperate layers for shopping, culture and eating! But I know that this is one journey where I will be facing my fears – fear of flying, fear of busy places… most importantly, fear of not knowing exactly where something is or how it works!