As travellers, we’re inherently big, blue sky thinkers. We thrive on exploring new countries, cultures and experiences. We love the rush of extremes.
Witnessing the pyramids in Egypt. Catching a train in India. Hiking Machu Pichu. But for most of us, these are once a year type trips.
And, as a result, we fall into this trap of living two extremes: life on the road, being intoxicated by the extremes, and home, which is often normal and predictable.
But your two worlds, travel and home, don’t have to be so different. We need to change our mindset and be okay with new situations, not just new countries.
Having just come home from living overseas for most of the year, I wanted to explore what happened when I exposed myself to new places in my own backyard.
Introducing travel into our everyday life
I live in a cute little city, Adelaide. Food, wine and festivals are our thing. We’ve got over 700 wineries and our ‘little’ state produces around 80% of Australia’s premium wines.
I’ve always been a fan of my city, but no matter how great your home is, you change while you’re away. You get used to constant activity and company. So, when we come home, there’s a sense of loss.
But for me, and most of us, it wasn’t home itself that was upsetting me, but it’s easy to think it was. In our minds, we associate home with unhappiness – when in fact, it can be the solution.
I wanted to test this theory. So, I set out on the open road.
I went winery hopping
Nothing’s quite as liberating as driving on the open road. Windows down. A token road trip song on repeat. That mid-morning November sun peaking through the clouds; somewhat playful.
It was the first time I noticed just how blue our skies are at home – probably a new observation after living in Asia. We followed the long back, windy road, which led us through the rolling green hills, towards the Barossa. Only an hour out of Adelaide, it was the perfect day trip destination.
The road, with its thick double white lines reminded me of a photo I once saw. It was a half made road, with the no caption. I always kept it, to remind myself that I have the power to forge my own path. To never be fearful, as it limits your vision. I realised in this moment that I was still learning. There were still insights, and I wasn’t on the other side of the world.
We made it to Seppeltsfield Winery. It has a long history of nearly 170 years. It’s one of Australia’s truly iconic wine estates, and I had never been there. I tasted its famed 1916 port, from their Centennial Collection.
They replace a 100-year old, single vintage wine each year. They’re the only winery in the world to do it.
We chose another couple of wineries in the area, including Hentley Farm, a boutique vineyard and Henschke, a fifth-generation wine family icon. After a multiple wineries and endless wines, we settled for the night at The Louise – a charming vineyard retreat.
After a well-rested night, we woke up early to share breakfast with wild kangaroos in the Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park. How many of us Aussies can say we’ve shared a coffee with a kangaroo? Well, not literally, but with them hopping near you.
Our guide walked us through the park, working up our appetites before we settled on an open grass area. Earthy, maroon-coloured picnic rugs were laid out for us, with picnic baskets full of food and steaming coffee canisters. It was one of the memorable experiences – and I had to keep reminding myself that I was only an hour from home.
Holiday from your every day
I got home with the same feeling I have after travelling. Excited, exhilarated, and often exhausted. And that was all the proof I needed. Travelling isn’t about how far you go, but how you perceive it.
I visited new sights. I met interesting people. I ate delicious food. I drank lots of wine. I exposed myself to the new.
If you can break free from the mundane and introduce new experiences into your daily life, no matter how small it is, you’re ‘travelling.’