Wanderlust. We see it, we read about it, we feel it but when do we ever actually live it? It is a term that is used everywhere today. But sometimes in life you come across beautiful souls who not only embody the term, but are living a life of freedom and one which is constantly evolving and moving. You know the ones, those nomadic souls who are always seeking that next mystifying adventure, travelling to spaces where their soul feels at home and their spirit soars, always searching for beautiful places to get lost, for they know that the journey is the reward. Let us introduce you to Liss whose journey and images on 'Life In The Slow Lane' had us sighing 'wanderlust' and left us wanting more, or less, or it all..
You have titled your journey 'Life In The Slow Lane'. Can you tell us about how it began
I have been travelling for years. I was brought up amongst a family of travellers, and over the years I've visited many spots overseas. I came across the term 'slow travel' when I read Carl Honare's book 'Slow - how a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed' a few years back. I fell in love with the idea of 'slow travel' - my interpretation of this is to travel not to 'get somewhere' and 'tick places off a list', but rather make the journey itself the travelling experience. Cruise at my own pace, enjoy the people and places along the way, have no set list of places and things that I want to see, but rather stop in at spots and see how I connect with each place...stick around if I love it, move on when the time's right. I feel that I can really get to know a place this way. There's a quote that I like: 'tourists don't know where they've been, travellers don't know where they're going'. I relate with what Paul Theroux is saying here.
Your 1959 sun liner is
My home, my adventure mobile, a reflection of my personal style, a safe place for me to keep everything I own. To sum it up in one word, my Sunliner is my 'freedom'.
Where are you now
Australia's Northern Territory
What captivated us was not only your life in the slow lane but that you did it in your own vast and extraordinary backyard. So many people when they think of travelling; save, buy a ticket and leave home to cross oceans and go too far away lands. Why did you choose differently
I've travelled extensively overseas. I'd yearned for many years to drive around Australia, and also to go deep into the desert and discover her mysteries. To open my van's window at night, in the middle of nowhere, and look up at a million stars, far from city lights and pollution. To discover places that many Australians don't even know are in Australia. You know, I visited a lake in South Australia, and when I posted a photo yesterday on Instagram, a South Australian lady commented 'I've travelled all over South Oz, and there definitely isn't a pink lake here'. Haha. I love finding place that people don't even know exist, right here within Australia. Also, it's been so convenient having my 'home on my back' with the caravan. It makes me want to stay longer, because I have everything I need and I feel at home with all my creature comforts.
Where are you heading next
Journeys of freedom are that of joy. Can you tell us about some of the places and people that have impacted you the most along your journey thus far
The places that have most impacted me thus far have been really isolated places. It was amazing to pull up to an empty beach car park in South Australia and watch a solitary seal diving through waves at sunset. Also, travelling through the Kimberley (North Western Australia) is amazing. I've travelled this remote region extensively over the years, and it always captivates me. It's like Australia's Africa. It's hard to talk about people who've impacted me. I've met so many amazing and interesting characters along the way, and also caught up with many friends. An old friend of mine, Chanoa, is someone who inspires me. She is married with 4 kids, but they have been travelling Australia and home schooling. Her kids are so world wise and I believe that the kids are receiving the best education, learning about the world around them by being immersed in it and discovering new places together.
Taking yourself out of your daily routine and comfort zone, in order to experience different scenery and/or cultures. Expanding your knowledge of the world around you through new sights and experiences.
It takes courage and strength to walk on the road of the unknown, what are some of the challenges you have faced along the way side
I believe that my biggest challenges are mental ones. Overcoming fears in new places, sometimes even fears of meeting new people. I have to remind myself sometimes that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing, and I can change the course of my own life at any time. 'I am the Master of my own ship, I am the Captain of my destiny', it's easier to face challenges if I think like this. The mind has the power to overcome many challenges, and we have the power to make our dreams come true, if we want to. That's why it's so important to know exactly what it is that we want from life, so then we can plan a way to achieve it. And if we don't know what we want, well we should just recognise the things that we enjoy and love, and build our lives around these things. Haha, sorry, I really went off on a tangent there!
What did you have to give up or change to live the life you are now living
I gave up structured work life, a home that I owned, and a group of friends. I gave away or sold most of the things I owned (though, I've never really owned many material possessions), and I only kept the things that would fit in my van, that I use regularly. Things that enhance my lifestyle and make me feel happy.
What draws you to a place
I'm most drawn to places that I know nothing about. I feel a greater sense of discovery if I arrive in a new place and I have no preconceptions. Without expectations, places seem to offer many more lovely surprises and I can create my own experiences, rather than follow the well trodden path.
And for others that have that calling, what would you say to those who linger and long
If you put off your dreams, you can become bitter and stagnant. An expression that I love is 'the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now'. Make a plan and then when the time feels right for you, just go.