I spent a fair chunk of my time in Victoria's Otway region last week. All by chance. A cancelled hot air ballon ride the night before my birthday had my mother and I researching over google for the best back up option - zip lining through the rainforest 3 hours out of Melbourne.
Zip lining through the rainforest was a thrill though what really drew me in was just being there - in nature. My mind was at ease - so much so I went back and stayed for the weekend. I was reminded of a Walt Whitman quote, "after you have exhausted what there is in business, politics... and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains". This speaks so much truth.
And the truth for me kicked in when the drive took me from the suburbs, to the city, to the farmlands to the towering trees on either side of the road. Deeper truth when I rolled the window down to smell the earth. Deeper again when Mum and I would walk through bushland and through the rainforest to take time to look at the flora that surrounded us and to stand by the waterfalls.
Issues that seemed pressing back home drifted away. The constant thoughts which mostly unhelpful - beat ups for not getting certain projects done on time, of social comparisons were replaced by perspective - things happen for a reason and things take time, and reminding myself of all that I had and truly appreciating what was around me right there and then. Best way to spend a birthday.
Does being in nature have that effect on you too? I would love to know your experiences and tips on where I should go. You can share your comments below. I also found a great article in The Atlantic about "How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies".
One of a number of waterfalls in the region. Triplet Falls are fed by the waters of Youngs Creek that flow from the wettest area in Victoria, Weeaproinah.
Aire Valley Guest House
I stayed at the Aire Valley Guest House. My love for the place takes me back to my childhood - a house surrounded with fruit trees a veggie garden and chooks. You can have dinner at the guesthouse cooked by the owners using local produce including the produce from their own garden. The fireplace is sublime.