I love this part of the year, for the pause it gives us all, whatever our beliefs, the breathing space amid the relentless moving-forwardness of life, the chance to glance back at the year that's been.
|Barefoot, at home|
I packed my travel bag less often than usual this year, by choice: to minimise my flying time and to spend more time at home letting my roots sink deeper into the rich Northern Rivers soil.
I'm not sure I have the mix right yet - between travelling to make a living and staying home to make a life - but I'm working on it. And although being home is often regarded as second-best, a consolation prize, something you do when you don't travel, particularly in my world, it's precious to me and I'm increasingly grateful for all the love, belonging and natural beauty I've found in Lennox.
That's my 2018 in a macadamia nutshell: a year of balancing these competing, co-existing urges.
|Nepalese kids on the trail|
|Old jeans make excellent bags!|
|A stone-walled shed, Nepal|
|Serenity at Santani|
5. A win for sustainable travel. Also in August, I won the ASTW's Best Responsible Travel Story award, for the sixth time, for my review of Feynan Ecolodge in Jordan. It feels wonderful to be recognised by one's peers and an award like this is also a great opportunity to spread the word about low-impact travel and I'm grateful for that.
|A writer's tiny house (yes please)|
|Buddha in Dad's garden|
After Mum died, I left my corporate job to live in Japan, where I found my feet as a writer and travel photographer. Much later I remembered she'd been a photographer too, before she married Dad, and had always loved to travel. She also grew up in Murwillumbah, in northern NSW, just north of where I came to live four years ago - by chance, I thought, or maybe it was Mum calling me home one last time.
|Barefoot love from me to you|
May your new year be full of adventures, away and at home, that remind you we're all connected - to the earth, to each other, to the past and the unlived future. See you back here in 2019.