|A new dawn, in Turkey|
It's been a big year, globally and personally, and I feel equal parts anxious and hopeful on this last day of 2019.
Anxious about the state of the world, including Australia, much of which is still in deep drought and on fire as I write this. Hopeful because good things are happening too, people power is growing - and Greta Thunberg was just named TIME magazine's Person of the Year. (Watching her "How dare you" speech to the UN was one of the most heart-wrenching moments of 2019.)
|Greta the great, keeping it real|
One of the things I'm grateful for this year is that demand for sustainable travel stories has been at an all-time high, allowing my love of travel and my desire for a simpler, more sustainable life to make friends with each other.
|2040, most inspiring book of 2019|
I also got to write more about tiny houses, which brings me to my last list for the year: seven low-impact highlights of 2019...
|Tiny house #3 (pic by Unyoked)|
Officially, I was on assignment for Traveller to report on the new "tiny house stay" phenomenon - and to review all four tiny houses for this blog (starting with Edmond in the NSW Southern Highlands). But it was really a personal quest to experience tiny life first-hand, if only for a few days. The good news: climbing ladders to loft beds only fuelled my desire to live in a tiny house one day soon.
|Beached in the Mergui islands|
3. People power. At home, I got involved in more eco-events than usual, from tree-planting days in Lennox to Sustainable House Day, the Brisbane Eco Expo and, most inspiring of all, the Global Climate Strike in September.
I would have loved to have been one of the 80,000 people striking in Sydney or the 100,000 in Melbourne, but even at the relatively small Lismore strike it felt amazing to be part of the largest climate mobilisation in history. A record 7.6 million people protested for climate action across the world. Power to the people!
|Butcher bird with a message|
|Silk rug soft as butterfly wings|
6. Singing therapy. Here's something you might not know about me: I like singing. Just for myself, or with a friend or two. But in July this year I stepped out of my introverted comfort zone and sang three songs with Mr No Impact Girl at a local open-mic night called Tintenbar Upfront. After a shaky start and cotton-wool-mouth nerves, it was a new kind of fun, but the biggest high came afterwards, just from taking the leap ("daring greatly" as Brene Brown would say; yes, I love her).
Since launching it last month I've been bowled over by how well it has been received. From my local book store and art gallery both wanting to sell it, to friends ordering multiple copies to give to their friends, people have been genuinely touched by it, which warms my heart.
|Barefoot, outside and ready to write|
So my 2020 wish for you is that you get the chance to gather ordinary moments in nature this coming year, as many as your senses can carry, share them with others and hold them close. Because the more connected we feel to the planet, our living life-support system, the more motivated we are to act in its best interests.
Here's to a peaceful, plastic-free, low-carbon year for you all, wherever you happen to be. And, as always, thanks for reading and for doing all you do to live and travel more simply. Meet you back here in the new year, ok?