My Favourite Escapes

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

Dr Seuss – Oh The Places You’ll Go!

Today, a list of my favourite places. Some are close by, some are far away. All are special for different reasons. I was interested to notice that they are all outside places.

All of them help me to clear my head and get back in touch with my heart.
And I can visit all of them in my head when I need to escape, distract or relax.

Streets of Shanghai
Yu Yuan
My beloved best friend lives in Shanghai and I’ve made several visits to stay with her. I walk for hours and hours exploring the streets (and shops) but somehow find a stillness in this electric city of nearly 24 million people.

Maenam Beach
Pre-parenting, many lazy holidays were spent in this quiet pocket of Koh Samui. Scrabble and drinks on the verandah, massages under the coconut palms, the gentle lapping of the water…This is a favourite visualisation to manage my anxiety in the dentist’s chair.

Under our golden ash tree
Sometimes Mr 6 and I lie on our backs and do this together on the trampoline. At other times, it’s a solitary pursuit on the grass or a rug. No matter the season or weather, there is always something calming about observing the world from this angle.

90 Mile Beach
90 Mile Beach
We regularly visit friends at the Gippsland Lakes and take a boat over to the surf. The vast expanse of sandy coastline and the ocean help me to stop and contemplate life. A gusting wind clears out the cobwebs too.

Bush Sanctuary
I written before about how lucky we are to live basically next door to bushland in suburban Melbourne. Going for a walk there is like sneaking away from life for a bit. Every thing slows down.

Tell me about your favourite places.
What makes them special to you?

Linking up with Deb @ Home Life Simplified for Listmania.

Comments

  1. love all your places but especially liked reading about your stillness in shanghai – i have avoided china as i figured it would crazy and overwhelming (hubby has been and there are always work opportunities there for him) i love hearing from people who know better xxx

    • Home Heart Haven says:

      Shanghai is an extraordinary city. I wouldn’t recommend going to Yu Yuan (in the photo) at the height of Chinese New Year but there are areas like Taikung Lu that I’m sure you would just adore – networks of little lanes with arty shops and cafes amongst traditional-style lane houses.

  2. My places I escape to surprise me at times, because while some involve my favourite times some are routed in very difficult times in my life. Two that are my favourite times involve the same place. I spent most of my childhood summers on the beaches at Phillip Island. The moment I smell salt air or hear plovers calling I am instantly transported back to those carefree times of exploration as a child and teenager and it’s like I breath an extra big excited breath. If I want to visualize to reduce my stress it invariably involves me visualizing me on a beach at Phillip Island with my husband and kids, soaking up the warmth of the sand, feeling my husbands body next to me and hearing my kids laughing in the waves. The next one is not so straight forward. My Mum died of cancer when I was 20 after 6 weeks of horrific pain. But some of my most secure and precious memories were laying next to her on her bed being held in her arms listening to the birds greet the day prior to sun rise. I am at the moment laying on our new deck listening to the birds finish the day and thinking of that moment and while it is mixed with the remembrance of someone I desperately miss it is also a very settling memory as it was a moment of stillness and safety when I knew I was loved and when I was not in control or in charge of anything when so much of my life requires me to be in control.
    The final one is one that I haven’t even told my wider family about. I have for a long time wanted to write a novel. I guess you could say it is my wish for a mid life change. I was however scared to do it as since I have been pretty good at most things I have done in my life the risk was that I would suck at this. But after encouragement from my husband I have spent the last several months working at it as I realized that even if I did suck at it at least the writing itself provided me with the release. So yes sisters dear, I am writing a novel and no I will not tell you the plot. But when I am laying in bed and not able to sleep and a million and one problems at my business are rotating through my head and I want to get up and throw it all in I escape into my story. I put myself into the characters, the landscape and the plot and I drift away into my own imagination.

    • Home Heart Haven says:

      Childhood memories can be so powerful, especially when combined with loss – hugs. And WOW! You have been quiet about your secret escape! Looking forward to hearing more…

  3. 90 mile beach looks completely breathtaking!

  4. China is quite amazing for the snatches of peace you find amidst the noise, chaos and people. The Chinese have a different sense of privacy and private space, but I often sense an underlying calmness that pervades – from people dancing and doing Tai Chi in busy parks, to the beautiful gardens that are made for serenity – perhaps it is because there are so many people that they have found away to find inner calm.

    • Home Heart Haven says:

      Yes, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it makes absolute sense. And your comment about privacy and personal space made me laugh as it reminded me of many a funny incident ;-)

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