A change of scenery can have profound effects on your state of mind. Time to be in the moment, be yourself and do activities you enjoy during a trip away can have significant and unimaginable benefits on our overall wellbeing.
Plans to walk for a week on the Camino Frances or GR65 route altered a few weeks ago due to life and arrangements changing. The idea of how or if I could somehow meet my old walking friends for the evening and visit the French town of Le Puy en Velay, (home of the round green lentils) kept buzzing round my head.
Procrastination, indecision and the inability to do something enjoyable for myself, led me to ignore these persistent thoughts and hope that they’d fade away. They didn’t and nor did the voice of my intuition pipe down and stay in it’s box.
Finally mid morning on Saturday with only vague information about my friend’s plans and whereabouts, I followed my instinct and looked at the train times. We could meet en route and that would increase our time together and therefore justify the trip.
And so it came to pass that I spent 26 hours away from my family, 8 of which were on a train soaking up beautiful countryside following the meandering Loire River snaking its way through villages and rocky gorges.
Departing from Grenoble I was quickly in a new landscape spotting old tractors in makeshift barns, seeing nature covering discarded cars, blossoming hedgerows and single track lanes I’m unlikely to drive on. You look down onto the river and up at odd shaped mounds of rock clustered in trees. Journeying on trains takes you virtually into peoples’ gardens and freshly turned earth ready for the season’s growth to emerge.
A duck swims along beside you. The darting flight of a bird in the distance catches the corner of your eye. A horse and foal run and play in the corner of a hidden field. Rough roads run parallel with the train, their destination unknown before they veer to the left and you carry straight on stopping and starting your individual journey’s aboard the pre-determined train.
This little sojourn satisfied so many needs in me; having an adventure, meeting and talking with old friends, seeing new sights, exploring a new town and landscape, spotting scallop shells and yellow arrows marking the Camino Frances route, finding some internal solitude, connecting with the energy of the Camino walking routes which cross both France and Spain concluding in Santiago del Compostellae infusing my being and spirit to continue writing a book about my own walking adventure.
Your definition of a getaway maybe planning a weekend escape, finding a new café, planning a family picnic or simply an afternoon walk to a new undiscovered place. Whatever or wherever it is doesn’t matter, it’s stepping out of a daily routine, breaking it and replacing it with a spontaneous activity, which excites you.
Are you a Mum whose needs have fallen by the wayside? And now you don’t know how to get them back centre stage? It happens, it’s instinctive and putting others first is done lovingly and willingly for the majority of time. Maybe resentment is on the sidelines. You have the answers to questions about what you need, want to do, dream of in life. Having the intention of doing something for yourself is what makes it a magical long lasting experience that carries you along life’s path.