Starting Simple. Thinking Big. Travelling in the Mind

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Happy New Year! I hope yours began auspiciously, joyously and with people you love. I love the “clean slate” of a New Year, and cultures around the world symbolise this new beginning with a variety of weird and wonderful New Year traditions and recipes.

For example, I remember wandering the streets of Naples on a New Years Day and having to step over the smoking remains of bonfires in the streets. It is customary there to throw unwanted furniture and goods off the balcony and burn them as part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Watch your head, Federico!

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I have a few of my own annual activities which are designed to kick-start my year in a positive and motivated way. One of these is to create a visual idea, in my head and then on paper, of what I would like to achieve and how I hope my life will look in the year to come. (Samples of my previous year collages can be seen here).

How do you like to kick start your New Year?

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This year, I have also been inspired by a book called “Organised Simplicity,” by Tsh Oxenreider. Don’t laugh! The book encourages readers to identify a life’s purpose and “declutter” anything that distracts from focusing upon that purpose. Tsh’s words are making me feel very motivated (and there’s more great stuff on her website, The Art of Simple) but it is challenging to apply them when my life’s purpose has always seemed to be to create clutter

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I discussed some themes from this book with my husband as a New Year’s Eve activity and we looked ahead to what the year might hold for our family. We have some exciting long-term goals to work towards, meaning that this year there won’t be much travel. Plus, we are commited to another year living on this small island at the bottom of the world.

One of my collages from past years reminded me of the opportunity that this presents: I’m planning to become more of a “mind traveller”.

Why not “Travel at Home” with me in 2014?

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