Tag Archives: New Year

To be or not to be…

Copyright: Louise Ralph This morning, I read a blog about how to make money out of blogging.

It all sounds fabulous. Just think… you can travel the world and make a killing along the way.

But wait. Is that all there is to this conversation?

I don’t know about you, but I like to read people’s stories and their perspective on life.

And I like to blogger on about stuff you might find interesting.

And yes, it would be nice to make a few $$ along the way. But seriously? I quite like not having to put a dollar value on my words (for once!).

Maybe because I write for a living – but this whole blog thing is about writing from the heart. And maybe inspiring someone else to get out there and do the thing it is that they love. Just because.

So no, I don’t have any tips on making a living out of this… creating the perfect headline or the biggest email list. It is what it is. And it will be throughout 2015 as it has been in  years gone by.

Because I’ve realised lately that there are a lot of things I’ve always loved to do – like drawing and writing and mountain biking and trekking and – um – people watching.

And they might never make me a single buckaroo. But I’m gonna keep on doing them.

So there.

Here’s to making this new year something really fabulous. Because you can.

xLou & EB (still working on that ‘golden gap year’)

Hanging out at the Taste of Tasmania. Perfect.

Hanging out at the Taste of Tasmania. Perfect.




Where are you heading this year?

Copyright: Louise Ralph

It’s the cusp of a brand new year and one of those times you stop, between drinks, to wonder where this one will take you. Or will you take it – in two hands and squeeze every experience from it?

Here’s something Mark Twain said that all of us travellers (through the world or through life) can take along with us:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

We’re up for it… maybe we’ll cross paths ‘at sea’. But first, some bubbles. Bonne année!

Copyright: Louise Ralph

At the Hobart docks (there are worse places to be anchored)

Five for Friday … fit for a traveller’s life

checklist2The silly season lists are getting ticked off. Santa’s about to get all the credit. You’re utterly exhausted – and you couldn’t fit another thing in.

But the new year looms, and I’ll bet you’re already getting swept up in that whole ‘resolutions list’ thing like I am. Even when I tell myself “not this year”.

Why do we consistently fail to do what’s on our list? Because we’re writing the WRONG lists.

Okay, it’s just a theory I came up with recently. But I’m so tired of writing lists I don’t stick to – like losing those extra kilos this year and getting super (try-athlete) fit and not letting life get in the way of… the list.

So here’s a new list for keeping healthy and fit wherever we are (or are going to) in the world:

  1. Be grateful: There’s nothing more energising than knowing you are blessed, even with the things we take for granted like wriggling our toes, shelter, sustenance, a breath, a thought, a heart beat…
  2. Re-sensitize: Battered as we are by constant stimuli, desensitizing has become our survival. Time to crank up those five gifts and lap up your life …. look, listen, smell, touch, taste (and enjoy!)
  3. Trip out: Travel every day, even if it’s only seeing ordinary things with new eyes
  4. Respect yourself: Love your body, whatever shape you’re in, and enjoy the passion of movement
  5. Indulge: In laughter, lots of it. Apart from giving your abs a workout, you’ll have more energy, less stress and a spring in your step.

Yes, EB is busy organising our cycling odyssey through Europe – and (loudly) delighting in my potential trip-specific training!

But whether it’s epic plans or minor moments, keeping fit and healthy so you’re ready to go anytime is important – because it slips, day by day and year by year, if we stop paying attention.

So let’s do the lists, but let’s do it right. It will make our new year resolutions so much more achievable.

Well, that’s my theory.


More posts you might like:

The Upside of Failure

Pitch (Im)perfect

Bistaarai, bistaarai… slowly, slowly.

Bistaarai, bistaarai – slowly, slowly

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Along the Annapurna trail…

When EB and I were trekking in Nepal in 2008, our group hit some tough spots. But our sherpas would just smile and say ‘bistaarai, bistaarai‘ – go slowly and carefully.

That’s not bad advice as we all charge headlong into another year, armed with resolutions that usually involve losing x kilograms, spending more time with people we love, and doing more meaningful stuff with our lives (more travel springs to mind).

Bistaarai, bistaarai… go slowly, or you’ll be dumping resolutions as quickly as you made them.

Look at the losing weight scenario. It might have taken me ten years to gain those (undisclosed!) extra kilos, but I want them off in ten weeks. Talk about setting myself up for being a loser – and not in the intended way.

Long term weight loss takes time…and so does changing those stressed-out habits. It’s also pretty impossible to fit in time to hang out with the people you love, get more exercise, chill out, and get away more often, without making some space in your diary.

It’s a lot easier when you remember who controls your diary (um, you do).

Here’s some quick tips to help you slow down to an easy pace, work smarter – and have more time to keep those easy-to-make, easy-to-break New Year’s Resolutions.

  • Exercise. The first thing you put in your diary every week is when you’ll exercise. Because exercise gives you the energy and a sense of wellbeing that helps you deal with everything else.
  • Be realistic. Put six things (max!) a day on your to-do list. Get done what you can do, and the things you can’t get to either don’t matter enough, or go to the top of the next day’s list.
  • Start the day right…with a decent breakfast and at least 15 minutes ‘chill’ time. That might mean sitting doing nothing, reading, wandering through your garden – or someone else’s (slightly more tricky). The important thing is to allow yourself to do nothing – which is the tough bit.
  • Back to the diary… schedule in blocks of ‘project work’ time where you don’t answer phones or emails. And when someone says they want to meet with you, give them two or three options, not ‘whenever it suits you’ (aka valuing your time and you).
  • Say no to 24:7 availability. That means not always having your techie things in your hip pocket, checking and answering emails as soon as they arrive, or having your office door/space ‘open’. People can and will wait. Really. Which leads to…
  • Stop driving the emergency response vehicle. Let others take some responsibility for their own stuff. If you’re always rushing to meet their needs or taking up the slack, you’re teaching them to be dependant and incapable. Remember this one? Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine…
  • Handle stuff once… from paperwork to emails. Process, file, chuck/delete. That’s it. It will unclutter your desk, your inbox, your house and your mind.
  • Delegate. You don’t have to be the master of everything. If you’ve got the resources, use them. If you haven’t, get them.
  • Breathe. No, it’s not an optional extra and we do forget to do it. You can usually tell you’re not breathing properly when your shoulders are creeping up around your ears (blue lips are also a sign). When the stress gets to you, stop, drop your shoulders and take a deep, deep breath…then let it out slowly, slowly.

Whisper it, shout it, but say it over and over: Bistaarai, bistaarai. Slowly, slowly…


First published on my Dragonfly Ink blog  in January 2009