Thursday, February 16th 2017
We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.
When I look back on 2016, it was a year of foreign travel that spilled with moments that stirred my soul. The nature of a big project last year, (The LANE Man which launches soon!) took me to wildly unexpected places; inside Icelandic Glaciers, to Mayan Ruins and vibrant Mexican towns, a light drenched Californian desert, winter adventures in Wyoming, and road trips through the Swiss Alps. I drew so much from those experiences; the profound beauty of nature and it’s ability to dissolve life’s complexities, rambling conversations with strangers that moved me beyond words, the intoxicating beauty of tiny towns and their aged patina walls washed in pastel tints. I found magic in other people’s mundane, and poetry in human experiences. Travel fuelled me. I was allured by its vibrancy, in love with the way a constant sense of impermanency intensified the need to soak up every moment. I was addicted to the way new surroundings ignited all senses. That beautiful but dizzying world became my new norm for all of last year, and I was convinced there was nothing like travel that could stir the soul.
I found myself obsessed with dreaming up new adventures, excited by the sheer volume of places I’d not yet explored. My fleeting visits back home revolved only around work commitments I couldn’t avoid, I was there because I had to be, I loved the comfort of familiarity for a few days but my gypsy mind would always default back to old ways, a gaze locked on the horizon, fixated on what came next.
After a year of transience, I landed back in Australia in early January, slowly wrapping my head around needing to stay put for the next 4 months. On a sunrise swim that first morning at home in Sydney, the impact of all that travel hit me hard. The same landscape I’d taken in a hundred times on morning walks was richer in detail, the ocean had an iridescence I hadn’t paid attention to before, the sky was stained a shade of pink that didn’t seem real. I was suddenly viewing my familiar world through a completely new lens. The same romance I found in exploring new destinations, spilled from familiar surroundings. The difference was that this time I was present enough to notice.
I quickly realised that while my passport overflowed with reminders of life changing memories etched in my heart, it was never about the travel. The moments that seeped into my skin were a result of the mindset that travel demands. Travel and its experiences grounded in unfamiliarity, were the perfect alchemy for internal change. Travel taught me a lesson in the importance of presence; one that made me fall deeply in love with all of the little things that had always been right there in front of me.
As I started working on The Romance Issue, I couldn’t help but find an inextricable link between romance and presence. A belief that romance is hidden everywhere, revealed layer by layer in a myriad of forms when you’re open to seeing it. So rather than focus on romance as being something that’s reliant on another, this month is a celebration of romance that starts with ourselves. The challenge to focus. To look up. To draw on travel’s lessons and extract romance from our every day. To fixate on the detail and beauty of your immediate surroundings. As they are. In morning light that spills through windows, the simple beauty of fresh flowers, of tiny apartments filled with decadent scents, the experience of live music, the drama of torrential rain, conversations sparked with strangers that shift your headspace, the days that go "wrong" when fate intervenes to change your trajectory.
Romance is about making time for the things that fill us up in order to be present…getting up an hour early to jump in the ocean at sunrise, watching an old film, leaving your phone off for an entire Sunday to experience the simplicity of uninterrupted and uninfluenced thoughts, scribbling rambling thoughts that make sense to no one but you, creating space and time to just be, exactly as you are, exactly where you are. To realise that romance isn’t something we need to travel to the other side of the world for or work hard to feel, it isn’t always an epic love story, or an exotic overseas adventure, there’s something so profoundly beautiful about the romance thats interlaced with ordinary moments. And the infinite access you have, when you discover that it starts with yourself.
Bracelet: Cartier LOVE
Style Guide Artices:
Theme: Night Swim
Cakes: Eroded Surfaces
Jewelry: Hidden Stones
Bridesmaids: The Blush Edit