Why travel: To inhale nature and listen to birds sing

I was a lucky girl this week. School holidays freed up our time a bit and we spent a couple of days down south of Perth, between Mandurah and Bunbury where my father lives. It’s a place that is super-peaceful and it’s such a lovely way to get out of the city – a necessary thing to do from time to time, I find.

When I was a child, this block had an old asbestos shack on it where we spent long weekends and school holidays, but now it has a proper house and even something of a proper garden (all native Australian plants, of course!). There are plenty of things to like about it but probably my favourite thing is the peace and quiet. There are not too many benefits to having a child who loves to get up at 5.30am, but one is that I get to experience the peace of the bush as the birds are waking up. I even made you a short video to demonstrate!

I just wish that I could record the smells that went with this video and send them over the internet. The fresh bush scents are incredible. Much better than fresh sheets. Sweeter than just a nose full of eucalypts. I really can’t explain!

Wherever I travel in the world, I crave these kind of experiences. Earlier in the year when we were headed to Europe, a number of people asked me why I would go to an isolated place like Inis Meain, the tiny island off the Irish west coast, but to me it was obvious – what a perfectly gorgeous place to visit. Open space, green, fresh air, all of it rejuvenating and refreshing for the soul. Similarly, I loved travelling around the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, and adored getting out into the desert, with nobody else around, seeing the brown dirt and low scrub stretch out in every direction with a few dead trees as highlights. I love it!

I’m a city girl at heart, and I don’t think I could ever live out in the middle of nature, but I really truly love getting out of the city to see these kinds of places. Even when it’s just for a night, it’s refreshing, gets new air in my lungs, and resets my brain a bit.


  1. I too am lucky enough to have relatives living south of Perth and, being an early riser, the mornings down there are my favourite part of the day. Possibly followed quite quickly by the sunsets, watched obviously with a glass of wine in hand 🙂

  2. Your love for nature really shines through in this post, Amanda, despite the fact that you say you are a city girl. I’m not great at getting up early anymore (now my kids are grown up) but when I do I always wish I did rouse my lazy carcass earlier more often! It is a magical time, when the day is still new, and the sights, smells and sounds seem to be at their most intense.

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